Two things in life are certain: death and taxes. However, in the field of computer technologies, there’s one more phenomenon you can always expect: software updates. If you’re a Microsoft user and a chronic update-avoider, take the time to see if you will be affected by Microsoft’s upcoming architectural changes to Project Professional.
What you need to know
If you’re a Project Online shop that has been deferring the update of your Project Professional desktop clients from 2013 to 2016, you should be aware you only have until June 30, 2017 (yes, two weeks from now) to make the switch to Microsoft Project 2016. After that date, architectural changes Microsoft has been implementing will require you to use the latest version of Project (Project Professional 2016 or Project for Office 365) to connect to Office 365.
If this is the first you’ve heard of this, you might want to get with your Office 365 Administrator as this is the primary person to get this information. Request that he or she provide you with copies of all the Message Center posts that relate to Project.
Customers who purchased the perpetual license Project 2013 Standard or Professional – mainstream support continues to April 10, 2018 – but you will not be able to connect to Project Online after the final date in the summer.
Note: The architectural change won’t affect you if you’re not connecting to Project Online.
Project 2016 improvements
Project 2016 offers significant updates that addresses some of the most requested capabilities including better resource management and resource capacity planning.
- Resource Engagements: Project managers can use the Resource Engagements tool to request a resource from the resource manager systematically. The resource manager can then approve or reject that request through a simple workflow. When the resource is assigned, project managers can use this same tool to prevent other managers from double-booking it.
- Heat Maps: Improved visualization tools include new heat maps and better reporting methods that allow resource managers to make smarter decisions in ensuring that resources are being fully utilized without being overused.
- Miscellaneous productivity improvements: A new Timeline feature includes multiple timelines with their own start and end dates. This will make tracking and sharing project schedules with a team much simpler. It will also help project managers better track each employee’s tasks and deadlines.
In addition, Project 2016 includes Office Add-ins extensions to allow users to gain full access to the projects they’re on as well as a Tell Me function that simplifies the process to find whatever features they may need.
If you are unsure how to upgrade to Microsoft Project 2016 or need training in functionality that wasn’t supported in the 2013 client, contact us at Advisicon and speak to an expert who can make sure you and your business stays on track.