Microsoft Project OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Microsoft Project is the #3 ranked solution in our list of top Project Management Software. It is most often compared to monday.com: Microsoft Project vs monday.com

What is Microsoft Project?

Microsoft Project helps you get started quickly and execute projects with ease. Built-in templates and familiar scheduling tools help project managers and teams stay productive.

Microsoft Project is also known as Project Pro, MS Project.

Microsoft Project Buyer's Guide

Download the Microsoft Project Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Microsoft Project Customers

Aston Martin, ABANCA, Airbus Group, Capita, Cardiff University, City of Saskatoon, Intel, Pegasus Airlines, South Australia Power Network (SAPN), Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing

Microsoft Project Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Microsoft Project pricing:
  • "It gets expensive when having to add all of the plugins and everything that you need."
  • "I do not remember the exact cost we paid but usually, they charge per user per month."

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Michael Barg
Principal Consultant at Lexington Consulting
Consultant
Top 5Leaderboard
Resource leveling is useful, but it is time and manpower intensive and not at all dynamic

What is our primary use case?

Whenever we have a client with a complicated situation, we create a project plan. And we use Microsoft Project (MS Project) for administrating, monitoring, and tracking the project.

Pros and Cons

  • "Resource leveling is very useful. We like this feature. We like to be able to expand tasks and look at different resources and tasks usages. It is good at assigning tasks to teams. It is pretty compliant with the Project Management Institute approach, which is useful for being comprehensive. It allows us to make little Gantt charts and network diagrams."
  • "There are some things about it that I've always hated, and they haven't really changed them. It makes a lot of assumptions. It is also difficult to put business rules in it. You have to de-link it from the consecutive task if you don't want to do a What-If analysis, and sometimes, if you forget to do that, it changes everything. It is a pain in the neck to undo it. I would also like to see better integration with graphics. The graphics are primitive, and they need some major work. I would like to have the ability to do some small macros within the project for fuzzy logic. For example, if you're not sure how long a task takes, you can get the earliest guess. It is very time and manpower intensive to keep it up to date. You need to constantly update it. You will find that you are spending more time working on the Microsoft Project file rather than working on your project. I don't want to devote a person to just do that. That's silly. You can link it to some more modern applications so that it is dynamic when a real-time resource schedule changes, but it is not at all dynamic. It is only as dynamic as the person using it. It would be nice if we could plug it in real time for each project, subproject, or task. If something is going on, I want to see it in real time. Sometimes we have international clients, and they don't use the same calendar. They have a Thursday and Friday weekend, and we have a Saturday and Sunday weekend. I can change it in Microsoft Project, but I would like to be able to do it globally. There may be a way to do it, but I just haven't figured it out yet. I would like to be able to specify globally what weekend we want or what we want to call a weekend. We might have a project that works seven days a week. Some tasks are automated outside, like manufacturing processes. Embedding external processes is almost impossible because, in a practical sense, we don't have people who can do a lot of programming here, and also the interface of Microsoft Project is not the easiest because a lot of it is proprietary. It would be nice if we can link different tasks to external sources of inputs and outputs so that we could integrate them with a master project plan and see in real time what's going on. For example, you are manufacturing a batch of a chemical, and I have to rely on if a customer is making some type of complex chemical. Their system does not interfere with ours. We have to get the outputs from their system and enter them manually into the project to see the effect. That takes time. If you're talking about hours, you going to spend three to four hours, but there is the risk of getting it wrong or making a mistake. On tight projects, every minute counts. I would like to see some control system interfaces with Microsoft Project. A modern machine shop has a lot of computer numerical control (CNC) computers. In fact, virtually all machining is done with a CNC machine. Even 3D additive manufacturing is made with CNC. That data can go to a computer, and that computer can spit it out to a project so that you can see in real time whether you are going to finish a day ahead. If you had to finish a day ahead, you could talk to the systems' software, which can say that if I have this machine working for another hour and this one for one hour or less, I would be able to meet the schedule. It can then make those changes, but it can't do that. Everything needs to be done manually, which takes more time, and there's a risk of mistakes. It requires smarter automation and more machine learning. There is no machine learning capability in Microsoft Project. It just doesn't exist. That's why I say it is only suitable for small-sized to medium-sized companies and small projects. Most people don't have the problems that I have. I don't have them all the time, but when I have them, they're big. When you're bidding on a project that has to get done, you find yourself spending most of the time working on Microsoft Project, whereas you should be spending these hours managing the project. Thinking on a bigger scale, I would like better integration with Office, Visio, and Access. If you make a change in one, it should cascade to others and vice versa. It doesn't do that. It is not a dynamic program. I would like to see a dynamic program or at least the capability of being dynamic, that is, even if it is close to real time where it outputs to a module, and the module then talks to real-time things. The real-time data goes back into the module, and the module updates the project plan. Such dynamic capability would be nice. It may not be real time, but it is at least close. I would like to be able to link directly to the data in an Excel spreadsheet so that I don't have to keep going back and forth updating it. I don't want to have to create a dynamic link library. Whenever I change the data in Excel, it should update in Visio or PowerPoint. If I'm doing a pie chart or any kind of graphic, I don't want to constantly update my graphics. I want to link them together, and I want them updated automatically. I know it is a wishful thing. They don't make major changes every time they come out with a new version. They don't fix the issue. They just add a few features."

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you understand what MS Project can do and what it cannot do. It cannot read your mind. Just like any other program, it only does what you tell it to do. If you give it the wrong information, it will provide you with incorrect output. It is very labor-intensive. There is minimal capability to help you write routines. So, you have to change dates and task names. If you don't understand project management, you're just going to delude yourself into thinking MS Project helps you. You have to understand the process of project management to use the application effectively. Otherwise, you…
RS
IT Consultant with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 10
Has strong reporting features but it can become unstable when using advanced features

What is our primary use case?

Our use cases are all related to project management and I've actually developed project schedule templates that support both the standard waterfall and all different aspects of project lifecycle management including Agile and Scrum.

Pros and Cons

  • "The reporting features are quite strong. Being able to do team reports and find out what work is pending, what work needs to be done are key in my day-to-day management of the team. The earned value analysis capabilities and critical path capabilities inside the tool help me make sure that I'm keeping the projects on track."
  • "When you start getting into the more advanced features, it can become unstable. The more you use the advanced features, the more exposure you have to an unanticipated result. I think we need to add the Kanban Board capability to the product that would help them advance that board into the project management methodology that's being used in the industry today. Being able to depend on Scrum management is key."

What other advice do I have?

It is a mainstay product. A lot of people use that as their first introduction and it's not meant to be a project management ERP solution, like Life Clarity or the others but it is a capable product that establishes a framework and a basis that can be used across the industry. I would rate Microsoft Project a seven out of ten because you'd have to have in-depth knowledge of the tool for it to really be beneficial to you. It also allows the new developers and new project managers to come in and be proficient and be able to develop schedules fairly readily. From that standpoint, it's fairly…
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Project. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
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KH
Systems Engineer at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, extremely stable, and able to handle large-scale projects

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is mainly to get down on paper the steps for our project - including who's responsible for them. We use it as a communication tool and then we (on a regular basis) review progress against the laid-out project plan or schedule. I tend to step in and create schedules when project managers are too busy or oftentimes I'll create the initial schedule due to the fact that I know all the stuff that needs to go in it, and the project manager may or may not know that.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very useful for project planning."
  • "If Project had a better mechanism to allow those who are not the project manager to see their own work tasks, that would be of help or of value to us."

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users. I'm not sure which version of the solution I use. I don't use any advanced features. I basically put in tasks and assign resources, and assign predecessors, and successors. That's about the level I use it at. I don't do tons of work resource balancing, or Gantt charts out of it or anything like that. I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten. It more than meets my needs for what I'm using it for. What a real project manager may rate it might be different.
RR
Project Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Top 5
Easy to manage with good tools and great integrations

What is our primary use case?

We basically use the solution to get a clear sense of the project and break down everything into a schedule. If there are overlapping schedules, we plan everything out and add in all the information so the roadmap is clear. We often have different teams coming in at different times, so we need to ensure that our critical path is clear and that we are able to execute on the project from an agile perspective. We need to be sure that we have all the backlogs and scheduling and can pull in the customer on the deliverable as necessary. We'll check with them and fine-tune everything so that we can… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very complete. It makes it a great option for project managers and they can use it extensively in almost any organizational setup."
  • "Microsoft's solution isn't really a collaboration tool, however. If you need a collaboration tool, you can use Slack, which can be integrated with your JIRA."

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers. We don't have a business relationship with the company. I'm not sure which version of the solution we are using, or if it's the most up to date. We are using an on-prem desktop version. We are not using Ofiice 365. We use JIRA for project management, tasking and creating sprints. Most of the time, initially, we just create the Microsoft Project plan and then all those tasks and the PPS. We still try to deposit using Sprint. We plan it out and then run it as an agile sprint. It's a good tool. Microsoft is quite a stable company and offers good solutions. Microsoft Project…
KW
Operation Project Manager at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Keeps everybody organized, provides little time savers, and easy to use

What is our primary use case?

I mostly use it for big projects and rolling out solutions. I have used it for rolling out a new POS system, clientele programs, and clientele loyalty. I have also used it for process changes that impact multiple departments, and there are key players in it to keep everybody on track. Once we move forward with a new forecasting tool, I would use it for that. Over the last couple of years, it has been more of the newer version with it. I'm really basic with it because of the end-users. It means that I use it for all the pieces on certain things, but when it comes to the output, it is pretty… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "It can auto-connect based on the dates, which makes it easy. It auto-assigns people, and when you're starting to type in, it auto-fills and populates for you, which is great. It provides little time savers when you're typing everything out."
  • "It should be easier to break things. Breaking up the visualization from the task is sometimes a little bit tricky to do. You can do it, but it takes a minute. It's not an easy function to do. The way you have to format it and stuff like that takes a minute."

What other advice do I have?

You have to find the right tool that helps make it easy and streamlined for you to manage. You just need to find the right platform. I would advise others to get out there and play with all of them and then find the right one. Do tests with them, and then figure it out. That works best. I would rate Microsoft Project an eight out of 10.
Paul Gruver
Sr. Project Manager at a legal firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Included with Microsoft 365 and does everything I need it to do

What is our primary use case?

Microsoft Project helps to manage our projects.

Pros and Cons

  • "It comes with our Office 365."
  • "The new version has made it a bit more complicated."

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest using an expert. Get an implementation vendor to set it up for you. This solution probably does everything that I need it to do, but I just don't know how to do it yet. I like Microsoft Project and it does everything that I need it to do, but it doesn't do everything. That's Microsoft; they always get you to about 80% there, and then you need some type of plugin or API. It never quite does everything. I would rate Microsoft Project an eight out of ten.
AV
IT Project Manager at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good technical support with very helpful roadmap functionality and reliable stability

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support has been very helpful."
  • "We'd like to be able to see different timelines as a part of one task."

What other advice do I have?

We're customers and end-users of the solution. While we are currently using the cloud as we test things out, it's possible, once we make a concrete decision about Microsoft, that we will switch to an on-premises deployment. Currently, I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten simply due to the fact that I don't know all the opportunities it offers us just yet. We haven't been using it for so long and need some more time to discover all the features on offer.
SM
Founder at a computer software company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5
Exceptional for waterfall methodologies, reliable, but better integration needed

What is our primary use case?

We used the solution for the waterfall framework model for management.

Pros and Cons

  • "In my experience, this solution is one of the best for the waterfall management model."
  • "The solution could be more flexible when it comes to integration."

What other advice do I have?

When choosing this solution understand that is it best for those who want to stay with the Waterfall framework. First-time businesses in some industries such as construction, Waterfall is a better choice. It depends on the industry, but the majority of industries and companies are moving to Agile methodology. I rate Microsoft Project a six out of ten.
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