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8 things every project manager should know about Project Online

Blog: Professional advantage - BPM blog

If you work in project management, you’ve probably heard of Microsoft’s online project management platform, Project Online. Project Online is great because it provides the same control as on-premise project management tools, such as Microsoft Project, with the added flexibility of the cloud (it’s also available on-premise as Microsoft Project Server). Unlike other cloud-based planning applications, Project Online offers robust functionality, including the ability to assign multiple resources to a task and setting schedules.

How else can Project Online improve your next project? Let’s take a closer look.

1. Built-in workflows and approvals
Project Online sends alerts when tasks are completed or awaiting sign off, preventing project delays as a result of pending approvals. This makes it easier to progress from one project phase to another, while also streamlining document approvals (i.e. getting a design approved in a timely manner). In addition, team members receive alerts when they can start work on specific tasks, which keeps projects on schedule. Importantly, Project Online workflows and approvals can be configured to suit a variety of project management methodologies, such as Prince2, PMBOK and Agile.

2. Available to all team members
Project Online makes existing project plans and information available to all project team members. So while it is powerful enough for project managers to use, it’s also accessible to other team members with the right configuration.

3. Collaboration with external team members and clients
When integrated with SharePoint, Project Online simplifies collaboration between internal and external team members (i.e. contractors). All project resources can access a SharePoint project site for sharing project information and updates. Need to communicate with customers? With Project Online and SharePoint, you can also put together a custom portal for customers to track progress and log issues and risks.

4. Powerful integrations
For those that want everything managed in one place, Project Online can be configured to integrate billing, invoices, resource utilisation, and time management. It also supports streamlined team interactions and time management through integration with email, SharePoint and Office 365.

5. Web-based interface
By combining web and client-based activities, Project Online allows project managers to work on detailed project schedules, while also publishing key information that team members and management can access with ease. Project Online’s collaboration, approval and reporting capabilities have been designed specifically with these users in mind.

6. Track budgets across the whole business
With Project Online, managers can track budgets across the entire organisation to manage resources more effectively. Keep an eye out for our next post on how to make Project Online work even harder by integrating with your finance system!

7. Identify and mitigate issues early
Catching problems early is key to delivering projects on time and under budget. When integrated with Power BI, Project Online provides improved visibility across key project metrics. Project managers can quickly identify potential risks or roadblocks, and make contingency plans to address them.

8. Supports a mobile workforce
With Project Online, team members can comment on tasks and tick off items from their smartphones or tablets, saving project managers chasing people for updates. Team members can also fill in timesheets, view project task statuses, share document updates, and collaborate from any device.

What next?
To find out more about Project Online, read our blog post on three ways to empower your project team with Project Online. Or, register for our free Project Online seminar and take project collaboration to the next level.

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