Project Management is an essential part of any organization and Microsoft has been a major player in the space with its flagship project management tool, MS Project. However, with the changing needs of the market and the rise of new technologies, Microsoft has been expanding its portfolio of project management tools. Two of the most popular tools are Project for the Web and Project Online. In this blog, we will take a closer look at these two tools and compare their features.
Project for the Web is a cloud-based project management tool that was launched in 2019. It is designed to help teams collaborate, plan, and execute projects with ease. Project for the Web is built on the Power Platform, which is a low-code platform that allows users to create custom apps and workflows. Project for the Web comes with a range of features that make project management simple and efficient. Some of the key features of Project for the Web are:
- Gantt charts: Gantt charts provide a visual representation of project tasks and timelines. With Project for the Web, users can create Gantt charts that show dependencies, milestones, and critical paths.
- Kanban boards: Kanban boards are a popular tool for managing agile projects. With Project for the Web, users can create Kanban boards that show the status of tasks and the progress of the project.
- Roadmap: Roadmap provides a high-level view of project timelines and milestones. With Project for the Web, users can create roadmaps that show the progress of multiple projects in a single view.
- Resource Booking: Resource management is an essential aspect of project management. With Project for the Web, users can manage resources and allocate them to tasks based on availability and skill set.
- Integration with Microsoft Teams: Project for the web integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Teams, allowing users to collaborate and communicate with team members in real-time.
On the other hand, Project Online is a more established project management tool that has been around for several years. It is also a cloud-based solution that was built on top of SharePoint Online. Project Online comes with a range of features that make it a popular choice for project managers. Some of the key features of Project Online are:
- Customization: Project Online provides a high level of customization, allowing users to create custom fields, views, and reports. This allows project managers to tailor the tool to their specific needs.
- Portfolio management: Portfolio management is an essential aspect of project management, and Project Online provides a range of features to help manage portfolios of projects. This includes the ability to track project progress, resource allocation, and financial metrics.
- Resource management: Project Online provides a comprehensive resource management tool that allows users to manage resources and allocate them to tasks based on availability and skill set.
- Reporting: Project Online provides a range of reporting options, including dashboards and custom reports, to help project managers stay on top of project progress.
- Integration with other Microsoft tools: Project Online integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft tools like Excel, Power BI, and SharePoint. This allows project managers to leverage the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem.
While Project for the Web and Project Online share many features, there are some key differences between the two tools. As we mentioned earlier, Project Online provides a higher level of customization, portfolio management, and reporting options. This makes it a more powerful tool for large organizations with complex project management needs. Additionally, Project Online has a unique set of features that we have yet to see on Project for the Web like “Portfolio Management”.
Most advanced project managers have a need to create and update detailed project schedules which can be easily done with the trusted Microsoft Project Professional desktop software that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Project Online. However, this functionality is not available in Project for the Web – which is intended to be completely web-based.
The way the tools are designed today, Project Online is suitable for large organizations with complex project management needs. Whereas Project for the Web is targeted more towards the “accidental PMs” or “Part-time PMs that do not need all the sophistication used by a more formal PM”.
However, it is worth noting that Microsoft is continuously releasing new features for Project for the Web. Looking at the Microsoft 365 roadmap as of today, there are 3 new features in development and 2 are soon rolling out. To learn about what these features are and what the rollout timeline looks like, click the following link: Microsoft 365 Roadmap | Microsoft 365
In conclusion, both Project for the Web and Project Online are powerful project management tools that offer a range of features to help teams collaborate and execute projects. However, Project Online still reigns as king within larger organizations as it provides a more comprehensive set of features for complex projects.