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If you’re like me, I suspect that you are working on multiple projects day-in day out. In fact, your job title might not even be “project manager”. These days, regardless of your role, we are all engaged with projects large or small.
 
What tools do you use to help you with managing your projects? Did you know that email is still the most common tool people rely on to manage their projects? While email works, you know it’s not as reliable as it should be.
 
What if you can efficiently keep track of project schedule, communications, files, who’s working on what, integrate existing tools you use like email or Microsoft Office suite of products and relevant reports from beginning to end—all in one place that’s accessible by any device and computing platform?
 

 

All this is possible today with Project Online powered by Office 365. Project Online allows you to quickly and easily keep your team on the same page, work together however that’s best and provide relevant information to the right person at the right time. More importantly, you can make the most out of Project Online by integrating it with tools that you already use like Microsoft Windows, Office, mobile devices and even non-Microsoft technologies. Are you excited?
 
Here are 5 ways that Project Online can help you fast track project management success:
 
1. Quickly Get Your Team On The Same Page
 

 

The way in which many information workers get their jobs done is through tools like email, and other local system technologies to capture information, share information, and participate in the collaboration activities.  Typically this results in every user using their own tools; and that information is stored locally on their client system.  Presuming a number of comprehensive processes are in place, having information residing at each user level, then this may not be an issue.  However, most organizations (regardless of size) have limited capability to develop and support complicated, automated processes to surface local information for all to see.  Often, organizations have teams (large, globally dispersed teams) who have different responsibilities and levels of participation.
 
With Project Online, the days of disparate information and disconnected groups across the organization are over.  The key to enabling teams and members of various teams to quickly access, contribute and consume project-specific information is utilizing Project Sites.  Project sites are the project management information management repository where documents, discussions, calendar events and anything support the project will be.  Every project can and should have its own information management site.  Creating project sites with unique configurations is literally a few clicks.  This allows users and teams to quickly spin up the proper technology, without sacrificing the integrity if governance, policies or inevitably burying critical information.
 
2. Streamline Document Management
 
 
Now, teams can use Project Online applications as they would with local tools. Time is money, and saving time translates in to real bottom-line results.  Typically, timesaving initiatives are more of a cultural change, then a complimentary advantage.  Imagine enabling business user groups to share information more quickly without sacrificing the integrity of the content.  Drag and drop one or multiple files enables quicker sharing of information.  Now add co-authoring (regardless of device or access).  This is project information management in hands of the users that are accountable.
 
3. Update Project Status Effectively

Project management effectiveness, as a function of work management lifecycle, really only works if the work packages move from a ‘planning’ cycle to a ‘execution’ cycle.  Keeping with the theme of user-based business results, having consistent project updates regardless of the situation is bottom-line results.  Company assumptions are that people will be multi-tasking (yes, that 1990’s term).  In reality, providers of action are responsible to meet many demands.  Capturing the status of activities in Project Online means users can update via a Project Management web app, email or newsfeeds and even via mobile devices — all this without sacrificing information integrity or adding excessive demands to already busy business users.  Moreover, these actions are not isolated in silod technologies.  These updates will be propagated to the appropriate managers and owners of the assignments.

 
4. Manage Multiple Projects and Resources Across Your Enterprise

The global workforce continues to adapt to the growing demands of assignments, requests and actions.  While information is now being driven via multiple devices, business users are able to manage the workload effectively.  Historically, the efficiencies of workers was constrained by the technological capabilities.  Project Online is designed to enable workers to balance many assignments, across multiple project/program campaigns.

Project information is located across the entire organization, at varying degrees of details.

Project Online centralizes the people details in a Resource Center that allows companies to consolidate the project information from many locations and states to view against availability of people.
 
Now organizations can allow parts of the company to use Project Online for their work management needs, without limiting the visibility of actions by the people.
 
5. Visualize Project Metrics
 

One version of the truth, and then report on it!  The use of metrics is an organizations’ way to visually and more quickly surface relevant status of programs.  Programs and projects WILL change over time, and as they progress.  The nature of iterative progress is without intervention a program’s tendency is to trend towards failure.  Similar to driving a car, it takes consistent, incremental movements to keep the car on the road.  Additionally, the driver needs to know critical details, such as destination, path to destination, resources (e.g. petrol), etc.  The driver (as the decision maker) depends on dials, gauges, audio and other visual input to ensure success to destination.  Programs and their projects provides a plethora of raw data, that can be converted to metrics.

 
Project Online enables decision makers to roll down/up data, filter and analyze through the use of a variety of visual artifact and various metrics; initiated by the end user.  This self-service project intelligence will be a fundamental component to project and program success.  Business intelligence using Microsoft’s Project 2013 is really Project Intelligence.
 
There are more ways to access and display the information, with rich reports and functionality available out of the box.  Whether you need an Agile report, or dashboards, Microsoft 2013 provides an advanced business platform for most users in your organizations.
 
Next Steps
So what are you waiting for? Get started with Project Online now with these 3 easy steps:
1.     Sign up with Project Online http://microsoft.com/project
3.     Connect with Microsoft Project Partners to help deliver your project management solution on Project Online

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