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Which Project services do I need..... Please RRS feed

  • Question

  • Backstory;

    Recently received a request to change job description and duties to that of Project Manager. Have no formal training and while not my previous primary duties I have managed multiple projects for years the old fashioned way, post it notes, note pads, excel, word, and heck even used confetti and glue to get things to stick.

    With the acceptance of the new duties I began studying and researching for a better way. Will start educating myself by joining PMI and getting certified. Next step is to obtain proper software, and to be honest I am quite confused at the selections available. 

    My vision is to have project management software for my office that allows me to start projects from idea / inception all the way through the end while being able to collaborate with various maintenance and operations managers and field crew leads. I would like to set up the projects, share with and task managers via office 365 and/or sharepoint, who can task out to crew leaders, and have the crew leaders be able to view and update their task status. Then have the current status of all projects and tasks available to to the department director via project or sharepoint so that he stays continually informed and has current information to provide on up the ladder.

    Setting is Municipal Government

    The myriad of choice are Project Lite / Project Server / Project Standard / Project Professional / Project Pro for Office 365 / Project Online / AND  OMG Project Online with Project Pro for O365

    Which do I need and which do others in the team need?

    Jason

    Thursday, March 24, 2016 8:42 PM

Answers

  • Jason,

    I can understand your situation. Heck, even long time users get confused with so many options available. 

    Lets see if we can help you out here.

    Project Standard: A desktop stand-alone version of MS Project. Useful if either everybody has a copy of this or only few people have it. There is no "server" in this scenario, so it is almost like MS Word and you need to pass the MPP files back and forth.

     

    Project Professional:  Again, a desktop software, with the 'ability' to connect to the server. You can use it just as a desktop software without ever connecting to server. 

     

    Project Server: If you want a central system where everybody collaboprates, has web access, all project schedules managed centrally, then you will need this. It is a software that sits on top of SharePoint, and needs to be installed on the servers.

     

    Project Online: This is the Cloud version of Project Server hosted by Microsoft themselves. So Instead of purchasing software, servers, installing it and maintain it, you just pay a subscription fee per month per user and start using the system

     

    Project Lite: This is not a software, but one of the licensing models available in Project Online.

     

    Project Pro for Office 365: Think of this as a "Subscription based" version of Project Professional. Instead of buying the software, you pay pay a subscription fee per month per user. The advantage is that as along as you are a subscriber, you will keep getting updates to this software. No need to buy another license when a new version comes out.

     

    Project Online with Project Pro for O365: This is just a bundle package of the items I described above. It is NOT another software. 

    Now, coming to what do you actually need:

    The first thing you need to decide before looking at the tools listing is, what is the maturity level of your organization in using a project Management Software? Do you (or they) already use something like MS Project or they are more excel lists based people? It sounds to me that you are just getting started on the journey, but i could be wrong.

    In my opinion, I think the best bet for you would be to start out with just Project Online, with minimal configuration to allow you to use simple task lists, but also allow you to provide all the reprting your management needs without too much effort.

    I would avoid Project professional, or project Pro for O365 unless you are really intereste din detailed scheduling (you can always add it later).

    And finally, here is a infographic I put together a while ago, see if it helps.

    https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/projectserver/Online-and-Server-2013-6e940f79


    Cheers,

    Prasanna Adavi, Project MVP

    Blog:   Podcast:    Twitter:    LinkedIn:   

    Thursday, March 24, 2016 9:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Jason,

    Thank you for the kind words. Glad I was able to help. 

    Now coming to your questions:

    1) All users of the system will need 'some sort' of license. No license = no access.

    2) People who need to create an manage projects will need to have the 33.00/user/month license. This way you can create schedules (or simple projects), keep them updated etc etc.,

    3) People who need to just look at their tasks, update status, work with documents, issues risks etc., can stick with "project Lite", which is $7/user/month, if I rememeber correctly.

    My suggestion would be for you to actually 'trial' this with the help of a partner (only way a project online trial is available). You can find partners in the region here. https://blogs.office.com/2013/09/03/microsoft-project-online-partner-led-trial/

    That way you can validate whether you need this software or just use plain SharePoint. 


    Cheers,

    Prasanna Adavi, Project MVP

    Blog:   Podcast:    Twitter:    LinkedIn:   

    • Marked as answer by Jason.Donnell Friday, March 25, 2016 1:41 PM
    Friday, March 25, 2016 1:12 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Jason,

    I can understand your situation. Heck, even long time users get confused with so many options available. 

    Lets see if we can help you out here.

    Project Standard: A desktop stand-alone version of MS Project. Useful if either everybody has a copy of this or only few people have it. There is no "server" in this scenario, so it is almost like MS Word and you need to pass the MPP files back and forth.

     

    Project Professional:  Again, a desktop software, with the 'ability' to connect to the server. You can use it just as a desktop software without ever connecting to server. 

     

    Project Server: If you want a central system where everybody collaboprates, has web access, all project schedules managed centrally, then you will need this. It is a software that sits on top of SharePoint, and needs to be installed on the servers.

     

    Project Online: This is the Cloud version of Project Server hosted by Microsoft themselves. So Instead of purchasing software, servers, installing it and maintain it, you just pay a subscription fee per month per user and start using the system

     

    Project Lite: This is not a software, but one of the licensing models available in Project Online.

     

    Project Pro for Office 365: Think of this as a "Subscription based" version of Project Professional. Instead of buying the software, you pay pay a subscription fee per month per user. The advantage is that as along as you are a subscriber, you will keep getting updates to this software. No need to buy another license when a new version comes out.

     

    Project Online with Project Pro for O365: This is just a bundle package of the items I described above. It is NOT another software. 

    Now, coming to what do you actually need:

    The first thing you need to decide before looking at the tools listing is, what is the maturity level of your organization in using a project Management Software? Do you (or they) already use something like MS Project or they are more excel lists based people? It sounds to me that you are just getting started on the journey, but i could be wrong.

    In my opinion, I think the best bet for you would be to start out with just Project Online, with minimal configuration to allow you to use simple task lists, but also allow you to provide all the reprting your management needs without too much effort.

    I would avoid Project professional, or project Pro for O365 unless you are really intereste din detailed scheduling (you can always add it later).

    And finally, here is a infographic I put together a while ago, see if it helps.

    https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/projectserver/Online-and-Server-2013-6e940f79


    Cheers,

    Prasanna Adavi, Project MVP

    Blog:   Podcast:    Twitter:    LinkedIn:   

    Thursday, March 24, 2016 9:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Prasanna, 

    Thank you for your great explanation. I have read the descriptions on MS website multiple times but you put it into plain ole' english for me which has really helped. Again, Thank You! 

    As a followup question:

    With your suggest project online, would that be the same for everyone in the department or are the lesser subscriptions for those that only need to view and enter time / task completion status? If so, which would those people need?

    The goal of our department is as follows

    PMO/PM - My office

    3 superintendents spread between 3 divisions

    8-10 managers spread between 3 divisions

    2 field service supervisors

    8 crew leaders + / rec. leaders / rec programmers  and many more operations staff spread over the divisions 

    The 3 divisions are

    Administration 10 ppl (where I work) 

    Maintenance 45 ppl

    Leisure Activities 25-50 (depending on season)

    In the future I would like most everyone to be able to have some information via sharepoint, but I realize that will be down the road. 

    I would get Project Online but what would the other team members need?  

    If Project Online is a cloud version of server, then can lite connect with online or .......

    Thanks

    Jason


    Friday, March 25, 2016 12:12 PM
  • Jason,

    Thank you for the kind words. Glad I was able to help. 

    Now coming to your questions:

    1) All users of the system will need 'some sort' of license. No license = no access.

    2) People who need to create an manage projects will need to have the 33.00/user/month license. This way you can create schedules (or simple projects), keep them updated etc etc.,

    3) People who need to just look at their tasks, update status, work with documents, issues risks etc., can stick with "project Lite", which is $7/user/month, if I rememeber correctly.

    My suggestion would be for you to actually 'trial' this with the help of a partner (only way a project online trial is available). You can find partners in the region here. https://blogs.office.com/2013/09/03/microsoft-project-online-partner-led-trial/

    That way you can validate whether you need this software or just use plain SharePoint. 


    Cheers,

    Prasanna Adavi, Project MVP

    Blog:   Podcast:    Twitter:    LinkedIn:   

    • Marked as answer by Jason.Donnell Friday, March 25, 2016 1:41 PM
    Friday, March 25, 2016 1:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Perfect Answer

    Thank you very much Prasanna, you are superb!

    Friday, March 25, 2016 1:42 PM
  • Thank you !

    Cheers,

    Prasanna Adavi, Project MVP

    Blog:   Podcast:    Twitter:    LinkedIn:   

    Friday, March 25, 2016 2:22 PM
    Moderator