What does the new Project Online mean for you?

If you have missed the latest announcement from Microsoft, they have announced that Project Online is going to go through a major revamp in the future. More details on that here. The announcement goes into more detail, but in summary:

  • It won’t sit on SharePoint
  • There will be greater collaborative capability
  • It will cater to new ways of working
  • Probably the most important for users – users can work on the same Project Plan simultaneously (no check in/out and publish, which is a big improvement!)
  • The most important update for us behind the scenes – integrated reporting on Common Data Services (this will make the reporting solution more elegant)

But what does it mean for you, the users? We see three groups of people, depending on where you are in your PPM tool lifecycle.

Scenario 1: You own and use Project Online

Nothing changes. The new architecture will be rolled out to new users of Project (the new name of Project Online). So you can let them work out all the bugs, which we know there will be for any new products. Alternatively, if you are really keen, you can be a trailblazer and migrate across early on. In addition, Microsoft will be rolling out tools to help make the switch easy, if you have not done heavy customisations to your environment.

Scenario 2: You are in the middle of implementing Project Online

Don’t throw the implementation out. The new Project is probably 3-4 years away from being rolled out and becoming stable, which we believe is the typical ownership time for any PPM tool. Hence finish your implementation, get massive benefit from using it early, and in 3-4 years’ time, evaluate Project against the other PPM tools in the market.

Scenario 3: You don’t own Project Online, or any PPM tool

This is a tricky one. If you are looking for a PPM tool right now, don’t go looking and waiting for the new Project to come out, stick to the current version of Project Online. However, if you are planning to implement a PPM tool in a couple of years, it might be better to look at the new Project then.

Conclusion

Microsoft have said that Project Online is not going anywhere anytime soon. In addition, CCG is a trusted Microsoft Silver partner, and we keep abreast of all Microsoft updates. Anywhere you are in the three scenarios above, we are happy to be a sounding board if you need more advice. The tool only provides value if you have the processes in place and bring the people along with the journey.

What do you think? We would love to hear your feedback.