Top Features of MS Project 2010

I recently have installed MS Project 2010 on my computer and have begun to use it instead of the previous version of Project. It did take a little bit of time to get used to, but I think this version is definitely their best yet. I have listed the features I think are the best below and how they can help you be a better project manager.

Interface

  • Ribbon


    If you have MS Office 2007+ installed, you are used to the ribbon interface which replaces the menu bar. This interface is more efficient and lets you perform common tasks quicker. MS Project 2010 has incorporated the ribbon and I have found that they selected the right button/features to highlight. You can now create/update your schedule quicker without having to jump into sub-menus. And as we all know, the less time you can spend updating your schedule, the more time you can use to actually manage the project.

  • Data Entry/Manipulation Improvements
    Microsoft has also added numerous enhancements which allow you to focus on creating/editing the schedule and not worry about how to format the document/plan.
    • Auto-completion of field values allows you to select from previously entered information when filling out a field. This is especially useful when entering the resource for tasks.
    • Enhanced filtering of fields which allows you to analyze the data without having to export to Excel. 

    • Enhanced formatting options which include color/format as well as automatic wrapping of text within fields.
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Functions

  • Timeline – quick view of project overview
    • Reach your audience with new impact by quickly copying the timeline into an email, presentation, or any other document with formatting retained. 

  • Manual vs Automatic scheduling 

    • Allows you to decide whether you want project to automatically figure dates for tasks or if you want to manually decide/enter them
  • Team Planner 

    • Simply drag-and-drop to effectively plan tasks and optimize resources for your entire team and project.
      • Quickly identify unassigned or unscheduled tasks to proactively solve problems.
      • Simply hover over tasks to instantly view task-level details to plan with ease.
      • Be visually alerted to potential problems, choose to manually level resources as you work.
  • Save as PDF
    • Many PMs have been waiting a long time for the ability to save MS Project files as .pdf files. Well, the wait is finally over.

Compatibility

  • SharePoint 2010 Integration


    The ability to publish your project schedule to sync with a SharePoint Task List is important because it allows everyone on your team to have access to the schedule/task list without having to install MS Project on their computer.

    You can also have your team update their tasks online and then pull those updates back into your project file.

I am sure there are many other features to MS Project 2010 that you use on a regular basis. I would love to hear which features you think are most useful in your day-to-day life as a PM.

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