7 Easy To Use MS Project Features

MS Project Benefits e1646127718770
MS Project Benefits

A short read 4 minutes

7 Easy To Use MS Project Features

MS Project is easy to use with College Africa’s training courses and will save time, produce various project reports including budgets and resource status.

What Background Knowledge Is Necessary To Learn MS Project?

It is preferable that you have some knowledge of project management and its fundamentals: The required outcomes, the various project reports, budgeting and resource management.

Attending a training course is essential and will assist you to get know the 7 easy to use features that every project manager should know.

What Are The 7 Easy To Use MS Project features?

Planning and Scheduling

This is a major process in project management and is made easy and flexible when using MS Project.  It allows prioritization of activities, task management and a team calendar to plan resource activities.

Project Timeline View

This presents the whole project with a top-down view of the entire work programme. This view can be seen by an independent person who can then track progress.  This feature allows you to have everything in one place and keep schedules synced.  This view can be presented to your stakeholders, management and/or partners.


How is this achieved?

File Sharing: MS Project allows you to share files with other members of your team.

Team Dashboard: this offers an overview of the most important information and relevant statistics. Add multiple graphs, charts, data presentations and other graphics.  Assists with team allocation and resource management. A dashboard is an essential tool as a project KPI Report.

Sharing Client Data:  Keep customer data safely stored and make it accessible to all members.


MS Project allows you to generate reports with little effort.  Customise the data and structure according to your requirements. Features include burndown reports, an overview of the entire project on one page, resources availability and utilization, cost overview, pending tasks, targets achieved and upcoming goals or milestones.

Resource Management

The resource management tools assist you in tracking and monitoring all available resources and optimum allocation.

Multiple Projects

The Master Project Plan allows managers to work on multiple projects, in the same company or team, on the same platform.  MS Project tools can be customised to form a master and includes resource allocation, planning, progress tracking, reporting with multiple dashboards.

Different Views

View your project from different perspectives and representations all from one platform:  Gantt chart, resource usage chart, milestones, calendar and much more.

Benefits of using MS Project

Microsoft Project features many more tools, all of which are geared toward project management. With its set of planning, scheduling, resource allocation, progress tracking, and presentation tools, It is the ideal package for project managers. This is because it streamlines your projects and helps you stay on track to project success. The program is available in the two forms of Standard and Professional, the latter being the more popular choice

Key comparisons of using Excel vs MS Project in project management:

  • Project and summary level data calculation is largely done manually in Excel
  • Creating and maintaining phases, tasks and milestones is easier with MS Project
  • Creating and maintaining project timelines and deadlines isn’t dynamic or easy with Excel
  • Assigning resources and costs to tasks isn’t automated nor project specific with Excel.
  • With MS Project there are automatic updates for scope, time or resource assignments. There are none in Excel.
  • There are no specific tools to manage change effectively in Excel
  • It’s easy to see the ripple effect of delays with MS Project.
  • There’s no feature that calculates the impact of resource availability in Excel
  • There are no pre-defined project-specific reports for different stakeholders in Excel.


Is MS Project still used?

Microsoft built and introduced its Project Management software over 30 years ago. Yet it is still the world’s most popular Project Management software. During the intervening years, many Project Management solutions have appeared on the market, however it remains the most popular, versatile and up to date.

How long does it take to learn MS Project? Is it easy?

It depends upon how much you know about project management. If you already know project management, you can probably get a good idea of MS Project in a day, but it might take a week to be proficient. Double that if you do not know project management terms and techniques.

Why MS Project instead of Excel?
When it comes to managing project information such as scope (phases, tasks, milestones and deliverables), timelines (schedules and deadlines) and resources (assignments, effort, availability and costs), MS Project provides better built-in capabilities than Excel. Once the user is over the hump of learning MS Project, using Excel to manage project information doesn’t make sense since Project is set up to increase productivity and effectiveness.

I look forward to any comments and where your company has started using shorter workshop training sessions and our Work Ready courses. Arnold email sales@collegeafricagroup.com

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Arnold has been involved with training since 2003 and is the Managing Director and Owner of College Africa Group, a national training company in South Africa.

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