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Microsoft Project 2000 Print
Have you been looking for team centered project management software?

 

Are you and your team trying to share your project's information as well as kick around ideas, only to be hitting a brick wall with your software?

Do you NOT want to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get to grips with your software, whether it's in the installation and configuration or merely learning the program?

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com

System Specs:

Alternatively try

  • Pentium 75MHz system or higher
  • 100MB hard disk space for typical installation; custom installation will require more or less (30-204MB)
  • 24MB RAM minimum for Win 95/98; 40MB for Win NT 4; 64MB recommended for Win 2000
  • VGA monitor, SVGA recommended
  • Mouse or other pointing device
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Modem
  • Multimedia computer required to access sound and other multimedia effects
  • Windows 95/98
  • Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 4 or later Windows 2000
  • Artemis Views
  • ELabor Enterprise Project
  • Innovie TeamCenter
  • Milestones Professional 2000
  • Primavera Project Planner
  • Primavera Sure Trak
  • Primavera Team Play
  • WebProject's WebProject
  • Welcom Open Plan Professional

 

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}Then look no further, because there is an answer on the horizon. Microsoft Project 2000 is the newest version of Microsoft's successful project management application. Released in February of this year, Project continues to be THE benchmark against which most project management solutions are judged. This new version offers a whole range of new features and has been considered the TOTAL project management solution.

With all those accolades on a software program that's been out and about since February, we decided to see if Project 2000 was all that's been touted to be.

Its installation on our Pentium 466MHz, 8.4GB hard drive system with its 64MB of memory, complete with Win 98 was quick and uneventful.

No funky configuring was needed, and after a short time, we were on our way to getting up close and personal with this popular piece of software.

It's specifically designed to be easy to use, so even the greenest project manager should be able to use it without needing expensive training.

Right off the bat, we noticed Project 2000's user interface was a close relative to its Office 2000 cousins, particularly to Word and Excel. With such a familiar interface, this certainly brings the learning curve to a screeching halt, since less than familiar or poorly designed interfaces can tend to put the fear of the software gods into any less than the most experienced of users.

The program opens to a default Gantt chart along with an html-based Microsoft Project Help in the form of a tutorial, Project Map, and Office Assistant.

Project 2000 gave us a choice of templates from which to work. We were able to select our new project using the blank template or from the industry specific templates provided on the program's CD. The ten templates covers a range of industries, including Commercial Construction, Engineering, New Business, Software Development, and New Product, to name a few.

Rather than depending on a single generic template, the templates offer a choice and make developing a customised project planning, scheduling, and reporting that much easier. In addition, a variety of Gantt charts and graphs can be accessed from along the left side of the screen.

Project 2000 offers new scheduling features. We were able to set task priorities to any value between 1 and 1000, or alternatively, apply a priority to our project. We were also able to set calendars for various tasks. Like us, you're sure to have tasks that occur only on certain days or cannot occur for particular hours of the week. With Project 2000, you're covered because you can actually create task-specific calendars. With this feature, we were able to schedule our special calendars with no hassles.

We could also create individual schedules for various tasks within a larger project, and this was extremely helpful for tracking what was being done and when. An even neater feature was the ability to have Project 2000 display an indicator if a task finished after the deadline. We found this to be especially useful whenever we wanted to set both a constraint as well as a deadline for one or more of our tasks.

Do you remember the PERT chart from Project 98?

It's replaced in Project 2000 by the Network Diagram, and we found it to be a great improvement over old PERT. This new feature takes the usual filtering and beams it into another dimension by allowing multi formatting options, enabling individual features of a project to be viewed in the wider context of the entire project.

If you can outline in a Gantt chart view, then you'll be able to take advantage of this feature's outlining symbols to either display or hide the subtasks of your summary task.

We discovered that grouping tasks in Project 2000 was a breeze as well.
We took advantage of the new grouping feature by organising the different tasks of our projects by identifying them as complete or incomplete tasks. What's more, we were able to group them according to their constraint type, duration, priority, and milestones.

Resources could be dealt with in the same manner, so not only were we able to set date and time intervals, but incremental costs as well.

Project 2000 also comes bundled with its sister application, Project Central.

The presence of Central further expands Project's uses, allowing for project collaboration via the Internet.

In this day and age of employees working remotely, not to mention the desire to keep everyone abreast of all the latest developments in a project, the inclusion of Project Central is especially valuable. Information can be communicated quickly and easily among associates, as we happily learned. Those in distant locations could also add their own views as well as assign tasks, no matter where they were located geographically.

Microsoft Project 2000 is Microsoft's attempt to corner the project management software market, a market they undoubtedly successful in with Project 98.

It appears to us that they've bypassed that success with this latest version. Not only have they tweaked and reworked some of Project 98's features, but they've gone ahead and added new features to make this application the project manager's dream come true.

We found Project 2000 to contain an extensive range of features that made our particular projects easy to understand and get to grips with. Instead of fighting with a user manual written in outer Mongolian, we were treated to excellent help in the instances we needed it. For anyone who doesn't have the time or the inclination to learn a new program, this one won't send you scrambling for cover behind the living room sofa. Besides the clever html-based tutorial, the user manual is also very well written with many step-by-step instructions for every aspect of the program.

You might think this kind of feature-rich project management solution would come at a price. So did we. Project 2000 comes in at $499 and includes a single user license for Project Central.

If you still have Project 98 kicking about, you can upgrade to the 2000 version for $199. For all the features and the ease of use, this is a price that should suit any company, whether they are the smallest of firms to the largest of corporations.

If you're still hitting that brick wall with your current project management software, then you might well take a look at Microsoft's Project 2000.

Still looking for that team centered approach? You might just find your total project management solution in 2000!

Microsoft Project 2000
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of 

Image5 bananas

 

The review team: Lee and James Appleyard

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