Introduction to Microsoft Project Server
Microject Project and Microsoft Project Server both are project management software solutions for assisting the project manager and the team to achieve project completion goals. It is a centralized server or database designed and developed for planning, tracking and execution of the project. It is a standalone central server for managing and storing the project and portfolio management which are the crucial parts of the project management. The foundation underneath the Microsoft Project Server is the Microsoft SharePoint which is basically a document management and storage system integrated with Microsoft Office. Thus, the Server together with the Microsoft Share Point provides centralized and uniform project data storage and the company’s resource information so that it can be accessed anytime and anywhere as per the requirement.
As mentioned above that the functions interactively with the Microsoft Share Point which has tons of benefits including:
- It can be integrated codeless with the Microsoft Share Point with the use of Layer 2 Business List Connector.
- The setup for the integration and Microsoft Share Point takes no time and is ready to use within minutes.
- No additional tools, Programming or extra codes are required on the Microsoft Server end as the integration is easily established on the Microsoft Share point end.
- No manual data updates are required as the data is automatically updated in the background.
- Whenever the external project data changes are made on the Microsoft Project Server, an automatic notification is generated on the Microsoft Share Point end for the necessary changes.
- The log information and the settings can be stored easily using Share Point. Errors and notified while establishing the workflows and item versioning during reporting.
Functions performed by the Microsoft Project Server
- Data storage
- Central resource management
- Role-specific use
- Individual expandability
It comprises a central SQL database server monitored by a project administration to prevent it from any third party unethical access or corruption. A project administrator can define and manage the user access rights and permissions who can access data from the Microsoft Project Server. The other crucial component of the Microsoft Project Server is the Projector center where any and every kind of project detail can be drilled by the project managers. The Project center defines the resources, resources task allocation, and different other project activities are defined. The information and the data which is defined and stored in the server and the Project Center is accessed and utilized when the project manager shares the vision of the project and assigns the task to the resources. It is a technical assistant to the project managers. The workload can be easily analyzed and reports can be generated to monitor the progress of the project. The program management server solution maintains the project report which needs to share with the clients and the stakeholders for the project analysis. Multiple project data can be stored in it and can be extracted at any time. A project manager can use it for tracking down the completed project reports and can use the information for creating project reports. There are different versions starting with:
- Microsoft Project Server 2000(Project Central)
- Microsoft Project Server 2002
- Microsoft Project Server 2003
- Microsoft Project Server 2007
- Microsoft Project Server 2010
- Microsoft Project Server 2013(Cloud version)
- Microsoft Project Server 2016(Latest version)
It is a central solution platform for effective Project Management. It provides a full-fledged environment for different project management aspects like planning, reporting, teamwork, budget analysis, timeline estimation, and collaboration. It helps to accomplish resource management and provides uniform data storage of the company’s data on the server.
Below are the benefits :
- Transparency in work and decision making: With the project data being centrally and uniformly stored on it, transparency is established in the project and portfolio management which helps the project manager and the team to make correct decisions. The reporting dashboards and the graphical data representation helps to identify the strength and weak areas of the project.
- Centralized project administration: It is handled and managed by a Project Administrator who has access and permission rights to prevent any unethical third-person access or corruption. Different users can be granted with different rights on the need to know basis.
- Strategized project planning: With the help of the Microsoft Project, objective investments can be made. The Project center plays a key role in project planning as it defines and stores different tasks & activities of the project in line with the corporate project planning guidelines which helps in budget evaluation and estimation of the total cost of the project. Project Center prioritizes different project activities on the basis of urgency.
- Shared Resources: It comprises of central resource pool which is capable of centralized resource management. The resource allocation cost is a very important aspect of project management which is managed here. A single resource can be assigned to multiple tasks. This also helps to identify an idle resource if any. The resource pool assures the qualification and skill set adherence to the resources.
- Project tracking and monitoring: The data stored on the centralized Microsoft Project Server helps to monitor and track the personalized responsibilities and the project progress at every step in a multi-project environment. The task status and work reports can be documented and stored in a transparent way to avoid any discrepancy. This promotes an effective mode of communication between the project manager and the project team.
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that it promotes a multi-project environment. It helps the project management industry to stay organized and achieve project completion.
This has been a guide to Microsoft Project Server. Here we have discussed the basic concept, Functions, and Benefits. You may also look at the following article to learn more –
- Gantt Chart in Project Management
- Phases of Project Management
- Project Documentation
- Role of Project Manager