This article describes some of the new features available in Microsoft Project 2002. Microsoft Project 2002 comes with a rich collection of new features especially designed to enhance your ability to schedule, collaborate with resources, track progress, and communicate status on your projects.
The Microsoft Project 2002 family of products has been expanded to include:
- Microsoft Project Standard. This is the upgrade to Microsoft's core project management program for planning and managing projects from the desktop.
- Microsoft Project Professional. This new desktop program includes all the core project management functionality of Microsoft Project Standard. When you use Microsoft Project Professional with Microsoft Project Server 2002, it also offers powerful collaboration features, including enterprise resource management and analytical tools.
- Microsoft Project Server. This new companion server product for Microsoft Project Professional is the platform for project management. It provides powerful enterprise management tools and enables collaboration by storing project information in a central location.
- Microsoft Project Web Access. (Microsoft Project Server Client Access Licenses.) This is the Web interface through which team members and executives can access Microsoft Project Server data. You can use it to extend project information and analysis tools through the Web.
Microsoft Project Standard
Microsoft Project Standard version 2002 helps business managers and project managers dynamically manage schedules and resources and analyze project information. Microsoft Project provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use solution. Based on customer feedback, Microsoft has made significant improvements to the user interface and added key features that help business managers easily create and manage project plans and realize the benefits of Microsoft Project. Microsoft Project Standard Stand-Alone New Features
Microsoft Project Standard in Workgroup Mode Features
- New! Project Guide. Quickly and easily create and manage project plans with the new Project Guide. With this feature, you can be productive immediately. Step-by-step interactive instructions walk you through the key areas of project creation and management, tasks, resources, tracking, and reporting. Additionally, you can customize the Project Guide to include a company's specific goals and tasks.
- New! Wizards. New wizards have been added to Microsoft Project to make it quicker and easier to set up projects. While a new project plan is created, the Project Guide helps you to select custom fields and templates and facilitates collaboration and the attachment of supporting documentation when coupled with Microsoft Project Server. When you set up project calendars, a new wizard simplifies the process of changing working time. A wizard assists with customize the tracking view to track projects to suit your needs.
- Improved! Microsoft Office interface. The Microsoft Project interface is a familiar and intuitive Microsoft Office XP interface. The interface includes informative task panes and toolbars that make it easy to use Microsoft Project.
- New! Smart tags. Smart tag indicators give you feedback when certain changes to the project plan occur. For example, when a resource is added to a task, a smart tag prompts you for clarification and offers other scheduling calculations that may be more appropriate.
- New! Microsoft Office integration. You can convert task lists from Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, or Microsoft Project Web Access into project plans in Microsoft Project. New import and export capabilities, such as the Excel task list template, make it easier than ever to switch between Excel and Microsoft Project.
- New! Microsoft Visio integration. You can export dates and tasks from Microsoft Project to create high-level timelines and Gantt charts in Visio.
- New! Multiple baselines. You can save and store full baseline data up to 11 times over the course of any project.
- Improved! Project Information Views. A variety of improvements have been made to project data views, including the following.
- Network Diagram view. You can now group summary tasks and display standard indicators and custom fields in the Network Diagram view.
- Usage views. You can group assignments and roll up grouped, time-phased information in usage views. You can even include totals when you print usage views.
- Three-tiered timescales. A third level for timescale labels has been added to Gantt chart and other graph and usage views.
Microsoft Project Standard can be used in Workgroup mode when you use it in conjunction with Microsoft Project Server. This is similar to the way that Microsoft Project Central and Microsoft Project 2000 work together. Users can collaborate and share data so that team members and stakeholders stay informed and initiatives are aligned with company goals.
Microsoft Project Professional
- New! Microsoft Project Web Access displayed in Microsoft Project. Project managers can view Microsoft Project Web Access directly in Microsoft Project without having to log on to the service through their Web browser. This feature makes it easier for managers to view information without having to switch between two program windows.
- New! Microsoft SharePoint Team Services Integration. Because SharePoint Team Services from Microsoft is integrated with Microsoft Project Server, you can centrally store and organize project-related documents and track issues.
- New! Document Sharing. Enhance collaboration throughout the project life cycle with document sharing. You can now link supporting project documentation to project plans and tasks.
- New! Issue Tracking. Manage projects more efficiently and effectively and improve team communications by tracking issues. You can enter issues associated to tasks or projects, assign ownership, track progress, and record resolutions.
- Improved! E-mail notifications. Keep team members and projects on track and save time with automated e-mail notifications of project updates, upcoming milestones, issues and more that contain direct links to project plans. Both project managers and team members can specify the types and frequency of e-mail notifications and reminders that are sent.
- New! Support for Multiple managers. One manager can create the plan another manager can send out task assignments and manage resource progress.
Microsoft Project Professional version 2002 helps professional project managers manage their portfolio and resources, collaborate on projects, and analyze project information. Working with Microsoft Project Server, the powerful project planning, reporting, scenario analysis, and resource management capabilities of Microsoft Project Professional provide organizations with a scalable and customizable solution. Note
To turn on the enterprise and resource management features, you must use Microsoft Project Professional with Microsoft Project Server. Microsoft Project Professional Features
With Microsoft Project Professional, you can use the following additional features:
- New! Build team from enterprise. This feature helps you to select resources from the enterprise resource database. Users who have the right skills and availability to work on their project can find resources. You can filter and query the enterprise resource database to fine-tune their project resource assignments.
- New! Resource Substitution Wizard. This wizard staffs projects by using local and enterprise resources, based on the skill project tasks required and the availability of skills and resources.
- New! Generic resources. Generic resources support skills-based resource assignment and replacement by allowing managers to define and save frequently used skill profiles and code profiles as generic resources. These generic resources are particularly useful when you set up a new project. The Resource Substitution Wizard recognizes the generic resource skill profiles and matches them to the skills of resources in the enterprise resource pool, based on their availability.
With the Microsoft Project Professional user interface, you can access the following Microsoft Project Server features.
Microsoft Project Server and Web Access
- New! Enterprise standards. The Enterprise Global file holds the items such as reports, views, and calendars that enforce enterprise standards. Only a user with the appropriate permissions can open the Enterprise Global file, create new items, define items, and modify items in Microsoft Project Professional.
- New! Enterprise resource pool. Enterprise resources are imported into the Enterprise resource pool through Microsoft Project Professional; the same resources' details can be defined and modified by a user with the appropriate permissions in Microsoft Project Professional.
Microsoft Project Server 2002 serves as the technology platform for workgroup environments when used with Microsoft Project Standard version 2002 and for enterprise environments when used with Microsoft Project Professional version 2002. Through its Microsoft Project Web Access interface, Microsoft Project Server makes it easy for team members and stakeholders to collaborate and access project information using only a Web browser. Microsoft Project Server also provides the security, scalability and flexibility to follow a company's business processes and systems as project and resource management demands increase.
Microsoft Project Server 2002 is the companion server product for Microsoft Project Standard and Microsoft Project Professional. Microsoft Project Server stores project and resource information in a central database, thereby enabling standardized, consistent project planning and reporting across an organization. A member of the Microsoft Windows 2003 Server family, Microsoft Project Server provides the scalability and security to follow a company's business processes and systems as project and resource management demands increase.
Microsoft Project Server extends project information to team members and stakeholders through the Microsoft Project Web Access interface. With a Web browser, each team member or stakeholder with a Microsoft Project Server Client Access License (CAL) can access project information from Microsoft Project Server without having Microsoft Project Standard or Microsoft Project Professional installed on his or her computer. Microsoft Project Server and Web Access Features
Microsoft Project Server Features in Enterprise Mode
- Improved! Web Access User Interface. You can experience the new look of Microsoft Project Web Access, which is consistent with other Microsoft Office Web programs. Each team member's home page displays items pertinent to the current session, such as newly-assigned tasks, action items, and indicators that highlight items that have changed since the last session. With Microsoft Project Web Access, team members and other stakeholders can save a view by using sorting, grouping, or filtering options. This makes it easy to regularly review and analyze project data pertinent to their role in the organization.
- Improved! Microsoft Project Web Access Views. Improved views in Microsoft Project Web Access show project and resource information the way that you want to see it.
- Improved! Project Center. With this feature, you can view your portfolio of projects in a Gantt chart view through either Microsoft Project or the Web browser. You can view detailed project information, and you can also group, filter, and search on those projects. When Project Center views are customized with graphical indicators, you can quickly be alerted to problem areas, such as projects that are behind schedule or over budget.
- New! Resource Center. With the new Resource Center, you can view resource information easily. Additionally, you can quickly evaluate resource use and availability across the project portfolio.
- Improved! View settings. With improved view settings, you can see project information consistently. When you return to a view in Microsoft Project Web Access, the view looks the same as it did when you left it. Also, modified views can be saved as links in the side pane for easy access.
- Microsoft Project Web Access components. With these components, you can analyze, group, and search for project information easily. With improved Microsoft Project Web Access components, you can do the following:
- Display splits in the Gantt view.
- Hierarchically group on outline codes.
- Use more autofilter conditions, including ?contains? and ?begins with?.
- Select from pick lists in custom fields.
- Improved! Timesheets. Improved timesheets provide more flexibility in determining how team members report progress on their tasks. The project manager or administrator can choose the tracking method that best suits the current project, so team members can enter their progress in the timesheet view as hours or as a percentage of work completed. When the time sheet is updated through the Web, changes are displayed in red for easy visibility.
- New! Microsoft Project Web Access to-do lists. You can create and manage a to-do list conveniently, by maintaining it online in the same format as other task lists. You can then use it for personal reference or easily convert it into a project plan in Microsoft Project and take advantage of its full project-planning features.
- New! Microsoft SharePoint Team Services Integration. Because Microsoft SharePoint Team Services is integrated with Microsoft Project Server, you can centrally store and organize project-related documents and track issues.
- New! Document Sharing. You can enhance collaboration throughout the life cycle of projects with document sharing. You can now link supporting project documentation to project plans and tasks.
- New! Issue Tracking. You can manage projects more efficiently and improve team communications by tracking issues. You can enter issues that are associated with tasks or projects, assign ownership, track progress, and record resolutions.
- Improved! E-mail notifications. You can keep team members and projects on track and save time with automated e-mail notifications of project updates, upcoming milestones, and issues that contain direct links to project plans. Both project managers and team members can specify the types and frequency of e-mail notifications and reminders that are sent.
- Improved! Project updates. Project updates keep the whole team informed of project status.
- Updates page. Project managers can stay on top of changes with the Updates page in Microsoft Project Web Access. When team members create or delegate tasks, or modify their schedules, project managers receive the changes in their Updates page. From the Update page, project managers can review and selectively choose which updates to accept, and can set rules for automatically accepting updates. The Updates page also maintains a history of task changes for easy reference.
- Selectively update tasks. For more flexibility in project reporting, team members can now pick tasks when updating task status.
- Updates to actuals. Team members can modify actuals for a task on any day for more flexible time sheet reporting. These modifications are highlighted on the project manager's Updates page, so the project manager can immediately incorporate the changes into the project plan.
- Improved! Task delegation. Workflow can be improved with Microsoft Project Server's support for top-down and peer-to-peer task delegation. Project managers can define summary tasks, and then direct team leads to create and assign the subtasks to their team members. At the project manager's discretion, team members can reject a delegated task.
- New! Microsoft Project Server compatibility. Microsoft Project Server 2002 is compatible with Microsoft Project 2000, which relieves the necessity of upgrading both the server and the client at the same time across a company.
- Improved! Digital dashboards. Microsoft Project Server Web pages have been broken into smaller components to allow for more opportunities for Web part creation without writing ASP pages.
- Improved! Support for industry standards. Utilizing industry standards, Microsoft Project easily integrates and exchanges schema and data with other line-of-business programs and databases. The Project Data Service, which uses XML and SOAP as the data transport mechanism, acts as the security schema to filter data based on the individual user.
- Improved! Microsoft Project OLE DB provider. The Microsoft Project Standard OLE DB provider has been improved to provide support for time-phased data, better support for Office Web components, and improved scalability and reliability.
- Improved! Microsoft Project Web Access components. Because of improvements to the programmable interfaces of the controls, you can extend and customize Microsoft Project Server more easily.
- New! Extensible document management integration. Through an extensible server-side object, you can integrate Microsoft Project Server with your organization's document management solution or issue-tracking solution.
- Improved! Microsoft Project Server user permissions. You can lower administrative overhead with improved permission settings. Administrators can create and set permissions for groups and individual accounts. You can also apply permissions based on predefined templates.
Microsoft Project Server used in conjunction with Microsoft Project Professional has all the features listed earlier in this article. Microsoft Project Server also includes new enterprise features that are listed later in this article.
- New! Portfolio Analyzer. With the new Portfolio Analyzer, you can quickly query information across your portfolio. With this tool, you can view project information and resource information conveniently in a variety of ways as a PivotTable, or chart, or both.
- New! Portfolio Modeler. You can create and evaluate what-if scenarios with the new Portfolio Modeler. With this tool, you can interactively modify project schedules and resource staffing and see the impact of the changes on a project portfolio. By modeling what-if scenarios, you can identify potential solutions for at-risk projects in a portfolio.
- New! Enterprise standards. Standardized data including base calendars, views, and enterprise fields are stored and shared through the enterprise global file, so that project reporting is consistent across the project portfolio.
- New! Enterprise resource pool. The enterprise resource pool provides a central location where resource information is securely stored and managed, so you can get accurate, up-to-date information about resources, including assignments, utilization, and availability across the organization.
- New! Enterprise Project Security. Access to enterprise projects is securely controlled with Microsoft Project Server's check-in and check-out method. Microsoft Project Server protects the project portfolio by preventing multiple users from accessing the same information at the same time.
- Improved! Scalability. Microsoft Project Server can be installed on one computer or on a dedicated Web server with a separate server for the Microsoft Project Server database. Microsoft Project Server accommodates performance and scalability needs through load balancing for the servers and clusters for the database server.
For more information about the Microsoft Project family of products, see the following Microsoft Web page: