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Microsoft Project 2010 (PC)
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2010
Though Microsoft Project has seen steady, if not startling, development thorough its versions, its price, in my opinion, has moved disproportionately ahead of this development. My comments in this review centre on the cost of the software and not on its features, which are good enough for the purpose for which it is intended.

Part of my work is as a software trainer. I have been training people from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the use of Microsoft Project since it first appeared as a piece of project management software for the PC to the latest version in which it finally catches up with the other programs in Microsoft Office in being equipped with the Ribbon user interface.

My work on Project for SMEs has been with people who were new to using project management software and lacked the confidence in making a start with Project as otherwise they might have done in getting stuck into Word or Excel, say; or with others who had given Project a go and found themselves in pickle over how to best use it.

Everyone who had tried to represent their own project had failed - in their own estimation - in their use of the software. As it turned out, this failure was not down to anything lacking in Project itself. It was due to lack of users' knowledge of how to set up Project and then how create a workable representation of the tasks and anything associated with those that they needed to include.

To the experienced project manager and user of Project, the software offers great flexibility. To the novice user it is very far from obvious how this flexibility should be harnessed. If you do not understand how to manage Project's default settings, your project's calendar and the nature and application of task dependencies, then you are not going to stumble on a useful representation of your project by trial and error. Giving it an Excel- or Word-type go to see what happens is highly unlikely to yield you an accurate and easy to maintain Gantt Chart.

If you add up the cost of the software, the cost of the time you may waste trying to use it in the first place and the cost of some training when you finally, perhaps reluctantly, come to the conclusion you must have some, then this sum, I maintain, is the one you might truly be facing if you are thinking of investing in the software.

Another warning. Most of the people on my courses said that they bought Project to save them time; a minority that they had secured a big contract and needed a detailed, professional looking printout of work flow for their project that could be presented to their clients and mulled over during project review meetings. Project itself allows you to maintain a lot of detail about your project, if you choose to do so. Maintaining this detail takes time. So plan to avoid what I have seen in some of my training sessions: people looking at each other and asking, well, who is going to do all this then?

And another warning. Microsoft Project may be referred to as project management software, but I maintain that Project does not, and cannot, actually manage your project for you: you manage your project; Project assists you in that management.

For all I have cautioned, above, I like Project. It does what it does well, when used as it is intended to be used. Know how to set up for a new project before you start inputting tasks and you have an excellent way of representing your project in as little, or as much, detail as you choose.

When I was employed as a senior project officer in the early 1980s I was responsible for about eight projects looking ahead for two years, with budgets for each one between £20k and £200k. What I would have given for having Project on my new PC then. Exclamation mark.

I think what you will find is that if you do no more than take a well considered Gantt Chart to a project review meeting, then the effect is that everyone sees clearly where their part fits in to the overall scheme. If anyone negotiates for more time, then they cannot but fail to acknowledge the effect they will have on the project overall. What is happening here is that individuals are more inclined to share in the project as a whole, than just to consider their contribution in isolation, possibly unconcerned about ramifications.

As an SME, maybe you will come to the conclusion that by having used Project to do not more than help foster a team attitude towards your projects is justification enough for spending on the software.

Project 2010 Standard allows you to take an overview of multiple projects by treating each one as a task within a master project. As far as my experience stretches, this feature might well suffice for an SME's use. Beyond that you need to hear from someone who is very used to using the software for multiple projects and who would be able to give guidance as to the conditions under which Project 2010 Professional might be better than Standard.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2011
MS project is an execellent package rivaling more expensive packages and is suitable for large as well as small projects. MS Project 2010 is simpler to use than previous versions due to the re-arrangements of the menus into a more readily usable format. It is a powerful tool which can easily produce many reports in many formats very quickly.
It is recommended that the book MS Project 2010 Step by Step is purchased as this allows you to down load examples from Micro Soft and to quickly see and use the power of MS project. The book is really excellent and well explained.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2012
Bought from Gracie Used Software, one assumes reasonably kosher through Amazon, alas no.

The software did load and run ok initially. However, 6 months later when I tried to reload having wiped the PC, it would not authenticate online and so only now operates as a trial version for 30 days. Looking anew at the disc and case, I notice the card insert is too basic and does not have the Project P graphic for instance. Also the disc looks superficially like a genuine disc having metallic edge strip etc but on looking more closely, has other writing beneath "Microsoft". Finally the plastic of the (approx A5) disc case is rather low quality, does not open/ close well and no doubt is not a true Microsoft product. Patterns of scratching around 3 rectangular boxes in the front of the case appear to show where a sticker or some such has been prised off.

This product is not today (Oct 2012) available on Amazon from this seller, and the most recent feedback on their storefront is June 2012 so perhaps Amazon are on to them and have excluded them as a seller. If this is not the case, beware. Their seller rating remains at 4.9 out of 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2011
This is a good project tool, and does what's required. I believe that some of the more advanced parts of application are not often used in the type of industry I work within, however it covers the basics, and this version has provided added ease of use and additional tools
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2010
This is a vast improvement on previous versions of Project both in terms of layout and features.

If only this had been available 20 years ago I could saved so much time and avoided so many problems. I bought mine from a Amazon seller at a discounted price and it works perfectly so good to save money!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2011
This is a vast project management software package, which will take me many months to explore - and even then I don't think I will have found all its functionality. However you can quite quickly get it up and running to model and manage projects.

One criticism is that I have found the Microsoft help system to be wanting. I tried out a colleague's Microsoft text book and wasn't happy with it. Instead I bought Bonnie Biafore's "The Missing Manual" book and found it to be very useful.

I bought my copy of the software through London Radio who delivered very promptly and at a very good price. Even better, the copy I received allows for installation on 2 PCs. I cannot rate them highly enough.

Overall I'm very happy with my purchase and I'd have no hesitation in recommending it to others.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2011
Excellent software which makes projects a dream to manage. I bought this software from the cheapest Amazon seller and they sent a version that allows you to install on 2PCs. This means that I got double the value for a lesser price! It is very useful as it makes your projects run extremely professionally. I couldn't live without this software now, or the simple, effective, organisational tools it offers. I much prefer the layout to earlier versions of Project as it makes it all very intuitive for users.
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on 15 July 2013
For the basic PM but for more detailed and specialise planning there are better (but more expensive) products of the market
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