In Summary

The continually evolving Project Portfolio Management environment has created a new ecosystem where modern solutions are needed to keep up with the proliferation of methodologies and tools. Due to these new requirements, Microsoft has indicated to Project Online users that they should begin to plan their move to the new platform. The new, encompassing solution incorporates Project for the Web and the New Microsoft Project Accelerator, created by OnePlan.

The Need for A New Solution

In every industry, change and innovation are inevitable. This change is often caused by a trickle effect of businesses and customers adapting to new situations until it culminates into a major transformation of current methods. Project Management is no different, and the breadth of industries involved often compounds the necessity for change. Many factors have been leading to this point, including:

The Expansion of Available Solutions

An industry crowded with options creates difficulties in finding the best software to fit your companies needs and ambitions. Choosing wrong can often give rise to a ripple effect that causes interfacing issues as your need for more solution areas grow.

The Expansion of Untrained Project Managers

More and more people find themselves with the responsibilities of a project manager purely by happenstance. In cases like this, it is essential to have the available tools and resources to prevent project stagnation.

Expanding Methodologies

Some legacy systems do not lend themselves to the new approaches that project managers are employing. It is essential to have tools that are adaptable and can be modified to satisfy evolving needs.

The Need for Data Efficiency and Transparency

Data extrapolated from multiple sources creates information silos, making it hard to merge the information into a digestible format that can accurately and timely guide big picture decisions.

What Does This Mean

The overarching pain that is rearing its head in project management is the need for the flexibility that allows teams to work the way they want while also providing the results that enterprises need. To solve this issue, it is evident that the situation calls for the implementation of a new solution. Microsoft and its suite of products are in a particularly strong position to create a rounded offering that can facilitate these new requirements while also allowing room for future development. Having identified this, Microsoft has decided to shift its focus away from Microsoft Project and incorporate Project for the web with a Project Accelerator, developed in partnership with OnePlan, into a new offering. This new solution is designed to extend the Microsoft offering to meet the complex needs of some organizations.

What is the Big Deal

All of the aforementioned issues have been addressed with the new Project Accelerator solution by providing simplicity, customization, and coherency. Built on the Power Platform, the Accelerator combines the low-code no-code application development of Power Apps, the robust workflow and process automation of Power Automate, with the detailed analytics of Power BI. Project for the web is also built using this platform, which permits teams to fully leverage its Project Management capabilities and seamlessly combine them with the Portfolio Management proficiencies of the Accelerator. Best of all, each component is also hosted in the Dataverse information repository, allowing for quick and concise data storage and retrieval. The effortless pairing of these different areas makes the combination of Project for the web and the Project Accelerator, a significant leap forward for flexibility within the industry. 

Microsoft Project Accelerator: Solution in Detail

When evaluating a new solution, it is important to identify what roles it can serve within your organization and pinpoint what it can do better than the alternatives. At its core, the new Microsoft Project Accelerator solution was created as an encompassing addition to Project for the web. This duo provides value throughout the entire project and portfolio management process. Breaking the solution into its components, the Accelerator provides compelling functionality in the following areas:

Demand Management

The addition of demand management enables PMs to begin oversight at the intake of projects or requests. Doing so enhances the reporting and information available to properly analyze such requests and promotes better detail management and prioritization of projects. Doing this efficiently also makes it easier to move projects or tasks to the next phase in its lifecycle.

Program Management

The program management capabilities provide for better oversight of various collections of projects that are grouped by a defining characteristic. Properly managed programs are crucial to effective execution due to overarching initiatives growing more complex. It is common to have many interconnected projects that tie into a single program.

Project Management

Building off of everything you expect from Project for the web, including project and task management, the Accelerator does away with the individual nature of these projects and adds the management of risks, issues, and change requests. The Accelerator also fosters easier and more precise status reports, providing better governance and showcasing KPIs. This further enhances the flexibility that an organization has to proceed with projects, providing more time for adjustments.

Portfolio Insights/Risk Management

The portfolio insights provided by Power BI and the customization of report packs create the ultimate directional tool for projects and big picture management. Quickly and accurately identifying issues to create visibility around risks bolsters an organization’s knowledge to adjust projects and processes for the optimal outcome. Improved insights enhanced by the Dataverse information repository take purely reactive management out of the equation and open up enhanced decision-making to the past, present, and future of possibilities.

Tying It All Together

By leveraging the Power Platform, the ability to create notifications and workflows with Power Automate is native to the Project Accelerator. Also, a Power BI set of dashboards and reports already created as part of the Project Accelerator, completes the CWM capabilities. As the market leading Analytics and Business Intelligence Platform, Power BI is an excellent complement to Project for the web and Power Apps in the Project Accelerator. Listed below, are the most important Collaborative Work Management Capabilities and the Microsoft Product Capabilities and Features from Project for the web, the Project Accelerator and Teams that cover the stated capabilities.

One of the primary goals of CWM is to empower self-directed teams to work with autonomy using self-service digital products. By using the Microsoft platform, the product capabilities of CWM are provided in addition to the security and governance of the Microsoft 365 platform. Team effectiveness increases when everyone in the organization can be given access to a comprehensive application platform and the data to report completed work that results in aggregate business outcomes.

If your organization will be affected by the shift from Project Online, or maybe it is time for an upgrade, OnePlan is here to navigate you through all of your questions. With an exclusively intimate knowledge of the Project Accelerator, OnePlan has the expertise and experience to provide a solution to your needs.

Try The Free Accelerator Today!