I’ve been using Microsoft Project 2019 Professional ever since the release (in fact I started with the pre-release product).
From my point of view, there are a few good things, some adding of things that should have been there all along, such as multiple undo (now this is good but why has it taken Microsoft so long). And they have removed one feature I really liked from MS Project 2019 (Analysing Time-Phased Data in Excel) and replaced it with some other features in the Visual Reports section, but I miss the simplicity of the removed functionality.
Oh and in case you are considering the move to Project 2019 and are wondering which version to purchase – project professional or standard, they are both the same unless you are also installing Microsoft Project Server 2019 (enterprise project management) so if you are using as standalone you might as well save your money and get the standard version.
Microsoft set out to enhance the five or so basic features of previous versions by adding to – task creation, resource management, assignment management, progress tracking, and reporting.
In an attempt to improve on a project manager or scheduler’s ability to manage a schedule, project 2019 offers several new and enhanced features. For starters on opening project 2019 one thing, you will notice is a fresh look of the interface; it has more colour and style, big deal! Do they think this will impress us? Well, let’s carry on.
Calendars have been improved with calendar exceptions and workweeks and the addition of new calendars now available:- The Hijri calendars (the official calendar in many Islamic countries and The Buddhist Thai calendar.
Changes you make are highlighted, this really helps you see and understand immediately, the impacts of the changes you made to a project, any time you make a change, all the affected tasks and resource fields are highlighted.
Multiple levels undo
How long has it taken, yes the MS Project 2019 now has multiple undo well; it’s about time too! It claims to allow you to undo and redo up to 99 changes to views, data, and options, have to admit not tested the number I can do. But so far working OK, what’s more, you are able to undo actions or sets of actions from macros or third party applications.
Now apart from losing the analyse-time-phased data in excel, that I used to use a lot (why did you do this Microsoft?), you can tap into the power of Microsoft office excel and ms office Visio to produce Pivot Charts, Pivot Tables, and Pivot diagrams. The new visual reports dialogue box provides for templates that can be modified by the user as well as the capability to build new templates and share these with other users or project stakeholders. Visual reports also offer report templates for Visio and Excel to help analyse resource availability, understand project progress and costs, and perform other tasks.
The visual reports feature gives the user the ability to build or modify on your desktop, OLAP cubes (online analytical processing), that can be opened in Excel, Visio or saved to MS Project access database files.
The visual reports function generates six cubes including three time-phased and three non-time-phased reports covering – Tasks, Resource and Assignments.
Background Cell Highlighting
Some touchy-feely, nice to have stuff has been added that will highlight important dates, costs, or tasks. It does this by changing the background colour of the cells in the table section of the view.
Project 2019 has a new Task Pane
This has some useful features including a “new project task pane”. When you click File, New, the new project window opens. You can now show the driving factor that is determining the start date of a task, such as a dependency or a date constraint. This feature allows you to follow a chain of factors back to find the root cause of a particular delay.
Another new feature is the cost resource, this enables you to define multiple named time-phased fixed costs on a task. You can the group and report these costs as part of a cost type. This feature supports the integration of Project 2019 with accounting systems
Defines a budget at a high level (program or project) so you can allocate funds and track costs, work, and materials against the budget.
Additional Project 2019 Templates
Additional templates, many of which were supplied by Microsoft partners, and have been incorporated into Project 2019 – tread carefully here as I have issues with some of them, some of them have technical flaws such as Processors and Successor on Summary tasks and that’s a big no-no in my books.
Shahid Zargar a Microsoft Office expert has been working in the technology industry for the last 5 years. As a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup