Microsoft Project: The Bigger Picture

Take the Pain out of PMM

Matt Smith

Project portfolio management (PPM) is nothing new. Businesses have been using it for countless ages to keep track projects, hours, costs–you name it. The advent of the PC saw PPM move to a digital format. And as the workforce became more mobile and distributed, PPM in turn became an even more important part of daily office life.

With Microsoft Project, successful PPM comes down to what you want to manage, the project’s location (on- or off-premises), and the tools you need. All versions are great for project managers and developers alike – but which one is better for you? It’s not easy to do general comparisons of off- vs on-premises as the products do differ in functionality. But, below, I’ve made some comparisons and have even attached a link that does a good job at breaking things down.

Standard vs. Online

So, the choice – at the beginning – is Standard or Online. Project Online is a Web app – meaning there is no local install. Standard works like, well, a standard install and sits on your PC desktop. Online also works just like it sounds and provides anywhere, anytime access. The other big difference is SharePoint. With all Project Online subscriptions you get the built-in ability to connect to SharePoint. With Project Standard, you do not.

Project Lite

Project Lite is not a stand-alone product. It’s kind of an accessory that can only be used on projects managed with Project Online. It’s also a low-cost online subscription and adds a lot of functionality to an already great program set. Project Lite allows for sharing and collaboration as well as SharePoint task sync and timesheets. Project Standard does not. But, Project Lite does not allow for Project Scheduling / Costing or Reporting and BI – Project Standard does.

Project Online vs. Lite

Online and Lite are nearly the same, such as being Web apps. But, with Online, there’s quite a few nice features that are not available with Lite – hence the ‘lite.’
• Reporting and Business Intelligence
• Resource Management
• Demand Management
• Portfolio Selection
• Optimization

Now, it’s important to know that before Microsoft launched Project Online Services, in order to collaborate using Project, customers would be required to purchase the following:

With Project Online, the service includes the backend licenses of Project Server, SharePoint, and SQL. And that’s important to know when looking at the cost of Project Online.

Project Pro for Office 365 Subscription

This subscription includes a full copy of Project Pro that can be locally installed rather than just a Web app that can be installed on five PCs. This version is similar to Project Lite in that it includes all the same features with the exception of Share documents and Timesheets. It includes most of the features of Project Online with the exception of share docs, timesheets, demand management, portfolio selection, and optimization.

Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365

Finally, Microsoft offers Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365. This is the full version of both, and includes all the features of Project Online as well as Project Pro for Office 365.

You can compare all of these versions and more by clicking here.