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Three Reasons Why You Might Want to Pull MS Project Reporting…Out of MS Project

It’s important to recognize that Microsoft Project is a powerful tool which helps project managers (PMs) keep their projects moving, but sometimes, we have to reach for more universal applications. There’s a couple reasons why you might want to pull Microsoft Project reporting out Microsoft Project. I’m going to cover them here.

Data Democracy

What I mean by data democracy is providing data to everyone. This model understands that it’s not always beneficial to rely solely on specialized software, knowledge, or access. Providing the end user the ability to view or modify the data for their own purposes has its place.

Puts The User in the Driver’s Seat

Sometimes the consumer wants to control reporting by adding their own requirements and/or doing their own formatting. Perhaps they are unsure of what the final product should resemble, but they’ll know it when they see it.

Application Access

Not everyone has the MS Project application, whereas Excel is a universal data manipulation tool. In fact, there are 750 million Excel users versus 4.6 million Project users. Excel is used for everything from to do lists to household budgets, from Gantt charts to general ledgers. It’s available in 91 languages and sold in 163 countries.

Like I said, as PMs, we sometimes have to reach for more universal tools to provide a little support and understanding. I think it’s important for project managers to:

  • Know how to build basic custom fields in Project, which will generate an overall project report that is easy to access for all!
  • Know how to export a project plan into Excel
  • Know how to use basic query tools to generate a project report displaying key performance and status indicators

What do you think? Join me for my upcoming webinar, Microsoft Project Custom Reporting with Excel. It will be eligible for 1 PMI® PDU in the Technical category of the Talent Triangle.

Written by Jeff L. Chamberlain
Jeff is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) with over 20 years of experience spanning from IT, telecom, healthcare, consulting, and the outdoor adventure industries. He has managed technical and administrative programs both domestically and worldwide including Brazil, Venezuela, Italy, and Ukraine. He has spent much of his career helping teams operate at higher levels of effectiveness. Jeff has been using his knowledge of project management and data analytics to help customers build better software, deliver exceptional services, and create workplace efficiencies.
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