Microsoft Project for the web, is the latest in a long line of PPM solutions and quickly becoming the go-to solution for PMO’s and project teams generally, especially if they are already using the wider Microsoft 365 platform. So, this handy article will provide some essential context around the latest version of Project, but before we move on to the present, let’s take a brief journey thorough the evolution of the iconic solution.

So, lets travel back to 1984, which is when the world was introduced to Microsoft Project version 1.0 and since then we’ve had regular releases, typically every three years and you can see some of the previous desktop icons below, which may bring back some nostalgic memories.

Project for the web: A Beginners Guide

Then in the year 2000 Microsoft launched Project Central, the first Enterprise Project solution that enabled team collaboration, this later morphed into Project Server, which itself evolved into the cloud (M365) as Project Online in 2013.

But fast forwarding to 2018, Microsoft announced the new Project for the web at the Ignite event and stated that future innovation would primarily focus on this solution, and generally speaking this is the best choice variety of reasons, which I’ll now discuss.

Why Microsoft Project for the web?

Access to the latest Features 

Being the newest version of Microsoft Project, the solution has an extensive long-term roadmap in place, which is accessible via the Microsoft 365 Roadmap Portal. Ultimately this means you’ll get access to a significant number of enhancements in the coming weeks, months and years, making this the futureproof PPM solution choice. For users of Project Online and Microsoft Planner, this will be a welcome update.

Improved Accessibility & Usability 

Through Project for the web and the Accelerator+ Power App you also get access to a much slicker, modern user interface that’s quite a step up from Microsoft Project Desktop and Project Online. Whilst providing the same sophisticated scheduling engine, the user interface has been significantly upgraded to provide a more user-friendly experience, that’s easier to navigate, this results in improved uptake and wider adoption.

Microsoft 365 Groups Integration  

Project for the web is built on Microsoft 365 Groups, so it works with any Microsoft 365 tools you use to collaborate with your teammates on projects.

Designed to be Extended with the Microsoft Power Platform

It’s a bit like a Lego set, it’s designed to be built up with the Microsoft Power Platform, so unlike the old days where Microsoft gave you a super complex end-to-end solution like Project online, which might contain lots of features that you’ll never use, through the new approach, we can build up a complete PPM solution that can be better tailored for each audience.

The core elements of the Power Platform that are used to extend Microsoft Project include Power Apps, which is a service for building custom business apps that connect to your data, and then we have Power Automate, the workflow solution which we use to build Governance frameworks, and stage gates to support your project lifecycles and lastly there’s Power BI which provides the primary dashboards and reports.

Project for the web: A Beginners Guide
Project for the web: A Beginners Guide

Having recognised the need for an enterprise ready PMO solution, we created the Wellingtone Accelerator+ Pre-configured Project Power App, which is designed to empower the PMO and project teams with a solution that caters for small teams, large teams and even global teams. The great news is that the Accelerator+ only requires Microsoft licensing, which is the next topic in this guide.

Project for the web: A Beginners Guide

Microsoft Project for the web Licensing

Licensing Microsoft Project for the web alongside the Accelerator+ is straightforward, with the primary licensing requirements revolving around:

  • Microsoft Project Plan 1, 3 or 5
  • Microsoft Power Apps; Per App or Per User Plan
  • Microsoft Power BI Pro or Premium
Project for the web: A Beginners Guide

Project Plan 1 is primarily geared towards users that only require basic scheduling capability, without the need for more advanced features such as Critical Path and if you are more of an advanced schedule user, you’ll require Project Plan 3 which is aimed at Project Managers or those in related roles such as Programme Managers and PMOs. Whilst there is a Project Plan 5 avaiable, it’s only applicable (at the moment) in the context of Project Online and not needed for Project for the web.

Users wanting to interact with the Wellingtone Accelerator+ Power App will need to have at least the Power App Per App license, which as the name suggests, allows a user to access a single Power App (i.e. the Accelerator+). However, if within your organisation users need to open multiple Power App solutions, then you can license the User to access unlimited apps through the Per User license instead of the Per App plan.

And in order to access the custom Power BI reporting packs, you’ll require either a Power BI Pro or Premium licence.

Importantly, you may have users that require read only access to the schedule or the ability to update the tasks assigned to them, in this scenario a M365 plan is all they need. You can read more on this topic here.

Next Steps

If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Project or the Wellingtone Accelerator+ or discuss how Wellingtone can help you to improve your PPM capability, then please contact us.

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Monthly Newsletter

By: Baz Khinda

Baz Khinda
Commercial Director, BA, MBS, MCTS, CertBusM, PRINCE2, Microsoft P-SSP (Partner Solution Sales professional)

Published: 15 March 2023

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