Microsoft has made Project 2016, its enterprise project and resource management tool, generally available.
Immediately available online as part of Microsoft Office 365, Project 2016 offers significant updates to Project Professional, Project Pro for Office 365 and Project Online and also delivers new features to support customers’ requests for better resource management and resource capacity planning.
Project managers can now use the Resource Engagements tool to systematically request a resource from the resource manager, who can approve or reject it easily via a simple workflow. Once the resource has been assigned to a particular project for a certain duration of time, project managers can then use Resource Engagements to ‘lock’ the resource and prevent other project managers from double-booking it. The project manager will always have an up-to-date view of the status of their requests from within Project Professional 2016 or Project Pro for Office 365.
In addition, the new Capacity heat maps and intuitive reports allow resource managers to visualise the capacity of their resources, preventing under- or over- use of individual resources.
Meanwhile, productivity enhancements to Project 2016 include a Tell Me function to make it easier for users to find the features they need, and Office Add-ins extensions to enable users to customise Project 2016 and gain full read/write access to the projects they are working on.
Tracking and sharing the project schedule with an entire team will also be much easier now that the Timeline feature includes multiple timelines with their own independent start and end dates. This makes it easy for project managers to establish and monitor each user’s tasks and deadlines.
The new service features, such as Capacity heat maps, are being rolled out into Project Pro for Office 365 and Project Online now. The resource management features will be available to on-premises customers in spring 2016 when Project Server 2016 is released.