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MS Versus SAP Project Management

Updated on July 29, 2014

Today, many organizations manage their projects using some incongruent and incoherent tools, such as calendars and spreadsheets that are not designed necessarily for managing the evolution of large and complex projects. Despite the fact that many project managers are aware of different project management software solutions, a big number of them are not aware of the various benefits of using such software platforms. This is usually because of little knowledge of what project management software is and how it can be used to affect the whole timeline, from the conception to the completion of a project. Therefore, this short essay is going to give some highlights on two key platforms, which are SAP project and MS project management. These will include their difference in terms of key features, integration and their future in project management.

SAP project management

Mainly, this platform helps in linking strategies and ideas with project data, business processes, and workflow. In other words, it aid in controlling and innovating projects, products, services, and all the processes in effort to standardize execution of project and reduction of administrative load. The main functionality of this software includes project portfolio management, project management, scheduling, document management system, and resource management among other.

Key features

Project management features: This actually helps in risk and benefit analysis. In other words, it helps in determining the confidence level of a project. These features are also necessary when it comes to scheduling resources to every project.

Task Management Features: These features have several roles including adding notes to the tasks, creating and grouping tasks according to each project, setting due dates for project or tasks, setting priorities for projects and tasks, and finally, logging past tasks in order to see what has been done in the previous projects.

Administrative features

Collaboration features: These features are essential for creating teams in specific projects, following certain tasks in order to enhance monitoring on the status of the project, helps in accessibility of multiple users to the project, and management of the privacy setting for all employees working on certain projects.

Collaboration features also helps when one wants to leave some comments about certain tasks or project. Finally, these features are necessary when it comes to team calendars and/or timelines.

Resource Management Features: These features are helpful in allocation of resources to the project only when they are required. This helps in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a project, thus reduction of incurred costs.

SAP project management integration

Different project managers are able to integrate SAP project management application with other external scheduling tool and platforms to help in improving it efficiency and effectiveness. Some of the commonly integrated platforms include Google+, Slideshare, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube among others.

Besides this platforms, SAP PS work breakdown structures (WBS) are also commonly integrated into SAP`s main financial modules. This enables managers to actually manage all the financial aspects of their projects in SAP while performing the detailed project planning, scheduling, and execution using best-of-breed project management tools.

SAP project management tools are also integrated with other application such as MuleSoft. This actually has a lot in terms of solving different project management challenges. These include connecting SAP and non-SAP applications, adopting technologies that any project manager can use with minimal training, increasing the effectiveness of the tool, and finally building a highly scalable and reliable platform for SAP integration. All these integration initiative are necessary in order to reduce the time that is used in planning, scheduling, and execution of different projects.

MS project management

Microsoft project management is another broadly used platform because of its flexibility. MS project is collaborative software that helps in tracking system issues, scheduling, resource management, tasks management among other managerial functions involved in a project. Just like the SAP project management software, MS project has different features distinct based on their functions.

Project management features

Main feature

  • Baseline: Used in measuring how much the project deviates from the initial estimates
  • Calendar: Helps in organizing workflow better and view all the projects
  • Critical Path Method: Helps in determining the longest path of activities considering dependencies between these activities. It also helps in determining the earliest and latest time an activity can start and finish. In general it helps to determine the activity that can be initiated first without compromising the entire project completion date.
  • Interactive Gantt Charts: Helps to indicate the schedule of specific projects
  • Milestones: Helps in marking the end of a sprint of phase in a project
  • Project Templates: Helps in creating project over and over again
  • Recurring tasks: Helps in setting recurring tasks
  • Scheduler: Helps in scheduling resource to each project

Task Manager: Helps in organizing daily tasks with a to-do-list

Tasks Management Features

  • Helps in assigning contacts to certain tasks
  • Creating tasks and grouping them by specific projects
  • Logging to past tasks to see what have been done on previous projects
  • Finally, organizing each day by creating a to-do-list

Administrative Features

Budget and Expenses features

  • Helps in forecasting project budges
  • Tracking project hours

Collaboration Features

  • Helps in following tasks, RSS feeds, and team calendar or timelines

Resource Management Features

  • Helps in resource allocation, tracking the time, and tracking different costs of the project

Reporting Features

  • These mainly include project report and time reports tasks

Supporting Features

  • Some of key features include email, FAQ, forum, help desk, knowledge base, online self-serve, and remote training.

MS project management integration

Microsoft project management platform offers a powerful way to effectively manage crucial projects. In other words, it is able to extend project`s management activities with other apps to meet specific business needs. This is done through integration of this portfolio with other tools and platforms. Microsoft Office suite is one among the many platforms that are closely integrated with MS project management software. Besides this app, there is also Client Access License (CAL) that enables easy connection with Office Project Server 2007. There are still other customized wizards that helps users to navigate through a project from the creation stage, scheduling stage, to completion and reporting stage of a project. All these integrations are done with one aim-to increase efficiency and effectiveness of a project.

The future of both MS and SAP project management

Because of dependability of SAP and MS project management in current world, especially when it comes to solving various challenges experienced by managers in various organizational projects, both SAP and MS project management platforms have a bright future in terms of growth and development. SAP for instance has the largest market share over MS project managers and this growth is expected to raise even more in future because of different initiatives been undertaken on SAP, such as integration of other add-on programs offering solutions for all sizes of companies.

Based on the technological advancement of SAP platform, it is expected that in future SAP is going to even provide more specific industrial functionality and scalability. In order to meet future demands and various needs for all small and mid-sized businesses, SAP has different offers including SAP ByDesign that are available in various states such as Germany, U.S, France, U.K, India, and China.

On the other had Microsoft Project management platform is the leading supplier of operating systems for small, middle-sized, and large corporations in the entire world. This platform has and is expected to have several acquisitions in future that will help in strengthening its market share, both locally and internationally. Some of the already acquisitions that have been done in this platform include acquirement of Great Plains in 2000 and Navision in 2002.

Microsoft is expected to increase its technical strength through easing customization, increasing its flexibility, easing integration with other platform and software, and familiarization of user interface. In terms of functional strength it is set to strengthen inter-and multi-company support, strength multicurrency and localization capabilities, data dimensions-enabled tracking of physical moves, and finally strengthening MRP and trading capability. All these will be obtained through the various initiatives been done on the platform such as integration with other software.


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