The future of project management software: the Microsoft view


In this video, Richard Gordon from Microsoft discusses the role of SharePoint, bemoans the fact companies don’t upgrade to the latest versions or use the full functionality and muses on the future of project management software. This video was filmed at the Project Management in the Collaborative Age round table discussion hosted by Microsoft and organised by APM earlier this year.


Richard: We typically see SharePoint as being the tool that aggregates information. We typically see SharePoint being used to pull project’s information together, financial information, HR information, whatever information you want whether they be from the Microsoft family or other tools and bringing all of that together into a series of portals – portals was a word that was used earlier. Portals are a great way for people can go and self-serve themselves with information.

The technology is largely already there to do that. It’s coming back to the point that Paul made that have organizations really about what they want and how they are going to share it, who have access to what. If they can work all of that out, the technology is largely there to do it already for them. So SharePoint is typically a tool that we see organizations using to aggregate information and to provide it as live portals.

In addition, you can use all the BI capabilities to actually get SharePoint to drive the management reporting using a dashboard where an executive can see something and drill down into further levels of information. Again, SharePoint can be very much used to do that. But again, it comes back to the question: ‘What do you want? When do you want it? Who can you give it to?’ and those are the big questions that as technology providers, we can go in and we can say that we’ve seen other people using it and this is our best practice and maybe here’s a bunch of templates. But we find that many organizations, yes, it’s slightly different and they all want something slightly different because of the internal politics or the regulatory bodies or the partners they are working with.

Keep with the times. Project 2010 has been out since 2010 so that’s been out a while and still not enough organizations are anywhere near using the capability. I regularly – that’s part of my job, going and showing you guys the capability – and I’m still showing it to people, their jaws are dropping and I’ve been doing this now for  a few years.

So I absolutely understand that some people don’t want to be at the very cutting edge or whatever we want to call it. Some wait for a service pack to come out, et cetera, et cetera but these days, products are tested so well that by the time they get out to a community they’re there and it’s a challenge for all us around the table. So I’m sure you don’t want to carry on potentially using those crusty old products whatever they might be and having your inbox is overloaded. Now, we have, as a group of people, to find the right way of helping each other I guess.

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