What’s New in Project 2013

By Harlan Kilmon, PMP

In the past, the standard reports in Microsoft Project have been considered some of the most non-useful default reports in any software. With MS Project 2013, however, a new corner has been turned. Many new reports to visualize and understand a project’s status have been developed.

Report Ribbon

MS Project 2013 has so many reporting enhancements that a Report ribbon has been created to make building reports more easily accessible.

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Dashboards

One of the most exciting enhancements is the presentation of dashboards directly from the application without having to export the data to another tool like in previous versions.

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“Dashboards” are graphical, web-presented views of data that report multiple sets of information that cover a range of factors about particular items, like a project or company. In other words, instead of just showing something such as “Costs to Date,” a dashboard might report those costs, but also report on other subjects like income, quality factors, speed of processing, or work hours for employees. This way the consumer of a dashboard can get a “balanced” view of a situation rather than have to piece together an entire picture from multiple, number-based reports.

Many classic project reports have been provided dashboard functionality in Project 2013. Not only do these dashboards make the application look modern, they represent a massive shift of customer base from highly-specialized project managers to all business staff needing insight into project statuses.

One of the most classic project reports is the Burndown report. This dashboard shows the planned and actual/expected work hours (based on current conditions) as they are being used for the project. Once all the work is depleted, it is expected the project will be completed.

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Another dashboard report is the Project Overview. This one is a classic four-panel report, as well. You can see it shows Project Completion, unfinished Milestones, Percent Complete per Phase, and a list of remaining tasks that are expected to run late.

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Just imagine showing this on a PowerPoint presentation at your next manager’s meeting!

Microsoft has really pulled out the stops to provide us with easy-to-produce, useful, modern, and quickly-understandable reports from MS Project 2013. Try out Project 2013 by downloading the preview here.

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Harlan

Harlan Kilmon, PMP is a certified Microsoft Office Master Instructor and currently holds PMP, MCT, and CompTIA certifications. Since joining Learn iT!, Harlan has facilitated courses that include the full Microsoft Office suiteCrystal ReportsQuickBooksProject Management and most of our Professional Development classes. His top clients include Bio-Rad, Kaiser Permanente, Ernst & Young and Intel, amongst many others.