Navigating the Future of Microsoft Project: What You Need to Know

In a recent Advisicon webinar, Tim Runcie, CEO of Advisicon, and Sean Palakiko, a project advisor, discussed the future of Microsoft Project and the implications for project management professionals.

The webinar aimed to provide clarity on Microsoft’s recent announcements regarding Project Online.

In this blog post, we’ll summarize the key points from the webinar to help you understand what’s happening and what it means for you.

Understanding the Announcement

Microsoft recently announced changes to its Project Online platform, raising questions about the future of Project in general. Many rely on Project Online as their go-to project management tool, so understanding the implications of Microsoft’s decision is crucial.

Tim clarified that Microsoft hasn’t formally announced the discontinuation of Project Online. Instead, they are encouraging users to transition to newer technology stacks while maintaining support for existing users. Eventually, they will not be allowing new tenants into the Project Online environment.

The transition is not sudden; Microsoft has been discussing this shift for a while. They are looking to phase out Project Online and have set a loose target of 2027 or later for ceasing new tenant creation.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Project Online Isn’t Going Away (Yet): Microsoft is not sunsetting Project Online, but they are no longer allowing new tenants to join the platform. If you’re already using it, you’ll continue to have access and support.
  2. Project Desktop Is Here to Stay: Project Desktop, with its 30-year history, remains a robust project management tool with a massive user base. Microsoft has no plans to discontinue it.
  3. Transitioning Is Possible: Microsoft will provide migration paths for those who want to transition to the new technology stack, including Project for the Web and the Power Platform.
  4. Consider Your Needs: The choice of which tool to use depends on your specific needs. If you require advanced features and customization, Project Desktop might be the right choice. For lightweight scheduling and integration with the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, Project for the Web could be a good fit.
  5. Blend the Tools: It’s possible to blend the use of legacy and new tools. Microsoft Teams can serve as a container for various project management tools and reports, offering flexibility in choosing the right tools for specific tasks.
  6. Seek Expert Advice: If you’re uncertain about which path to take, reach out to trusted advisors like Advisicon for guidance. They can help you navigate the options and select the best solution for your organization.

The #1 Future of Microsoft Project key takeaway is…

Microsoft wants users to consider the newer tools they offer, like Project for the Web, Power Platform, and Microsoft Teams. These tools are part of the evolving Microsoft 365 ecosystem and bring fresh approaches to work management and productivity.

However, the transition doesn’t necessarily mean you should rush to adopt these new tools if your current setup works well for you.

First, evaluate your specific needs and consider your audience.

For some, transitioning to the newer, more lightweight tools might be the right choice, while others may want to stick with the robust functionality of Project Online or Project Desktop.

Microsoft is also committed to providing migration paths for users who wish to transition to the new tools. So, if you decide to make the move, there will be support and guidance available.

Ultimately, the message to the project management community is one of reassurance.

While change is on the horizon, it’s not a sudden or drastic one. Microsoft is offering options, and Advisicon is here to help you navigate them.

If you’re unsure about the best path forward for your specific needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to Advisicon for expert guidance.

Stay tuned for more updates and guidance as we continue to unpack these changes in the world of project management.