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4 Reasons Project Managers Should Take Microsoft Project Seriously

        posted by , November 23, 2012

If you're like most project managers you probably don't plan to be a project manager forever. Many project managers have program management and executive career paths in mind.

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Leadership, influencing and executive development training are all popular amongst project managers. Training in Microsoft Project and other project management tools draws significantly less enthusiasm. Nevertheless, project software training has several advantages:

1. Sharpen Your Tools

Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe.
~ Abraham Lincoln
It's the last thing you want — an error in your work breakdown structure or other key artifact becomes a project issue.

If stakeholders notice errors in your plan in the middle of your project you're going to look bad. Familiarity with tools is key to avoiding errors and oversights.

2. Leverage the Power of Software

Too many project management teams think of project management software as a tool for developing project plans.

If you're not using software tools for estimation, planning, scheduling, budget control and management, resource allocation, communication, risk management, quality management and change management — then you are really missing out.

Project managers need to be proficient in a wide variety of software tools. For example, becoming familiar with your enterprise content management platform (e.g. Sharepoint) will help you manage communications, drive collaboration and manage approvals.

3. Be a Hero

When you become a guru with your company's key tools you'll be surprised how many people will stop by your desk to ask you questions.

You may feel this isn't you're job. However, you'd be surprised the goodwill you can build with peers, stakeholders and executives by pointing them in the right direction.

Showing an executive a cool trick in Sharepoint or helping a peer when they're stuck in Microsoft Project is sure to boost your stock.

4. Complex Tools are Difficult to Learn By Trial and Error

You're probably accustomed to learning software by trial and error. This is effective approach. However, when it comes to complex tools such as Microsoft Project — the training is worth it.

Spending 3 days with a guru can expose tricks and techniques that might take you years to discover on your own.


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