Microsoft launched Project for the web in October of 2019, unveiling “Project Re-imagined”. At the same time, they announced that all future investments in project management tools would focus on maturing Project for the web and creating a compelling offering using the Power platform. This move brings Project Management into the core of Microsoft’s technology vision, enabling direct access in Teams and providing organizations with a flexibility Project Online could never offer. To underscore the significance of this move, here is what Satya Nadella said regarding the Power Platform in January 2019: “Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform, on top of what we’re doing with Azure, is the core of what we are doing as a company”. The vision is expansive and provides customers the flexibility to create tailored solutions that also integrate all forms of work management across the organization.
Below are some of the most common questions customers are asking:
Is Project Online going away, and if so, when?
Microsoft has not announced an end to Project Online. They have made it clear in web posts and customer communications that they are no longer investing in new features or functionality in the tool. They have been encouraging users of Project Online to plan their transition since 2019 as stated here. We too are encouraging our customers to consider a move to the new Microsoft PPM vision as we see great benefits in leveraging Power Apps and OnePlan to create an effective and agile PPM solution.
What is the replacement for Project Online?
Microsoft has made it clear since the fall of 2019 that they see Project for the web and the Power platform as the platform of choice for Microsoft PPM. We agree. We helped to create the Project Accelerator to encourage the adoption of this platform and to help clients discover the power and flexibility of this new vision for PPM. Our complete PPM solution using the Power platform, Project for the web, Project Professional and OnePlan more than fully replaces the functionality of Project Online.
Where does Project Operations fit in the future?
Project Operations is a solution designed for Professional Services Automation. It is a robust solution that leverages the Dynamics platform including Power Apps and Project for the web for scheduling. It may be a viable option for your organization as a migration path from Project Online, especially if you are managing a Professional Services organization. Most organizations will find the Accelerator and Power Apps as the more effective choice.
Does Project for the web and Power Apps provide feature parity with Project Online?
Not currently, however with the addition of OnePlan we can exceed the features of Project Online with integration to Azure DevOps, Portfolio and Program entities, Strategy management and support for varying methodologies. OnePlan also provides My Work, timesheeting and what-if analysis needed by most PMOs. To learn more, go here.
What Licensing do I need to implement the new Microsoft vision?
To leverage the Project Accelerator and Project for the web you will need Plan 3, the same license that provides Project Professional and Project Online. This license does have limits. The Accelerator can be extended with a maximum of 5 additional tables (entities). This license also does not include integration with Project Professional or Azure DevOps. To extend the solution with more tables, you will require a full Power Apps license. Most partner solutions on the market require the purchase of Power Apps and do not leverage the Accelerator.
OnePlan is different. We can leverage the accelerator and deploy OnePlan to extend it without requiring the full Power Apps license. Some clients choose to leverage a full Power Apps license because they have broader objectives and a desire to leverage Power Apps throughout their organization. We support that approach but do not require it.
How do I migrate from Project Online to the new Microsoft vision using Power Apps and Project for the web?
At present Microsoft does not provide an automated migration path from Project Online to the Accelerator and Project for the web. You have options with OnePlan. OnePlan connects to Project Professional natively allowing you to retain these schedules and continue to manage them using Project Professional while adopting Project for the web for new projects as desired. Likewise, OnePlan can connect to SharePoint Online enabling organizations to retain their current SharePoint sites and content while they plan a move to Teams and Power Apps. Finally, we have tools that enable the migration of the data in custom fields to tables in Power Apps and fields in OnePlan. We are ready and willing to assist you with your migration and encourage you to re-imagine your PPM solution to take full advantage of the new Microsoft vision.
Can I integrate the Accelerator with Azure DevOps and combine my agile projects and my waterfall projects?
The Accelerator does not provide this native functionality. OnePlan provides this integration using our OneConnect platform. We’ve created specific connectors designed to optimize the interaction between your PPM environment and the data in Project Professional, Azure DevOps, JIRA and other common business solutions. To learn more, go here.