Microsoft Project Standard vs Professional: Which is Best?

Microsoft Project is project management software developed and sold by Microsoft.

Considered by many to be the industry standard, Microsoft Project is designed to help project managers develop project schedules, assign resources to tasks, track progress, manage budgets, and analyze workloads.

In this article, we’ll compare the standard and professional version of Microsoft Project to help you choose the most suitable project management software for your organization.

A Breakdown of Microsoft’s Project Management Solutions

There are two versions of Microsoft Project 2021 available to project managers who prefer using the Project online desktop client:

  • MS Project Standard
  • MS Project Professional

The version of Microsoft Project that you choose will depend on your specific needs and the features you require to manage project schedules.

Microsoft Project Standard:

  • Basic Project Management Tools: Create, manage, and report on projects.
  • Task Management: Define tasks, assign resources, and track progress.
  • Timeline View: Visualize project timelines.
  • Reporting: Generate standard reports.

Microsoft Project Professional:

Includes all the features of Project Standard, plus:

  • Collaboration Tools: Integration with Skype for Business and improved collaboration features.
  • Resource Management: Advanced resource management capabilities, including a Resource Management Dashboard.
  • Timesheets: Allows team members to submit timesheets to capture project and non-project time.
  • Project Online and Project Server Integration: Full integration with Project Online and Project Server for enterprise-level project management.
  • Portfolio Management: Tools for managing multiple projects and portfolios.
  • Team Planner: A tool for managing team tasks and assignments.
  • Sync with SharePoint: Ability to sync project information with SharePoint for enhanced collaboration.

Advice for Project Managers:

The decision between Microsoft Project Standard vs Professional comes down to your specific project management needs and whether you require advanced features for collaboration and resource management when making your decision.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Choose Microsoft Project Standard if you need basic project management tools for individual projects and don’t require extensive collaboration or resource management features.
  • Choose Microsoft Project Professional if you need advanced project management features, enhanced collaboration tools, resource management, and integration with enterprise-level project management systems like Project Online or Project Server.

I hope this article has simplified your decision making process with regard to Microsoft Project Standard vs Professional.

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.