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Microsoft Project 2019 vs. Asana: The Ultimate Functionality Comparison

The recently launched new Microsoft Project also known as Microsoft Project is the latest project management and collaboration tool to hit the market, and if you’re an Office 365 subscriber, it’s worth a look. With Microsoft ProjectMicrosoft is now offering an intuitive project collaboration tool based on Agile project management. Microsoft developed it as a tool for the new generation of project managers who find Microsoft Project Online to be too complex. Many of us have turned to other tools such as Asana, Jira Core, Smartsheet, Monday.com to fill the gap of easy project collaboration and organization. But how does the new Microsoft Project shape up against these other online project management apps?

 

 

Asana vs. Microsoft Project

Asana is a service for collaborating on projects, tasks, corporate communication, sharing documents, and checking the to-do list. To get the most out of the tool, you can use the web service and its mobile applications for mobile platforms. What does the service offer? 

  • Real-time synchronization for various devices. 
  • Checking your inbox. 
  • Creating a plan for the coming day. 
  • View, edit, and create tasks and projects with priorities. 
  • Structuring projects using sections. 
  • Discussions on the project and tasks. 
  • Custom dashboards. 
  • Calendars 
  • Search for tasks, projects, people, and tags. 
  • Attach files from Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive. 
  • Kanban boards. 

The service is designed to replace email communication by adding task and reminder management functionality with the ability to attach various files to them. Colleagues can be quickly notified of the completion of tasks. 

 

New Microsoft Project is a project management tool and part of the Office 365 suite. Microsoft Project allows users to organize a platform for brainstorming, managing marketing activities, creating a chart to view progress on tasks, and putting things in order in projects. New Project tightly integrated with Office 365 groups. In other words, every new plan in Microsoft Project automatically leads to the creation of a new group. And each created group will be able to use a separate project in the new service. Interface Microsoft Project can be set to look like Grids Timeline, or familiar to Office 365 Planner users – Boards. They can contain all kinds of important information, including terms, categories, and dependencies. Team members can be assigned to various tasks. After the appointment, they receive updates about the changes in the form of email notifications. Not unlike Planner or Project Online, in its core, the new Microsoft Project is a project management tool and part of the next-generation Office 365 suite. 

We’ll look at some of the core features, functionality, and the user experiences of the new Microsoft Project and Asana: 

 

Systems 

Asana is a web-based project planning tool with a focus on team communication.  Microsoft Project is a task planning and project management tool integrated into Office 365. 

API

Yes Yes

Multi-user

Yes Yes
Authentication mechanism Password

SAML

Google sign-on

Password

Microsoft sign-on

Notifications

Email Email
Hierarchical tasks Yes

Yes

Recurring tasks

Yes No
Milestone tracking Yes

Yes

Task dependencies Yes Yes
Gantt charts No Yes
PERT charts No No
Baselines No No
Resource management No No
Resource leveling No No
Time tracking Yes No
Cost tracking No No
Earned value management No No
Risk management No No
Scrum support No No
Kanban support Yes Yes
Project portfolio management Yes

No

 

Signing Up

To access Microsoft Project, you’ll need to have an Office 365 account. If you have one, go through your apps screen by clicking the top-left corner of your Office 365 home page and then the Microsoft Project button. Microsoft Project has native integration with the Office 365 suite, so you don’t have to log in to third-party websites to access your projects.  

 

Asana has a limited free plan for teams of up to 15 people. It includes some basic features, such as unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations. The next tier, the Premium plan, costs $9.99 per user per month and includes more features such as unlimited dashboards and admin controls. Asana offers a handy pricing calculator, which tells you exactly how much it’ll cost your business to upgrade your team. There are many useful integrations for Asana, and it also has public APIs to help you integrate them into your software stack. Microsoft Project is based on Power Platform that allows integration with hundreds of other applications and provides the ability to build a variety of business applications that can integrate scheduling capabilities of Microsoft Project. 

 

Dashboards

Microsoft Project has a modern, minimalistic design that fits any business or enterprise. It’s great for those who want the tool to do what it should, rather than wow with quirky features and a rad design. The Dashboard in Microsoft Project gives you an overview of all your favorite projects and tasks (Grid, Board, or Timeline), including the status of tasks. You can get all the details and dependencies inside, and the Timeline view allows to match different projects and tasks in one timeline. Asana’s dashboard also gives you a quick overview of all projects, including the status of tasks. 

 

 

Even though the new Microsoft Project doesn’t have detailed reporting functionality, you can use the recently developed FluentPro Power BI Pack for Microsoft Project, which extends significantly its reporting capabilities compared to Asana. 

 

Due Dates

Both tools allow you to set a due date. The new Microsoft Project and Asana both give you the option of marking the task as complete. The task gets archived once completed by being hidden, and you can check a box to bring it back. Microsoft Project shows you how many tasks have been completed from the checklist on the task or card cover. Microsoft Project goes one step further by allowing task previews on the task cover in the Board view (like Planner.) This means that you can check off tasks without having to open the task card. Asana gives you an overview of due dates next to the task on the project board, as well as within the task card itself. Asana also has a calendar for deadline overviews. 

 

 

Progress Overview

Asana allows you to quickly get an overview of task progress for all projects on the dashboard. The same information is available under the “Progress” tab on each project. You can also set an update status and set a reminder to update the status every Friday. You can also set the updates so that they automatically notify other team members. 

 

Microsoft Project gives you two options to get a progress overview. You can get a bird’s eye view on all your projects and plans in Timeline view, where task status is visualized with a graph, like one continuous timeline. You can get an overview of all your tasks per project in Grid viewnot only the due date of the task but also the percentage of the task finished by the time you check. The upside to Microsoft Project is that you can easily see the progress being made on tasks, as well as which tasks have been completed. You can also keep an eye on overdue tasks, and if similar tasks keep being overdue, you can reassess whether or not they should be implemented differently or assigned to someone else. You can also see how many tasks are assigned to each team member, which means that you can ensure even task distribution. 

 

 

Both Asana and Microsoft Project have intuitive interfaces. If you’re familiar with web applications, the learning curve isn’t steep, and it makes user adoption easy. Microsoft Project “look and feel” will appeal to those who are power users of Office 365 and other Microsoft products, or more importantly, appreciate minimalism. Microsoft Project is superior to Asana in the sense that you can get an overview of multiple projects in one glance, showing you your work – done or pending – in a single timeframe. It’s a great tool for easy project monitoring and management. It doesn’t bring anything revolutionary to the table unless you’re already an Office 365 user. Plus, if you are a first-time buyer it offers the benefits of deep Microsoft integration.