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Microsoft Project for Web 2019 vs. Project Online: What’s Best for Enterprise
Project Management?

Reading Time: 3 mins
Anna Shalomova

PPM Consultant

Reading Time: 3 minutes

emMicrosoft Project for Web is a lightweight program to address project task management and teamwork. Microsoft also offers another, more complex project management solution, Microsoft Project Online. It is more suitable for Enterprise project management users. You may ask – why two products? What’s the difference? Which one should I use? Should I use both? Let us get some answers.

What does Microsoft Project do?

Microsoft Project is a project management tool, and it is a part of the next-generation Microsoft platform for project management. This is a lightweight software. It is suitable for brainstorming, managing marketing activities, tracking task progress, and putting things in order with simple project timelines.

Integrated Features and User-Friendly Interface

New Microsoft Project integrates with Office 365 groups. In other words, every new project in the Microsoft Project automatically triggers the creation of a new group. The interface of this new software consists of data blocks and Pinterest-like cards. They are convenient and intuitive to Office 365 users because they look like Planner. However, unlike Planner, the New Microsoft Project allows viewing the tasks in Grid or Timeline. The “cards” can contain all vital information, including terms, investments, categories, and dependencies.

Efficient Task Assignment and Communication

After the task has been assigned, the assignee receives updates about the changes in the form of notifications by email or in a special notification tab. Notes about new emails in Outlook, messages from Teams, and tasks from Planner are visible in the same tab. Microsoft Project also enhances project sharing. All data on the timeline, including the start date of the project, the final date of the project, the team members responsible for the project, and even the percentage of completion, are easy to attach to the cards and edit together.

Versatility and Integration with Office 365 Suite

Unlike Planner or Project Online, at its core, Microsoft Project is a project management tool and a part of the next-generation Office 365 suite. Project for Web will help you and your team develop projects, organize and distribute tasks, and control their execution. Microsoft Project is a convenient environment for individual and collaborative work. You can organize your team’s activity, track progress using timelines and boards, and get more functionality than in Planner. However, it maintains a lightweight and intuitive interface accessible to everybody.

What does Project Online do?

Microsoft Project Online is an enterprise-level PPM solution. This is a more complex system for monitoring projects, work, and costs with the possibility of collaboration, remote project management, and visual reporting.

Key features of Project Online:

  • Time management: scheduling based on project specifics; schedule optimization by terms, resources, and money; the project’s relationship with the stages of the contract; project management in the program.
  • Resource management: creating a corporate resource pool in Project Online. Management of 3 types of resources: labor, material, and costly. Budgeting of resources (labor and costs). Workload balancing.
  • Cost management: project cost estimation from bottom to top; accounting for the cost of resources; budget management by cost items; project-level budgeting; integration with other budgeting systems.
  • Collaboration: project team management; PWA; Management of risks; maintaining a knowledge base.
  • Reporting: Lots of customizable reports.

Microsoft Project: Features, Use Considerations, Limitations

Microsoft Project and Project Online are two distinct products, but they both address project collaboration and teamwork. The syst is very easy to adopt and use but has limited functionality and customization capabilities. Project Online is best suited for enterprise project and portfolio management. It is equipped with advanced customization capabilities, powerful scheduling and resource management functionality, and advanced reporting. To compare these two systems, please use the table below, where you can see a feature matrix for both.

Project Management


Project Online was designed for an advanced and formal approach. New Microsoft Project can support different businesses but is primarily suitable for small organizations with a simple workflow. Microsoft Project Online can handle large projects, sophisticated workflows and methodologies, and multi-level organizational structures. It is much more flexible and allows you to customize everything exactly as needed for the particular company. However, this flexibility and great value for executives and PMOs come with the price of complexity for team members, and that’s why Project Online is too complex for some organizations. Such organizations can benefit from using Microsoft Project for Web. It is perfect for those who have just started implementing enterprise project management practices.

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