Understanding the limits of the tools you’re choosing and identifying some of its major user issues is important in choosing the most convenient way for your organization to deal with both day-to-day and long-term tasks and goals.
Project Online was initially developed as a flexible and vibrant version of Project Server, which is a PPM solution. While Oracle Primavera was initially designed as a budget management and scheduling tool. And the evolution of these tools over the years hadn’t changed the main treats deep-rooted in the initial design. Project online is better for agile owners and S&M companies than Primavera. It’s cost-effective and easy to use. Primavera is widely preferred as a budgeting tool for project management due to its feature-rich capabilities. However, a primavera user usually understands the limits of the tool when entering the portfolio management plan. Project Online and Primavera are similar in some ways, but each product has advantages and disadvantages that distinguish them from the other.
Project Online’s strengths:
- The information space of the solution is built based on the SharePoint platform, which makes it possible to implement effective means of communication and coordination in projects, to provide a single user interface, powerful tools for information retrieval and reporting on it;
- As part of the solution, there are possibilities for managing projects and project portfolios;
- The solution provides a tool to customize the automation of the life cycles of the process of collecting project data as part of project initiation (considering the specifics of each type of project separately).
Project Online weaknesses:
- Lack of pre-configured analytical tools.
- The solution does not have strong tools for managing budgetary indicators of projects, but it is possible to connect budget models from Power BI, as well as the use of Microsoft partner solutions to support project budgeting.
- Using Primavera as a tool for managing project portfolios and as a decision support system. Enhanced integration capabilities allow for the most optimal use of the scheme: Primavera in the management company, and MS Project Server in the subsidiaries and divisions.
- One of the most mature solutions on the market in the context of project management with long-term duration.
- Oracle financial stability ensures the stability of Primavera products.
- Oracle does not provide cloud computing services (SaaS). If necessary, use the services of partners of Oracle.
- The methodology of the solution implies redundant requirements for the formalization of processes (excessive compared to what most companies need in real practice).
- Using the solution requires a high level of project management culture in the company (as a rule, significantly higher than the level found today).
To appeal to a modern agile, and flexible user base, Microsoft removed scheduling rules from Project Online to enable people with minimal scheduling experience to create spreadsheet-based schedules. When considering long-term Waterfall-based projects planned for years in advance, it can result in irregular schedules that do not pass integrity checks and cannot be accurately tracked and progressed. When creating logic ties in project online where only one relationship is allowed between any two activities, in many instances, functional project schedules require a greater level of detail and need to account for the overlap of two activities by tying together both the start and finish to correctly represent the logic of how the work will be executed.
This creates a question of how many projects your enterprise develops simultaneously. Project online maintains the maximum number of activities up to 400,000 more than that, and the data becomes unstable and unreliable in the stand-alone format. Primavera is a relational database tool that allows more activities to be inserted without conflict. Project Online is intuitive and easy to use; it is well suited for working with projects that do not expect long-term schedule tracking and control of resources. Oracle Primavera P6 is a more complex tool but has more features. Clear advantages in productivity, support of large volumes of work and various versions of projects, and full support for working with project portfolios.
All in all, the conclusion is that if you’re thinking of “Heavyweight” projects, like gas and oil or construction, that is still done old-school – go, Primavera. It is way more grounded and provides many advantages in budgeting and scheduling areas. On the other hand, if you’re after flexibility and agility – go for Project Online. In cases when you want it all, you can get Project online with “special additions” from Microsoft’s “friends and family.” There are helpful apps, like Fluent Books, or Power BI packs that will compensate for the lack of Project Online’s “basic skills” leveling the plain field for your teams in terms of business analytics, backup, and migration, while leaving them with flexibility and lightweight easy to use project management tool.
For example, FluentBooks for Project Online will also provide your IT specialists with configuration management and migration options. It saves time, money, and manual labor in the long run. Besides, automation of any repetitive and boring yet still necessary processes immensely lifts the spirits of your “troops.” FluentPro FluentBooks Features include:
- Compare PWAs
- PWA merge
- SharePoint content
- PWA documenting
- Edit projects
- Edit resources
- Excel import-export
- Timesheet engagements
- Migration from other PPM systems
Power BI Reports Packs for Project Online solves any business analysis task in seconds, due to 30+ customizable reports and access to historical data. This data-driven solution is here to help your business grow. When turning to Power BI packs for Project Online, you get:
- Full and real-time visibility of Project Online data.
- Instant dashboards are available at any time.
- Reports can be adjusted in a matter of seconds if needed.
- The right information is always available in time for confident, informed decisions.
Power BI reporting pack from FluentPro not just brings easy reporting and simple PPM data visualization to your company but also enables project managers, development directors, and CEOs to gain all the needed insights for smart and data-driven decision making.
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