There are 4 key additional features that Microsoft Project Professional 2010 has that the Basic version does not. Although you can get by without these key features, they really take effective planning and project management within the software to a higher level. These features add bidirectional team input functionality, what-if scenario analysis, portfolio management capabilities and easy resource assignments.

Here are the 4 features that come with Microsoft Project Professional:

  1. Inactivate Task Command – Allows you to inactivate a task for what-if analysis, which allows you to see how the schedule and costs would look if you “remove” a task by making it inactive. The cool thing about this is that it keeps all of the details tied to the inactive task, so if you activate the task again you do not need to enter in any of the task info and resource assignments again.
  2. Team Planner View – Allows you to easily drag and drop resources on the calendar, quickly view over-allocated resources, reallocate resources, assign resources to task without scheduling them, perform resource leveling by resource or entire project, and much more. One thing to note, is that if you are dragging and dropping Auto Scheduled Tasks on the Team planner a “Start No Earlier Than” constraint will be added to that task (manual scheduled tasks will not receive a constraint).
  3. Sync with SharePoint Lists – Allows you to import your schedule into a SharePoint List to allow for additional collaboration with team members who do not have access to Microsoft Project. This is a is bidirectional pull of data, meaning that when team members update things in SharePoint it can be refreshed in Microsoft Project, and Microsoft Project can post back to SharePoint. Some things to note about using this feature is that your Microsoft Project tasks must be manually scheduled tasks, only Finish-to-Start and Start-to-Start task relationships can be used, and the resources in Microsoft Project must also be added as users in SharePoint 2010.
  4. Project Server Collaboration – Project Server 2010 collaboration allows additional functionality for project and portfolio management, such as aligning resources and investments to business strategies and visually see performance using dashboards.

Hopefully, you can see how powerful these key features are in the Professional version of Microsoft Project. They extend the capabilities of Microsoft Project 2010 and make it a great platform to help facilitate project management, portfolio management, and business strategies.

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