The prevalence of mobile devices continues to shape how we go about our daily lives. According to the above article, no other technology has impacted us like the mobile phone. It’s the fastest growing manmade phenomenon ever, from zero to over 7 billion in about three decades, and it’s showing no signs of slowing.
This phenomenon and its continued progress (i.e. the journey from Carphone to Cell phone to Smartphone) coincides with the growth and expansion of the fastest growing and largest generation since the Baby Boomers. By the middle of 2015, Millennials overtook Baby boomers and thus became the largest generation. This is significant in that generations shape everything from culture to politics and, of course, business and commerce. Along with becoming the current largest generation, Millennials are the emerging workforce. They are digital natives who grew up with personal computers, laptops, the Internet at home, smartphones and tablet devices.
From portable to mobile
Thus, our continued move to a mobile world is not all that surprising. The BYOD movement is another example of the crossover of our personal and professional lives. There’s no getting away from it: more and more, we’re doing our work outside of the traditional spaces and traditional hours. The enterprise is certainly catching on, with new apps that are designed for better productivity and collaboration popping up all the time. One of the latest productivity apps to be released by Microsoft is the Office 365 Project Time Reporter mobile app, and it happens to be something we at Program Framework are very interested in.
One of the strongest elements of Project Online is its flexibility. It’s as easy as ever to access your project files, wherever and whenever. You don’t need to carry important data on flash drives or cart your work laptop around with you when you’re on the move. As well as this, projects are not static things; they are dynamic and always changing and updating (and hopefully progressing), which is why it’s essential to stay right up to date with status reports and other live data. With Project Online your team can do this in real time, just as easily as checking a website. And because Project Online is built on Office 365, it’s extremely compatible with other apps and tools that belong in your Microsoft investment. This makes collaboration a breeze.
This is, of course, all to say that the addition of the Office 365 Project Time Reporter mobile app makes Project Online even more flexible—enabling your team to stay even closer in touch with that’s happening across their projects.
The next step in mobile project management
The 20th of September saw the release of the Office 365 Project Time Reporter mobile app for Apple iOS. It comes after Microsoft’s announcement last year of a forthcoming collection of lightweight and innovative mobile project management apps designed to complement Microsoft Project Online and Office 365.
The app is designed to allow your team members to submit timesheets, produce progress reports on tasks that are tracked on Project Online. This will be useful to all, but especially those members of your team that spend a lot of their time on the road, meeting clients, or jetting from meeting to meeting or site to site and need a way to document their progress and productivity on the go. With the Office 365 Project Time Reporter on iPhone, your team can:
- Add new assignments to their Timesheet
- Add non-project work
- Create new personal tasks in Timesheet view
- Save Timesheets so that they can be returned to later or sent into the office for review
- Track their current and overdue tasks in the Tasks view
- Filter and sort tasks making them easier to find
- Submit status updates
- Easily recall timesheets if needed
The app, on iOS, has an intuitive User Interface and will mean navigation feels familiar for anyone who has previously used an iPhone, whether professionally or in their lives away from the office. On that point, it’s curious, for a Microsoft product, that the Project Time Reporter app is currently only available on iOS. A few years ago, you may not have expected Microsoft to release a mobile app that’s only available on Apple’s operating system and devices. It’s testament to Microsoft’s constant evolving of their business, as well as how much mobile has changed the enterprise world that we are seeing a move like this.
There will be Android and Windows Phone versions of the app coming to their various stores soon, of course. But, for now, on iPhone, Microsoft PPM has just added another string to its bow.
To learn more about how Program Framework can help you get the most out of your Microsoft Project portfolio Management investments—including Project Online and the Project Time Reporter app, among other tools and solutions—get in contact today.