Microsoft Project is a project management software program, developed and sold by Microsoft, which is designed to assist a project manager in developing a plan, assigning resources to tasks, tracking progress, managing the budget, and analyzing workloads.
Microsoft Project was the company's third Microsoft Windows-based application, and within a couple of years of its introduction it became the dominant PC-based project management software. Microsoft Project's proprietary file format is .mpp.
Project creates budgets based on assignment work and resource rates. As resources are assigned to tasks and assignment work estimated, the program calculates the cost, equal to the work times the rate, which rolls up to the task level and then to any summary tasks and finally to the project level. Resource definitions (people, equipment and materials) can be shared between projects using a shared resource pool.
The application creates critical path schedules, and critical chain and event chain methodology third-party add-ons also are available. Schedules can be resource leveled, and chains are visualized in a Gantt chart.