What's new in Project 2016

As an Office 365 subscriber, you regularly get new and improved Office 2016 features. Take a look below to see what's available to you today.

Latest updates for Project 2016

See what's new and improved in the August 2017 feature update, Version 1708 (Build 8431.2079).
Find your Office version.

Link a Project task to Planner

If you're a Project Online subscriber, you can link a task in Microsoft Project to a plan in Microsoft Planner. In Planner, you can break the work down, build a team, assign tasks, and update status in an easy to use task board view.

To link your task to Planner:

  1. Select a task in Project, and then click the Planner button on the Task ribbon.

    Picture of Planner button on Task ribbon
  2. In the Link task to a plan pane, search for the group that your plan belongs to, and then choose the plan you want to link to from the list.

  3. Select Create link.

Your Project task is now linked to that plan, and the task owner in Project becomes an owner of this plan in Planner.

Want new features first?

Become an Office Insider and you'll be first in line to see new features and tell us what you think.

JOIN OFFICE INSIDER TODAY

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

More about releases

When do I get new features?
New Office 365 features are sometimes rolled out over a period of time to all subscribers.

See how features are rolled out

Complete list of all updates
Get information about all the channel releases for Office 365 client applications.

Latest releases

New for non-subscribers
Not an Office 365 subscriber but using Office 2016? Find out what's available in your version.

What's new in Office 2016?

Previous releases

See what's new and improved in the March 2017 feature update, Version 1703 (Build 7967.2139).
Find your Office version.

Link tasks using a drop-down menu

You no longer have to remember the ID of the task you want to link to. Instead, when you select a cell in the Predecessors column, and then select the down arrow, you'll see a list of all the tasks in your project. The task hierarchy and order matches your project exactly, making it easy for you to scroll to the right task and then select the check box beside it.

Screenshot of the predecessor column's drop-down menu in Project

You can also select tasks from the same kind of drop-down in the Successors column. For more details, see Link tasks in a project.

See what's new and improved in the January 2017 feature update, Version Version 1701 (Build 7766.2060).
Find your Office version.

Task Summary Name field

With long lists of tasks, it can be difficult to know what a task is indented under in the overall project plan. The Task Summary Name field is a read-only field that shows the name of a task's summary task. Adding this field as a column in your Task view can help clarify your project's structure. To add this field, right-click the title of a column (to the right of where you want to add the field), select Insert Column, and then choose Task Summary Name from the drop-down list.

Task Summary Name column

See what's new and improved in the November 2016 feature update, Version 1611 (Build 7571.2072).
Find your Office version.

Timeline bar labels and task progress

Communicating project progress just got easier! Timeline bars can now be labeled, and task progress is shown right on the tasks themselves, making it simple to quickly illustrate your plan and the work in progress when sharing status.

Timeline bars with labels and task progress

See what's new and improved in the October 2016 feature update, Version 1610 (Build 7466.2038).
Find your Office version.

In-App Feedback

Have a comment or suggestion about Microsoft Office? We need your feedback to help us deliver great products. In Project, you can suggest new features, tell us what you like or what's not working by clicking File > Feedback.

Click File > Feedback to offer comments or suggestions about Microsoft Project

See what's new and improved in the September 2015 feature update, Version 1509 (Build 4229.1024).
Find your Office version.

More flexible timelines

With Project 2016, not only can you leverage multiple timelines to illustrate different phases or categories of work, but you can also set the start and end dates for each timeline separately, to paint a clearer overall picture of the work involved.

Formatted timeline in Project

Want to learn more? Here's how to create timelines in Project 2016!

Better control over resource scheduling

Some resources have limited availability, and may have their time scheduled by a resource manager. With Project Professional 2016 and Project Online, project managers and resource managers can negotiate an agreement, called a resource engagement, to make sure that resources are being used appropriately and effectively throughout your organization.

Important: Resource engagements only work if you're using Project Professional 2016, connected to Project Online. If you are not connected to Project Online, the resource engagements functionality will be hidden from view. Project Standard 2016 does not include resource engagements.

How does it work? When a resource manager sets up the enterprise resource pool in Project Online, he or she can identify some resources as requiring approval to be assigned to projects.

When a project manager decides to use one of these resources on a project, he or she submits an engagement request with the date range for when the resource is needed, and either a certain percentage of that resource's time during that date range, or a set number of hours during that date range.

Add Engagement

The resource manager reviews this request, and can accept it, suggest changes, or reject it. The project manager refreshes the engagement status in the new Resource Plan view in Project Professional 2016 to see the resource manager's response.

Refresh button on the Engagements tab

Once the engagement is finalized, the project manager has the go-ahead to assign that resource to tasks in the project.

Do things quickly with Tell Me

You'll notice a text box on the ribbon in Project 2016 that says Tell me what you want to do. This is a text field where you can enter words and phrases related to what you want to do next and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. You can also choose to get help related to what you're looking for.

Tell me what you want to do

Query being entered into the "Tell me" box

New themes for Project

There are now three Office themes that you can apply to Project 2016: Colorful, Dark Gray, and White. To access these themes, go to File > Options > General, and then click the drop down menu next to Office Theme.

Office Theme pull down menu, Colorful, Dark Gray, and White theme options

Latest updates for Project Insiders

Keep reading to see what's new in Version 1710 (Build 8625.2055) for Insider Slow then tell us what you think. Your early feedback is invaluable, so keep it coming!

Use agile in Microsoft Project

If you're a Project Online subscriber, you can manage your projects and tasks using simple, visual task boards that support Scrum, Kanban, or custom workflows. You can turn on agile views for a current waterfall project, or create a new agile project from the File > New page. Using the Agile Tools tab, you can see board and list views, and switch back and forth between waterfall and agile views of the same tasks. Project also provides several agile-specific reports such as task status and sprint status. For more details, see Use agile in Microsoft Project.

Screenshot of the Project ribbon showing the Agile Tools tab

Discover Task Board view

Not committed to agile project management but still want to see your project tasks on a board? If you're a Project Online subscriber, you can see all your Project tasks laid out like cards on a board using Task Board view. Move task cards from column to column, name your own columns to create a custom workflow, and .

To see your project in Task Board view:

  1. In Project, on the View tab, in the Task Views group, choose Task Board.

  2. Make the columns match your project needs:

    • To change the name of a column, right-click the column name, choose Rename, type a new name, and then press Enter.

    • To add more columns, to the right of the last column, choose Add New Column, type a name, and then press Enter.

    Important: The column headers in the Task Board view are the same as the column headers for the agile tools in Project. So if you are using both agile and Task Board view, whatever changes you make to the column headers will show up in both views.

Even more features, even faster

All new features for Office Insiders

Find out all the new features across all Office apps and version and build information.

Check out what's new for Office Insiders

Want new features faster?

Enroll in the Office Insider FAST level and get access see the latest features even earlier.

See the Office Insider "How can I opt in?"

Be a part of the community

Answers Community - Office Insider Forum

Office Insider community

Connect with people who are as interested in technology as you are, and get support from the Office Insider community.

Visit the community

Office Insider Twitter

Follow us on @OfficeInsider

Join the growing community of experts and enthusiasts who are helping shape the future of Office.

Follow us on Twitter

Where to send feedback

We'd love to hear your thoughts about what works, what doesn't, and where you think we can improve. To report issues or send feedback, click File > Feedback from any Office 2016 app. You can also reach us by posting in the Office Insider community or tweeting at @OfficeInsider.

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×