Apps are currently flooding the market. I have analyzed these trends a while ago. At the bottom line, the market is expanding exponentially. By end of 2013 there are 2 billion apps sold – every week. Read this article for details.
While the private app markets are exploding, the enterprise markets are still in its infancy. Apps on platforms like Office 365 or Project Online or SharePoint Online have been announced in late 2012. First apps have been published but the tipping point has not been reached for quite a while. The reason is obvious: All platforms have been fairly new to the market and enterprises need to implement those first to use the apps.
Once, enterprises take the impulses from the private market and build on platforms like Office 365 or SharePoint Online, they can easily provide access to the Office store on https://store.office.com/ and open the field for productivity enhancements.
As a project manager working with Microsoft tools like SharePoint and Project Server regularly, I did research in the app Office store. Here are my top apps to increase the daily work productivity:
An add-in for your Project Professional client that evaluates the tasks in your schedule against a set of pre-defined Best Practice checks and assessments.
Direct link: https://store.office.com/task-auditor-WA104172076.aspx
Reporting with Milestone Trend Analysis
Reporting App to showcase a key trend report that every Project Manager needs. The app adds snapshot capabilities to Microsoft Project. You can easily take snapshots to save a copy of your milestone dates. Once done, you can analyze the results in a trend analysis chart that visualizes these dates comparable in a graph.
A dashboard for Project
An add-in for Project Professional that visualizes planning data for this project in a task pane. It helps project managers to update the schedule regularly.
Agile planning with a task board
A Task Board app to visualize tasks on a board. It brings a SharePoint list where tasks can be added and updated with Drag & Drop capabilities. Great if working together in teams on a big touch-enabled screen.
Well, this is my personal current shortlist. Of course, there are tons of other apps to increase your productivity. Need to schedule a meeting like on doodle? Manage your project risks? Edit multiple project meta data at a time? Create a meeting workspace? Check-out the Office store at https://store.office.com/ for more impulses.
What you definitely should think about is the business case of those apps. They are for free or only for little money. At least if you compare it to the development of own solutions. On the one hand, flexibility of those apps is quite low – again compared to self-made solutions. On the other hand, those apps are usually provided by larger companies that will maintain and update those apps once in a time. No specification, no programming, no product management. It’s just a lean integration job on your side and you can profit from theses valuable productivity enhancements.