As of March 2019, CERN is no longer eligible for academic licences of Microsoft products. For this reason, CERN IT started a series of task forces to respond to the evolving requirements of the user community with the goal of reducing as much as possible the need for Microsoft licensed software. This exercise was an opportunity to understand better the user requirements for all office applications. Here we focus on MS Project, the dominant PC-based project management software, which has been used at CERN for many years. There were over 1500 installations at CERN when the task force started, with a heterogeneous pool of users in terms of required functionality, area of work and expertise. This paper will present an evaluation of users’ needs and whether they could be fulfilled with cheaper and less advanced solutions for project management and scheduling. Moreover, selected alternatives, their deployment and lessons learned will be described in more detail. Finally, it will present the approach on how to communicate, train and migrate users to the proposed solutions.
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