Project Lite: More affordable access for Project Online Team Members

On Thursday May 1st 2014 we launched the new lower priced subscription option for Project Online Team Members called Project Lite. For just $7 this allows your team members to do all the functions they need, like managing their tasks, turning in their timesheets and collaborating with the rest of their team.  Our UA team have put together some super content at to help you understand where this more affordable options fits in.


This isn’t anything new in terms of features, and not something you’d just buy on its own as it only makes sense to use it as part of your bigger Project Online package.  The easiest way to buy would be to sign in to your Office 365 Admin Center (or get your admin to do it if you don’t have access) and navigate to Purchase Services on the left hand side.  This will always take you to this Url – so you could click right here - and then scroll down to find Project Lite.


Most organizations will likely need some Project Online licenses to get them started for their administrators, executives and other managers who can use all the web features of Project Online.  Then for project managers, perhaps some portfolio managers and resource managers, the Project Pro for Office 365 with Project Online licenses will give them all the web stuff plus the full capabilities of Project Pro for Office 365 – the desktop client for complex project management (Project Professional) – then for team members who will be working on the tasks and submitting their updates and collaborating on documents related to the project they just need a Project Lite license.  Something for everyone!

In Project Online you would allocate a Project Lite license the same as any other license – from the users and group option in the Office 365 Admin Portal.


You wouldn’t need to also give team members any other Project Online license – if they needed more then they should have the other license level and give the Project Lite license to someone else – we wouldn’t want you to pay us twice!   You would also need to Share the site(s) they needed.  The correct permission level to give them would be Team Member for Project Web App.  If you use Project Server Permission mode then they should be in the Team Members group.

If you haven’t started your journey yet with Project Online then the Get Started guide on is the place for you!

Comments (21)

  1. anonymouscommenter says:

    Hi Brian, just a question: what happens if a Project administrator modify “team members” group (with Project Server permissions)? Allowing for example more authorizations or more associations with categories? Many thanks for your aticle!

  2. What happens Vincent is that you would be exceeding the rights of the Project Lite license.
    Best regards,

  3. anonymouscommenter says:

    Hi Brian, can executives who only need to view all project information from Project Center, contribute to Project Sites and view reports use the Project Lite license?

  4. No Woon Woon, executives would still require the full license.
    Best regards,

  5. anonymouscommenter says:

    Hi Brian,

    If I create a custom security group for my team member, what are the permissions & categories settings that falls under the Project Lite license?

  6. anonymouscommenter says:

    Brian, maybe you can help me sort through how this works?

    1) Project Manager – Create a new Project in PWA (Requires full expensive license – get that)

    2) Team member – wants to view and update tasks in PWA only – does this require a lite license? If so, this is crazy as we would have hundreds of developers looking at task assignments and possibly updating status
    3) Technical Lead – Typically already has a copy of Project Professional 2013, would like to sync with projects already created on PWA and edit and save using Project Professional 2013 – Would a Project Lite license allow Project Professional to access PWA
    to save / edit exciting projects?

    If (2) = Lite License, and (3) = full license then you lost us as a PWA customer as it doesn’t scale for our organization. Our per year licensing fee for PWA access would likely be 6 figures. I suspect other companies would feel the same way. We would likely
    use Sharepoint task lists and sync with Project Professional as it would give us most of what we need with no additional licensing costs, or possibly just use sharepoint to manage sharing of mpp and get manual feedback from team members and send out pdf schedules
    the old fashion way.


  7. anonymouscommenter says:

    Hi Brain,
    What do you recommended to assign permissions for team members (with Project Lite) in case than we need to restrict of review all projects. Because if we use the Team Member for Project Web App user can it.

  8. Sorry for the delayed responses – but Woon Woon – use Team Member as the template for any Project Lite Custom group. Aaron – not sure what the issue is with having your developers need Project Lite licenses – this isn’t as well as a Project Online license
    – so they need a license. For 3, yes, they would need a full license. If you feel SharePoint would give you enough capabilities then sounds like the best way to go if you feel there is not value in PWA for you at that price.
    Igor – the team member level gives the Project Lite licensee the appropriate permissions – if you need more granular data access control then Project Server permission mode may be more appropriate than SharePoint permissions.
    Best regards,

  9. anonymouscommenter says:

    I’m trying to get my head around what licensing is needed per role. So to add to Aaron’s question. Say I want all data to reside in SharePoint Online. Is this what I need?:

    1> Project Managers: Project Pro for 365 + Project Online
    2> Project Managers who already have Project Pro: Project Online
    3> Execs who just want to read status reports and see slippage: SharePoint Online + ?
    4> Team Members: Project Lite

    If there isn’t already a 365 subscription in place do any of these plans include that?

  10. anonymouscommenter says:

    Dear Brian,

    I have assigned the Project Lite license to one of my user but I couldn’t find a link to download the software in the user’s 365 account.

    Under the software session, I can only see the option below:
    1. One Drive
    2. Tools and add-ins
    3. Desktop Setup
    4. Phone & Tablet

    On the other hand, I saw Projects as a option in my 365 accounts. Of course, my account is assigned with the license for Projects.

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

  11. anonymouscommenter says:

    We own 2 Project Online licenses and 3 Project Lite. Do we all need to own a Project Online license to have full access to everything? We all need the ability to create new projects and edit things as we see fit. We are a small team of 5. Any advice would be

  12. anonymouscommenter says:


  13. anonymouscommenter says:

    Since I could not see the answers to Aaron’s and Bob’s questions above, I will ask similar questions again. Would someone confirm what type of licenses for each role:
    1> Project Managers: Project Pro for 365 + Project Online
    2> Project Managers who already have Project Pro: Project Online
    3> Execs who just want to read status reports and see slippage: SharePoint Online + ?
    4> Team Members: Project Lite
    what about team member such as a business person who never really update anything in the project plan, do they still need a Project Lite licenses?

    Please let me know.

    1. Hi Hong, it really depends on the exact use cases but you are pretty close. If Execs are accessing reporting data from Project though they would need a Project Online license – even if it was being presented through different dashboards. Same goes for you final comment regarding the business person. The licensing term used for this kind of access is multiplexing.
      Best regards,

  14. Jorge Oscar Gamez Santana says:

    hi all good afternoon , my question is very specific , Qusiera know the capabilities of the project license lite , specifically whether a license lite project can be assigned to a project leader and perform all the functions of leader with that license.?
    create projects, etc.

    1. Sorry Jorge, but no – the Project Lite license is just for team members – not leaders – it would not give you the rights to create projects. A full Project Online license would be required by the leader.
      Best regards,

      1. Jorge Oscar Gamez Santana says:

        thank you very much.

      2. Jorge Oscar Gamez Santana says:

        Hello, thank you very much for the answer , let me comment you said if I could do have a user with project lite license, settings sites project I have configured security style mode permits project instead of that comes by default sharepoint , create the user and assign the security group project manager and would not have any problem frame, I guess this is a bug in Microsoft , because with this license allows me to create projects , and if I assign also a project pro for office 365 allows me to make the connection with the application .
        thank you very much for your reply , greetings .

        1. Hi Jorge, it is not a bug – but you will be breaking your license agreement by assigning permissions that a team member should not have. The fact that the permissions are not enforced by the software does not mean you can ignore the license agreement – so please remove the project manager permissions and/or purchase the correct licenses that your users need to do their jobs.
          Best regards,

  15. Bhaskar says:

    Does someone need to be a “owner” to be able to add tasks? I’d like to limit the number of owners for specific projects, but still allow all team members to add tasks as needed. A limited test found that someone with “member” permission couldn’t add tasks, but as soon as he became an “owner”, he was able to do it. Any way to give people permission to add tasks without making them owners?

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