Chapter 1. Setting up the application

1. What is RationalPlan ?

RationalPlan is a software family designed to assist project managers along the life cycle of their projects.

It comprises three different desktop products:

a) RationalPlan Single Project

b) RationalPlan Multi Project (as a stand alone application or client for RationalPlan Project Server)

c) RationalPlan Project Viewer

RationalPlan Project Server web interface (for administration and Company's data management) has its own tutorial and is not intended to be described below.

1.1. RationalPlan Single Project

This product is suitable to manage independent projects (no common resources, no interrelations between projects).

It has the most important features for a project management software:

  • associate general project information (name, notes, links, assumptions, constraints, risks)

  • create, edit and delete calendars

  • build schedules

  • create and assign resources to tasks

  • good cost management abilities

  • project tracking tools (critical path, mark completion value for tasks, work and cost timephased information)

  • export to Microsoft Project (.xml format) and Microsoft Excel

  • import from Microsoft Project (.mpp, .xml, .mpx, .mpt)

  • printable reports (to printer or to file - pdf format)

  • feature-rich Print Preview interface

1.2. RationalPlan Multi Project

Is the right choice if you have to share company resources across projects and to manage interdependencies between projects.

It has all RationalPlan Single Project features, and some more:

  • resources data (work, cost, overallocation) are calculated considering their assignments in all projects

  • allows links between tasks pertaining to different projects

  • analyzes all your projects' data with Project Portfolio view

  • connects with RationalPlan Project Server to store all Company's projects in a centralized place where they can be accessed concurrently by project managers and other stakeholders

1.3. RationalPlan Project Viewer

The Viewer is an additional tool developed to share your project in his original file format (.xrp), but it can be used as well to open Microsoft Project files (.mpp, .mpt, .xml, .mpx). Basically it is useful to any stakeholder that need to check and overview the projects' evolution into their smallest detail without making changes to the schedule, and for resources to see their assignments.

The major features of the Project Viewer are:

  • opens files created either with Single Project or Multi Project version

  • opens Microsoft Project files (.mpp, .mpt, .xml, .mpx)

  • all original views and data are available

  • export to other formats and printing are active

  • view/hide critical path command is enabled