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7 Reasons Why A Scheduling Tool Scores Over Excel Spreadsheet

By | April 29th, 2018|Project Management Software|2 Comments

Which tool would you use for project scheduling – a tool specifically designed for managing projects or Excel spreadsheet?

The answer is quite simple – a scheduling software is specifically designed for project management. It has many inherent advantages over spreadsheets like Excel or Google Sheets.

I guess you agree with me. But let me provide my reasons for my preference for a scheduling software like RationalPlan.

Appropriate Tool For Appropriate Jobs

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Which of the above picture suggests the right usage of fork & knife? The first picture. You would agree that fork and knife should be used for eating food and not medicine.

A hammer is no good for fixing screws and a screw-driver is not the right tool cutting wood. Similarly, PMs should use appropriate tools for managing projects.

You would say that this is simplistic example and it does not work in real world. So let me explain it further.

Microsoft Excel Vs. Scheduling Tool

How would a PM assign duties to team members and ensure task completion? How would a Customer keep an eye on work progression? How would a Sponsor track project expenses?

Excel would be a great bet if you want an isolated solution as an answer to the above questions. But project management is not done in isolation. It is a group effort.

There are many things that make a proper scheduling tool stand out from Excel. I can probably think of 100 things but I have made a group of 7 features that Excel just does not provide.

  1. Task creation, assignment, & tracking
  2. Resource planning & tracking
  3. Availability of Gantt charts for presentation & reporting
  4. Network diagrams for planning analysis
  5. Project performance dashboards
  6. Detailed project reports
  7. Team & stakeholder collaboration

You should also read more about advantages of PM software and why should you upgrade from spreadsheets to PM software. (more…)

RationalPlan 4.16 – Improved Web Interface and Translation to Ukrainian Language

By | September 14th, 2017|News, RationalPlan|0 Comments

RationalPlan 4.16

Starting with RationalPlan 4.16 the web interface of both the Cloud service and the Server product gets improved with several features while the On-Premise products become available in Ukrainian language. The communication protocol over the Internet gets updated to https and the integration with Microsoft Project 2016 is improved.

RationalPlan started as an easy to use and straightforward project management software but it evolved into an embedded and powerful system that is now available even as a project management cloud service both for individuals and for companies that need a distributed solution with concurrent access from multiple users.

Important changes for this version

For the online and server side segment:

  • Possibility to customize task colors on the Gantt chart
  • Added custom Data columns for tasks
  • Improved security through the use of https protocol

For the On-Premise products:

  • Highlight late tasks and tasks that hit the deadline date on Gantt chart
  • Translated to Ukrainian language
  • Improved support for MS Project 2016 files

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MOOS Project Viewer 3.2 – Support for Microsoft Project 2016 Files

By | August 18th, 2017|Microsoft Project, MOOS Project Viewer|0 Comments

MOOS Project Viewer version 3.2. adds support for opening Microsoft Project 2016 files. Further more the application now also supports files containing Estonian or Turkish characters.

After several months of development a major version was released that adds support for reading Microsoft Project 2016 files. Users can now open .mpp files generated with any version of MS Project including the latest one.

For those users that need to open .mpp files and see their content in a graphical way – just like in MS Project – then MOOS Project Viewer is the right solution. If no editing is needed then the price of a Microsoft Project license is not justified. Even more users will have the possibility to open the files on any operating system (Windows, Mac OS X , Linux) as the product is platform independent.

Multiple views are available and the files can be opened from external storage services as MOOS Project Viewer is integrated with Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. This way users can access the projects from any location and at any time. Printing is also available allowing users to generate customized reports.

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RationalPlan 4.15 – Microsoft Project 2016 Integration and Projects Dashboard Gets Out of Beta

By | February 13th, 2017|News, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan 4.15 – Microsoft Project 2016 Integration and Projects Dashboard Gets Out of Beta

RationalPlan Project Management SoftwareStarting with RationalPlan 4.15 the Projects dashboard for the web client is out of beta, the process of adding resources was simplified and the performance of Timesheet view was improved. Additionally it was added the possibility to read Microsoft Project 2016 files and more.

RationalPlan started as an easy to use and straightforward project management software but it evolved into an embedded and powerful system that is now available even as a project management cloud service both for individuals and for companies that need a distributed solution with concurrent access from multiple users.

Important changes for this version

For the online and server side segment:

  • Projects dashboard is out of beta
  • Simplified process for adding resources
  • Performance improvements for Timesheet view

For the On-Premise products:

  • Added support for MS Project 2016 files
  • Updated to Dropbox API 2.0
  • Introduced week numbering since project start
  • Added task highlighter in Portfolio view
  • Send assignments by email only for currently selected project
  • Bug fix for computing the critical path
  • Bug fix for daylight saving time

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RationalPlan 4.14 – Increased Collaboration Using Comments on Tasks and Support for Polish Language

By | August 31st, 2016|News, RationalPlan|0 Comments

RationalPlan Project Management SoftwareRationalPlan 4.14 offers increased collaboration by adding comments on tasks and automatic email notifications to users. Additionally the desktop products were translated into Polish.

RationalPlan started as an easy to use and straightforward project management software but it evolved into an embedded and powerful system that is now available even as a project management cloud service both for individuals and for companies that need a distributed solution with concurrent access from multiple users.

Important changes for this version

  • Increased collaboration using comments on tasks and email notifications
  • Translated into Polish language
  • Send assignments by email in .ics format using task UID in order to avoid duplicate events
  • Added support for Vietnamese characters when exporting to MS Project .xml file and .xls file

Adding comments on tasks while managing work within the Cloud is a feature aiming to increase collaboration among users. Instead of using communication solutions like email, phone calls or other external software tools, users will be able to discuss different task related issues directly within RationalPlan by adding comments. Everyone that is interested on a certain task – like the project manager, a responsible or the assigned resources – will get notifications by email whenever a comment is added on that task. (more…)

5 Tips for Coming Up with Great Project Ideas

By | May 11th, 2016|Business Management|0 Comments

Some organizations, including small businesses, may want to start side projects to supplement their revenue, invest parts of their capital, or simply keep their employees occupied full time while waiting for a larger project to start. Coming up with a great project idea is not impossible, as not all great ideas have already been discovered, but it is not a simple task that a person alone or even a team can do over the weekend. Here are some tips for coming up with great ideas for projects:

Define what “great” means

Define what a “great” project would mean for your organization. A great project is one that is not too small, as the deliverables may not be valuable enough to worth the investment of resources, but not too ambitious either because such project would mean high investment, too many risks, complicated project management, and even not enough resources available. A great side project is one that is possible with the resources available in the organization right now. A great side project is one where employees feel that they are creating value and that they own the project. So, as a first step, great project ideas should come from the project team members themselves.

Take your time to find ideas

Give your team enough time to come up with great project ideas. In general, great ideas are not exactly “Eureka!” moments; it takes time to find them. But many people and many organizations are not willing to put up that much time, which makes great ideas, when they do surface, even more valuable. (more…)

Want to get project disciplines into your organization fast? Here’s how

By | April 21st, 2016|Project Management, Project Management Software|0 Comments

 Introducing Project Disciplines is hard work

Lots of companies find introducing project disciplines slow, difficult and not very exciting.  Staff often show resistance and it can be hard to get buy in and commitment at executive level where other stuff is seen as more important or pressing.

Well here’s some good news.  The best way to get some project disciplines in fast is to buy a project management package.

But before you get too excited and start reaching for the cheque book, you need to make sure that you chose the right package.

Choose the right project management software

Choose the right software and accompany it with a process for running projects and some training and you’re cooking on gas.

If you choose well, your project management package will do all of the following:

  • Provide the means for project managers to produce plans and keep them up to date
  • Capture time worked and optimise staff utilisation
  • Capture and track financials
  • Monitor project status and publish project status reports
  • Facilitate executive level reporting on all of the above

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The Genie of Project Management

By | April 14th, 2016|PM Jokes|0 Comments

Genie of Project ManagementThree men: a project manager, a software engineer, and a hardware engineer are helping out on a project. About midweek they decide to walk up and down the beach during their lunch hour. Halfway up the beach, they stumbled upon a lamp. As they rub the lamp a genie appears and says:

Normally I would grant you three wishes, but since there are three of you, I will grant you each one wish.

The hardware engineer went first:

I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in St. Thomas with no money worries.

The genie granted him his wish and sent him off to St. Thomas.

The software engineer went next:

I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean with no money worries.

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RationalPlan Project Management Software Translated To Russian Language

By | February 12th, 2016|News, RationalPlan|0 Comments

Starting with latest version RationalPlan products are also available in Russian language. Stand By Soft company hopes to better serve Russian users regarding their needs for project management software and at the same time to increase the number of users. This is a new market where RationalPlan is aiming to become a significant player.

RationalPlan was created mainly for novice project managers by taking them step by step through the whole process of planning and managing a project. The application uses an embedded project guide that follows the recommended guidelines from PMBOK.

It is a project management software developed to assist project managers in creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets and analyzing workload. Although initially designed as an affordable alternative to Microsoft Project – but with the advantage of being able to operate on various platforms including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux – it became a powerful project portfolio management system. Further more, based on user requests, RationalPlan team put the accent on collaboration features and now the product can also be used as a teamwork solution to increase productivity and it is no longer just a desktop application. It can be used as a cloud service by multiple users with live concurrent access on a common pool of projects and resources.

RationalPlan suite includes:

RationalPlan Single – an alternative to Microsoft Project and the perfect solution for novice or accidental project managers
RationalPlan Multi – a project portfolio management solution for those users that have projects interconnected through dependencies and share common resources
RationalPlan Viewer – a free viewer, the solution for anyone (from project stakeholders to team workers) to view project details
RationalPlan Server – a centralized place to manage the company’s projects while offering concurrent access to multiple users

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