Resource Leveling – Manual or Automatic?

By | December 22nd, 2010|Project Management Software, RationalPlan, Resource Management|2 Comments

Many clients contact us and ask if our RationalPlan suite has the capability to level resources. The short answer is YES. But it seems that for many project managers this short answer is not enough and the discussion continues over the type of resource leveling mechanism.

We all know that there are two possible ways to do it using a project management software: manually and automatically. And from here it starts a very long debate that appears from time to time on various places over the Internet. One such debate that I read these days happened on The Project Manager Network a LinkedIn group for project managers.

The arguments are on both sides but to me it is more than clear that the only really useful method is the manual resource leveling. It is just impossible for an application to take into account all the possible conditions and restrictions from the real world projects in order to produce good results through an automatic leveling. It is true that in certain simpler cases the results can be satisfactory but this is just good luck. No matter what project management application you use and what method you choose the project managers must always check by hand the results of a resource leveling action.

These being said and based on the answers of other project managers that I have read it seems that automatic resource leveling is not helping to much and for this reason it is not used. The preferred solution is to do it manually.

RationalPlan – a feature-packed and ergonomic project management suite

By | December 15th, 2010|Project Management Software, RationalPlan, Reviews|Comments Off on RationalPlan – a feature-packed and ergonomic project management suite

The editors from 3d2f.com published a review for our RationalPlan suite that we shall publish in this post:

If you are a project manager, you know well that the success of any project heavily depends on your ability to interpret the client’s requirements, efficiently communicate them to the team, assess risks and factor them into the cost and duration estimates, closely monitor tasks on the critical path/chain, as well as to create detailed project plans that are easy to follow and hand over to another project manager, if need be. All of the above requires a great deal of skill and knowledge, as well as reliable and easy to use PM tools. So if you’ve got everything a good PM has, but are still on the look for the right software, check out RationalPlan!

RationalPlan is a convenient project management suite covering every aspect of the typical PM process. With RationalPlan, you can keep the company’s resources and the project budget under control using built-in cost estimation and cash-flow monitoring tools, tackle such issues as delays and buffer overflows, keep track of the overall project progress using key indices and even simulate various project evolution scenarios! The program offers a wide assortment of PM tools, from Gantt charts to WBS trees, and minimizes the familiarization time with the help of a clean and intuitive user interface.

If you are seeking a project management tool that will help you get your work done more efficiently than ever, don’t miss RationalPlan!

JasperReports and iReports tutorial for JAVA using subreports with different datasources

By | December 8th, 2010|RationalPlan|Comments Off on JasperReports and iReports tutorial for JAVA using subreports with different datasources

Here at RationalPlan we are working on a way to generate reports. We chose JasperReports for Java and iReports as the graphical interface for a visual creation of the report layout. It is a daunting task because there are no tutorials which describe in detail how to create a master report with many subreports each  with their different datasource and if you want to read the documentation you have to pay for it. After accomplishing what we proposed we thought that is a good idea to share our knowledge and experience.

1. Creating the main report layout

First let’s start by opening iReport and creating the main report as shown in the figure (in this tutorial there were used the latest versions of  iReport(3.7.6) and JasperReports(3.7.6)).

main report layout

If you don’t know how to make the main report to look like this search about iReports tutorial on different search engines or post here and we shall try to help you as much as we can. After finishing it press the “Preview” button and if there are no errors in the iReport console then you can compile your report by clicking “Compile report” icon. A new file with the .jasper extension will be created in the same folder as the .jrxml file.

2. Creating the main report custom datasource

After successfully completing the first step you must create the custom datasource in your java application. (more…)

RationalPlan Project Management Software Version 3.20 Is Officially Launched

By | December 8th, 2010|Microsoft Project, News, Project Management Software, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan Project Management Software Version 3.20 Is Officially Launched

Stand By Soft announces the new release of RationalPlan Project Management Software. The new version 3.20 comes with many new features like filters on tasks, better Microsoft Project integration, increased execution time, easier to use interface and the list continues. Plus by the end of the year RationalPlan Project Server will be offered for free to all users.

RationalPlan is a Microsoft Project alternative with additional features like multiple projects management, shared resources, email integration developed to assist project managers in creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets and analyzing workload. RationalPlan Project Server is a concurrent user project management software developed to improve the existing RationalPlan suite of project management products by adding a server module that gives project managers concurrent access to a central project data repository when creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets or analyzing workload.

Important changes added to this version:

  • Added filters for tasks
  • Better Microsoft Project integration including external tasks
  • Execution time improvement while in Gantt Chart view
  • Added default work-driven, fixed-units and resource forced-working values per project
  • Added new columns for tasks like ID, predecessors and successors
  • Improved the possibility to create dependencies using task IDs
  • Added new units like months and years duration and work
  • Added a User Account page and the possibility to change password into RationalPlan Project Server
  • Possibility to handle large files
  • Memory leaks fixes

At users requests the new version offers support for task filtering in Gantt Chart view and includes many types of filters. Among them it is worth to be mentioned:incomplete tasks, late tasks, tasks with deadlines, milestones, completed tasks, tasks with calendar, conflicting tasks, tasks with calendar, a.s.o.

While previous version added support for opening MS Project 2010 files in RationalPlan current version offers a better integration for external tasks. This includes representation of external tasks with gray color both on Gantt chart and in the task table. MS Project users will be able now to port their projects to RationalPlan Multi Project to see and manage them in a multiple projects software environment.

The resources now have the possibility to also filter the assignments using a late task filter. This will allow them to see all the tasks with completion date before current date that is all tasks that are late or behind the schedule. These assignments are rendered with red color to suggest the importance of these tasks. Another useful feature for resources is the ability to update the percentage completion of the assigned tasks. This way it is easier to keep the project evolution up to date since the project manager delegates the work of updating tasks completion to the corresponding resources.

Many changes where made to the application that makes working with RationalPlan more easier. Users will now have the possibility to create tasks by default as work-driven, fixed-units or to force assigned resources to work based on the calendar of the task. Also columns for ID, predecessors and successors where added for an easier tracking of the plan. The ID column is also useful when creating dependencies. Sometimes it is more easier to add predecessors or successors based on the task ID instead of its name.

Certain changes where also made to the project server product allowing users to easier manage the database: password reset mechanism, automatic version upgrade notification, etc.

Some memory leaks problems where solved and the execution time while in Gantt chart was improved allowing RationalPlan to run faster and work with larger files.

RationalPlan suite includes:

RationalPlan Single Project – project management software for single projects
RationalPlan Multi Project – project management software for multiple projects, projects that are interconnected through dependencies and share common resource
RationalPlan Project Viewer – free project management software viewer, the solution for anyone (from project stakeholders to team workers) to view projects details
RationalPlan Project Server – a centralized management of company’s projects while offering concurrent/controlled access for different users

About Stand By Soft

Stand By Soft was founded in 1997 as a software company specialized in building desktop applications and components. RationalPlan is a project management software that follows the general recommended guidelines from project management domain. MOOS Project viewer is a Microsoft® Project viewer that allows you to open, view in a dynamic way and print any Microsoft® Project file

Contact name: Lucian Ioan
Address: Aleea Parului, Nr.4A, Craiova, Dolj, 200346, Romania
Email: marketing@rationalplan.com
Phone: +40727159969

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