RationalPlan Multi Project Software Review: HPS Maintenance & Restoration

By | November 10th, 2010|Microsoft Project, Project Management Software, RationalPlan, Reviews|Comments Off on RationalPlan Multi Project Software Review: HPS Maintenance & Restoration

Tony Kramer, a senior contract manager at HPS Maintenance & Restoration, faced challenges trying to communicate complicated project details using Excel spreadsheets. At the same time, he did not have the budget to invest in a full-blown construction project management tool like Microsoft Project or Primavera P3. So Kramer scoured the Internet until he stumbled upon RationalPlan. At a cost of only £60, it was cheap enough that he could just dive in.

RationalPlan does not have all the bells and whistles of some of its more expensive competitors, but it does have all the basic features Kramer requires. For example, Kramer appreciates the ability to be able to pass detailed planning information on to his contract manager. In addition, the application makes it easy for multiple people to keep track of the status of projects without a lot of back and forth phone calls.

Kramer rates RationalPlan an 8 out of 10 and recommends the software to anyone planning medium sized jobs or who needs to send a schedule to an outside body via a PDF file.

Here is the full review for RationalPlan Multi Project.

Project Management Software From RationalPlan Is Now Compatible with Microsoft Project 2010

By | November 9th, 2010|Microsoft Project, News, Project Management Software, RationalPlan|Comments Off on Project Management Software From RationalPlan Is Now Compatible with Microsoft Project 2010

Stand By Soft is pleased to announce that its project management software suite RationalPlan is now compatible with Microsoft Project 2010. Now users will be able to integrate RationalPlan with Microsoft Project and have back and forward compatibility for 2010 generated files. Plus the new version adds the possibility to configure printed reports by adding company brand through the use of a logo and name.

RationalPlan can be considered an affordable Microsoft Project alternative with additional features like multiple projects management, shared resources and email integration developed to assist project managers from novice to experienced in creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets and analyzing workload. The integration with RationalPlan Project Server also offers a concurrent project management system that will increase collaboration between users and add a more efficient solution to keep projects on time and under budget.

Important changes added to this version:

  • Added support for Microsoft Project 2010 files
  • Added work column when emailing assignments
  • Added header with company logo for printing

Besides Microsoft Project 2010 compatibility and printing customization current version also adds more details for the regular reports sent to resources by email. They will now be able to also see how much work they need to perform to accomplish the assigned tasks.

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

RationalPlan is designed as an affordable alternative to Microsoft Project with some extra-features like multiproject management and it is covering project management area from WBS construction, project planning and scheduling to critical path management, over allocated resources detection, progress tracking, cost estimation, etc. It offers you the most important capabilities of a good project management software while being able to operate on various platforms starting with Windows, Mac, Linux and all other Java enabled platforms.

RationalPlan Project Management Software is available at http://www.rationalplan.com. It can be download from https://www.rationalplan.com/download.php.

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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The Fools With The Tools Make The Rules

By | October 19th, 2010|Microsoft Project, Project Management Software|Comments Off on The Fools With The Tools Make The Rules

Today I had the chance to read a very short and awesome post written by Oliver Widder on his Geek & Poke website. Here it is:

Although the example is given for Microsoft Project it does not matter what project management software you use. The idea is the same. Who is using who? Are you using the tool or are you being used by the tool?

Many project managers believe that by using a project management tool it is enough to achieve the project success. That is wrong! The most important thing is to know what you are doing. A very powerful project management software is not more helpful than any other weaker solution unless the project manager knows what he has to do.

Conclusion: In project management the tools do not guaranty the success of a project. They are rather something that help the project manager.

Project Management Server Solution From RationalPlan Is Officially Launched

By | October 13th, 2010|News, Project Management Software, Project Portfolio Management, RationalPlan|Comments Off on Project Management Server Solution From RationalPlan Is Officially Launched

Stand By Soft announces the official release of RationalPlan Project Server. The product is out of Beta and it is available for interested users on request. By the end of the year the server will also be offered for free to all users. Plus the new version adds useful features like online launch from browser for RationalPlan Multi Project, automatic version upgrade mechanism, more filters, updates for tasks, a short online tutorial and much more.

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.

RationalPlan can be considered a Microsoft Project alternative with additional features like multiple projects management, shared resources and email integration.

Important changes added to this version:

  • Update tasks directly from browser
  • About information
  • Multi Project launch button on login page
  • Role column on users page
  • Online tutorial
  • Version update mechanism
  • Late task filter for assignments

With current version users get better feedback from the interface like about information, an online tutorial and the possibility to launch RationalPlan Multi Project directly from browser as a Java Webstart application. The about information lets users know different details about their server like the path to the database, version, to whom it is licensed and so on.

From this point the administrator will also be able to see the role of each user in the users table. This makes easier to manage users and licenses based on their roles. Also since it was implemented an automatic version update mechanism the process of upgrading the server is easier and the administrator has the possibility to download and install the new version without the need to contact RationalPlan team.

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.

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

RationalPlan is designed as an affordable alternative to Microsoft Project with some extra-features like multiproject management and it is covering project management area from WBS construction, project planning and scheduling to critical path management, over allocated resources detection, progress tracking, cost estimation, etc. Gantt chart support as well as various time line reports are also provided. It offers you the most important capabilities of a good project management software while being able to operate on various platforms starting with Windows, Mac, Linux and all other Java enabled platforms.

RationalPlan Project Management Software is available at http://www.rationalplan.com. It can be download from https://www.rationalplan.com/download.php.

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: +40771610710

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Project Management Suite RationalPlan Adds Budgeting Solution and Filtering Options For Its Server Product

By | September 6th, 2010|Microsoft Project, News, Project Management Software, RationalPlan|Comments Off on Project Management Suite RationalPlan Adds Budgeting Solution and Filtering Options For Its Server Product

Stand By Soft announces the release of version 3.18.1 of RationalPlan Project Management Suite. The new version adds a budgeting mechanism for the Multi Project product and more filters for assignments in the web interface for the Project Server product.

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 suite of 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 of this version:

  • Added budgeting mechanism in RationalPlan Multi
  • Added filters for assignments in RationalPlan Server
  • Bug fixes

Current version adds budgeting possibilities to RationalPlan Multi Project. Users can now define an initial budget for their products and use it at any time against the new total cost of the project. Based on the percent completion of a project the application computes a budget variance that will indicate to the project manager if the project is over or under the initial estimated budget. This is a good solution for the project manager to make a comparison of the actual project with the initial planned one. The analysis can be used to detect potential problems that can be used as experience for future related projects.

For those companies that use RationalPlan Project Server the resources now have the possibility to to filter the assignments using multiple filters. They will be able to see pending assignments, upcoming (current week) assignments or assignments with deadlines. An additional help is the assignments color coding. This way every resource will quickly be able to detect uncompleted tasks or tasks with deadlines.

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

RationalPlan is designed as an affordable alternative to Microsoft Project with some extra-features like multiproject management and it is covering project management area from WBS construction, project planning and scheduling to critical path management, over allocated resources detection, progress tracking, cost estimation, etc. Gantt chart support as well as various time line reports are also provided. It offers you the most important capabilities of a good project management software while being able to operate on various platforms starting with Windows, Mac, Linux and all other Java enabled platforms.

RationalPlan Project Management Software is available at http://www.rationalplan.com. It can be download from https://www.rationalplan.com/download.php.

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

###

Review – RationalPlan Multi Project

By | July 29th, 2010|Microsoft Project, Project Management Software, Project Portfolio Management, RationalPlan, Reviews|Comments Off on Review – RationalPlan Multi Project

We are continuing the series of reviews for our products. This time Preetam Kaushik from Bright Hub has written a RationalPlan Multi Project review. Here it goes:

RationalPlan Multi Project, the powerful multi-project management software enables developing of project plans, allocating resources, monitoring project progress, managing budgets and analyzing workload of all inter-related projects with common resources and shared dependencies.

Overview Rating Good

RationalPlan Multi Project (www.rationalplan.com) is well-conceived project management software that is principally geared for people who have to centrally manage projects. RationalPlan Multi Project, as the name indicates, is designed for simultaneously handling multiple projects that are interwoven with common resources and task dependencies.

RationalPlan – Project Module and Technical Compatibility Rating Good

The key functions of RationalPlan Multi Project are to develop plans, assess work pressure, assign tasks, monitor budgetary limits, control finances and track project progress. In a nutshell, RationalPlan Multi Project is capable of scheduling, estimating, improving the overall efficiency of team members and comprehensively managing inter-related multiple projects untill completion.

Computer professionals acknowledge RationalPlan Project software as not only as an alternative to Microsoft Project but even more powerful as RationalPlan has quite a few extra-features; including the complex multi-project management. It must also be noted that RationalPlan can be operated on various platforms – Windows, Mac OS X, Linux as well as all other Java enabled platforms.
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RationalPlan Review

By | July 19th, 2010|Microsoft Project, Project Management Software, RationalPlan, Reviews|Comments Off on RationalPlan Review

While browsing the Internet and reading articles related to project management I reached Ian Burgess blog. And after reading some of his posts I just felt the need to get his opinion on RationalPlan products so I contacted him. That was an interesting point of view and I would like to share it with you:

Some time ago I was asked to try and review RationalPlan by Tiberiu Ghioca. There are two versions of the application Single Project and Multi Project. The version I used was the Multi Project Version which retails for around $98 per user (compare this to MS Project more about that later).

The one obvious advantage along with the price is the fact the application works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. This is appealing as I am among the few Windows users (by the way I am happy with this) in most of the projects I work on. So finally a Project Management application that is not online (I travel a lot and do not always have easy access to the Internet) that can be shared among all the users on a project.

What is the best environment for RationalPlan?

From using the application over the last few months it holds its own in the SME and Micro Company market against any of its competitors. Where the project management is maybe only a full time job for one or two individuals or where a small team are delivering projects to multiple clients at the same time.

How did it road test?

Well I used this on a group of small projects using the same delivery team and was really pleased with the ease of use and simple interface. This screen shot was taken on a EEE with a 10.1 inch screen and this is a suitable screen resolution to make the application easily usable when I was on the move. Its lighter functionality in comparison with MS Project on was never really an issue when I was mobile.

What can it do?

From a functionality level it is more than capable of managing projects, baselines, risks, cost and resources which is really all you need to manage a project. If you are an MS Office applications user you may miss the import and export functionality the MS Project has with Visio and Excel. Although I have to say what I love about this application and has set it above all the other competitors that I have looked at is the project set up wizard. I have shown this to a few project managers who are starting out and everyone has been impressed with this tool.
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Great Microsoft Project Alternative With Interproject Dependency Support

By | July 16th, 2010|Microsoft Project, Project Management Software, Reviews|Comments Off on Great Microsoft Project Alternative With Interproject Dependency Support

Some time ago Satish from Open-Tube.com wrote an interesting review for our RationalPlan products. In what follows I shall republish his review but he has all the credits for it:

While creating and managing a project plan, have you ever run into a problem of having the resources shared between projects and you don’t know how to deal with such situations in your Microsoft Project? Well, we know Microsoft Project does not handle this scenario quite well. If you are a project manager who needs to manage resources centrally then you need a planning tool that would help you manage resources centrally. We have one such tools called RationalPlan Multi Project that is simple and its specifically designed for project managers that need to handle the company’s projects and resources in a centralized way.

With RationalPlan Multi Project you can have all your company projects and resources in one place. Not just that you can create dependencies between tasks from different projects but more important, you can share resources hence you will be able to track a resource’s overallocation state over multiple projects. The Project Portfolio view will help to get an overview of all your projects. Another key differentiator is that a “what if” scenarios capability is offered via multiple undo/redo levels that allows you to make changes and safely get back.

RationalPlan has three different products for various practical needs.

1. RationalPlan Multi Project – RationalPlan Multi Project allows you to manage multiple projects at once, projects that share common resources and/or with dependencies between their tasks.

2. RationalPlan Single Project – RationalPlan Single Project allows you to schedule and track unrelated projects individually

3. RationalPlan Project Viewer – For people involved but who don’t need or shouldn’t change the schedule related data. The Project Viewer is freely distributed for everyone to see the content of a project in the most flexible manner and not just as printed reports.

The software operates on all popular platforms starting with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and all other Java enabled platforms.

Try the Trial version by downloading form the RationalPlan website.

Thank you Satish for you review.

What Is A Project Management Software?

By | July 14th, 2010|Project Management Software|2 Comments

Overview

Project management software is a term that covers many kinds of software, including project planning, project scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, task and time tracking and the list can go on. All these areas are covered by project managers that are used to deal with small, medium and even complex and large projects.

A project management application is a simple tool that helps managers and team members successfully plan, manage and execute the various tasks involved in each project under time and budget constraints. The most important part in the success of a project is the project managers experience and knowledge in the project management area. The project management tools are just an extension that help the manager.

Types of project management software

There are several types of project management software. It may be a desktop application, a web-based software or it can also be a hosted software solution that allows access from remote locations through Internet or Intranet.

Desktop applications are used by single users and working generally with system files. Web-based and hosted solutions can be set up to allows access for multiple users simultaneously in a concurrent manner on a central data repository.

The biggest advantage of a desktop application is the increased execution speed. The application runs faster and has a better response time than web-based solutions. This happens because web-based development technologies have not evolved well enough to allow faster running. Still desktop applications have the disadvantage of just one user working with them at a given moment of time. In order to solve this problem it is recommended to use custom server based solutions with desktop clients. This way the server offers the possibility to work concurrently on common data while the desktop clients give execution speed for users when working with the server module.

How to choose the right project management software

Project management software is designed so you can manage all aspects of your project needs effectively. There are different types of software available, and the most will allow you for the complete management from beginning to end. This includes starting with WBS construction, project planning and scheduling to progress tracking etc.

Here are some of the benefits from a project management software that you can expect:

  • it should be simple, easy to use and user friendly
  • project planning: provides a clean way to break down your project, build schedules, allocate resources, and manage budgets
  • resource and cost management: get resources and finances under control
  • project tracking: track project evolution regarding task’s completion, time and costs
  • brings project’s critical issues to your attention
  • team work and collaboration

Besides all these features the product price is also an important factor. There are basically two major payments methods: a one time purchase and a monthly fee. Based on your budget or income it is up to you to decide the most appropriate method.

Keeping all these aspects into account Stand By Soft designed RationalPlan, a project management software suite that follows the general recommended guidelines from project management software domain.

Project Management is not Business Management

By | March 24th, 2010|Business Management, Project Management Software|Comments Off on Project Management is not Business Management

One of the most prominent characteristic of a project as a concept, is its sharp delimitation in time. It has clear start and end dates and is designed to achieve a unique scope, unlike the ongoing operations specific for business management.

Sometimes, the end date of a project is the most important characteristic of the project. It is the starting point when designing the project deployment, any other characteristic being subordinated to this. In fact using a project management software allows a project manager to add a higher level of transparency regarding the interaction between various factors that interact when developing a project. Keeping some of this variables constant (like the end date of a project), allows to the project managers to determine and control the others (like cost or scope of the project).

Because of it’s very limited nature, a project duration can be clearly divided into five main phases. In the following observations we will presume that the client has clear expectations regarding the project and knows decently well what results he needs. The five main phases of a project are the following:

  • defining
  • planning
  • execution
  • controlling
  • closure

In the defining stage an important aspect is to speak with the people who are affected or exert influence over the project evolution. These people are referred to as the stakeholders. Getting their feedback will help you outline the project activities. This is commonly known as the scope (the work that should be done). It is equally important to write down both what will and will not be achieved. You want to make sure you know what the stakeholders are expecting. In this phase the aims and objectives are set, including the development of project deliverables and the desired outcomes of a specific set of activities.

The planning stage presumes breaking the deliverables into subdeliverables down to a level where activities can be outlined. Subsequently can be defined  the relations between tasks and their timeline for completion. An important aspect of this stage is defining the requirements for completion of the project, stipulating the needed resources as well as any other requirements deemed necessary. The risks and project constraints are identified and contingency plans originated to address any of these potential issues.

The execution phase takes the major part of the project. Here is most likely that surprises and conflicts to occur and sometimes corrective actions should be taken in order to bring the expected performance in accordance with the project plan. Project manager is responsible for coordinating individuals and make them acting like members of the same team.

As the work begins, the next stage of controlling the project defines the success or failure of a project manager, as the constant surveillance and adaption of project plan are required to reflect the progression of  involved activities. A project manager should take advantage of the methodologies and software available on the market. A large number of them are available online.

In the project closure stage, the team will be pulled together to analyze project performance and outline the learned lessons.

Stand By Soft is the provider of RationalPlan, a powerful project management software capable of handling multiple interrelated projects and covering project management areas starting with WBS construction, project planning and scheduling to progress tracking etc.