RationalPlan Project Management Software 4.2 – Increased Productivity And Ubuntu Adoption

By | December 20th, 2012|News, RationalPlan, Resource Management|Comments Off on RationalPlan Project Management Software 4.2 – Increased Productivity And Ubuntu Adoption

Project management software provider RationalPlan just released their latest version 4.2. Current version offers increased productivity for managers by reducing the time needed to handle resource allocations. At the same time the company decided it is the right moment to expand on Ubuntu market. Hence the application now offers native integration with Ubuntu operating system.

RationalPlan is a fast growing project management solution that recently received the third place at the Project Management Election organized by Capterra. It was created to serve many types of users starting from novice project managers, users that need an environment to handle multiple projects and up to companies that need a server solution with concurrent access.

Important changes added to this version:

  • Timesheet view displays only the resources working in the current project
  • in Leveling panel the resources are displayed according to applied task filters
  • added a percentage work load chart for resources
  • Ubuntu operating system integration
  • added the notion of special working days for tasks
  • added a new report for task cost distribution
  • improved printing
  • added the notion of responsible user
  • improved Mac OS X integration

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Make Sure Your Projects Are On Track

By | November 18th, 2011|Project Management Software, Project Tracking, Resource Management|Comments Off on Make Sure Your Projects Are On Track

A good plan is just the first step to the success of a project. The real work starts only after the project plan is ready. As a project manager you have to track the project’s evolution and make sure it follows the initial plan as much as possible. And the easiest way to accomplish this is through the use of project tracking software.

It is a well know fact that the initial plan does not always fit your expectations. The unpredictable happens. To increase the chances for project success, once your project is started the project manager needs to constantly monitor its progress keeping up with what everyone is doing. There are several factors that need to be kept under control: activities, resources and work, budgets and costs, progress.

Activities

Activities in a project can be categorized based on certain characteristics as projects, phases, milestones and tasks (the term task is generally used for all these terms). A milestone is a key event marking the end of a major stage of a project. And for this reason managing milestones is the most important factor. Essentially these are the deliverables which your project sponsors will remember and keep asking you about. You need to immediately recall these dates to instill a sense of confidence in your ability to be on top of things. The key here is to have a clean layout over the milestone plan and to make sure you check them as completed at the already planned dates. You can do it sooner but not later.

The next important activities are the low level ones. Since phases are just a summary of all these tasks it is obvious that once the tasks are efficiently tracked all the above levels up to the root project are also on schedule. In this case the key is to easily determine the critical path of the project and to constantly track those tasks. Project management tools like Gantt charts can make this job as easy as possible.
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How To Best Manage Resources In Project Management

The general features of a project management software include scheduling, costing, budgeting, controlling, management and communication. However an important function of any project management solution is resource management. This covers all types of resources including human, equipment, materials and costs.

Nowadays businesses can work efficiently only by managing resources. With materials and costs things are pretty easy: you buy a stock and it is yours. Human resource management is not the same. You can not just own a human resource, but need to retain one. With the help of a resource management software, project managers can make sure that the right human resources are working on the right tasks and following a real-time project timeline. This is achieved based on several factors like employee’s skills, experience, and availability.

Resource planning software – must have features

In today’s global economy, when projects are spread across multiple regions or even countries it only makes sense that the right resources should make up a project team, regardless of their physical location. Even more project managers need to have powerful project planning tools capable of managing multiple projects with shared resources. At any moment in time they need to view resource availability and utilization even across multiple projects.

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Things To Check When Choosing A Work Management Software

By | June 14th, 2011|Project Management Software, Resource Management|Comments Off on Things To Check When Choosing A Work Management Software

There are certain things that a project management software must have in order to be sure you pick the best one available and to maximize your return of investment.

One of the key features that a project management software should have is the possibility to track the progress, for both the project manager supervisors and workers that participate in the project execution. This is related to creating tasks that can be easily and clearly quantified or on short to create deliverables – tasks that have measurable parameters.

Analyzing the workload is very important feature that a work management software must have. Managers must be sure that an optimal work force is assigned to various parts of a project and that no overallocation occurs. Assigning more work force than it is necessary to tasks would be a waste of resources. A good project planning software must have the workload analysis process in inter-dependency with the list of analysis features.

Estimating budget costs and managing budgets makes a great difference between a good profit and waste of investment. A project scheduling software without a detailed cash flow, at task level, can do more harm than help. Tracking project evolution, in each stage, with a good correlation between costs and progress is very important to be sure that the level of funding is adequate at any time.

Also do not forget to check if the selected work management software is capable of handling multiple projects, being able to track resource usage (workforce usage) over multiple projects. You don’t want to assign a worker to two projects at the same time. In the case that it still happens a resource leveling mechanism is always welcomed.

Avoid project management software that do not have a trial version. It is imperative to check all the aspects before deciding if that one is the management program that best suits your needs. (more…)

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.