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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What Is A Project Portfolio Management Software

By | February 25th, 2011|Project Management Software, Project Portfolio Management|Comments Off on What Is A Project Portfolio Management Software

Manage multiple projects with shared resources within your company

PPM, short for Project Portfolio Management, is a term used by project managers and project management organizations (or PMOs), to describe methods that enables corporate and business users to organize a set of projects into a single portfolio. Project portfolio management software refers to a software product that allows users, usually management or executives within a company, to easily organize and prioritize the projects. It will allow them to review the portfolio and will assist them in making key financial and business decisions for the projects.

A closer look

But project portfolio management is about more than managing multiple projects. Each portfolio of projects must be treated as a whole and needs to be evaluated by its business value and adherence to strategy. As each project must reach its goal and produce its final deliverable in the same way a portfolio should be designed to achieve a specific business objective or benefit. Bob Buttrick summarized it like this: “Directing the individual project correctly will ensure it is done right. Directing ‘all the projects’ successfully will ensure we are doing the right projects.”

A growing number of vendors offer project portfolio management software, which has dramatically simplified the process of building a portfolio. But the first step is for companies to prioritize their business strategies. Portfolios can then be assembled and assessed based on how they meet those strategic needs. Once companies determine the business priorities they want their projects to meet, they need to break down the portfolios. Teams are assigned to different business units, and each of those teams handles a separate portfolio.

Previously, projects were approved and then managed independently. They were evaluated as a whole at the executive level only when it came time to put together annual reports. Nowadays with the latest project management software solutions project managers can better handle the portfolio using executive dashboards and other such tools. Working at portfolio level is about working with summary or key data and as less details as possible. It is important to avoid information overload. The detail of each project should be kept at the project team level, managed by the individual project managers.

The recent trend toward improved resource tracking and leveling functionality in PM software is a great boon to the portfolio manager. Actually, without the possibility of knowing what each human resource in the pool of project personnel is capable of and when they will be available to work, you cannot say that you are managing a portfolio. You need such a work management software in order to keep your project’s work balanced and avoid supplementary costs introduced by overtime working rates.
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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

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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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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.