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…)

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

(more…)

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

(more…)

RationalPlan – Retina Ready Project Management Software for Mac OS X

By | January 22nd, 2016|News, RationalPlan|0 Comments

Retina readyStarting with version 4.12 RationalPlan offers support for Retina displays on Mac OS X platform. The interface is now sharper and uses high definition icons as per the specifications required by Apple. No more blurry fonts or images.

RationalPlan is a project management software developed to assist project managers in handling their projects and to keep resources and costs under control. The product can be used not only on Mac OS X devices but also on other operating systems like Windows and Linux.

For those users that are working with products like Microsoft Project on Windows or with Merlin Project on Mac OS X, RationalPlan might be a simpler and easier to use solution but with a similar set of features. It was developed primarily to assist novice or accidental project managers but to also offer powerful functions for the more advanced ones.

RationalPlan suite includes:

RationalPlan Single Project – an alternative to Microsoft Project and the perfect solution for novice or accidental project managers
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 place to manage the company’s projects while offering concurrent access to different users – solution offered either as a Cloud service or as On-Premise

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. (more…)

How Does RationalPlan Position Against its Competitors?

While publishing our products over a specialized reviews directory we were asked: “How do you position yourself against your competitors?“. To summarize it the answer would be: “RationalPlan puts the accent on productivity and tries to be as easy to use as possible: straightforward and intuitive“.

The Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule)

Compared to other products it has the same power but it is more affordable to the users. If you compare for example RationalPlan Single product with Microsoft Project standard version you get 80% of the functionality at 20% of the price. There was a customer – whose name I can not mention without his approval – that after buying RationalPlan he wanted a refund because he was not finding certain features available in MS Project. After explaining him where he can find that functionality we also recommended to keep the product. A few days later we received this answer: “Now that I get to know RationalPlan better, I wouldn’t want to miss it anymore. You helped me save a lot of money by “preventing” me from buying MS-Project 🙂

Embedded project guide

Project management applications tend to be a little bit more complicated and require some training for users to understand how to use them. There are special terms and notions that need additional explanations to understand them. RationalPlan offers an embedded project guide that takes users step by step through the whole process of initiating, planning and controling a project. It is great for a novice or accidental project manager but has the power and the tools to assist an experienced one. Once users get used to the software they can hide the project guide, increase the workspace area and create their own pattern in using the product.

Works everywhere

RationalPlan was developed to work on any operating system: Windows, Mac OS X, different Linux flavors. Even more with the cloud service module it can run directly within the browser no matter what the underlying operating system is.

Great support

One of the main aspects that RationalPlan believes in is the client satisfaction. That is why customer support is a priority. RationalPlan is not a big brand and people do not know it that much but anyone that gets to work with it prefers it over the competitors. Here are just a few testimonials to confirm the customer satisfaction.

However the final verdict is what the users say about RationalPlan products!

RationalPlan 4.10 – Project Management Software Now Also Online

By | October 5th, 2014|News, Project Management Software, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan 4.10 – Project Management Software Now Also Online

RationalPlan Project Management SoftwareStand By Soft is pleased to announce the release of RationalPlan 4.10. Current version comes with a web-based project management module for the Server product, more reports, better support for opening Microsoft© Project files and many other features. Plus starting with this version all RationalPlan products are available for Mac OS X users within the App Store.

RationalPlan suite started as a desktop application designed to run on all major operating systems – Windows, Linux and Mac OS X – but it evolved into an embedded management 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:

  • Added web-based project management module
  • RationalPlan products are available on App Store on Mac OS X
  • Added filters in Timesheet view
  • Added more reports
  • Improved integration with MS© Project 2013 files
  • Added Notes column for tasks and projects
  • Added possibility to display a special color for 100% complete tasks
  • Better rendering for exported Excel spreadsheets
  • Added support for special characters in Windows installer

RationalPlan Server can be used in two flavors: On Premise – installed on the clients hardware with a one time payment – and as a Cloud service – hosted on RationalPlan’s servers with a monthly payment. Starting with this version a web-based project management module was added such that users can start managing their products directly from a browser. Although the module is in beta version and is under heavy development it is stable and can be used even in production. (more…)

RationalPlan 4.9 – Better Mac OS X Integration and Improved Printing

By | July 14th, 2014|News, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan 4.9 – Better Mac OS X Integration and Improved Printing

Stand By Soft is pleased to announce the release of RationalPlan 4.9. Current version offers better Mac OS X integration, improved printing mechanism and many other features.

RationalPlan suite started as a desktop application designed to run on all major operating systems – Windows, Linux and Mac OS X – but it evolved into an embedded management 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:

  • Comply with Gatekeeper’s restrictions on Mac OS X
  • More printing options
  • New status values for projects: “Awaiting approval” and “Awaiting closure”
  • New filters
  • Improved support for reading Microsoft© Project files

Starting with Mac OS X Mountain Lion the Gatekeeper was introduced that by default does not allow users to run applications downloaded outside of the App Store. In this situation were also RationalPlan users. The good news is that now RationalPlan products can safely pass the Gatekeeper restrictions.

Printing mechanism was improved at users request. Along with minor visual adjustments it is now possible to change the timescale and soft zoom for chart based views directly from print preview window. This is very useful when users need to fine tune their printing layout. (more…)

Dynamic Project Planning For Increased Productivity and Flexibility

By | August 15th, 2013|Project Management, Project Management Software|Comments Off on Dynamic Project Planning For Increased Productivity and Flexibility

Every project starts with a well-defined plan and schedule. But the reality offers a lot of uncertainty so the project may very well not evolve according to the initial plan. The result is that measures are required to adjust the state of the project to reflect the new reality.

Planning a project is not an easy job. It requires some knowledge and an amount of experience. The steps are simple… Create the list of activities that need to be performed, structure them accordingly in phases and sub-phases and establish durations (or amount of work depending on the types of tasks). Next create the project flow by adding dependencies between tasks. This way it is established the order in which tasks are executed.

Up to this point there is nothing related to time and this is the biggest hint to keep in mind: avoid hard constraints. As long as tasks are scheduled to start as soon as possible then every task will depend only on its predecessors and on the project estimated start. This is the perfect project template that can be easily shifted in time by just changing the project estimated start.

It is unlikely that a novice project manager will be able to produce such a scalable project plan… There are situations when it is just impossible to keep a project flexible even for a senior project managers. But this is due to the nature, the requirements and the constrains of the project.

How To Adjust The Schedule

So the schedule is done and the project is ready to go. But it may take no more than one week for the project plan to stop corresponding to the reality: some tasks take longer than estimated, others are executed faster or even worse the project is put on hold for various reasons (lack of funds or personnel, a financial crisis period, bad weather conditions and the list can continue). What now? Synchronizing the old plan with the reality takes some effort and attention.

It is obvious that the already completed or started tasks will remain at their location. The only discussion is about moving the uncompleted ones and/or splitting the tasks that are partially completed. This adjusting process is similar to planning the project but done on a smaller scale. If the initial plan was not time flexible then each particular conflict needs to be manually solved.

As mentioned above the best case is the one when the plan was created with as few as possible hard constraints. This allows an increased flexibility when it comes to shifting the activities in time. (more…)

Working With Project Management Software – Who Is Managing Who?

By | July 9th, 2013|Project Management Software|Comments Off on Working With Project Management Software – Who Is Managing Who?

Managing projects is not an easy job and in most cases the manager would greatly benefit from the use of a dedicated software. Starting from this necessity project management tools were created. But the main problem is if these tools are a real help for those that are using them or it is just a loss of time.

It is a well-known fact that computers became a necessity in our lives by simplifying our work. Increased computational speed, huge memory and lack of fatigue are the main reasons why computers have so much success. Let’s admit it: in certain aspects robots are better that humans. So why not use them for such purposes? It is obtained an increased execution speed and accuracy. But all these come with one cost: time. Someone has to lose some time to teach computers how to do the job right.

So a project manager and his team can ease their work using specialized project management software. But is it worth it? Well… it depends if they are using the right tool: it should be easy to use and to configure and to not require to invest too much effort in using it. Time is precious and should be used to manage the projects and not the software. If one is using considerably more time to handle the software rather that working on its projects then that software is useless. In this case a replacement should be the right thing to do.

The sad truth is that for the most part, teams have absolutely no idea how to use their project management tools even months after they’ve supposedly integrated the system into their workflow. And it’s the same with other software… Some vendors just make complicated software that have far too many steps and users end up working more on their project management software to enter tasks and communicate than they do on getting the project done.

A well designed project planning system should allow users to easily create entities like projects, tasks, resources, clients and to add details – data input is a time-consuming process. Another point to keep in mind is that computed data should be always at hand and easy to follow. Navigation between any two views should not require more than a few mouse clicks. An intuitive interface is a big must: the users need to find fast what they are looking for. (more…)

Is There a Project Management Methodology for One-Person Projects?

By | June 13th, 2013|Project Management Methodology, Project Management Software|Comments Off on Is There a Project Management Methodology for One-Person Projects?

If you are an employee of a small organization or of a research institution, or just a freelancer, you are likely dealing with one-person projects. You are the team, you are the project manager, so you are responsible for all project documentation, communication, and, of course, project work.

Before you start looking for the right project management software and methodology, make sure you were assigned a project and not just a task or a set of interrelated tasks to accomplish a goal. A project has a definite beginning and end, and its aim is to create a unique product or service. It also has definite resources and usually its timeframe is defined by the organization. If indeed you were assigned a project, it is useful to approach it from a project management perspective in order to complete the work in an efficient manner, taking advantage of the knowledge, tools, and techniques of project management.

All projects have scope, deliverables, resources, and budget. For one-person projects, you are in charge of planning, executing, and monitoring your work, and you are accountable for the project’s outcome. Almost any project management methodology can be applied to one-person projects, with some exceptions. For example, applying Scrum is arguably not possible because there is no Scrum Master or Product Owner. But if you have volatile project requirements, an agile management approach is likely to fit your project, so you can use Scrum or other agile process as a basis to create your own version of the methodology and tailor it for your specific project. (more…)