Project Scheduling – The Central Piece Of A Project Management Software

By | November 30th, 2011|Project Management Software|Comments Off on Project Scheduling – The Central Piece Of A Project Management Software

Project scheduling should be considered the central piece of any project management software. Without the possibility to easily schedule all the tasks of a project there would be little expectation regarding the efficiency of controlling complex projects. However a project scheduling software should simplify a project managers work and not complicate it.

The project schedule

The project schedule is the central part of the project plan and it is used to connect the tasks to be done with the resources that will accomplish them. It consists of a list of deliverables with intended start and finish dates. Deliverables are the lowest level elements in a schedule, which are not further subdivided.

In addition, the schedule provides project teams with a map for project execution and offers a baseline for tracking progress and managing changes. It can be used as a checklist to make sure that all necessary tasks are performed. If a task is on the schedule, the team is committed to doing it. In other words, the project schedule gives the means by which the project manager brings the team and the project under control.

The visual representation of a schedule is a timeline chart. It is created such that it depicts the tasks of the projects, the duration and the sequencing of them, and the major milestones of the project. The Gantt chart is the most popular timeline chart.

Prior to creating the project schedule the project manager must have a work breakdown structure (WBS), an effort estimate for each task, and a list of resources with availability for each resource. Once these data are established a project scheduling tool can automatically do much of the tedious work of calculating the schedule. However, before a project manager can use such tools, he should have an  understanding over concepts like WBS, dependencies, resource allocation, critical paths etc. These are the real keys to planning a successful project.

When establishing the project schedule a few important steps must be performed:

  • Establish dependencies – The first step in building the project schedule is to establish the order in which tasks are going to be performed. The WBS structure will be used as input. A dependency will be created between two tasks if one depends on the other. There are four types of dependencies: Finish to Start, Finish to Finish, Start to Start and Start to Finish.
  • Assign resources to tasks – The next step is to identify the resources required to perform the work. A resource is any person, item, tool, or service that is needed by the project. Based on its availability the schedule might get adjusted in time.
  • Create the schedule – Once the dependencies are established and the resources are assigned the project manager must enter the work effort or the duration for each task. With this information in place a project scheduling software should be able to automatically arrange the tasks and calculate a final date for the project.

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Upgrade From Spreadsheets To Project Management Software

By | January 11th, 2011|Project Management Software|1 Comment

Spreadsheets are an excellent way to manage information on workplace tasks but if you would like to see the impact of one assignment over another then perhaps you should start using  a project management software.

This kind of software has been created to assist users in the organization of projects by analyzing the added information regarding the time and resources allocated to the tasks. A number of people all across the world rely on project management solutions to help assure the completion of certain projects. The best way to describe project management software is to say that it is a computer program which serves to smoothly run the process of a project from the beginning to the end. Over the course of this time, this kind of software can help to eliminate many of the mundane steps that are usually required.

Spreadsheets are a useful way to see how some aspects of the project impact on others, but for an all-round, more detailed understanding of the evolution of task users may like to use a project management tool instead. The applications are designed for effective project management and can reveal relationships between the added data, such as the impact of delays on the costs of the project, which is its main advantage ever spreadsheets like MS Excel or Open Office.

For example, it is likely that your budget is being used to fund a series of tasks throughout your project. This means that there are several areas where your finances may be affected, for instance if you are building a new product for a client and your source materials recently increased in value, this would affect the outcome of your assignment. A project management solution can calculate the impact of these changes on your overall funding and relate it to other information, things that can not be achieved using a spreadsheet. Basically, project management can be considered as a certain type of method to achieve goals and targets while staying completely organized.
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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

###

RationalPlan Project Server Adds Support For Team Work And Collaboration

By | August 5th, 2010|News, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan Project Server Adds Support For Team Work And Collaboration

Stand By Soft is pleased to announce the new released Beta 2 version of RationalPlan Project Server a free product for all users. The new version allows a better collaboration by adding a web module that gives users the possibility to see their assignments (start and end date, deadlines, completion percentage, etc.). Additionally the web interface got a facelift making it even more user friendly and more easier to be used.

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. The system consists of a central project management server (where projects are stored/accessed), to be installed at the customer’s site/network and multiple clients (“RationalPlan Multi Project” instances – which will connect to the server over the Internet/Intranet in order to view/update projects). Using this server based architecture project managers get a project management software system with multi project and multi user management capabilities.

Important changes of this version:

  • Added a resource module for users to see their assignments
  • New look and feel and improved functionality (sorting, filtering and multiple selection for tables)
  • Bug fixes

The new version is an important release for companies that need to give access to users to their own assignments. This way the collaboration is significantly improved since each user with access rights can see the status of the work he has to do on the project. He will be able to access a web module where it will be presented a simple report with all the tasks that he is working on. The report includes: task start and end date, task deadline, percent complete, the number of units assigned and the list of resources that are working on that task.

Users now have a more powerful interface with more complex components that allow sorting, filtering, multiple selection, inline data verification, etc. The application is easier to be used having a better navigation between modules.

Web based project management software

The web based interface can be accessed from any browser including Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari and offers the possibility to manage users accounts, projects versions and resources assignments.

Besides the storage of projects, resources, clients, etc. RationalPlan Project Server also uses a versioning mechanism that allows administrators to keep track of all the changes that were made to the server data. More exactly this means that the server keeps a list of repository versions where each version has associated a version number, the user that made the change, the date at which that change was made and a short comment that describes what was changed in that version. This list of versions is very useful in tracking which user did what and also to always have a point at which to revert in case something goes wrong. Hence it can be used as a time tracking mechanism and as a backup data.

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

###

RationalPlan Project Server – free Beta version released

By | June 17th, 2010|News|Comments Off on RationalPlan Project Server – free Beta version released

Stand By Soft is pleased to announce the released of RationalPlan Project Server as a free Beta version for all users. RationalPlan Project Server is a multi user project management system 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. Besides the possibility to connect to the server the new version comes with an improved Undo/Redo mechanism, allows sending non ASCII characters in assignments emails and more.

Important changes of this version:

  • Added a server module for a concurrent/controlled access for users
  • Improved Undo/Redo mechanism
  • Allow sending non ASCII characters in emails
  • Changed backup file extension to .rpb
  • Bug fixes

Version 3.17 is an important release for companies that need to concurrently access and modify the projects data from multiple locations. The system consists of a central project management server (where projects are stored/accessed from/etc.), to be installed at the customer’s site/network and multiple clients (“RationalPlan Multi Project” instances – which will connect to the server over the Internet/Intranet in order to view/update projects). Using this server based architecture project managers get a project management software system with multi project and multi user management capabilities. RationalPlan Project Server is released as a free Beta version for anyone who has such needs.

The web based administration interface can be accessed from any browser including Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari and offers the possibility to manage users accounts and access rights on one hand and projects versions on the other.

Besides the storage of projects, resources, clients, etc. RationalPlan Project Server also uses a versioning mechanism that allows administrators to keep track of all the changes that were made to the server data. More exactly this means that the server keeps a list of repository versions where each version has associated a version number, the user that made the change, the date at which that change was made and a short comment that describes what was changed in that version. This list of versions is very useful in tracking which user did what and also to always have a point at which to revert in case something goes wrong. Hence it can be used as a time tracking mechanism and as a backup data.

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.

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

###

RationalPlan 3.16.0 – Project Management Software for Mac OS X Snow Leopard

By | January 8th, 2010|News|Comments Off on RationalPlan 3.16.0 – Project Management Software for Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Stand By Soft has released RationalPlan 3.16.0 for the Mac OS X Snow Leopard platform. RationalPlan is a project management software application developed to assist project managers in creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets and analyzing workload. Besides the upgrade to Snow Leopard the new version comes with a significant increase in execution speed for resource sheets, file type association on silent install.

Important changes of this version:

  • Upgraded to Mac OS X Snow Leopard
  • Significantly increased execution speed for resource sheet
  • Associate file type extensions on silent install
  • Bug fixes

Version 3.16 is an important release for Mac users. The suite of products just went for the latest Mac OS X version – Snow Leopard. The biggest change that can be noticed is related to the application interface: rounded buttons, better chosen colors, Mac OS X specific controls.

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

Work computation algorithm on timescale intervals in resource sheet was significantly improved. This way user interactions like smooth shifting, zooming and scrolling are performed faster making users experience with this project management tool more pleasant. Still there is one observation: this increased execution speed can be noticed only on big and complex projects (usually that span over several years). Hence the greatest gain after this improvement will be obtained by medium/big companies and not by home or small office users.

Another important problem that was solved is related to silent installation. There was a problem to previous versions: the file types where not associated with RationalPlan if using silent installation. Now this issue is fixed.

Several other minor improvements where made and bugs where fixes.

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.

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

###

RationalPlan Project Management Software 3.15.7 Email Integration With Yahoo, Hotmail, Live

By | November 30th, 2009|News|Comments Off on RationalPlan Project Management Software 3.15.7 Email Integration With Yahoo, Hotmail, Live

Stand By Soft has released RationalPlan 3.15.7, a powerful project management software application developed to assist project managers in creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets and analyzing workload. The new version comes with email integration with Yahoo, Hotmail, Live, added quantity column in assignment table, it remembers last used time scale, added predecessors end date and successors start date columns and many more enhancements.

Important changes of this version:

  • Email integration with Yahoo, Hotmail, Live
  • Added quantity column in assignment table
  • Remember last used time scale
  • Added predecessors end date and successors start date columns
  • Bug fixes

Starting with this version managers can send emails to resources with their assignments not only through private email servers or GMail server but also through the well known Yahoo, Hotmail and Live platforms.

The assignments table from the task details panel also got richer with a quantity column needed for material resources.

At user requests RationalPlan now remembers the time scale used in each view on the graphical chart. Project managers have different types of projects: some spreading on a smaller time range (days/hours) and other complex projects that span over several years/months. This way based on the usual project type the manager no longer has to zoom in/out each time he starts the application.

By adding the predecessors end date and successors start date columns in the predecessors and successors table respectively, project managers have a better insight over the project schedule. Now they can see easier how a given task can influence its predecessors or successors and indirectly the project plan and can take better decisions related to the duration and work of that task: how many resources to allocate, whether it is necessary to have those resources work overtime or not depending on whetter the critical path is broken or not, etc.

Several other minor improvements where made and bug fixes where fixes: interface related issues, localization issues and others.

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 perfect solution for anyone (from project stakeholders to team workers) to view projects details

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 the most important capabilities of a good project management software while being able to operate on various platforms starting with Windows, Mac OS X, 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.

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

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