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Project Scheduling


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We're looking at revising our office system for project scheduling. We typically schedule between 10-20 residential projects at a time. What software have you all found to be the most useful (without the constant maintenance needs of say Microsoft Project)?

Many thanks,

What exactly is it that you do not like about MS Project?

I am also in the market for a management program. I know nothing about them though. Several people have suggested MS Project.

By the way does it run on the Mac?

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Microsoft stopped producing a Mac version of MS Project a long time back.

You could also look at:

Copper http://www.copperproject.com/

Intellisys http://www.webintellisys.com/project/desktop.html

iTaskX http://www.itaskx.com/software/en/default.htm

Merlin http://www.projectwizards.net/en/merlin

SharedPlan http://www.sharedplan.com/teamplanning.html?gclid=CNWHlcqL6ogCFSV6YAod2zDliQ

There are probably many others out there as well.

Edited by mike m oz
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Thank you all for chiming in. Just figuring out what was available was quite a puzzle. Mike's list is pretty thorough. After evaluating a bunch of different software (about a dozen in all), I finally determined that what I wanted was:

A software that didn't require a lot of maintenance! One that would let me quickly lay out the big picture without getting into the trap of analyzing every micro-task. I also wanted to look at numerous projects simultaneously. Most task managers are set up to study SINGLE projects in great detail ... so this proved to be a challenging criteria. I also wanted something that was EASY! Us mac folks have gotten lazy in the effort department, so I was looking for something that dovetailed with my working style i.e. dragging out timelines (rather than keying in the number of days, etc...).

What finally worked for me was xTime Project. It is somewhat simplistic, but it does do all of the things I was looking for. Plus, it has native interaction with iCal, Address Book, etc...


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xTime does both GANTT and PERT. Unfortunately, as I've been using it, I've run into some erratic behavior. Since I'm new to it, I give the software the benefit of the doubt, but, in the meantime, I wouldn't recommend that anyone follow my lead just yet.

As to Kevin's earlier question. MS Project would auto update tasks and slip the schedule unless the tasks were declared completed. There may have been a way around this, but at the time I was using it, I couldn't find one. Soon after, MS stopped releasing it for the mac platform.

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xTime does both GANTT and PERT.

Not really PERT: "xTime Project is a tool for creating a project schedule by means of Gantt chart and resource

load chart."

In my opinion, working with GANTT presumes that you already know the outcome. With a PERT chart (of MacProject style), you well and truly think about the process and dependencies without prejudice and premonition. (At least I was always able to get myself out from the critical path...)

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Thanks, Mike. I'll give it a go - although I hate silly metaphors.

"This sort of organizational methodology has been in use for years by Project Managers who carried index cards around in their pockets. But PowerCard is the first application for the Macintosh to bring the power of these index cards to software."

Yeah, right. And architects design houses on napkins, so I guess the next architectural CAD-progam will be called PowerNapkin. (In competition with Ketchup or whatever it is.)

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I have tried just about everything there is on the Mac. I have licenses for iTask, xTime and Merlin 2. I even have the old version of MSP that runs under Classic (unless you have an Intel Mac).

The bottom line is that Merlin 2 is great for small and large projects, allows you to follow the PMBOOK pretty closely (I am a PMP). If you need something for project management get Merlin 2. It works.


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Thanks RonMan and welcome to the Forum.

This topic is of particular interest to me as my Wife is about to start a project management consulting business. She thinks that she needs MS Project and a PC. She is under the impression that the business world uses PC's and therefore so should she. Her assumptin also is that MS Project is the default king of progect management. I am trying to get her to at least look at using a Mac. I do not want to be her PC IT manager :-(.

I would love to hear others perspectives on this. Neither of us knows anything about project management. She would be learning this business and the computer program from scratch.

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Primavera is the program of choice for many PMP people. it is PC only though and very expensive. MS Project is also very good, but once again it is only PC.

One of the limitations of many of the lightweight programs is the limited reporting options. For example Earned Value analysis is almost essential, but most programs don't provide the capability.

Edited by mike m oz
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