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brauhaus

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Has anyone used or have experience using this program?

If so what were your thoughts?

If not, if your company uses any software for project management please let me know, provide a brief write up of your thoughts and the pros and cons of the program you use.

Right now we're looking at running a trail of Microsoft Office Project, but we are open to using any innovative and easy to use Project Management Software.

Thanks!
 

ohiobrewtus

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I use Project a fair amount. I don't do anything other than simple project timelines with it, but in a large environment it can also be utilized as a collaboration tool for all parties involved in a project.

It's a great tool for keeping my staff up to date on project status and keeping my vendors on their toes. From cabling to the IPT project that I have going on right now, I make all vendors provide me with a timeline in Project format.

An even better product that they also don't include in the Office Pro suite is Visio. I'm a flowcharting motha' with some Visio.
 

PintOfBitter

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I use Project for tracking various engineering development programs. It is essentially just a gantt chart with some other small coordination and delegation tools built in. At least as far as I've been able to tell, it's nothing all that exciting.

It is nice to have a schedule that auto-updates when a single date changes, but be prepared to put a lot of time into setting the schedule up at the start if you want it to be dynamic and self-rearranging without exploding in strange ways.

Bottom line: I'm glad the company bought the license for me, but it hasn't revolutionized the way I work.

Hope that helps a bit.
 

Ryan_PA

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There really is no need to analyze further than MS Project. It is the industry stnadard for activity, task and resource tracking. It is awkward at first to learn, as it is not like any of the other MS apps, but it is fairly easy if you are good with software.

Here is a cool site to get free templates and other killer PM resources:

http://projectconnections.com/
 

gwood

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If you are going to be doing standard waterfall type cycles it's absolutely the best tool out there bar none. If you are looking at hybrid cycles (waterfall combined with more agile methods) it can still work but you'll have to use support methods/tools. If you are going to be using agile methods from the get go, avoid it.
 
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brauhaus

brauhaus

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basically we have gotten to the point now where we have too many jobs to keep track of... so we are looking for some type of software where we can all use and be reminded of project due dates, track progress, etc.

I was suggesting lotus notes, but I have no experience with that and our "Office Manager" suggested we try MS Project.

I'm eager to learn it and use it. My Company will be paying for those of us that will use it on a daily basis to get trained at an Official Microsoft Seminar.
 

gwood

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BraeHaus said:
basically we have gotten to the point now where we have too many jobs to keep track of... so we are looking for some type of software where we can all use and be reminded of project due dates, track progress, etc.

I was suggesting lotus notes, but I have no experience with that and our "Office Manager" suggested we try MS Project.

I'm eager to learn it and use it. My Company will be paying for those of us that will use it on a daily basis to get trained at an Official Microsoft Seminar.
What exactly do you want the software to do? Do you need to detail out, track, and balance resources (people and the cost structures built around them)? Do you need to track hundreds or thousands of seperate tasks and the estimates vs. actuals on each (seperate or in aggregate)? Do you need to see the dependencies associated with all of these said tasks (which one has to be done prior to the next being started)?

If you need to track some basic dates and some idea of progress (induvidual tasks?) then Project won't be the best bet.

You could set up a structure on Outlook to share, assign, and track tasks across groups of people very easily. It would provide multiple views (simple lists, detailed lists, lists of all active within time periods, by catagory, by assignment, by timlines, etc.)
 

Ryan_PA

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BraeHaus said:
basically we have gotten to the point now where we have too many jobs to keep track of... so we are looking for some type of software where we can all use and be reminded of project due dates, track progress, etc.
You would be better served with some type of PMO related software with a dashboard functionality. You could meet these needs in Project by essentually making all of you individual projects into a program in MS Project and rely on updates from the individual owners. Or, you could look into the additional expence of implementing a project server, but you should crawl before you run with this stuff.
 
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brauhaus

brauhaus

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well, the company bought MS Project and now we all are going to have to learn it. I have installed it but haven't had time to play with it.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but basically we are looking to manage all of our projects (when we receive them, due dates for bid, whether or not the correct paperwork has been completed on them, etc., etc.)

Our newly hired "Office Manager" used this software at his last company and feels the need for us to use it as well.

I look forward to getting my hands dirty with it.
 

JVD_X

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gwood said:
If you are going to be doing standard waterfall type cycles it's absolutely the best tool out there bar none. If you are looking at hybrid cycles (waterfall combined with more agile methods) it can still work but you'll have to use support methods/tools. If you are going to be using agile methods from the get go, avoid it.
I concur... project is great, until you have to actually update something or when you use a cyclic process. We found that using a simple excel spreadsheet does far better and allows us to communicate with our client's better.

Also, for others out there that have not yet purchased an application, Google's suite is turning out to be great and if you are looking for tight collaboration, it works much better than sending excel spreadsheets (or visio or project) back and forth, which have a tendency to get rejected by firewalls without first zipping them.
 
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