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What program do you use to manage your projects?

Posted: Fri 28 May 2010 7:46 pm
by dhaughey
I thought a quick poll would be interesting to get a view of the split between use of Microsoft Project, Microsoft Excel and Open Workbench for managing projects. My money is on Excel being the most popular because of its availability, familiarity and cost-effectiveness. So let's see.

Re: What program do you use to manage your projects?

Posted: Tue 08 Jun 2010 11:38 am
by bazk
You're not wrong in your assumption, as Microsoft Certified Partners we come across a large number of organisations who have been using Microsoft Excel to create some 'very' complex spreadsheets to display Gantt charts & project KPi's - however as good as Excel is, it wasn't designed for managing projects!

Most often Excel is used to create 'pretty pictures' at the start of a project and then the plans are rarely kept updated, any KPi's that are collected manually and then compiled in Excel will also most likely be inaccurate and outdated by the time reporting has been completed!

We tend to link the use of Project Management tools with organisations Project Management Maturity, for example:

Project Management Maturity:
  • Low: Would use Microsoft Excel, Word, Visio or even PowerPoint!
  • Low/Medium: Would use Microsoft Project Standard or Professional
  • Medium/High: Would use Microsoft Project Professional with Microsoft Project Server
Microsoft Project Server, which connects with Project Professional, provides a huge leap in functionality (i.e. resource management), collaboration & project/programme visibility and in the current economic climate can help drive down project costs and help increase efficiency.

The latest version Project Server 2010 was released last month.

Regards,
Baz

Re: What program do you use to manage your projects?

Posted: Mon 14 Jun 2010 1:47 pm
by pathfinder
I have used PRIMAVERA for many years in its various guises - currently version P6. Version P6.2 is available and version P7 release is due shortly (or may have already been released). I have found (and continue to find) that Primavera is more user friendly than 'Project', particularly in its management of resources.

Pathfinder

Re: What program do you use to manage your projects?

Posted: Mon 13 Sep 2010 12:12 am
by satisfactionuk
I am qualified and have spent many years in management and undertaken several buyout and transfer projects that did not formally use project management systems. (yeh! I'm an old fart) However, now that I am training for the formal Prince2 practitioner certification and seriously looked into the issue. I would recommend MS Project 2010 Professional with MS @Risk for Projects in conjunction with Project in a Box (small team edition) to cover the configuration and communication management aspects of the project.

Many small to medium businesses will not have these packages because of the cost element in relation to the number of projects that they plan to undertake. As a new project manager I will have thoroughly learnt these packages in side out and have them installed on my own personal computer at home and also on a high-powered personal laptop as well. In my mind this is no different to a carpenter having his own set of high quality tools to work with.

I am sure that all things being equal, with a good CV and some good projects under my belt, this toolkit would be a considerable deciding factor where other candidates of an equal calibre just relied on their CV alone. It may even prove to be equally valuable should I wish to enter into consultancy industry too.

You may not agree with this philosophy, but I think it’s worth serious consideration just the same.
Kind regards

Stephan Toth