Top Three Project Tools

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kwalford
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All,

Quite simply, what are your top 3 favourite project tools to use and why?

Thanks,
Kit
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dhaughey
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Hi Kit,

These are my top three tools:

1. Microsoft Project: one of the best standalone planning tools for creating task level schedules with dependencies and milestones. It is essential at the detailed level, for the PM and people on the development team. However, I keep this level of detail for them and produce a high-level overview plan for senior stakeholders.

2. Microsoft Visio with the WBS Modeler Add-in: an easy way to create Work Breakdown Structures from Microsoft Project Plans. I find that the Microsoft Project plan is too detailed for a lot of stakeholders and needs to be brought up a level. I find Work Breakdown Structures help people to understand your project approach.

3. Google Docs: good for collaborating and working on documents, such as Statements of Requirements, Functional Specifications and Technical Specifications. It enables the team to work on a single document simultaneously. Team members can see and comment on other people's updates and changes as they work.

What do you use?

Duncan
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begeland
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For me it's:

1) MS Project for schedules because it is what I'm most familiar with and I have it easily available to me. And most clients who don't have it are fine with receiving PDF versions of the schedule for review.

2) Excel - great for issues lists, resource forecasting, financials, risk registers and lists and tracking change orders.

3) Word - still my go-to word processor. I use it for all status reporting, etc.

I'm not saying these are the best, but I am one that often finds it hard to do a global change.

Brad
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kwalford
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Hi Guys,

For me:

1) General MS Excel - It is to versatile and widely used. If I had to run a project with one piece of software, this would be it. I use it for project schedules as some of my project team do not use MS projects.

2) RACI (RAM) - Our organization has just recently adopted this as our main communication vehicle to external stakeholders. It is simple to use and answers what the project will deliver, in what sequence and who is accountable. Has anyone got any comments (advice or tips) about applying RACI? Keen to hear how this has gone down in practice.

3) MoSCoW - When there are competing requirements which are not all feasible, this little beauty of a tool will prioritizes them concisely. I use it as It differentiates between the wants from the needs; drilling down into what the customer classes as key. Again, easy to use and clears up conflicting requirements.

Any other takers?
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dhaughey
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Another tool that has impressed me is JIRA. We've just started using it on Agile projects. It's great for creating product backlogs, writing epics and planning Sprints. In work mode, you can see the progress of tasks from ‘To-do', through ‘In progress’ to ‘Done’.

We have a large screen in the office displaying the Burndown chart in real-time. It gives us a great visual overview of progress on our two-week Sprints.

JIRA is worth considering if you are planning to use an Agile methodology on your next project.

Duncan
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