Published on Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The length of time we’ve been project managers probably says something about the type of software we’ve used to help us do our jobs. Personally, I started performing project management and program management duties more than 18 years ago.
Early Project Workbench Usage
At that time, I was using ABT’s Project Workbench to setup project schedules for the large government proposals I was working on. Project Workbench was still just a DOS-based application, but it seemed to do the trick. And at that time we were not using it to actually manage the project – we were only using it to put together a massive 2000-3000 task project schedule with resources loaded to show the US Department of Education that we understood the requirements and that we had the personnel available to get the work done. And it worked – we won nearly every large government contract we went after.
Although I did end up teaching a class to one company on using the Windows version of Project Workbench, I never used it in a project management-type setting professionally. After using the DOS-based PW, I moved straight into MS Project and, like many of you, I’ve been using it ever since.
Move to MS Project
I’ve used MS Project to win contracts, to just manage the overall timeline on projects (when detailed resource management wasn’t really necessary) and to manage resource usage and overload to a very detailed level. It has definitely served most all of the needs I’ve had managing projects as well as my client’s needs.
However, I am always on the lookout for useable low cost solutions that I can recommend to my clients. One recent client had a definite need for collaboration among their internal project managers and I was working with them on a potential MS Project 2007/MS Project Server solution, but the cost was too high, the implementation too detailed and the learning curve too long for that group – it was more than they needed or could handle.
Low-cost Web-based Tool
I am now beginning to look at the web-based ProjectOffice.net offered by Seavus (www.projectoffice.net). Some of you may already be familiar with this product, but I’m guessing a majority of the readers on here are using MS Project. What I know so far about ProjectOffice is that it is a very low-cost solution and it does work and play well with MS Project.
In the coming weeks, I’m going to be learning and utilizing ProjectOffice. And, along with my other PM articles here, I’m going to be writing separately in this space about my experiences with learning and using ProjectOffice. I will share findings with you and I ask that those of you using it share things with me through comments to my posts.
Also, if any of you are curious about ProjectOffice and have not yet used it, feel free to ask me questions about the product and it’s functionality. I’ll do my best to answer your questions, track down answers, or use your questions in a coming article to investigate that particular need or functionality.
I will also continue to contribute my normal project management tips and experiences articles here as well, and look forward to your continued readership and comments. Thank you.
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