Makes project planning easy.
About a month ago, I started a new project with a client. It’s a multi-phase roll out of a software package and it has many communication pieces that go along with it. My client wanted a detailed timeline/project plan laid out and managed for him. At the time, I was constructing timelines individually by hand using Excel to make spreadsheets. I found out very quickly that was not going to work for this particular project because the deadlines and projected dates for launch kept moving. I was literally spending hours updating project plans instead of actually creating emails and communication pieces – like installation instructions.
So, I ended up starting to work with Microsoft Project. That became even a BIGGER headache because of the amount of layers that program has. It is a complete project tracking system and not just a program for creating timelines. I happened to remember being introduced to QuickPlan Pro for iOS several months ago. For my current purposes, I really wanted a desktop version of the app. Fortunately for me, the great developers at Mobilinked recently released a version of the awesome project planning app for OS X.
QuickPlan for Mac brings INTUITIVE and discoverable project maintenance to users of all experience levels. The app really pulls the timeline planning into a very easy to understand app on the Mac. Without following any tutorials, I started a project plan and had a basic one set up for newsletter development within about 2 minutes. The basic project I setup doesn’t have many tasks to it so entering that information was very simple. That being said, I really love how easy QuickPlan makes it to move tasks around on a timeline. I also really appreciate the time the developers took to make sure that the app worked with the Mac ecosystem. For example, you can use mouse/track pad gestures to move through the interface. I use the two-finger swipe method to scroll through my task sheet and Gantt chart frequently.
Another very strong function of QuickPlan that I value is the Resource management option. With MS Project, you have to jump through a lot of hoops to allocate time and make sure that the resources are properly included in the project. With QuickPlan, you simply double-click the Resource field on a task and add team members to the Project Team. The only information you have to enter is their name. You have the option to also add in an email address and rate per hour, which can help you keep your project on budget. Once you have your team members entered, you simple tap the toggle switch to assign a team member for that task. It’s very, very easy. And it doesn’t take a lot of time out of your project planning. The only thing I would love to have as an addition to QuickPlan is an budget view option. Right now, you can assign the tasks to the resources, but there is no quick view for a budget or time tracking for resources.
QuickPlan has a lot to offer any type of project manager. First of all, it substantially reduces the amount of time you are working on timelines and secondly, it has a gorgeous, easy to follow interface. There are numerous integrations with other applications and you have the option to export MS Project files and you can even drag event into a project from iCal. It’s a fantastic app that I’m looking forward to using for quite some time.