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  • Software for managing development projects?

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by brads, Apr 30, 2013.

    1. brads

      brads Active Member

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      I now manage a few independent development projects running simultaneously. My role has gradually moved away from hands on design, more towards resource management. The main resource I deal with is my team of engineers but I do also have to consider production time (prototyping only and has not yet caused a problem).

      I currently use a homemade Gantt chart in MS Excel which I have expanded from when I was just managing my own projects, as I never could convince my company to buy MS Project.

      Unfortunately my home made Gantt chart is taking too long to modify on an almost daily basis so I am now looking for alternative software. Having had some demonstrations on MS Project, I don’t believe that it is very efficient when managing multiple projects sharing resources? It looked perfect for running a single project and allocating resources for it, but not running say 8 independent projects. Please could somebody who uses it advise if this is the case?

      I have seen software (I can’t remember the name) that is used for production planning which looked more suitable. I know that programs such as MS Dynamics has a production planning ledger. In other peoples opinion is this a more suitable program? Do others perform a similar job role? If so what software do you use? Any advice welcome.
       
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    3. Wmech

      Wmech Member

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      Hi Brads,

      In my experience, we use MS Project or Excel to perform the project management. However, I have heard a really good alternative that has been used by other people.

      Milestones Professional is probably the one i have heard over and over again in the industry. It can handle multiple projects with one software. However, I haven't used it before, just heard a good name about it. And you have to buy it.
      http://www.kidasa.com/

      Another one i have used is called GanttProject. It is a free software that suits for my need. It's pretty much similar to MS project. But what i don't like about this program is the printing method of it.


      Hopefully it will help
       
    4. srdfmc

      srdfmc Well-Known Member

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      GanttProject is fairly basic but works well. The problem you'll encounter is that most of your partner will certainly enjoy modifying your files. What they can not do with a Freeware most of the time. Excel/Ms Project hve a much wider base of user easing overall communication. With Excel and some basis knowledge in VBasic, you can get pretty fast a customised software that can be shared with your users (client) and tailored to your specs need.
       
    5. Wmech

      Wmech Member

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      I didn't have that problem about someone else modifying the files since i was the only one who wants to use the project management program. But i do see your point of easy access of modification of the files.
       
    6. brads

      brads Active Member

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      Thank you for the suggestions. I have used GanttProject for a few months but it wasn't for me. From what I remember there I couldn't link and constrain tasks appropriately (it just seems a little too basic) but it is free. Also as one of the posts above said I struggled with formatting the gantt chart for printing. Maybe I gave up a bit quick?

      I will take a look at the kidasa software, I've never heard of it before, sounds interesting.

      It sounds like it's more common that I thought to use Excel for this purpose. I just find it too time consuming to modify. Maybe other people stick to deadlines?
       

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