Project planning requirements vary widely and are dependent on the types of projects being planned and their complexity. Very different project planning tools are required for major projects, compared with a typical services department handling a large number of relatively simple projects.
For service departments, the complexity is not in the planning of individual projects, but with the unexpected introduction of new ones, delays to existing projects and changes in scope and priority.
Microsoft Project is more than a match for the most complex projects that arise. Where the problem is more in managing the overall workload within fixed resource and budget constraints, Innate’s resource management software is an attractive option.
Use of Innate and/or Microsoft Project
Within Innate’s resource management software, project planning can use the most appropriate tools.
- The Innate browser based resource planning spreadsheets handle simple, operational type tasks such as support, maintenance work etc, without the need for Microsoft Project. Work breakdown structures of project, phase & task can readily be accommodated, but task logic constraints are not provided.
- Plans requiring more complex task structures or logical dependencies can be scheduled in Microsoft Project and kept fully synchronized with the Innate database.
- High level estimates of major projects, where they need to be scheduled around the existing commitments, can be entered and positioned initially within Innate. Subsequently, they can be copied into Microsoft Project for more detailed planning.
- Views, such as the one shown below, then help the project manager to keep the detailed planning within the agreed date and budget parameters. The Design task from Innate is being broken down into greater detail within Microsoft Project and time and budget overruns are clearly identified.