Project Management Review

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Project Management Review

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Compare MS Project, AtTask, BaseCamp and ManagePro,

4 of the top project management tools
on the market

MS Project Pro 2010 AtTask BaseCamp ManagePro
1. How can I: – scan multiple projects, Whether planned or ad-hoc, and quickly know – what’s the
status, – what’s upcoming, – what needs my attention?
The Standard view accesses only one project with all of its sub-steps – so no, the average user isn’t able to see
multiple projects. Status and what’s upcoming are viewed by looking across or down the outline hierarchy.
It is possible to create a Master project that can link multiple sub-projects into a single view, provided the user
has Master Project rights. There are a number of steps to complete each time you want to insert a project – see below
the graphic.

Being able to scan for status reports, or filtering based upon selected criteria is typically handled outside of
this view using a report format. There are no date stamped progress updates available for quick reference or
attached action items to be able to review as part of the status review.

To Insert a project into a master project 1.Open the project that you want to become a master project.

2. On the View menu, click Gantt.

3. In the Task Name field, click the row below where you want to insert the project.

4. On the Project menu, click Subproject.

5. In the folder list, open the folder or subfolder that contains the project that you want to insert.

6. Click the project to insert.

7. To insert a project in read-only format, click the arrow on the Insert button, and click Insert Read-Only.

AtTask provides a portfolio management view, but like MS Project, is only available with an Enterprise license,
e.g. not for the standard user. The Portfolio view aggregates and displays status information from a collection of
projects, but if you want to see a display of the various milestones and tasks making up a project, you can only see
the details of one project at a time. You cannot break up project views into custom tabs. Status updates are color
coded and easy to scan.

The Gantt chart views and Outlook addin, switch to flat lists, making it more difficult to scan relationships between
tasks, or to differentiate milestones from tasks, but are easy for users used to using Excel to manage projects.

Projects in BaseCamp are constructed as a simple list of to-dos. Each list contains tasks, which are assigned to
people to do by due dates. A tab named Projects is available to view multiple to-dos lists (projects) and the
relative status of each by clicking on the project box representing that project list.

Status is reviewed by clicking “Review all open to-dos” from the Project Summary page. Status is a simple report on
open to-do’s, and is accessed through a separate Project Summary page.

In ManagePro, projects are organized into cascading outlines on the left, and can be grouped under tabs for easier
viewing.

While on the right, you’ll find details, to-dos, your calendar and a portal for working with other programs.

The project outline on the left follows the most universal business logic: parent-child work breakdown into
lowest-level tasks.

In addition to planned projects, “Ad-hoc” items can be inserted as any new outline or alternatively attached to an
existing project or task as action items.

To-do’s or events can be directly created, e.g., in the calendar,
without being affiliated with any project, as well as assigned to any task.

Attention is triggered by audible alerts, automatic emails, or by manually eyeballing color-coded lists that are
one-clicked into the sort order needed at that moment.

ManagePro adds 4 critical features to project management. (VIDEO)

2. How can I easily view
what’s assigned to each of my direct reports and the status of their deliverables?
To review task by person in Project’s Gantt view, 1. select the View tab, then 2. Filter by Resource, then 3.
select resources from the drop-down box.

To view tasks by you can also switch from the project view to the “Team Planner” or “Resource Usage” view which allows
you to view tasks by Assignee.
Tasks by person are organized with the person on the left, breaking up the continuity of the project outline.

In AtTask, you cannot easily work from the project view and filter by any one person in AtTask. To view tasks
assigned to a person, you leave the outline view and switch to a table view, with one or more people displayed and the
tasks listed below their name.

Like Project, viewing “who is assigned to what” in this type of table format makes it easy to organize by individual,
but loses value for the supervisor or project manager because of breaking up the continuity of the project outline.

In BaseCamp status is reviewed by clicking “Review all open to-dos” from the Project Summary page, which displays
all tasks across all projects Project-specific tasks can be found by selecting the project, clicking “To-dos” and
selecting the person’s name in the upper right box.

To some extent you can review the status of deliverables by individual by using the Progress tab, although the update
information is very limited.

Select any user in ManagePro and in one click you see that user’s action projects, task, updates and to-dos in an
organized list, so you don’t have to search from project to project.

The best part is that you don’t have to leave the overall list of projects and tasks to view what’s assigned to any
one person or team, just select them from the User drop down menu and the screen automatically filters out all tasks
not assigned to the person or team you selected.

Finally, ManagePro pioneered the ability to attach any number of Updates and To-Do’s directly to each task or line item.

3. How well integrated with Outlook is this? Does the calendar synchronize, can I email out through Outlook,
will it track who and what I sent as emails, will it allow me to drag and drop email into the applications as tasks,
to-dos, updates or meetings?
In Project there are no direct connections or synchronization to Outlook except via 3rd party add-ins or purchasing and connecting MS Project to Project Server (another product) which integrates with Exchange, and pushes/ pulls info server-server.
MS Project does not support Outlook email drag and drop into Projects as updates or tasks.
The additional Exchange integration does gives a “web” interface for remote users to see tasks/ events via OWA.
It’s more of a task list with the ability to update status and number of hours, but has no significant project
management capability.
AtTask has a separate Outlook add-in for a direct view and interaction from within Outlook, supporting dragging
email into an AtTask task list, which Outlook does for any email actually.
It does support posting time and comments to the AtTask tasks represented within Outlook. It doesn’t represent
AtTask events within the Outlook Calendar, other than using standard meeting events within Outlook.
BaseCamp allows you to email out to-dos through a web email program, however it does not provide any direct
synchronization with Outlook or drag and drop capabilities.
You can respond to a BaseCamp-generated e-mail from Outlook, and that response will post as a discussion or task
update.
ManagePro provides a powerful synchronization engine with Outlook, displaying goals, to-dos and events, in
Outlook’s task and calendar views and updating both programs with current updates when syncing.
ManagePro also supports emailing any records, progress update or report out through Outlook for notification purposes.
Probably the best part, however, is that ManagePro allows you to drag email from Outlook directly into the project
plan or calendar and drop them as to-dos, events or progress updates, with all of the attached documents and graphics.
4. How easy is it to drill down if I need to on a particular task? Can I see a history of all the progress
updates? How about attached documents or reports… or outstanding to-dos?
In MS Project, you can attach progress updates and documents in a general notes field. It does not support
tracking comments by date entered, nor does it support being able to report across project tasks based upon the
last progress update, or updates within the last week.
MS Project doesn’t provide tracking of to-dos or events against tasks.
AtTask does organize updates by project and by owner, and it does support drill-down for history of updates and
requests.
AtTask doesn’t differentiate between project tasks and the to-dos or the need for reminders that emerge in completing
tasks.
In BaseCamp, you can drill down into progress history by reviewing task discussions. There is no provision for
date stamped progress update nor do discussions include documents.
However, documentation can be either created within the account as text documents, or uploaded into the account,
but not aligned to a specific task.
In ManagePro’s Main workspace outline, simply click on a parent item to unfold its lower-level sub-goals and
tasks; keep clicking to expand the view to lower levels.
On the right window the details for any record are immediately available, in sortable tables, including:

Progress updates,

Documents,

Outstanding to-dos or action items

Events and meetings

Scorecard results.

5. Is there a Gantt chart?
Does it allow me to link dependent tasks? How about resource allocation?
MS Project provides a Gantt chart while supporting a number of dependency types, for instance Finish to Start,
Start to Start and Finish to Finish.

It can assign and allocate resources by class/ type and cost. As well as resource leveling capabilities.

AtTask provides both a Gantt chart and resource scheduling options in a manner that is similar to MS Project.

Resource allocation per individual

No, BaseCamp does not provide any Gantt chart, dependency tracking or resource allocation it is simply
structured around task lists and a simplistic calendar, with no way to assign dependencies. Since tasks are not
assigned durations, LOE or other metrics, the program does not allow for resources allocation.
ManagePro’s interactive Gantt chart allows linking tasks with F-S dependencies, while tracking status, % Complete
and who’s assigned, and adds the ability to overlay resource allocation by individual or team.

Resource allocation is also tracked from the top down, e.g. which projects are resourced and at what %, as well as at
the team and individual level to accommodate the challenges anyone faces in management.

6. Can I put my Strategic plan in here and link it to the projects or initiatives that support it? MS Project doesn’t have any way to different strategy from a project, nor to link strategy across projects.
One cannot simply tag goals as strategic and link them to supporting goals. About as close as you can get, is to
create a master project as your strategic plan, and then link it to sub-projects… not very intuitive.
In AtTask you can aggregate goals into or underneath a portfolio, so that they represent supporting Goals from a
dashboard perspective, but no, you can’t link strategies to objectives and tasks down into the work flow of your
team or organization.
No. BaseCamp does not support hierarchy, or being able to “link” tasks based on strategic alignment. ManagePro makes linking your strategy to projects, even tasks across all your departments very easy. Alignment
with your strategy is truly an ongoing operational reality. Just right click on a goal to tag it as strategic; it can
be anywhere within the outline. Then right click on any project in the database, regardless of its location within
the outline; select the strategy it supports and you’re done!

ManagePro can display those relationships in a number of ways, including rearranging the outline so all the
supporting goals are directly underneath the strategic goal; or view the list as a graphical mapping; score cards
roll up to the proper strategic goal.

7. Is this available on my desktop or the web or both? MS Project is a primarily a desktop application. Other users can contribute via a web or Outlook interface with the right additional tools, but MS Project is not itself web based. AtTask is a web-based tool and also provides an Outlook add-in version. BaseCamp is strictly a web-based tool. ManagePro is available as a desktop based application, a web application (MProLite), a combination, where you
work you’re your desktop or laptop, then sync up over the web, and as an Outlook addin
8. How easy is this to learn? Will there be anyone there if I call? MS Project requires some deep diving to understand how to get around in the tool. There are a number of seminars
offered by 3rd parties, and therebut there is a Wizard and a template library.

Microsoft makes available some basic phone tech support, but not training upon purchase.

AtTask provides a professional services consulting organization to assist you with training and deployment.

Convenient contact information is provided, however getting your call returned when you have question or need to
reach someone with your questions about the product can be difficult

BaseCamp, given its simple features and limited options is very easy to learn. Video tutorials are available on
the website. There is no number listed on their site for you to call for assistance.
ManagePro’s home office is on the west coast of the US. You can reach someone with your questions immediately at
(877) 487-3001

In terms of training there is an extensive library of free training videos, a printable help file and training
offered over the web as well as your business location.

And yes, ManagePro’s staff has provided onsite consulting and deployment services in every continent of the world.

9. Who is this program really built for? MS Project is designed for project managers, with a special emphasis upon providing scheduling and resource allocation tools. AtTask is designed for a variety of small project management roles, and is aimed at users looking for a web-based tool. BaseCamp is designed for users looking for something very simple, that doesn’t create any learning challenge and sets up as easily as sending someone an email invitation. ManagePro is the ultimate people management tool … so it combines project management, with strategic planning,
with scorecards and analytics, document management, Outlook integration and time cards… but mostly it helps people
accomplish great things by providing a single plan to plan, update and track what’s happening at the work place.
Check out the “Take a ManagePro Tour” video at http://www.ManagePro.com to get
a quick overview.



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