There’s two kinds of business people – those who are busy and those who are insanely busy. If you work on multiple projects with multiple people you’re probably in the insanely busy crowd and you rely heavily on tech tools to keep you on track.
By default many of you, I guess, use Microsoft Outlook or Excel to manage your time and projects. These tools are “ok” up to a point – like up to the point when you need a much more robust and flexible solution.
One solution that you might want to consider is AEC Software’s FastTrack Schedule 9.
The latest version of FastTrack has several useful features:
Many of you already use another application. Recognizing this, FastTrack can use other data, including Microsoft Project files
Linking activities is easier in this version and offers more ways to do it
There are many things important to a project’s success and FastTrack helps make your project a success by managing project dependencies. If you are a wedding planner and the “Jone’s” wedding has some dependence on the “Smith’s” wedding FastTrack helps.
Knowing what resources (people and products) are available for projects is important as well. If Jill is not being used enough – you need to know that. If John, however, is over worked and being stretched. Managers need to know this as well. FastTrack’s views help you keep these things in order.
The impact of your plan revisions needs to be understood as clearly as possible as well. Thinking through these things on the back of an napkin or in Excel could be very costly.
I had a look at Microsoft Project to compare, to some degree another project management software.
– Microsoft’s software cost $560 for a single version user.
– As with all Microsoft applications, Project communicates seamlessly with Microsoft Office.
– Project includes an interactive step by step planning guide
– Being able to track projects based on their financial impact is important and Project enables you to do this
FastTrack’s selling point is it saves you money (tt costs $350) and is simpler to use. A five user concurrent version is $3,000.
You can get the full feature list of FastTrack here.
Saving money is a powerful incentive to use FastTrack, but not the only reason.
If you come across Microsoft Project files, FastTrack can open them. As far as sharing with others you can export FastTrack data as HTM, XML, iCalendar or other features.
If you’ve never used project management software you’ll find that FastTrack will quite effectively help keep you and your projects on schedule. As with all technology, keep in mind that it is only a tool. If you are habitually sloppy and late, technology might just help you be even more sloppy and late. Best for you to get a business coach or advisor who can help you in your life and then use technology once your life is in order.