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-   -   How do you manage multiple projects? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=4294)

pburton 2007-07-25 09:16 AM

How do you manage multiple projects?
 
I [B]must[/B]be missing something ... I am evaluating OminPlan, but can't figure out how to manage multiple projects and I am beginning to think that maybe it isn't possible.

How would a user manage multiple projects? Does OmniPlan have a "dashboard" or even a drop menu that lists current projects?

Or, does a user have to manually open each and every project file to update a specific project? It also looks as though the only means of viewing a calendar of ALL active projects (ToDos & such) is if each project is manually imported into iCal? If this is the case, this is about a counterintuitive as it gets!

Seems to be a great app for an individual / company with a single active project.

Hopefully, I am missing something.

Thanks
-paul

skwirl 2007-07-25 09:58 AM

[QUOTE=pburton]I [B]must[/B]be missing something ... I am evaluating OminPlan, but can't figure out how to manage multiple projects and I am beginning to think that maybe it isn't possible.

How would a user manage multiple projects? Does OmniPlan have a "dashboard" or even a drop menu that lists current projects?

Or, does a user have to manually open each and every project file to update a specific project? It also looks as though the only means of viewing a calendar of ALL active projects (ToDos & such) is if each project is manually imported into iCal? If this is the case, this is about a counterintuitive as it gets!

Seems to be a great app for an individual / company with a single active project.

Hopefully, I am missing something.

Thanks
-paul[/QUOTE]

Multi-project dashboard support is being planned for a future version of OmniPlan. As of right now, you'll have to manually open each and every project file to update a specific project.

We're also looking at doing more integration with iCal in the future as well. I'll add another vote to both of these requests in our database for you.

We did create an Applescript that allows you to join two project files together, so you could use this script to import each project file into a master project file and view everything in the master project. Here's the link to the Applescript if you want to try it out:

[URL="http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniplan/extras/"]http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniplan/extras/[/URL]

jkolonay 2007-07-25 10:17 AM

I too am attempting to use OmniPlan to manage multiple projects. So far, I have a group for each active project. I have a limited number of developers and for planning purposes, I assume that 10% of their day is lost to rest room breaks, phone calls, etc. So I start with a base 90% for each developer.

What I'm wondering is how do I make this work to say Developer A will spend 45% of their day on tasks in project A and 45% of their day on tasks in project B between date 1 and date 2. Is this possible currently?

Thanks for the great mac software! I'm an M$ Project refugee :)

pburton 2007-07-25 11:18 AM

Thanks for the response. I am very interested in OmniPlan (after having looked at every PM app out there, including Merlin). But, until the multiple projects feature is added, it isn't a viable option for me.

I realize this is a loaded question, but how far down the road is
Multi-project dashboard support for OmniPlan?

skwirl 2007-07-25 03:29 PM

[QUOTE=jkolonay]I too am attempting to use OmniPlan to manage multiple projects. So far, I have a group for each active project. I have a limited number of developers and for planning purposes, I assume that 10% of their day is lost to rest room breaks, phone calls, etc. So I start with a base 90% for each developer.

What I'm wondering is how do I make this work to say Developer A will spend 45% of their day on tasks in project A and 45% of their day on tasks in project B between date 1 and date 2. Is this possible currently?

Thanks for the great mac software! I'm an M$ Project refugee :)[/QUOTE]

You should be able to change the assigned percentage amount by selecting the task or group that the resource is assigned to and change their assigned percentage in the "Task : Assignment" inspector panel.

skwirl 2007-07-25 03:32 PM

[QUOTE=pburton]Thanks for the response. I am very interested in OmniPlan (after having looked at every PM app out there, including Merlin). But, until the multiple projects feature is added, it isn't a viable option for me.

I realize this is a loaded question, but how far down the road is
Multi-project dashboard support for OmniPlan?[/QUOTE]

This is a major feature and will probably be added somewhere in OmniPlan 2.0. As for when OmniPlan 2.0 will be released, it's way too early to tell and I can't throw out any sort of estimate at this time.

The Jones Boy 2007-08-02 08:18 AM

No master view is a serious omission. I love what I am seeing so far but I am managing a studio and need to see all our live work at a glance in one handy screen.

So, yes please, bump this feature and add my name to the list.

Cheers.

skwirl 2007-08-02 04:56 PM

[QUOTE=The Jones Boy;18644]No master view is a serious omission. I love what I am seeing so far but I am managing a studio and need to see all our live work at a glance in one handy screen.

So, yes please, bump this feature and add my name to the list.

Cheers.[/QUOTE]

Will do! :-)

olrs 2007-09-19 11:13 AM

count me in
 
I'd like to vote for these features as well. I have just bought a copy of OmniPlan and will use it for the odd one-off project for my team but there are several project managers at my company who are using MS Project and won't be able to switch over until these features are added (they'd really like to though). I also cannot use OmniPlan to collaborate with my MS Project colleagues due to this so I will still have to use Project as well... grumble grumble.

EDIT: my main concern is multi-project resource management. What I think would be great is if the resource utilization data could somehow be synced across all copies of OmniPlan on the same network.

peterh 2009-09-23 08:06 AM

Need this feature as well
 
We often have the same people working across several projects and the ability to view their utilization across all projects would help us enormously.

jgrafix 2009-10-11 02:52 PM

Add my vote to this one as well.

cahir 2009-10-12 03:26 PM

Multiple projects in one file
 
When using the workaround of consolidating multiple projects into one file and using 1st level groups, has anyone gotten useful HTML reports? Either they aren't designed for that or I'm doing something wrong.

What I am looking for ideally is a summary overview of each top level project which would include orig target complete date, revised complete date, and percent complete.

Anyone able to accomplish this with OmniPlan?

chipbrock 2010-01-05 08:40 AM

it's been years!
 
hi
I have held off omniplan because of the lack of multiple project overview, but had to do something recently and bought it. But, in reading the forum, it's clear that the multiple project issue has been 2-3 years promised! Really?

I know. The script has been available, but this is a remarkably slow development time for such an obvious and much-asked-for enhancement. Just sayin'.

whpalmer4 2010-01-05 10:32 AM

Yes, it has been requested and promised for some time. You'll note that they've been careful to avoid specifying when it would be available except in terms of which release it might occupy, and they haven't broken any promises in this regard. It's a big piece of work, not just a few extra checkboxes here and there, and I think you would agree that one of the primary reasons for using Omni's software is that they try to make it better than average. Who knows how many internal designs have been prototyped in an effort to determine the Right Thing to build? There have been a number of other features requested over and over (repeating or split tasks, for example) that undoubtedly have consumed some of the resources.

They've also been busy fixing bugs and adding smaller features, as a look at the release notes will show. I think there has been a desire to "complete" the 1.x releases so that people who don't need the big features in 2.x won't have to buy it just to get some items intended for 1.x all along.

While multi-project support is obviously very important to people who have to manage multiple simultaneous projects, it is far from obvious that those people are the biggest part of the customer pool. I do think that building a tool that does a good job with single project management and extending it to do a good job with multi-project management is a better approach than building a tool that does a mediocre job of both from the outset, especially for the customers who don't need to manage several projects. Hopefully, everyone will agree the long gestation time was worth it!

Chinaski 2010-01-19 06:29 PM

And can you add mine too!! - master view would be fantastic as I am juggling multiple projects and an "overall" view would be great - particularly for reporting to my Board.

crysinsf 2010-02-01 01:46 PM

These posts are from 2007. I just bought the latest version 1.6.4. Is the multi-project feature in this release? I hope so! Help!

whpalmer4 2010-02-01 02:52 PM

The thread started in 2007, but there are certainly more recent posts as well. The multi-project feature is not in the shipping software as of this writing. Aaron mentioned that they are looking at it for OP 2.0, which has been slated for release sometime in 2010, although with Omni's recently announced plans to bring most of their apps to the iPad in 2010, it might be prudent to read that as "late 2010, maybe early 2011" and be pleasantly surprised if it turns out to be sooner.

JPamplin 2010-02-16 10:56 AM

[QUOTE=akwong;18083]This is a major feature and will probably be added somewhere in OmniPlan 2.0. As for when OmniPlan 2.0 will be released, it's way too early to tell and I can't throw out any sort of estimate at this time.[/QUOTE]

this was July 2007. Is there a timeline for 2.0?

JP

acitrano 2010-03-25 11:34 AM

[QUOTE=JPamplin;73404]this was July 2007. Is there a timeline for 2.0?

JP[/QUOTE]

Starting to seem like never.

hoju 2010-07-28 04:32 PM

Hi,

The link posted early on for the Applescript to import projects into a master project is no longer functional. Is this still available?

Thanks!

whpalmer4 2010-07-28 04:34 PM

Try here: [url]http://classic.omnigroup.com/applications/omniplan/extras/[/url]

hoju 2010-07-29 08:29 AM

Thanks very much!

skwirl 2010-07-30 09:53 AM

That Applescript was only used for earlier versions of OmniPlan. The reason for the Applescript was to help preserve resource assignments on tasks when merging multiple projects because copying/pasting would forget about them.

In more recent versions of OmniPlan (including 1.6.4), copy/paste will preserve the resource assignments and merge duplicate resources if they're named exactly the same, so the Applescript isn't needed anymore.

LolliDoo 2010-08-23 08:59 AM

Add me to the list as another user who would like multi-project functionality, please.

nevin 2010-09-27 07:51 PM

Is there any progress about the multiple projects dashboard? The first post in this thread dated back to 2+ years ago.

Bluefusion 2010-10-22 04:46 AM

How do I add multiple projects?
 
This should be obvious but I cannot work out how you do this?

I can create a new Project and add the Tasks, but how do I add another Project with drop down tasks as I need to manage multiple projects in the same timeline?

Brian 2010-10-22 12:47 PM

Bluefusion, I'm going to move your question to an existing thread which should have some info that's helpful. Just wanted to give you a heads-up before I did so. :-)

pheller 2010-10-27 11:49 AM

2.0 / Dashboard status, please? I'm sitting in a giant collaborative meeting at work right now, and we are searching for a solution...

stevec 2010-11-16 12:18 PM

Add me to the list as another user who would like multi-project functionality, please.

JackTheNipple 2011-01-18 06:58 AM

we need a multiple project view/dashboard too
 
[QUOTE=stevec;88989]Add me to the list as another user who would like multi-project functionality, please.[/QUOTE]

please add me as well.
Just bought OmniPlan and now I need to start copying the content

Thanks in advance,
Jack

alexsmith 2011-01-23 05:17 AM

Here here. I'll bump up the voting one more time for multiple project support.

On a somewhat related note... is there a separate thread already going for resource reporting? Ideally, we'd have the ability to see what we're spending on those multiple projects (i.e. resource cost reporting for multiple staff members across one or multiple projects).

Thanks Omni! Your apps are excellent.

arobulack 2011-02-02 07:15 PM

Another Vote
 
This is huge, both for myself and the clients I make software recommendations to. So that should qualify for 12-15 votes, right? ;-)

jamesb 2011-02-03 02:55 AM

Another vote
 
Hi
We are going to buy Copper. Though I would rather much have Omniplan 2.0 but cannot wait for it any longer.

Here is hoping that the dashboard, multi-project ability + a web based version are launched this year. Here is hoping... :-)

I know Omni you are a small company and doing you best so don't take this the wrong way. Keep up the great work.

J

MSS 2011-03-07 08:40 AM

One more vote
 
NEED Multi-Project capabilities!Put me on the list.

Can't continue to use or recommend OmniPlan at work until then.
Dashboard would be fantastic.
I'll still use it for personal projects.

MSS
OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, OmniPlan

Macsimice 2011-03-08 04:46 AM

[QUOTE=skwirl;18054]Multi-project dashboard support is being planned for a future version of OmniPlan. As of right now, you'll have to manually open each and every project file to update a specific project.

We're also looking at doing more integration with iCal in the future as well. I'll add another vote to both of these requests in our database for you.

We did create an Applescript that allows you to join two project files together, so you could use this script to import each project file into a master project file and view everything in the master project. Here's the link to the Applescript if you want to try it out:

[URL="http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniplan/extras/"]http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniplan/extras/[/URL][/QUOTE]


Awesome, just what i need! Consider this one more vote.

fotakis 2011-03-16 12:52 AM

+1 for multi project! I know you have been busy with iOS, but don't forget us folks!

ambi 2011-04-27 05:02 AM

Does OmniPlan 2.0 support multiple projects?
 
Does this version support multiple projects?

tbo 2011-04-27 01:08 PM

Nope. Not on one sheet. You must add them as tasks.

ambi 2011-04-27 03:42 PM

That's (still!) a deal breaker. Without the ability to natively and properly manage several projects, it is not possible to call this a serious application for serious work. Too bad.

Ken Case 2011-04-27 04:30 PM

[QUOTE=ambi;96462]That's (still!) a deal breaker. Without the ability to natively and properly manage several projects, it is not possible to call this a serious application for serious work. Too bad.[/QUOTE]

OmniPlan has always supported multiple projects by using separate documents for each project. Could you explain what you're wanting to be able to do that you can't do using multiple documents?

whpalmer4 2011-04-27 05:25 PM

One thing you can't currently do is to share resources between projects as if sharing resources between different tasks in a single document while still maintaining the ability to have differing per-project settings. If you want multiple projects now with the ability to share resources, you get projects that are more like action groups in OmniFocus — similar, but missing some essential project functionality.

falcovandermaden 2011-04-28 03:39 AM

This was missing functionality since version 1. Asked for this some years ago already. How else can I manage our recources over multiple projects (our resources work on different projects at a time).

Ken Case 2011-04-28 05:36 AM

Since OmniPlan does in fact support multiple projects (and a number of us have used it to manage multiple projects!), it helps to talk about what could be better about that support rather than whether or not they're supported at all.

What I'm hearing so far in this thread are two votes for easier ways to coordinate resource scheduling between multiple projects. (However, I'm not yet sure whether that's what the original poster is wanting to see improved. Sometimes when people ask about multiple projects, what they're wanting has nothing to do with shared resources at all—they just mean tabs in a window, or a common dashboard somewhere which lists active projects with their progress towards milestones, or a way to overlay multiple drafts of a project to see what's different between the two.)

Does that mean that you'd want each project to be able to participate in a single shared resource pool? What happens when you want to make another copy of the project to consider an alternate scenario? Do you make another copy of the "shared" resource pool as well? Or do you only publish to the pool when you've blessed a particular scenario? (In which case, how do you truly explore cross-product resource allocation scenarios?)

Now I recognize that it's not your job to figure out the answer to those questions—that's our job! But before we do that we do want to make sure we understand your needs so we don't design the wrong solutions for those needs.

ambi 2011-04-28 07:20 AM

What I would like (very much) to see improved is exactly what whpalmer4, and falcovandermaden have said. I'm certain I am not alone.

Ken, when you say that OmniPlan supports multiple projects, what do you mean? Certainly I can just make separate OmniPlan documents and maintain all of them independently. You don't mean that *that* is support of multiple projects do you? The problem with that is I have resources spread over several projects. What happens if I want to shift some resources from one project to another (say, go from a 50-50 split to a 70-30 split if I have only 2 projects)? Don't I then have to go to each document and manually change each file, and then ensure (again manually) that the resource is utilized at exactly 100%? You can see, I hope, how that is not tenable, especially if I have more than 2 projects and more than two resources. Yet our project manager needs to do such shifting around all the time. Another suggestion was to use one document but keep projects as separate groups. I don't know if this solves the resource sharing option, but, even if it does, we have problems with the critical path. Maybe 2.0 solves this? Can you have multiple critical paths running in parallel for different milestones?

To answer your question whether or not I'd want each project to be able to participate in a single shared resource pool, my answer is an emphatic yes. In fact that is *exactly* what I mean by supporting multiple projects. (Thank you for being more clear and less snarky than I was.) I want to be able to distribute our (scarce!) resources (mostly people) among our projects in an optimal way so as to maximize our productivity and meet our deadlines. Each of our people is involved in several of our projects, and I want to provide guidance to them regarding how much they should focus on each of their projects.

Your question about exploring alternate resource-allocation scenarios is exactly what I want to be able to do, and that I have great trouble doing in the current version. (Note that I haven't played with v2.0 yet.) I want to able to say "Right, persons X and Y need to devote 80%, not 60% to project A in order to meet our deadline. But how then does affect the other projects?" Currently, it's relatively easy to change the percentages within a project, but it is tedious and error-prone to see what effect that has on the other projects. I also want to easily be able to answer questions like "How is person X's time spread among their various projects?" There is currently no easy way to do that.

Does that help explain the problem?

Rachael 2011-04-28 09:06 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Ambi,

you CAN actually have multiple critical paths in OP 2.0! Any milestone can have a critical path traced back from it. You can check this out by creating a milestone, and then looking at the new Milestone Inspector which is right next to the project Info inspector (it has a diamond milestone icon). There you can turn on and off various critical paths, and change the color they show in, as well as adjust slack for each one.

edit: Here's a screenshot of what I'm talking about, hope that helps!

ambi 2011-04-28 09:29 AM

Hi Rachael,

That's good to know, and thank you for the screen shot. I have another (more important) question based on your attached picture. On each day, you currently have Resource 1 working on only one task at a time. (And similarly with Resource 2.) Now, can you set each Resource's time to be split equally between Project 1 and Project 2 and then have these projects proceed in parallel? (Of course, each project would then take longer to do.) These are the sorts of things we often need to do, and that's what I mean by sharing resources across projects. I would like the levelling to be able to handle this automatically. Can you do this? If so, I would be very grateful if you could provide instructions on how to get the leveller to do this and also attach another screen shot. Thanks.

Ken Case 2011-04-28 11:08 AM

[QUOTE=ambi;96495]Now, can you set each Resource's time to be split equally between Project 1 and Project 2 and then have these projects proceed in parallel?[/QUOTE]

For that scenario, I think it's actually simplest to leave them in separate projects and simply set the resource availability to 50% in each one.

Or, for more control, you could split their scheduled hours to spend half-time in each project, e.g. spending their mornings on one project and afternoons on the other, or by alternating days or weeks or whatever. That would let you change the allocation over the course of the project, e.g. if you decide they should focus on a particular project as it approaches a deadline, then go back to their normal 50/50 schedule afterwards.

I do agree that it would be helpful to visualize resource allocations across multiple projects, so you could see when you've accidentally scheduled them at 75% time on 3 projects at once. We started heading that way in OmniPlan 2, but we're not done yet. (You can get part-way there in OmniPlan 2 by publishing a resource's tasks from a project to a calendar server, then pulling free/busy times from that calendar server to block them out of another project. That's not the easiest workflow, though, and doesn't help you level resources across multiple projects at once.)

ambi 2011-04-28 04:24 PM

[QUOTE=Ken Case;96509]For that scenario, I think it's actually simplest to leave them in separate projects and simply set the resource availability to 50% in each one.[/QUOTE]

Yes I agree. It is the simplest of the available choices, and that's the problem -- it is not really very simple to use at all because we have a number of projects and a number of resources (people, mostly). It seems we are constantly fiddling with the parameters to make it work, and even then it is up to us (ie, there are no UI cues) to tell us if someone is over- or under-utilised. Hence my original remark about the situation being basically untenable. I use Omniplan myself for small "scenario theatre" but I cannot really foist it on all my people until this is sorted out.

[QUOTE=Ken Case;96509]Or, for more control, you could split their scheduled hours to spend half-time in each project, e.g. spending their mornings on one project and afternoons on the other, or by alternating days or weeks or whatever. That would let you change the allocation over the course of the project, e.g. if you decide they should focus on a particular project as it approaches a deadline, then go back to their normal 50/50 schedule afterwards.[/QUOTE]

And keep everything in one document (i.e., in one file)? That might work better, in that it should be easier to keep track of people being over and under-utilised when I look at the loads. But, again, it will entail a bunch of manual and frustrating tweaking to make it all work. It's a bit of a hack, and a fragile one at that. In any case, I think you understand my problem. I'm sure there are many others who have this exact same problem. Perhaps some of them will chime in.

[QUOTE=Ken Case;96509]I do agree that it would be helpful to visualize resource allocations across multiple projects, so you could see when you've accidentally scheduled them at 75% time on 3 projects at once. We started heading that way in OmniPlan 2, but we're not done yet. (You can get part-way there in OmniPlan 2 by publishing a resource's tasks from a project to a calendar server, then pulling free/busy times from that calendar server to block them out of another project. That's not the easiest workflow, though, and doesn't help you level resources across multiple projects at once.)[/QUOTE]

Ouch. I really hope you guys solve this problem. Levelling resources across multiple projects at once is very important. It is what's keeping us from using Omniplan exclusively.

michaelaye 2011-04-28 05:03 PM

Actually, I don't understand why it would be such a hack/effort to have 2 projects in one file but in different group task? What is the difference between 2 projects and 2 group tasks that both can be executed simultaneously?
You can multi-select all the tasks in one group and change with one action the percentage a resource works on these.
Then you do the same for the other group task and should you put some tasks to higher priority than 100-(the other one), the levelling would even automatically shift the dates so that your resource is not working more than 100% (even so you COULD do that if you wanted it).
Additionally you can set different levelling priorities on different tasks and/or groups, so you have very detailed control if you put both in one file, doesn't seem so bad to me?
(I don't have budget experience, so that might be difficult to separate)

ambi 2011-04-28 06:36 PM

2 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=michaelaye;96554]You can multi-select all the tasks in one group and change with one action the percentage a resource works on these.[/QUOTE]

I don't think you *can* do that in one action, but maybe I'm missing something. I've attached screen shots (one task view and one resource view of the same project) of how I'd like things to end up. I was only able to do this by manually going through each task and assigning resource percentages for each one. If I select Project 1, for example, I don't think I can say "Resource 1 spends 50% of their time in Project 1." If I try, Resource 1 gets assigned 50% to *each* task in Project 1, which is not what I want.

If you look at the resource view screen shot, you can see that the total Units for Resource 1 is 100%. I think what I need, is to be able to say that Resource 1 has 50% for Project 1 and 50% for Project 2. Right now, all I can say is that Resource 1 has 50% for Task 1 and 50% for Task 3. Am I making sense?

I think we need to be able to assign resources in a hierarchical manner; first, allocate resources to a Project; then, within that Project, allocate resources to a task. That way, if you want to shift resources between projects, you don't need to change the percentages for each task individually. This is not a problem if you have one file per project because, in each file, you can globally set the units for a Resource to something less than 100%. But then you loose the benefit of the auto leveller between projects, and it's up to you to make sure your Resource isn't allocated more than 100% across all your projects.

Basically, there are currently pros and cons for keeping projects all in one file vs. splitting them up between files. If you now go up to, say, 5 or 6 projects and 5 or 6 resources, then it all becomes unwieldy and, I think, untenable.

I hope that make sense. Does it?

tbo 2011-04-28 10:44 PM

So as I see it, it basically boils down to resource allocation between several projects. This is indeed a severe limitation. Just adding a tab-feature does not solve this, I'm afraid.
Example: I have several customers with various projects each. So I set up a project for each customer and a task group for each project. After doing this, I have to balance my workload (I am the resource) manually. This can be a pain and certainly leads to a time delta, making predictions about the tasks' end quite difficult. But that is the question I get: "Will you get it done until the umptieth?"

michaelaye 2011-04-29 12:56 AM

You are correct, what I meant is the setting per many tasks you can do with one click, if/when the resource works on every task.

Otherwise you'd have to cherry-pick, therefore a control coming from the resource pool would make things much easier.

Greg Titus 2011-04-29 09:53 AM

I see. Let me restate to make sure I understand: you want a simple way to rebalance a resource's work on multiple projects by changing the %-assigned for all tasks on that project all at once, correct?

I see how OmniPlan is less than ideal here, although here's a method that minimizes the manual effort involved:

1) Create a filter (cmd-shift-f) for tasks matching All of:
* WBS numbers begin with "1."
* Assigned to Resource 1
* Show only matches in flat list
(Sample screenshot below. I advise saving this filter, and then you can easily edit it to change the WBS number for different projects, or the resource for different people.)

2) Select All (cmd-a)
3) Enter in the new assignment percentage for the desired resource for all of these tasks in the Task: Assignments inspector.

If you want to modify assignment %-ages for other projects at the same time, then press the "Edit" button in the filter toolbar, change the project #, press okay.

What you'd really like to be able to do, is to select a group and somehow say: all tasks within this group should have only 30% of resource 1's time, if resource 1 is assigned to the task. And have this not only change the existing assignments, but act the same way with new assignments. I have some ideas on how you could implement something like that with custom columns and AppleScript, but it would be better if something like it was built in, absolutely.

Thanks very much for going into detail on the actual operations you need. Like Ken said earlier, "multiple projects" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

[IMG]http://imgur.com/spG7n.png[/IMG]

whpalmer4 2011-04-29 10:35 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Yeah, I thought that would work, too. Then I tried it :-)

Okay, here's Joe's plate of work, unleveled and unassigned, with the two "projects" being Budget and Site Preparation:

[URL=http://img541.imageshack.us/i/screenshot20110429at112.png/][IMG]http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/3498/screenshot20110429at112.png[/IMG][/URL]

Now we build the filters for Budget and Site Preparation, use them to select all the tasks in each "project", assign them to Joe, and put him at 50%.

[URL=http://img222.imageshack.us/i/screenshot20110429at113.png/][IMG]http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/4035/screenshot20110429at113.png[/IMG][/URL]


[URL=http://img824.imageshack.us/i/screenshot20110429at113.png/][IMG]http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/4035/screenshot20110429at113.png[/IMG][/URL]

Now we level the document, and look what happens!

[URL=http://img820.imageshack.us/i/screenshot20110429at113.png/][IMG]http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/4035/screenshot20110429at113.png[/IMG][/URL]

That's exactly what the leveling rules say will happen, of course — the stuff higher in the document with equal priority comes first. Unfortunately, what Joe probably wants is to ping-pong between those two projects at the same time, spending half of his time on each, like you can see in the attachment (it would be nice if the limit of inline attachments could be higher!)

Greg Titus 2011-04-29 02:25 PM

This scenario brings up another interesting UI issue, actually: assuming we support leveling multiple projects together in the way that you'd want in this example, there are two different interpretations of "resource 1 50% available".

(1) as intended in this thread so far, where the resource can simultaneously work on tasks in two different projects because (s)he is 50% available in each, or
(2) the resource really only works half-time, in which case seeing two different projects with 50% availability means that we'd want to have the resource somehow alternate (or in some other manner, interleave) tasks from each.

whpalmer4 2011-04-29 02:48 PM

I suspect what you want is the ability to assign a specific percentage of hours to a project, with no assumptions made about equal divisions as my example unfortunately promotes. I'm sure there are users who would prefer to be able to do it based on a number of hours instead of a percentage (just like you see with completion percentages), so it would be nice if the UI made that possible. Maybe something like the way Disk Utility lets you carve up a disk into partitions, with a setting that is the baseline (equivalent of a project's normal work week), and the ability to alter it for a period of time (off and additional hours).

Greg Titus 2011-04-30 08:25 AM

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply equal divisions either (50/50 was just an example). And the underlying issue I'm trying to get at is in the data model rather than the UI. There is new information needed about a resource (in this example, whether (s)he is 100% available overall in all projects or only 50% available overall) which is not captured in either project #1 or #2 (in which the resource is 50% available in both).

So in order to support what we're talking about here we'd need some kind of additional store of information about resources that is outside of and in addition to the projects themselves.

ambi 2011-05-02 05:33 AM

[QUOTE=Greg Titus;96651]So in order to support what we're talking about here we'd need some kind of additional store of information about resources that is outside of and in addition to the projects themselves.[/QUOTE]

Yes, I agree; that was what I was trying to get at when I mentioned that we need to be able to assign resources in a hierarchical manner. First, there is the overall availability of a resource, so that X% means that a resource is available only X% of his total available time. (Call this the Global Availability of Resource 1.) Second, there is the allocation to a specific project, so that a Y% allocation of Resource 1 to Project 1 means that, of the Global Availability, Y% is to be devoted to Project 1. (Call this the Project-1 Availability of Resource 1.) Third, there is the task assignment, so that Z% allocation of Resource 1 to Task A in Project 1, means that, of the Project-1 Availability of Resource 1, Z% is to be devoted to Task A.

The reason whpalmer4's attempt failed, I believe, is that, in Task 1.1, for example, Joe is listed at 50% of 100%, whereas it *should* be something like 50% of 50% of 100%. (ie, 100 Global availability, 50 of the 100 in Project 1, and all 50 of *that* 50 in Task 1.)

Unfortunately, I fear there is currently no way to do this in the current version of the application because the only granularity available is either Global Availability, or task assignment. But I'll be very happy to be proven wrong!

[U]Question[/U]: If you keep one project per file (so that the resource's availability in the inspector corresponds to what I've called the Project Availability above), then could an Applescript gather different files, add up a Resource's availability and tell you what the Resource's Global Availability is?

joelande 2011-05-03 12:07 PM

Personally I think at the end of the day for this capability, this feature is really going to need to be built into the software as a specific capability.

Maybe you could utilize and expand on the WebDAV-sync infrastructure:

So we could create a "Resource File" and save it to our sync location. This file would define a "pool" of available resources.

Then we could point multiple project files to that Resource File.

The sync process could then look at the linked resource file to allocate and distribute the resources appropriately.

jackpEE 2011-05-13 03:41 PM

I agree with joelande. A shared resource pool that all project files reference for resource scheduling/leveling is what is needed. Isn't this the way ms project server works? I have 3 project managers each with 5+ projects all using overlapping resources. People across our org complain that there is no way to level resources across all projects. Even without leveling just a view that shows what project and task each resource is assigned to in a given time period would be a tremendous help because it would allow manual leveling and/or bringing on new/temp resources to help out during activity surges.

tombe 2011-05-15 09:33 AM

Let's compare it to a program from M$ ;) (I'm talking about the standrad version, not the server) There you have a resource pool. In this file the working hours of the resources are defined. The you can use those resources in an individual project file, assign a percentage usage to a task (meaning you'r assigning a certain percentage of the defined working hours).

Aussieonyak 2011-06-04 11:56 AM

Waiting for this
 
[QUOTE=Greg Titus;96651]Yeah, I didn't mean to imply equal divisions either (50/50 was just an example). And the underlying issue I'm trying to get at is in the data model rather than the UI. There is new information needed about a resource (in this example, whether (s)he is 100% available overall in all projects or only 50% available overall) which is not captured in either project #1 or #2 (in which the resource is 50% available in both).

So in order to support what we're talking about here we'd need some kind of additional store of information about resources that is outside of and in addition to the projects themselves.[/QUOTE]

Hi - I am not sure this is the right place to post this but it is on this topic - I have been watching (and waiting) for OmniPlan to be able to manage multiple projects as native functionality rather than workarounds. My business, like many others, involves working with multiple clients however in our case, each client having multiple projects. Some Resources will be common to all projects and some resources will only be common to some projects (based on skills/experience). Two things are important to manage this
1) an overview (dashboard if you like) of all projects viewed on a common timeline (timelines normally extend to more than 2 years and I could be wanting to monitor more than 50 projects at a time - could be a report but preferably a screen that I can drill down into to see project detail as needed.
2) The ability to create reports for All projects, All by Client, All by Category(type), All by Project Manager or by Analyst (resource) etc. Our Projects and resource allocation are actually fairly simple in plan structure but there are many of them (we use the same basic plan structure over and over so we would use the template feature a lot).

Another thing I will need (which may be achievable with the custom fields perhaps - I am not sure of this) is to monitor revenue from projects. Monitoring costs is only half the equation and project profitability (ROI) is important.

The lack of built-in multiple project management capability is holding me back from investing in OmniPlan as I will have to enable multiple users to make best use of the app (I'm a Omni Focus user and love the software). I will keep following the forums and releases until I can see the program has this feature - thanks for allowing me to give this feedback.

nveer 2011-08-10 07:22 AM

I'd love to know what thread you moved him to. Any solutions?

Brian 2011-08-10 02:18 PM

Sorry for the confusion, Nveer - Bluefusion's post is now in the thread it was moved to. :-)

kickaha 2011-08-16 05:25 PM

Another desperate vote for multi-project support. The list of features includes:

1) Cross-project dependencies. If I have a major Project X, and Project Y is waiting until some subtask of Project X is completed, I'd like to have changes to Project X's timeline autopropagate to Project Y. Not just end-of-project to beg-of-project, although that could suffice for the short term given enough manual song and dance.

2) Resource balancing across projects. I'm writing scripts right now to report this, but my upchain management forgets that projects do not exist in a bubble. If we have three projects running concurrently, and Adam is on all three, then he cannot be running at 300%. They look at each project in turn, and lose the big picture. Since I can't request new managers, I'll take features I can use to make them take notice of the problem.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but those are the big two. :)

meltemi 2011-08-24 11:20 AM

Manage Multiple Projects in OMNIPlan?
 
Hi, We're evaluating OMNIPlan 2.0 for use within our company. Is there a view of some sort w/in 2.0 to [B]manage multiple projects[/B]?

Each individual project could be set up independently but we [I]need[/I] an overhead management view that realizes (and enforces) the constraints on resources across multiple projects!

How to do this? It's not clear in the limited documentation.

After reading [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=4294"]this post[/URL] I'm, unfortunately, not even sure it's possible (even though it has been talked about since [B]2007[/B]!?!)

Thanks!

Brian 2011-08-24 01:52 PM

Merged a thread from the pre-release beta with the existing thread (the one this post appears in).

See [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showpost.php?p=96479&postcount=43"]this post[/URL] (and subsequent) for the most current info as of the time of this writing. Hope this helps!

chaloum 2011-12-12 02:44 PM

wow this has been an issue since 2007! and no action to resolve this yet, should I be worried? I think so.

menvill 2011-12-23 10:03 PM

I have also mulite project for working.It is also shows our quality about work and also how we mange.

Becca 2012-01-23 06:01 PM

I am also in the same boat, working with multiple projects..
thanks for all the tips!

ethornett 2012-10-14 10:14 PM

I thought multiple project management was going to be part of 2.0. What happened, Omni guys?

whpalmer4 2012-10-20 12:01 AM

It's been in the product since 2.1: [url]http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omniplan/download/releasenotes/[/url]

What you don't get is an overall view of all of your projects. You do however have the ability to share resources between projects.

precision01 2012-10-30 04:13 AM

[QUOTE=The Jones Boy;18644]No master view is a serious omission. I love what I am seeing so far but I am managing a studio and need to see all our live work at a glance in one handy screen.

So, yes please, bump this feature and add my name to the list.

Cheers.[/QUOTE]

Add my name too. It would be a very helpfull feature!

los1sol 2013-01-13 10:17 PM

One more vote for this functionality. The current resource sharing functionality built into 2.0 doesn't address the need to see multiple projects simultaneously, which is what I need more than anything.

I'm using tasks as projects in one file as a workaround but I can't use it for all my projects because some stuff I can't share with everybody who has access to my project file.

What I need is a dashboard that allows me--and only me--to see multiple project files into one, but have my team members only see what they are working on.

Are there any plans any time soon for something like this?

tiffanyburns 2013-01-30 06:40 AM

Disappointed
 
I have been working on OmniPlan for the past 2 weeks - creating templates and setting up live projects for over 2 dozen projects that are in process. I couldn't figure out how to get an overview of everything that's going on (I have 3 people, in addition to myself, that work on these projects). I manage over 300 projects a year for my team.

I had come here hoping for a solution and am incredible disappointed by this. It is imperative to be able to review all project timelines and be able to share resources simultaneously between projects for my team. Unfortunately, without this, OmniPlani was a waste of our money and I'll just be going back to my Excel Spreadsheet until this feature is ready.

Hopefully this is quickly in the works.

whpalmer4 2013-01-30 06:46 AM

If you are within 30 days of purchase you can get a full refund.

[url]http://www.omnigroup.com/support/store/refunds/[/url]

christa_eagleton 2013-02-02 10:45 AM

View Multiple Projects?
 
I honestly can't determine whether this is answered.

Does OmniPlan2 allow an Master View/Overall View of multiple projects or not?
I need to be able to review the schedule overall before trying to add more to it.

Thanks,
Christa

whpalmer4 2013-02-02 11:54 AM

No, there is no grand master view that shows all projects simultaneously, unless you combine them into one document. Reasonable people can disagree on whether that is a must-have feature.

ACK 2013-02-09 12:40 PM

[QUOTE=whpalmer4;119901]No, there is no grand master view that shows all projects simultaneously, unless you combine them into one document. Reasonable people can disagree on whether that is a must-have feature.[/QUOTE]

Reasonable people may however I really think that we need to put this in perspective - as a total newby to PM I investigated many however went with Omni Group automatically because of their reputation for thorough products.

It is perhaps [I]the[/I] most natural work flow to be able to work from a project overview and the drill down into the minutia of a variety of tasks. It is also the case that most folks would benefit from being able to totally separate projects out.

Now I can't play the victim role here - I was given an extended 30 day period after bringing this up however sadly during that time I simply didn't have the time to invest in the program given life and business events.

I can tell you now that I am sitting down to invest in the planning aspect of projects more it is a real PITA not to have this function.

Looking at the other market offerings, considering that 2007 was when it was bought up as an issue for a lot of folks, this wouldn't be dealt with by now.

The price point of this software is about what folks should be paying for a good bit of software all told, however as it stands it really has made me wonder why I remain so enamoured with Omni as being a bastion of mac app design.

I know with my clients that if they were making some valid points that I had acknowledged and let slide since 2007 then I would be taking a cold hard look at the situation at the very least.

whpalmer4 2013-02-09 01:10 PM

I think there's an honest difference of opinion at work here. Omni uses OmniPlan for their own project management, if you read Ken's posts early in the thread. Presumably, if they found the current situation completely unworkable, they would have put more effort into addressing it. It also isn't accurate to imply that they've just been sitting around twiddling their thumbs for the last 5 or 6 years.

Are there other products out there that provide this functionality?

You can also take the approach of putting everything in one massive document. Far from perfect, but if having that overall view is the most important consideration, you may have to do that if OmniPlan is the tool you are going to use now.

fabienne 2013-07-28 04:01 AM

[QUOTE=skwirl;18054]Multi-project dashboard support is being planned ...

... We did create an Applescript that allows you to join two project files together....

[URL="http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniplan/extras/"]http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniplan/extras/[/URL][/QUOTE]

Hi

I cannot find the Applescript. If the link changed, would you please post it again?

Thank you.

skwirl 2013-07-29 02:16 PM

[QUOTE=fabienne;126527]Hi

I cannot find the Applescript. If the link changed, would you please post it again?

Thank you.[/QUOTE]

This script is no longer required. Now, you can simply select all the tasks in one project plan and copy/paste it into another project plan to merge the two. As long as you have named all of your resources identically in both projects (Bob in project 1 and project 2, not Bob in project 1 and Bobby in project 2) you won't accidentally double-up on resources after the merge.

ethornett 2014-05-12 07:25 PM

[QUOTE=whpalmer4;120206]I think there's an honest difference of opinion at work here. Omni uses OmniPlan for their own project management, if you read Ken's posts early in the thread. Presumably, if they found the current situation completely unworkable, they would have put more effort into addressing it. It also isn't accurate to imply that they've just been sitting around twiddling their thumbs for the last 5 or 6 years.

Are there other products out there that provide this functionality?

You can also take the approach of putting everything in one massive document. Far from perfect, but if having that overall view is the most important consideration, you may have to do that if OmniPlan is the tool you are going to use now.[/QUOTE]

FastTrack does it (at least they did when I used to use it).


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