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OmniResource (or Multiple Project OmniProject) Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I have spent twenty years looking for a Mac based Resource Manager (they exist in the PC world). Omni Project is the sweetest Project Manager out there - nice looking and easy to use, but it doesn't do multiple projects as everyone knows. There are any number of Project Managers out there, but none I can find meet our needs - planning 40-50 different projects, each of which has no more than 7 separate, but common, phases through our design office. Let's call this OmniResource for now!
Sure, OmniProject could do it if it could handle multiple projects, but I think there is a large untapped market for OmniResource that goes beyond project planning - any business which allocates people and physical resources to projects on a time line needs OmniResource: accommodation booking, rentals (cars, bikes, boats, equipment), event organisers, holiday booking, meeting room booking, any number of consultancies (design, architecture, marketing, management, digital etc.)

The needs of a design office like ours match OmniProject quite closely, but we don't actually need all of that app's capability (like the critical path). I have emailed Omni over the last couple of years with this need and hope it will happen one day - anyone else share this need?

We need:

Multiple projects, with each one able to divide into phases (tasks, in planning software lingo). These need to be copyable and pastable as they are nearly always the same (Concept Design, Concept Development, Design Development etc)

Multiple physical resources - people, rooms, equipment and so on

The ability to toggle between resources/people down the LHS (in which case the projects fill the bars) or projects/phases (or tasks) down the LHS (in which case the people fill the bars on the page)

The ability to draw new phases and milestones directly on the chart and create a bar, then label it - rather than create a task and add dates - usually, we don't know the dates when it might start or finish . . . that's what we want to divine!. While the underlying software engine might require data entry, I can't see why a graphical input like this cannot fill that data automatically.

Dragable bars that we can extend, shorten or move the project and/or phases to a different Resource. Or, when toggled, move the resource to a different project.

When dragging or moving causes a conflict, the App needs to offer options - shuffle to accomodate, put into an unallocated palette/well.

The ability to close or open up rows to view as much as possible (doesn't seem possible with Omniplan's Resource view as it stands)

The ability to print off the resulting chart on big plotters at big sizes
I think there are a lot of really good ideas here.

Speaking for myself I gave up on OP a long time ago since the fundamental lack of having multiple projects has never been addressed. In fact, the reason I'm here today is that I got an email from the forum I commented on since there was a new post. It is a forum pleading for any way to handle multiple projects started in 2006!!!

In this forum we even suggest some ways to use filters or perspectives like in OF to at least give the illusion of having different projects, but to my knowledge that has not even been implemented.

All I can conclude is that development on this software is essentially over outside of bug fixes, which is too bad. Frankly, if all of us only had one project we wouldn't probably need OP. If you don't want to overhaul the software, institute perspectives like in OF so that we could at least just look at one project at a time (which would be fine by me!)
Originally Posted by Tate View Post
All I can conclude is that development on this software is essentially over outside of bug fixes, which is too bad.
You can conclude that, but you would be wrong.

Notice where Ken says OmniPlan is nearing the end of its OmniPlan 2 development cycle...
Thanks for the link! That is some good reading and hopefully the next version of OP will address some of these issues. They seem to have pretty long, "development cycles" at Omni, but hopefully it will be worth the wait.
I had a great email exchange with some Omnifolk a couple of years ago when I laid out this same brief. It was all very positive and I think they do listen . . . not least because OmniSchedule (or multi-project capable OP) would not be a me-too product: it would be a product with no competition and therefore a commercial opportunity. Project Planning has been a category of software since at least 1984 (remember MacProject) and probably earlier on other platforms. And businesses tend to organise themselves by category of product; they find it very hard to embrace or justify stuff that seems new - typically, someone gets sent out to assess the size of the potential and that person starts with similar products. But similar is misleading (PCs and Macs do the same thing, but they are hugely different); it would be better to assess the numbers and types of business that could use this capability.
Years ago I wrote a book for designers - the prospective publisher told me the market was too small. He needed 6k copies to justify production and he didn't believe he could sell that many. I suggested that I sell some and asked how many he would need me to sell; he said at least 1k copies. The next day, I went to a graphics retailer and showed them the dummy and committed to using their products in the book if they would order the required 1k . . . and they agreed. Now, many years later, it has sold over 48k copies! On this note, I reckon I could sell at least 300 copies of 'OmniSchedule' here in London without any effort at all . . . and that's just a few of the design companies, never mind the architects, consultants, rentals companies etc etc!
I do totally agree with DickPowell.
We really miss a simple, ergonomic project management software working dealing with multiple project, collaborative access, and shared ressource planning.
Complete tools are so heavy to learn, unpleasant, non-ergonomic, expensive ... and we need a very small part of the functionalities...

I've spent quite a lot of time these days trying to find that inexistent product.
We are 10 persons working on a dozen of projects (Mac environment), and obviously we need:
- the product to be easy to use and to leard
- each project to be isolated
- to have a ressource-centric view and manage work loads
- to be able to edit the plannings simultaneously
- to be very productive (ex : keyboards shortcuts)
...and we like the product to be pleasant as we spend hours on it ;)

In my opinion the killer-app should be working with a navigator. If it exists, I haven't found it...

Anyway, after trying too many products, I think I'll stay on omniplan : "The best is the enemy of the good"... waiting for OmniRessource to grow!

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