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Hello everyone,

I'm the CEO of a small (five person) company and we're currently looking for project-management software that is 1) not a bajillion dollars like MS Project, and 2) Mac-friendly. I downloaded a 1-day license of Omniplan and spent the day entering all of the scheduling data corresponding to one of our projects. After a good five hours of entering data and setting dependencies, I have to say that I think the GUI is super pretty, and a fair bit more usable than Project.

(A brief aside. It is much easier to set up dependencies in Project...you can simply type in the ID number of the prerequisites or dependencies of a task next to the task's name in the task list. In my Omniplan task list, I grouped the tasks by department instead of chronologically, and I had a hard time using the graphical interface to assign prerequisites to a task that followed the task in the task list. After a fair bit of experimentation I discovered that I could draw arrows from the lower task in the list [the prerequisite] to the higher task in the list [the dependency]. But what I really wanted to do was just type in the ID of the task's prerequisite into the Task: Dependencies window. That would have been SO much easier.)

Anyway, I'm having some difficulty finding the obvious "next step". Now that I have all of this data organized in Omniplan, what is the easiest way to view it in a usable format? In the Gantt view, I can only really get a good idea of what's going on if I zoom out to the month or quarter level, and no matter what zoom level I'm at the task names aren't listed.

The Project Calendar in the Calendar view would be perfect if it only the tasks were listed on the dates they're scheduled to be completed. Then I could just print out each employee's calendar for the week/month and hand it to them. As it is, the Calendar view seems pretty useless -- it's only function is to set the work hours of the company and individual resources, and you really don't need such a fancy interface for doing that. (This issue has been brought up in other forum posts.)

What I really want is an easy way to see all of the tasks assigned to a specific resource, in chronological order, that I can just print out and hand to them. From reading someone else's forum posts I figured out I can export an Omniplan file filtered to show tasks from a specific resource, and by manipulating the view options on the Task View I can see a list of all of their assigned tasks, including each task's scheduled start and end dates. But as I mentioned before, the tasks aren't entered in chronological order, and so this isn't really a useful thing to give to someone -- they'd have to closely examine the list to figure out which task has the earliest start date, and this is VERY cumbersome when you've got a task list that's several hundred items long. Furthermore, why do I have to go through the extract process to get this data? Isn't coming up with employee "To Do" lists the whole point of project-management software? Why can't I just easily see this data in the Resource View? When I click on a resource in the Resource View I should get a choice between viewing a Gantt chart or viewing a chronological list of their tasks. (In Project, you can click on a person's name and get a task list.)

The only work-around I've found so far is to export all the tasks for a specific resource to an Omniplan file, then export that to an HTML file, then manually edit the html so that all the tasks are in chronological order. This is VERY cumbersome. Is there an easier way to get a chronological "To Do" list for my employees?

Last edited by seema; 2007-07-15 at 05:03 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seema
It is much easier to set up dependencies in Project...you can simply type in the ID number of the prerequisites or dependencies of a task next to the task's name in the task list.
If you select View Options from the View menu and turn on the Dependencies column, you can enter prerequisites by id number exactly as you suggest.

Quote:
Anyway, I'm having some difficulty finding the obvious "next step". Now that I have all of this data organized in Omniplan, what is the easiest way to view it in a usable format?
Try exporting an HTML Full Report, which includes a task report, resource report, the Gantt chart, and individual calendars and to do lists for each resource.

Quote:
In the Gantt view, I can only really get a good idea of what's going on if I zoom out to the month or quarter level, and no matter what zoom level I'm at the task names aren't listed.
In View Options (see above), you can also add titles to the Gantt chart by clicking on the Title checkbox.

Quote:
The Project Calendar in the Calendar view would be perfect if it only the tasks were listed on the dates they're scheduled to be completed. Then I could just print out each employee's calendar for the week/month and hand it to them.
The HTML full report includes a Resource Report which lists each person and all of their tasks (in chronological order).

It also includes individual calendar files for each resource, in a standard format which can be imported into iCal or Outlook. (It would be nice if there were also HTML versions of these individual lists in the standard report.)

Quote:
Furthermore, why do I have to go through the extract process to get this data? Isn't coming up with employee "To Do" lists the whole point of project-management software? Why can't I just easily see this data in the Resource View? When I click on a resource in the Resource View I should get a choice between viewing a Gantt chart or viewing a chronological list of their tasks. (In Project, you can click on a person's name and get a task list.)
I think this is a valid criticism, and I agree that it makes sense to be able to see simple task lists for each resource directly in Resource view without having to export them and view them in another application. We'll try to address this in a future release.

Thank you very much for your feedback, and I hope the above information is helpful!

Last edited by Ken Case; 2007-07-15 at 09:00 PM..
 
Thanks for the tips, Ken! That information was super helpful!!
 
 


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