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Software Review for CCPM
& Project Management
 

Page Contents

This is PQA's professional opinion on the various packages of software for CCPM available.  Your needs make be unique, so the general overview presented here may not be totally applicable to your situation.

 

Microsoft Project

  • Over 60% of the installed market of project management software is currently based on Microsoft Project ( split between MS Project 4.1, MS Project 98, Project 2000, and Project 2002).

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  • To try and help manage complex projects with geographically distributed teams, MS has recently introduced enhancements to their software through MS Project Central.  It's the same basic software, with a few extra tools and interfaces to make it more Internet savvy.

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  • For customers who don't want to buy the software, but need to be able to see the detailed Gantt charts, PERT, and other reports, there is no software that allows direct viewing of a MS Project file (ie. MS Project Viewer doesn't exist).  We recommend outputting the various MS Project reports to html or Adobe Acrobat pdf formats.

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  • MS Project continues to have problems in their algorithms for backwards (ie. Just in Time) scheduling.  After paying for  3 upgrades in software, and numerous service packs, and climbing 4 levels in the MS technical support system, Microsoft finally admitted that their software was not totally functional as advertised, and they did not recommend using those features.

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  • Newer versions have upgraded the interface, and made it web-enabled data input and output.

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  • The software is still based on algorithms first developed in 1950's   To hide the old and rusty machinery behind the curtain,  a fancy Windows GUI interface front-end has been placed over top of the old technology.  It can't do CCPM like you really need.

 

ProChain Solutions

  • ProChain Solutions was one of the first to supply Windows-based software to help implement CCPM.  I was very impressed with the depth of their technical expertise, their corporate philosophies (ie. they don't want to be everything to all people, they practice "focus" as well as preach it to their clients).

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  • ProChain realizes that a downloaded software file, or a floppy disk will not change anybody's life.  They have the technical experts to back the software up, as well as assist VARs (such as us at PQA) so that a client's new habits are defined and grow stronger with every project.

  • ProChain has very good, on-going customer relationships with a number of federal, state, and local governments, as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies, and are growing at over 100% per year.

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  • ProChain is an Add-in for MS Project and interacts seamlessly with the MS Project database, tool, menus, and reports.

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  • ProChain is 100% committed to CCPM, and has no systems that support nor use traditional PM methods (ie. Critical Path, CPM)

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  • ProChain has software for stand-alone, single projects, as well as multiple project environments

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  • Pricing is based on number of licenses needed (one seat for US $695).  Discounts are available for large licenses, as well as the "Lite" version for multi-project (the number of simultaneous projects is limited in the "Lite" version)

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  • Software is compatible with web-based input and reporting of live, real-time data to a distributed project team, clients, or management group.

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  • Excellent reporting systems for Sr. Management (ie. the view from 30,000 ft.), Project Managers (view from the top of a hill), and Project Team members (down in the trenches).

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  • After evaluating many of the software packages currently available, as well as proprietary software systems that we had developed in-house many years ago, we decided to buy ProChain.  We feel it's the best buy for our money now, as well as delivering the best for our projects.


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Scitor PS Suite 8

  • Scitor's software is a stand-alone application available for Windows, Unix, and mainframes.

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  • Scitor has less than 5% of the market for project management software, but the ones they have include some of the Fortune 500.

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  • Scitor's software allows you to schedule and run projects using traditional, non-CCPM methods, as well as CCPM.  The software and algorithms seem to be primarily focused and optimized for traditional methods, with CCPM added on as an after-thought or a "me-to" marketing feature.

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  • Software installed easily and seemed robust during our testing.

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  • Software is compatible with web-based input and reporting of live, real-time data to a distributed project team, clients, or management group.

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Primavera, SuperProject, & all the rest

  • These are all based on algorithms first developed in 1950's   They have added a fancy Windows GUI interface front-end onto old technology.  It can't do CCPM like you really need.

  • Most promote infinite detail which confuses project teams.  The excess details are not able to be updated as the project progresses due to other pressing priorities and limited resources.  The outdated data misleads, slows, and hurts the deliverables.  Project team members feel frustration and the extra effort required due to the inadequate tool.

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  • They tend to promote all the typical sins and frustrations that we have tolerated for 50 years.

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  • Most of these software applications specialize in low cost, or high cost, or are industry specific (ie. construction companies) who have not yet felt the full force of the market requiring them to go as fast as possible.

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