Is There Life Beyond MS Project?


Henry Laurence Gantt (1861 - 1919)
Henry Laurence Gantt (1861 - 1919) Image via Wikipedia


Is there a medical device company anywhere that doesn’t use Microsoft Project to manage product development projects?  After all, it’s a time-tested, incredibly powerful Gantt-charting tool, and it plays nicely with Microsoft Office.   What’s not to like?

Okay, maybe I have a few pet peeves:

  1. Project management is much more than just a Gantt chart.   I want tools to help manage shared files, calendars, bug/issue-tracking, and assignable tasks.
  2. Distributed teams need to be able to access and update the project plan in real time from anywhere.  Sharing mpp files via email is a recipe for version conflict.  And who wants to shell out for a copy of MS Project for everyone on the team?
  3. Too many times I’ve seen MS projects enter the land of tangled task links, where timelines in project plans no longer make any sense.  Too many times, project planning meetings screech to a halt so distraught project managers can run off and burn several hours untangling links and rearranging tasks.

I could go on.  So I’ve been looking for a better solution for years, and I’m starting to see signs of life beyond MS project.

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