Multiple calendars: more flexibility for your projects

Twproject’s calendar has always been efficient and with a highly customisable configuration, but with the recent release it takes a huge step forward by allowing you to define multiple calendars for use on projects and resources.

With this innovation, we want to respond to the need of those who manage different teams and projects with non-uniform working hours.

The coexistence of several calendars is in fact an essential requirement for most structured companies, which necessarily have to manage different work configurations according to departments.

Target audience for the introduction of multiple calendars

With this shared development, Twproject wanted to respond to the most heterogeneous realities. We are talking, for example, about companies with departments that do not share the same working days, or international companies with branches in foreign countries and therefore with a different holiday calendar.

This was therefore an essential innovation to allow flexibility and adherence to the real needs of teams, which nowadays are increasingly manifold.

Until now, the calendar in Twproject allowed the definition of weekly working days and company holidays or closures; this calendar applied to all resources and projects.

It also allowed, from the calendar itself, to set the working hours of resources (such as part-time, etc.).

What changes with the development of multiple calendars

As we have seen, a main, customisable corporate calendar is already present in Twproject, and this is what will now be considered the ‘Default‘ calendar.

The difference will be that from now on for each resource, but also for each project, it will be possible to set a different schedule than the default.

But let’s go into detail: what changes with the introduction of multiple calendars in Twproject and how can we set them up?

Creating and editing a calendar

The system administrator can create a new calendar from the administration page, assigning it a name, description and other data that we will now see.

The calendar editor is in fact divided into two sections: the first contains the name, description, weekly working days and the ‘default’ tick.

Multiple calendars configuration

It is possible to define only one default calendar.

Please note: the default selection operation must be done with caution as it has an impact on project durations and workloads.

A change in this respect will not directly change the task data, but on first access on the WBS or Gantt the phases will show any inconsistencies due to changes on the calendar.

The second section of the editor relates to the definition of company holidays and closures.

company's closure or holidays

The first click on a cell defines a holiday with a variable date (Easter, Thanksgiving etc.), the second click sets a fixed holiday (Christmas, New Year etc.).

At this point we will have as many calendars as there are different configurations of working days at company level, whether they are determined by different types of work or geographical conditions.

Multiple calendars on resources

But that is not all: there are also important new features in the work settings section of the resource.

For each resource, the calendar to be used can be set via a drop-down menu.

If “Use default calendar” is chosen, the resource in question will use the calendar marked as default (via the tick we saw in the previous section). In this example, the default calendar is called “Default” and has an *.

multiple calendars on resources

An important new change introduced in this release is that for a resource, working weekdays can be defined, even if they are holidays for the chosen calendar.

This is useful for handling situations where the company generally does not work on Saturdays and Sundays but, for example, the maintenance department does.

Thus, the selected calendar provides public holidays, but working days can be defined for each individual resource.

Similarly to other work data, such as time, cost per hour, etc., the calendar is also inherited from the organisation chart unless otherwise specified.

If the calendar of a department is changed from A to B, all resources of that department that had calendar A will change to B. Those that had calendar C will keep C.

In the example in the image above, we see that the resource ‘Giulia’ uses the default calendar (which has five working days from Monday to Friday), but Giulia, in his specific case, has set Wednesday as non-working and Saturday as working.

Consequently, all interfaces that display the working calendar (such as timesheet, workload, timesheet overview, etc.) will show the non-working days specific to that resource. In the case of Giulia, Wednesday and Sunday.

Multiple calendars on projects

A further step forward is the fact that with the new version it is possible to set a specific timeframe for both the project and the phases.

A new project is always set to the default calendar. In the event of subsequent changes, the name of the chosen calendar will be shown to the right of the dates (as in the image below).

In this way, one could, for example, have a project using the solar calendar (365/365), but operational phases involving specific departments could use a 5/7 calendar.

calendar on projects

In the event that the project calendar is changed, e.g. by adding holidays or company closures, so as to interfere with the task dates, a small alert will be displayed the first time we access the project.

alert on calendar changed

Clicking on the alert will result in a more detailed message, highlighting the points where date changes generated interference.

But how do we change the timing of a project or phase?

To do this, we must use the Gantt diagram; this is because from the Gantt we can immediately see the effects of the change on dates and durations, and there is the possibility of saving at a later date, without the risk of permanently changing the data.

From the options on the project line, we can select the calendar change.

A pop-up will appear for choosing the calendar and deciding whether to try to keep dates or durations.

how to change the calendar on projects

It is optional to keep dates or durations as far as possible. The conditionality is that there is no guarantee that dates can be kept in full (as in the case where a start or end date corresponds to a holiday for the new calendar).

If milestones or binding dates are violated, the system will send a message and will not carry out the requested change. The user must first change the dates appropriately and then make the change.

With this new version, the first time one logs on to the Gantt, a check will be made to ensure that the start date, end date and duration of the project are consistent with the calendar in use.

In previous versions, if the unique calendar had changed, the end date was simply, and silently, recalculated from the start and duration.

In the new version, dates are kept instead and durations are changed accordingly. In the event of discrepancies, we will see an alert.

If milestones had been touched, these would be highlighted, as well as for the phases that had their duration recalculated.

fasi indefinite Gantt

It is sufficient to change even a single piece of data to enable saving and make the new durations definitive.

Effects of multiple calendars on interfaces

Having different calendars on resources and projects also has natural consequences on the appearance of certain Twproject interfaces, such as the Timesheet.

In this case, we note from the bottom line that the employee does not work on Wednesdays and Sundays.

multiple calendas on timesheet

At the same time, however, the projects she works on have different timetables:

  • A.365/365‘ (highlighted in red) is always active
  • B.LMM‘ (in yellow) is active for the first three days of the week
  • C.MMGV‘ (in green) is active from Tuesday to Friday

Users will be able to mark their worklogs freely, while taking into account the information on the timetable of each project, also made clearer by a more comprehensive legenda.

Twproject never inhibits the insertion of worklogs (except in the distant past or in the future), but simply reports the ‘suspicious’ worklog.

For example, if hours worked are recorded on a date that is non-working in both the resource calendar and the project calendar, this will be considered a ‘suspicious’ case, and consequently reported.

In the case of views with several resources, such as the Workload, the different calendars for each resource will be shown:

multi-calendari nel Carico operatori

Or, as in the case of the Timesheet Overview, since this includes an overall group of resources, the company calendar will be shown:

calendar shown in the timesheet overview

However, indications and reports from the calendar of the resources involved will appear within it.

We have seen how the use of multiple calendars for resources and projects can improve and make scheduling more realistic.

Now you just have to try out this important feature, which helps to make Twproject a tool that is always one step ahead of the others.

Twproject’s multiple calendars allow you to make your time management process much more efficient and to achieve greater flexibility in scheduling resources.

All customers using a Twproject cloud licence have already had the update automatically, while those who have Twproject on server can find the new installers here.

Try this and other features free of charge for 15 days. Start planning and setting work schedules now!

The new release is awaiting you

The best project tracking software of 2024

Tracking the progress of projects in a company is at the heart of project management. But what are the best tools for doing this? In this article you will find a list of the best software for tracking your projects.

But first, let’s look together at what falls within the scope of project tracking, also known as project monitoring and control.

This term refers to the general control carried out by the project manager to ensure that all tasks are proceeding correctly and on time.

Project tracking looks at individual phases to identify obstacles, bottlenecks or gaps and tries to solve them to increase project efficiency.

The monitoring process starts as soon as the project itself begins and continues throughout the project’s life cycle.

A system that helps track the project effectively allows us to see the work progress clearly and at a glance.

Main goals of project tracking

Each project has its own characteristics and depending on the business environment, certain objectives may be more important than others for its realisation.

But generally speaking, we can say that the objectives to keep in mind when tracking projects are as follows:

  • Setting goals: from the outset it is useful to make it clear, and possibly written down, what the ultimate goal of the project is. In other words, what are the expected results for customers and stakeholders. To do this, it may be useful to implement a scope management activity.
  • Determining the parameters: once the goals have been set, we will then have to report what emerged from the analysis in terms of budget, timetable, use of resources, etc. This database will constitute our initial baseline, i.e. the ideal progress to be followed, from which we will deviate more or less during the actual execution of the project.
  • Collecting data: as the project gets underway, it is important to have the right tools to periodically collect data such as direct and indirect costs, hours worked, phases completed. The easier this data can be collected and entered into the system, the more the project manager’s work will benefit.
  • Analysing data: to ensure that the data collected does not remain meaningless, it is useful to try to interpret it. Examples of analysis are comparing the timelines expressed in the baseline with the actual timelines or analysing costs, distinguishing between planned, estimated and actual costs.
  • Reporting: exporting the data collected, together with its interpretation, is useful for sharing the results obtained with stakeholders and team. The configurability of reports is therefore essential to diversify the target audience fort data sharing.
  • Creating models for future projects: In order to optimise the efforts made, project monitoring can also include the creation of best practices for projects with similar characteristics. This will take place at the end of the project and will serve as a database for planning future projects.

Types of project tracking

Going into further detail, let us now look at the types of project tracking, i.e. all the approaches that can be taken when monitoring the progress of activities.

The various typologies apply to all the objectives seen above, but declined according to the issue to be tracked.

  1. Process monitoring: also known as activity monitoring, it mainly aims to monitor resources and inputs and to understand how outputs and results are delivered.
  2. Beneficiary monitoring: this type includes requests from beneficiaries, possible complaints and general satisfaction. Beneficiaries may be either direct or indirect.
  3. Compliance monitoring: aims to establish that the project complies with contracts, applicable laws, ethical standards and general project compliance.
  4. Financial monitoring: monitors the financial efficiency of the project, including a cost-benefit analysis.
  5. Results monitoring: includes everything that determines whether the project is on track to achieve the expected results. It also serves to collect data on the overall impact and effects of the project.

But let’s cut to the chase: we will give you a short but comprehensive list of the best software to carry out company project tracking, minimising efforts and optimising productivity.

Here is the list of the best project tracking software:

1. Twproject

Twproject for project tracking

If you are looking for a comprehensive tool, the first choice is definitely Twproject, the software that has all the fundamental tools for project monitoring and control.

Starting with its agile and dynamic Gantt chart, then its comprehensive WBS that is easy to compile and update, and again its impeccable resource and cost management, full of automation and customisation, and so on.

In fact, Twproject originates as an all-round project management system, capable of supporting the project manager’s work from start to finish.

It has an intuitive interface that makes it smoother for the whole team to adapt to the tool and reduces the learning process, whilst promoting teamwork.

Moreover, it is a suited tool for teams and projects of any size. Its scalability makes it suitable for any type of company and the advantage is that Twproject modifies and grows along with the business and project complexity.

Best features:

  • Dashboard: the main view, showing at a glance the situation of projects in real time.
  • WBS: allows projects to be divided into tasks to be carried out, set deadlines and assign roles with great speed.
  • Gantt Chart: evolves over time and is always up-to-date, being well integrated with the other components of the software. It allows work to be assigned and shared easily.
  • Critical path: easy to set up and identify, it helps tracking the workflow and avoid bottlenecks.
  • Automated real-time calculation of project progress: to get an immediate idea of the progress of the project but also of each individual phase.
  • Kanban board: for those who prefer agile working, it allows easy assignment of tasks and an overview of activities, highly customisable according to requirements.
  • Cost management: project costs, both direct and indirect, are managed in one environment, together with revenue and resource costs. The comparison of the initial and current cost planning clearly highlights risks and budget overruns.
  • Workload management: the time spent by each resource to complete tasks is calculated accurately, distinguishing between task types. This allows performance to be analysed effectively.
  • Timeline: a tool on the statistics page and within the Gantt itself, which allows to review the initial planning at any time during the life of the project, for more effective monitoring.
  • Sharing and reporting: thanks to customisable reporting and analysis, you get clear and shareable information on the performance of the project and its individual parts.
  • Template: each project or its sub-phase can be used as a template for similar projects, to save time in future planning.

Pricing: from € 4.89 per user/month.

Pros: Twproject is useful for any business strategy and model. It has advanced and feature-rich tools for all aspects and types of project tracking. It therefore adapts to every business sector and grows as a company grows.

Cons: Such comprehensiveness leaves no room for negative aspects.

Twproject revolutionises the concept of project tracking, letting you discover a wealth of functions that simplify and speed up your work.

2. ProofHub

ProofHub project tracking

ProofHub is an all-in-one project management and team collaboration tool that brings everything together in one place.

It creates a central hub for all your projects, teams, files, discussions, and tasks, eliminating the need to juggle multiple apps together.

The platform is highly efficient, allowing you to stay in sync with the real-time progress of projects.

Also, you can easily track every project activity and ensure projects get delivered with ultimate precision.

Best features:

  • Gantt chart to set task dependencies, visualize project timelines, and stay ahead of deadlines. 
  • Kanban boards to get a bird’s eye view of tasks across stages, spot bottlenecks, and create unique workflows.
  • Table view for seamless project tracking using easy sorting and filtering. 
  • Powerful collaborative features like built-in chat, discussions, task comments, and @mentions to ask for updates. 
  • Seamless file sharing between projects and tasks for easy access and document collaboration.
  • Robust task management features to create, manage, and assign tasks for enhanced accountability and keep everyone on track.  
  • Track time spent on tasks manually or with a built-in time tracker to get valuable insights into project and team efficiency.  
  • Timesheets to monitor team productivity and identify workflow hurdles. 
  • Centralized file storage to stop information hunting and asses files anytime, anywhere. 
  • Detailed reports to get real-time insights into task progress, locate areas for improvement, and make performance reviews.
  • Online proofing to review, approve, and provide feedback on assets directly. 

Pricing: from $ 45/month for unlimited users

Pros: It has a good, clean and intuitive interface with a minimal learning curve; it is customisable and scalable as required and offers full administrative control.

Cons: It might not be that suitable for solopreneurs; its notifications may be overwhelming.

This feature-rich tool boasts some great functionalities that make it a top choice for teams aiming to enhance their project-tracking capabilities and ensure success from start to finish.

3. ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab is a tool that defines itself as project-oriented and therefore suitable for the tracking and control of individual projects.

It is an essential software, which includes the main work management functionalities of the project manager: time recording, task dependencies and automatic rescheduling, invoicing, collaboration options, third-party integrations.

Thanks to its versatility, it is suitable for teams and companies of all scopes and sizes: from international companies to small start-ups, although some ‘overview’ functions are missing.

Best features:

  • Project view: choose among Kanban, Gantt, list or calendar.
  • Project Template: allows you to create reusable templates.
  • Chat, comments, suggestions.
  • Time reports: possibility to filter time records by project, customer, assignee, job type, month, year and more.
  • Estimating and tracking: tools to compare estimated time values with tracked values to identify risky activities.
  • Assignment overview: overview of all assignments, including overtime and non-working days.
  • Time and expenses incurred: tracking of billable hours and expenses.
  • Warnings: in case of time and cost overruns.
  • Project profitability: overview of the budget status with control over the percentage of the amount spent.
  • Reports: in particular to highlight uninvoiced work.

Pricing: from € 8 per user/month.

Pros: convenient, precise and with an easy interface; useful for managing large-scale projects with numerous stakeholders.

Cons: It has no built-in workflow and is not ideal if you have more advanced project tracking needs. Time tracking also needs improvement.

A software that does the job it sets out to do, but which should grow a little in versatility and overview.

4. Teamhood

teamhood

Also Teamhood is a software that combines professional tools such as Gantt, time tracking, Kanban, and reporting into a single management system.

In fact, it is designed for medium and large-sized companies to manage and execute projects.

Teamhood works with workspaces, customised whiteboards with time tracking capabilities, and collaboration tools.

It also offers visual reporting of metrics, especially agile metrics.

Best features:

  • Kanban board: its rows can distinguish different teams, types of work items, projects, etc. Capability to set spending limits and other parameters that signal overruns.
  • Gantt chart: its functions are rather standard, but it has some customisation options. Possibility to choose whether phases dependent on others are auto-scheduling.
  • Hourly rates: possibility to set hourly rates for project collaborators and see the project costs in real time.
  • Baseline vs Actual: tool that sets agreed deadlines for the project and over time compares the actual situation with the original plan.
  • Timesheet Report: comparison of actual time spent with original estimates. It allows the calibration of estimates.
  • Workload visualisation: allows you to manage the workload of the team, balance resources and optimise time.

Pricing: from € 7 per user/month.

Pros: Good flexibility in terms of configuring settings while maintaining basic simplicity.

Cons: Time management is not very flexible and has certain limitations which then affect the accuracy of the monitoring data.

A productive and efficient tool with its own particular approach to the agile philosophy.

5. Miro

Miro

Miro is a platform aimed at improving workflows by mapping processes, dependencies and so on.

Although it has some native functionalities, Miro functions rather as an aggregator of different applications within a single platform.

Its strength and starting point is the Kanban board, through which team members collaborate and exchange information, and the project manager assigns tasks and keeps track of schedules.

Its agile approach to project monitoring may be limiting for some, but it certainly offers advantages for others.

Best features:

  • Kanban board: flexible board structure for managing projects and processes.
  • SWOT Analysis: similar to the Kanban board, it subdivides tasks between the various categories of the SWOT analysis.
  • Gantt chart: more similar to a timeline, it allows assigning tasks and setting dependencies between activities, it does not have more advanced functions.
  • Roadmap: another visualisation of activities not based on the timeline but on that of the main project phases.
  • Retrospectives: tools for reviewing the initial planning, which can be shared with the team.
  • Presentations: various templates for creating sharable reports and for setting up project meetings.

Pricing: from € 7 per user/month.

Pros: It keeps business processes intact for those who have already started monitoring individual aspects of projects with different platforms.

Cons: Need to integrate several applications into one to achieve a complete framework. Process optimisation is therefore slightly affected.

Agile solution for those who need visual project management.

6. Roadmunk

roadmunk project tracking

As its name suggests, Roadmunk is a tool that uses roadmaps as a focus point for monitoring company projects.

It therefore focuses on the sequencing of macro activities and their sub-phases for workflow management, with an analytical approach to work.

The assumption is therefore that the initial planning is flawless, or almost flawless, in the division of work categories.

This works well for structured and experienced companies with planned projects and processes; on the contrary, it can be blocking for small companies or newly established teams.

Best features:

  • Roadmap: integrates with timeline, manages activities through initiatives, objectives and milestones
  • Swimlane: simplified roadmap type
  • Sharing: in HTML or via protected URLs
  • Export: various formats including images
  • Presentation: transformation of input data into slides for company meetings

Pricing: from $ 49/month for project manager and team of 5 users

Pros: Very specific tool for teams working on the completion of project phases planned from the ground up.

Cons: Lack of fundamental secondary views such as Gantt or project budget management.

Suitable for teams that need to collaborate virtually on structured projects and share information quickly.

Some final tips

We have seen that project monitoring is a very subjective process and techniques vary with time and experience.

In this sense, the tools used can vary greatly, not only between different companies, but also within the same company, to manage different projects.

We have therefore tried to provide a list of software with more functionality within them, so that the project manager can vary according to requirements.

Before finishing, let us give you some suggestions in the form of best practices for monitoring and controlling your projects:

  • Carry out research and initial meetings to understand the project
  • Create a short project description based on what you have learnt
  • Develop a project plan
  • Prepare a resource plan
  • Do not create unrealistic expectations
  • Always maintain clear and constant communication with the team
  • Ask for feedback and make changes if necessary
  • Make sure every aspect is properly documented
  • Review the project plan after completion and try to learn from it for the future

Twproject is the tool that allows you to carry out every tracking task mentioned here with ease and precision. See how easy it is to get started:

If you choose Twproject, you don’t have to give up anything, which is why it is the top choice of hundreds of project managers worldwide.

Try Twproject for free for 15 days and do not forget to let us know if you found this ranking useful.

Supply chain management with Twproject

Supply chain management involves supervising the entire production flow of goods or services, from the raw components to the end product delivery to consumers.

It comprises a range of cross-functional tasks connecting goods and services with customers.

 

This article will explain how the supply chain works down to the last detail and how project management software such as Twproject can help the supply manager in their daily work.

Steps in planning and managing a supply chain

The supply chain consists of five stages. These are:

  1. Planning: The process usually begins with planning, which aims to match the offer with customer requirements.
  2. Companies must try to predict their future needs and act accordingly.
  3. Procurement: Procurement involves working with suppliers to source the necessary materials throughout production.
  4. Implementation: This is the core of the supply chain.
  5. This is where the company uses its equipment and/or labor to process raw materials into something new. The resulting product is the end goal of the production process, but it is not the final stage of the supply chain.
  6. Distribution: Once the products have been manufactured, companies must be able to ‘deliver them’ to their customers. A company with an effective supply chain should have robust logistics capabilities and delivery channels to ensure timely, safe, and cost-effective delivery of its products.
  7. Return: The supply chain management process ends with support for customer returns. This return phase is often called reverse logistics, and the company must ensure that it can receive returned products and remedy the transaction with the customer.

The project supply chain manager’s role

Successful supply chain management requires a figure who can supervise all processes.

This professional is the supply chain manager.

A supply chain manager is responsible for supervising imports and exports and, sometimes, creating raw materials or finished products.

The supply chain manager often plays a leading role within a company.

Here are some of their daily duties:

  • Production and distribution process management;
  • Collaboration with buyers and suppliers to find the right materials or products;
  • Negotiation of contracts with suppliers, vendors, contractors and customers;
  • Data analysis for forecasting inventory demand and analyzing product performance;
  • Cost reduction at all levels while maintaining quality and achieving sustainability goals;
  • Keeping up to date with industry and technology trends and developments.

Supply chain management: Case history

The key role of supply chain management involves adopting effective strategies to improve efficiency and reduce costs while ensuring end-customer satisfaction.

A typical example of efficient supply chain management can be observed in the demand planning scenario.

Companies like Zara have achieved success by using real-time data to swiftly predict fashion trends. This allows agile production and reduces overstocking. This approach minimizes product lifecycle risks, keeping the supply chain lean and responsive.

Another critical element is the optimization of delivery time through advanced supply chain planning techniques. Using sophisticated software, companies can simulate and predict different distribution perspectives, ensuring that products get to consumers as quickly and cheaply as possible.  

Amazon, for example, employs predictive algorithms to position inventories as close as possible to potential buyers in advance, drastically reducing delivery times.

Moreover, the relationship with suppliers is crucial for a resilient and performing supply chain. Building strong and trusting relationships with suppliers not only improves the quality and timeliness of supplies but also makes it possible to negotiate more favorable terms.

supply chain management twproject 

Toyota is well-known for its lean production system and effective supplier relationship management, which allows it to keep inventory levels low and respond flexibly to changes in demand.

Using project management software such as Twproject is key in this regard. This kind of tool offers an integrated platform that streamlines monitoring and management of all phases of the supply chain.

From supply chain planning to distribution, the software delivers all-around visibility into every area of the process, ensuring that decisions are based on real-time data and up-to-date information.  

Equipped with advanced functionality, managers can schedule activities, manage resources, and communicate effectively with teams and suppliers, everything in one place. This leads to better coordination and faster responsiveness to market and end-customer needs, significantly improving overall supply chain performance.

These examples prove how effective supply chain management can determine a company’s success, contributing significantly to improving efficiency, reducing costs, and meeting end-customer expectations.  

By integrating project management software such as Twproject, these capabilities are further enhanced, making operations smoother and less prone to errors or delays.

Twproject for supply chain management

Supply chain management is a constant effort by companies to make them as efficient and economical as possible.

This can be achieved by tightly monitoring the company’s internal inventories, production, distribution, sales, and supplier inventories.

This is why using project management software such as Twproject can help tackle the unique challenges that arise during the various stages of the supply chain.

Twproject provides real-time visibility and control over project activities, deadlines, and resource allocation.

Companies can successfully manage procurement, production, transport, inventory, and distribution activities.

Effective supply chain management requires careful coordination of multiple activities and stakeholders.

Twproject, therefore, acts as a central repository of information, providing supply chain managers with a holistic picture of their ongoing projects and activities.

This 360-degree visibility allows them to pinpoint potential bottlenecks,  allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions to optimize the supply chain process.

One of the primary benefits of this project management software is its ability to improve communication and collaboration between different stakeholders by overcoming the need for multiple communication channels, thus reducing the risk of communication problems or information gaps.

This leads to better coordination, swifter problem-solving, and improved efficiency throughout the process.

Ultimately, project management software such as Twproject offers a range of highly customizable functionalities that help companies and managers streamline their daily operations.

From task management and collaboration tools to reporting capabilities and integration with current systems, Twproject empowers companies to manage and track projects effectively, optimize resource allocation, and improve stakeholder communication and collaboration.

With Twproject, maximum cost and time efficiency can be achieved in each company’s supply chain.

 

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.

 

The best software for Gantt chart 2024

Do you want to quickly find out which are the best Gantt chart software in 2024? We have drawn up a special list for you.

The Gantt chart is the best tool to get an overview of project performance.

It allows you to have the start and end dates of the project and its phases, their duration, their correlation, the assignees, all in one view.

As we shall see, there are many reasons to implement it, but to draw up a Gantt chart that is really useful and effective, we need the right tools.

Otherwise, we risk wasting a lot of time creating a merely theoretical plan, which will soon be abandoned and remain only in the initial plans of the project leader.

In fact, the key words for evaluating a good Gantt chart are in our opinion: dynamicity and shareability.

Origins and qualities of the Gantt chart

The Gantt has undergone many evolutions over time. Initially, it was a simple, static, time chart for initial planning.

Until not so many years ago, the Gantt was a theoretical structure that was designed at the start of a project, then printed out and hung on a wall in the workplace.

It was a simple benchmark, but unfortunately after a few days or weeks, the chart already became obsolete.

With the emergence of calculation software and then later with web tools, the Gantt became an operational tool.

Its function today does not end at the planning stage, but continues during project execution.

And this is why it must necessarily be integrated and interoperable with other tools. Nowadays, the Gantt chart only makes sense if it is dynamic, sharable, updatable in real time.

Here are in detail the two aspects we took into account the most during our analysis in search of the best software for creating Gantt charts.

First quality of the best Gantt chart: dynamicity

By ‘dynamic’ we mean both the interactivity of the Gantt and its integration with other working tools.

In fact, a good Gantt chart must be able to evolve as various activities are completed. And of course, it is better if this evolution takes place in an automated way and in real time.

At the same time, the information that allows the Gantt to change and progress comes from other sources, such as worklog data, calendar and ToDos performed.

Conversely, the assignments distributed through the Gantt make up and update the 0perators’ workload; its duration affects budget estimates and many other aspects of project management.

This explains the relevance of the Gantt chart in a project management software: it is the starting point and the core to which everything leads back.

The tools we have included in our list of the best Gantt chart software possess this quality!

Second quality of the best Gantt chart: shareability

Together with the interactivity of the Gantt, the group of actors involved in the use of this chart has expanded.

We are talking about the actual project executors, but also about the stakeholders: each resource has its own specific reasons for keeping an eye on the Gantt.

Having a Gantt at hand when we are presenting a project and being able to act within it in real time during meetings is definitely a good practice.

This increases the involvement of the parties and helps achieve a holistic view.

In addition, the most advanced tools also have very customisable role permission systems that allow certain aspects of planning to be delegated.

For example, the project manager may need to entrust the planning of certain project sub-phases to other collaborators, and good software must in our opinion allow for this elasticity on permissions.

But let us finally come to our ranking of the best Gantt chart software, bearing in mind the aspects we have highlighted so far, and see who and how performs the work best.

Here is the list of the best Gantt chart software:

1. Twproject

Gantt Twproject - best gantt chart software

Let’s start with what is considered by many to be the best Gantt chart on the market: Twproject, a software that has made this chart its strong point.

Twproject was founded in 2001, but only from its fifth release did it integrate the Gantt among its tools.

Its team waited until they had the technological maturity to develop a tool that had real utility and was not equivalent to graphing on a spreadsheet.

Since then, however, Twproject has ensured that its Gantt chart became increasingly comprehensive and interoperable, always adding new optimisations and functionalities.

Twproject stands out by having a rather customisable and realistic Gantt that truly reflects the progress of projects.

The elasticity of Twproject’s Gantt is remarkable, but at the same time this tool is extremely precise and its interaction with the other elements of the software is total and accurate.

Last but not least, Twproject guarantees the possibility of keeping track of all previous changes made to the Gantt chart, thanks to the timeline: with this, you can scroll back in time and review the Gantt chart structure at any desired date.

Best features:

  • Overview or detailed view: possibility to have a lower or higher detail level and zoom in on individual phases of the WBS
  • Creation of phases and milestones: from list or drag and drop, as preferred
  • Assignment of phases: possibility to set assignees directly from the Gantt
  • Integration with workload: warning of overloads and reallocation with ‘magic wand’ tool
  • Critical path: possibility to check crucial nodes of project development
  • Timeline: user-activated project change history
  • Dependency types: in addition to the classic Finish to Start dependency, three more dependencies are available to better accommodate different work dynamics
  • Elasticity: possibility of having non-sequential dependencies
  • ToDo view: side-by-side and integrated ToDo management for each project phase
  • Role and permission management: possibility of assigning the planning of various phases to different users
  • Sharing: exportability in various formats

Pricing: from € 7.89 per user/month.

Pros: Twproject makes it possible to create a Gantt chart that is unrivalled in terms of user-friendliness, accuracy and variety of functions. Thanks to constant feedback from its users, this product is constantly evolving and improving.

Cons: Frankly, it is difficult to find a single negative aspect in Twproject’s Gantt.

With Twproject, you never have to enter information twice: everything is designed to optimise working time and offer a useful tool in daily operations

2. ClickUp

ClickUp - gantt chart software

The Gantt that can be created with ClickUp has a good overview of the entire project, which is also highlighted by the green bar that encloses all project phases, showing the total duration at a glance.

On each step, the name of the assignee is clearly visible, but other information, such as the percentage of work done, is missing.

There is a general lack of connection with the resource load.

As there is no difference between activities and project phases in Clickup, the Gantt chart is very quick to create and manage.

However, this can be a disadvantage when it comes to complex projects or projects with many micro-tasks to perform and keep track of.

Best features:

  • Hierarchical structure: Spaces > Folders > Lists
  • Lists of tasks have their own Gantt
  • Tasks that can be entered directly on the gantt by dragging and dropping
  • Secondary opening of the related tab with various detailed information
  • Duplication possibility
  • Wide range of customisation possibilities

Pricing: from $ 7 per user/month.

Pros: ClickUp has an attractive interface, and its Gantt is no exception. It makes the agile philosophy its strong point.

Cons: It lacks some advanced features and at first glance its Gantt editor can appear a little chaotic.

Agility and aesthetics combine in a tool that is quick to use but not always complete in its functions

3. GanttPRO

Gantt PRO - gantt chart software

With almost diametrically opposite characteristics we find Gantt PRO.

As its name suggests, it is a software totally dedicated to the Gantt chart.

Project planning starts precisely from the Gantt view, with a WBS side-by-side, in which projects and task lists are entered.

Alongside the Gantt, there are also secondary views, such as the Kanban board, operator loading and reporting.

Some secondary functions such as budgeting and time tracking are only available in advanced licences.

Best features:

  • Fixed hierarchy of projects and task lists
  • Various baselines can be created
  • Percentage turnaround that can be set directly on the task by dragging and dropping
  • Dependencies with Finish to Start or Start to Start type
  • Gap between dependencies settable in hours
  • Critical path

Pricing: from $ 9.99 per user/month.

Pros: It turns out to be a good technical product, with a simple, clean interface and few but clear functions.

Cons: It has a somewhat dated appearance and is little or no customisation. Some secondary functions such as budgeting and time tracking are only available in advanced licences.

If the objective is to create accurate Gantt charts, it may be a solution, although lacking in interoperability with other management tools

4. Smartsheet

Smartsheet - gantt chart software

It is a software that plans to replace Excel spreadsheets for business management, and thus closely replicates its functionalities.

Smartsheet is a tool consisting of many combined elements, with the addition of typical project management tools.

The data entered in your worksheet can then be interpreted through the various views, including the Gantt view.

It is therefore a tool that requires good expertise in the use of calculation formulas.

Best features:

  • Customising phase colours
  • Conditional formatting allowing the setting of customised rules for the display of phases
  • 4 zoom levels: quarter – month – week – day
  • Secondary views: list, calendar and board
  • Critical path
  • Percentage of work done shown on phase
  • Task duration: shown only when dependencies are activated

Pricing: from $ 6 per user/month, for up to 10 users.

Pros: The main feature of Smartsheet is the possibility of customisation, both graphically and in terms of the method used.

Cons: Lack of automation and the need to master the calculation formulae for its use.

Technical tool with refined functionality, but not exactly useful for saving time in planning

5. Toggl Plan

Toggl Plan

Toggl strongly focuses on the human resources aspects of the projects.

It is therefore very much geared towards managing tasks and assignments in a smooth manner, particularly through its Gantt editor, but not only.

The special feature of the tool is that it allows you to create resource-specific, as well as project-specific, Gantt charts.

It could therefore be useful for those who specifically deal with scheduling and balancing the working time of human resources in a company.

Best features:

  • Data sharing to external users also
  • Estimated vs. actual progress
  • Good integration with resource load, which is visible at the same time
  • 4 zoom levels
  • Drag and drop for duration and dependencies
  • Colour customisation of assignments

Pricing: from $ 9 per user/month.

Pros: In general, it is easy to use and has a modern, user-friendly interface.

Cons: Perhaps also because of its easiness, it has some limitations, especially when it comes to integration with other views of the software.

Agile and easy-to-learn software, more useful if the work is set up in a resource-oriented manner

6. Team Gantt

Team Gantt

Here again we are in front of a tool that starts projects directly from the Gantt.

Only at a later stage, one can add tasks and distribute assignments.

Almost all of its functionalities relate to the Gantt chart and many interactions can be done directly from this view.

A limitation is the fact that tasks and ToDos are not distinct from each other. In addition, all tasks related to a project are always visible on the Gantt, making the management of complex projects somewhat difficult.

Best features:

  • Ability to add notes and attachments to tasks
  • Possibility to enter the percentage of task completion
  • Workload view openable from Gantt
  • Total view of the number of tasks assigned per person in days or hours
  • Health report
  • Secondary views: list, calendar and board

Pricing: from $ 8 per user/month.

Pros: A detailed and very specific tool for creating Gantt charts, with some useful customisations.

Cons: Among the customisations, the differences between dependencies and their elasticity unfortunately do not appear. Furthermore, due to an excessive level of detail by default, the Gantt loses its primary function as a comprehensive overview tool.

Suitable for those who need to create many Gantt charts for small projects but somewhat lacking in cases of complexity

Bottom line

We have tried to help you choose the best Gantt chart software for your projects.

In conclusion, keep in mind that if you decide to try to Twproject:

  • its interaction with ToDo lists makes it possible to overcome the classic Waterfall vs. Agile opposition, and creates a new structured yet dynamic approach.
  • The possibility of having a timeline that allows you to go back to the planned structure at any time, right from the start of the project, makes Twproject’s Gantt chart the best planning tool. In fact, it allows us not to miss any important data and to be able to reschedule freely and without delay during project implementation.

If you wish, you can tell us if this analysis was useful to you and start creating a Gantt chart in the best possible way right away: with Twproject you can try it out for free for the first 15 days.

How to manage project tracking with Twproject’s Timeline

The Timeline is a very useful tool designed to constantly track the progress of your projects.

With the Project Timeline you can keep track of changes and events that have happened over time; it is in fact the historical memory of a project.

Thanks to its slider, you can “navigate” back and forth in time and see the initial situation; you can see what and when it has changed from the baseline (i.e., the initial planning), pointing out the highlights.

Twproject offers you an incredibly functional and complete version of it. Want to discover this timeline with us? Here’s everything it allows you to do.

Features of the Timeline on the Statistics page

On the Statistics page, in the tab following the Project Overview, you will find everything you need to make a comprehensive and accurate project monitoring and tracking plan.

And this is where we placed our Timeline, to have at first glance a dynamic temporal line: this allows us to immediately see the dates of relevant changes from the initial planning (baseline).

The baseline, as the word implies, is in fact the base of the project, established before the project is started. It is meant to capture the initial situation, to see if and how far we will deviate from it later.

It mainly includes: timelines (start and end date), expected costs, and resources involved. In Twproject it is always visible in the Statistics page.

But as we know, it is natural for these variables to change during the actual course of the projects and thus deviate from the baseline.

All quantitative project variations are automatically recorded on the Timeline, without the project leader having to manually annotate them.

Recording events on the Project Timeline

So, what is meant by quantitative project variations?

We are specifically talking about changes in delivery dates and in budget; we will see all these changes highlighted on our timeline with a specific icon based on the event.

events on the timeline

This is what our Project Timeline looks like.

The icons within it show the times when something in our project was changed, and specifically:

  • Date: calendar icon indicates that a project start or end date has been changed. Since the Timeline is also available for project sub-phases, any time changes in these phases will also be visible on their related statistics pages.
  • Budget: any budget changes are recorded and shown on the Timeline with the coin icon.
  • Update: the small balloon icon instead tells us when a reminder has been manually added about a salient event that occurred on a certain date. Reminders can be added directly from the main page of our projects, in the section dedicated to updates

Free scrolling of the Project Timeline

But of course it is also possible to drag our cursor on the Timeline, to view the progress of the project over time.

As we scroll we will see the percentages of work done changing, along with all the other data shown in the graphs on the Statistics page.

timeline scrolling

We will be able to move back to any time point in our project, to monitor progress at a certain date or simply see what and how it has changed from the baseline.

An extra monitoring tool: the Project Snapshot

But there is a tool that complements and collaborates with our Project Timeline: the function that lets you take a Snapshot of the current state.

This will allow us to check this state easier at a later date.

project snapshot

On the Overview page of the project or of one of its phases, you will find the small camera icon.

With this you can ‘take a picture’ of the situation at any time and then display it clearly on the Timeline.

After you have captured the moment, you can write a note to link to this Snapshot: e.g. a time reference, a turning point in the progress of the project, or any other relevant aspect.

You will also find your snapshot icon among those in the Timeline; you can simply click on it to see the status of the project at the saved date.

This step is very useful in the case of long-term projects.

In fact, it will prevent you from scrolling through your Timeline randomly in the future, instead allowing you to have the most interesting moments already highlighted.

Bottom line

We have seen how important it is to keep track of a project’s progress over time, and Twproject offers you a unique tool to perform this analysis.

This is useful both for accurate reporting, but also for making more reliable future forecasts on similar projects.

In the seventh edition of the PMBOK, the project work performance domain is discussed.

This domain defines the basic principles for project process management.

These include the need to constantly monitor changes that may affect the project.

With Twproject’s Timeline, this is done in an agile way. You can ensure that every change is followed by appropriate adjustments.

Furthermore, you can use this data for better planning on future projects.

To start keeping track of all events related to your projects right away, try Twproject free for 15 days. Our support team is at your disposal!

Discover a brand new feature

The project milestones: planning objectives and results

Milestones or project milestones are management tools used to define a specific point in the project planning.

The points define, in fact, the beginning and the end of work and mark the end of an important phase of the work.

Milestones in project management can be used to symbolize all started and finished stuff.

If a milestone focuses on the main points of project progress, it becomes useful as a planning tool.

Just as the tasks break down a larger project into manageable parts, the milestones split a project into milestones.

So, when starting a project, milestones can help immensely with programming.

Milestones are usually present in project management software, and of course also in Twproject.

They have their own specific icon in the Gantt chart function, and are diamond-shaped.

Project milestones: the planning

Project milestones are a way to estimate the time needed to complete the project more accurately.

Hence, they become essential for precise project planning.

With milestones, you can better calculate project planning by segmenting it into more manageable and easier-to-control time intervals.

They are also a flexible tool for planning.

With a little bit of flexibility, they can do much more than act as mere indicators of the project phases.

For example, milestones can be used as reminder of important meetings or to report other interesting events, such as workshops or training courses.

They can represent also the moment of invoicing customers.

In short, using this diamond icon is a great way to make sure everyone is aware of upcoming deadlines and upcoming important meetings.

Naturally, milestones can indicate the deadlines for anything related to the project.

Project milestones: Keep track of progress

Part of a project’s planning is the ability to monitor and keep track the progress of that program in real time.

Milestones are a way to see both at what point is a specific single activity, and the general state of progress of the project itself.

This is useful when dealing mainly with stakeholders.

In fact, these are generally not interested in a detailed report of the project progress.

What they want to know is if the project moves forward or not as initially planned.

Milestones are ideal for this type of report because they show the main phases completed.

Here at Twproject, for example, we use milestones to define the release dates of the software. This helps us being aware of how many features we can add from time to time in order not to stray the release plan. But this is just one of the many ways they can be used!

Plan your milestones!

In Twproject you can plan your project by highlighting the milestones. Thanks to the interactive Gantt you will always know if a delay has an impact on the milestones and you will be notified immediately.

Try Twproject now!

Project milestones: Simple task or milestone?

Discern between what to consider a simple desired dates and what to consider a milestone can be difficult.

More projects are complex, more difficult is to recognize the difference between simple dates and milestone.

To resolve the doubt it is essential to ask itself the following questions:

  • Is this a dates that can be rescheduled or not?
  • Will this affect the final deadline?
  • Is this an important moment in the project that will indicate future progress?
  • Is it an event that has an impact on the project?

Answering these questions will help you understand if we are talking about a normal date or a milestone.

Basically, the most important events of your project must be reported as milestones, so that they can be easily visualized and mapped by the project team.

Project milestones: Why use them?

Milestones can improve planning and execution in different ways:

1) Monitor deadlines

No plan is complete without a list of deadlines. The best way is to use the milestones to indicate them.

The milestones, as already mentioned, are usually marked as a diamond-shape icon in the project planning software.

Hence, this icon represents a delivery, a presentation of the deliverable or in any case a deadline that mustn’t be forgotten.

2) Make it easy to identify important dates

Are there important days that may have an impact on the project?

Perhaps a training course for the project team or a workshop?

Or a meeting with the stakeholders?

It is important to keep in mind all these events in project planning.

These are events of such importance that they can have an impact on the whole project and it must be easy to identify them.

3) Identify potential blocks of the project

Many projects rely on work produced by external teams or partners in order to progress.

If these external factors are not monitored, the probability to forget or not following them increases.

So, if you are working on a project that depends – even – on someone or something of external with which you do not have frequent contact, it is important to list these results as milestones.

As we have seen, milestones are a very useful project management tool.

It is also an easy-to-use tool for project planning and reporting.

In Twproject a milestone always coincides with the beginning or end of a task, this because normally a milestone is linked to a delivery or a kick-off phase.

In order to support the team in achieving the goal, Twproject also sets up a milestone notification system.

The notifications make even easier the work of the team that will automatically receive the alerts of the activities expiring or delayed and they will complete the tasks.

By default the alarm (milestone of the neighboring task) is 3 days before the milestone, but it is also possible to change it from the configuration pages.

Reaching and overcoming a project milestone is also good for the morale of the team and of the project manager himself.

This is why every tool (like the alert) that facilitates the task is always very well received.

In Twproject, milestones can be linked to project phases via different types of dependencies to best reflect the actual project implementation.

See how much Twproject’s Gantt chart can help you in the planning and performance of your projects:

Watch an overview about the Gantt diagram and its miestone in Twproject

Now it’s your turn to try to map your project with milestones in Twproject and see if they help you better understand deadlines and deliveries

What are your waiting for? Try Twproject for free for 15 days!

Set the milestones of your project.

Wrike vs Clickup: which Project Management software you should choose for your business?

In this article, we will help you explore the key features of two giants in project management software, Wrike vs Clickup.

Let’s visualize the scene. You have finally decided to adopt a unified system for tracking projects and for assigning activities to your work team. So you hope to optimize the time you spend every day juggling shared folders, e-mails, paper notes, worklog files scattered everywhere: therefore you are looking for a single tool that allows you to manage all these aspects in a single platform.

But which one to choose?

The transition will certainly take some time, a lot of data will have to be transferred to the new system and you will face resistance from someone.

You are quite sure that you will have to choose between one of the two “big names” of the project management market, Wrike vs ClickUp and you would like this rating not to take up too much time. Usually these software offer a free two-week trial: but for those who wants to start soon, knowing that the learning curve could be long, it is important to speed up the software testing phase.

And this is where we meet you. In fact, we have tested the two most popular software in depth and we can provide you with a detailed analysis of the main features by comparing them and highlighting their pros and cons. We’ve tried to anticipate the questions you might ask and have broken down the top issues by topic.

In general, you need to know that you will not regret the path taken and that adopting a good project management system will bring you undoubted benefits. Both in terms of optimizing time and resources, and in terms of quality of the level of collaboration within the team.

In fact, numerous researches have shown that sharing of information and individual empowerment of workers, such as when they obtain the management of project phases, increase overall productivity and team satisfaction. This is all easier said than done when you learn to use good tools.

But let’s get to the point and start with the analysis of the single functions of these software, Wrike vs Clickup, divided into macro areas.

Wrike vs Clickup: Project planning and Gantt diagram

The first aspect that we have considered concerns a tool that project managers deem very useful in terms of visual impact.
If you have done some researches in this field you will most probably know what it is. Put simply, it is a horizontal bar graph showing the various phases of a project between a start and an end date and the possible relationship between the phases.

During our study of this aspect within the two examined software, we were impressed by a good usability of the tool in both. But in particular we liked Clickup for a small but useful detail: a green bar showing the entire duration of the project phases by making a sum between the activities present within it.

gantt wrike vs clickup

In both software we found it useful to see the assignee’s name on the project phases, and yet it would have been even better in our opinion to be able to display further information, such as the project’s code, which many companies use for immediate identification.

In Wrike it is possible to enter your days off, as we will see in the next point, and this has an impact on the Gantt chart and on the duration of the project in general, since it causes the slipping of all the activities planned for those days and all those connected to them. Consequently the project extends beyond the planning.

Moreover, the project manager does not receive a notification of the changes that have occurred and therefore we consider this method quite unacceptable for the achievement of good results. On Clikpup the problem does not arise because employees cannot directly insert days off. Therefore, even if this is a general shortcoming, at least it does not affect the timing of the projects.

Wrike vs Clickup: Workload

The second aspect that you will improve with the adoption of a project management tool is the management of the workload. In fact, this is a factor that plays a key role in the success of a project given that it is normal to have your staff involved on several fronts. Calculating the load of each resource is essential to understand who and when will be able to complete the assignments. If we unify management systems, this work will certainly be faster and more effective.

In Wrike , we have found workload management simple and intuitive . You can manage this aspect in the “Tools” area and this allows you to easily move the assignments from one user to another, when the load is excessive. To calculate the total load, Wrike lets you to enter the number of hours required for each task per day, even if it is not possible to change the dedicated hours among the days.

workload wrike vs clickup

Unfortunately in Wrike it is not possible to set daily working hours other than 8 and the project manager cannot enter their empoyees’ days off, since users can only enter their own hours: this is a little limitation in workload management processes. Perhaps in a slightly less intuitive way, Clickup instead proposes the insertion of a maximum number of daily tasks for each employee as a solution, but it does not allow you to indicate the hours for each project. We believe that this method is very simplistic because it does not take into account the substantial differences that may exist in the use of resources depending on the planned activities.

As for Wrike, also in Clickup it is easy to reallocate activities among the personnel involved, however the system lacks a bit in accuracy. Furthermore, Clickup does not support tools for managing hours, holidays and leaves while Wrike does not have worklog recording.

So, even if Wrike’s workload management is more accurate than its main competitor, in our opinion it would be useful to go a step further and allow the load to be allocated dynamically, with an optimized distribution that assign hours dedicated to projects differently among days, depending on whether or not the resource is engaged on other fronts.

Wrike vs Clickup: Agile management with Kanban board

To identify which between Wrike vs Clickup offers a better approach to the Agile methodology, we mainly focused on the composition of their Kanban board. This is a sort of “whiteboard” in which the project activities appear as post-it notes arranged in columns based on their production status and it is much loved by those who want to speed up times in updating data.

Also in this case, the two platforms proved to be aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, but Clickup scored slightly higher for allowing to customize the statuses of the task phases . Not only those standard statuses (typically: to be done – in progress – to be approved – closed) but all those you need and with a customisable label.

kanban wrike vs clickup

It would have been even better to give the possibility to organize the columns according to different criteria other than the status, but in general we found this function satisfactory.

Wrike vs Clickup: Cost management

And here we are at the last point taken into consideration in this Wrike vs Clickup challenge and also the one that has scored more sore points in our view. Cost management doesn’t offer any further advantage compared to the mere use of classic spreadsheets and therefore the only advantage is the usage of a unique platform. But the project manager will have to enter everything manually and define the values to be analysed without any support from the system.

Neither platform has automatic calculation functionalities and the project budget is an almost accessory value, of no use with the basic features.

Wrike catches up a bit in its “Enterprise” version since it offers the possibility of downloading advanced reports with different predefined templates from which to start for cost monitoring.

budget wrike vs clickup

But one needs high-level skills to understand how the Report section works, since it is very unintuitive compared to the rest of the platform, and this could discourage small managers or those who are beginners on the subject.

What if there is a third solution?

We examined four specific topics that we consider fundamental in the project management sector and our “Wrike vs Clickup challenge” has broken even personal ranking. Although they both offer a solution to the four topics, neither of them is totally exhaustive.

The inefficiencies we found make us affirm with certainty that there is a third way: Twproject. We have tested the functionalities of the two biggest project management platforms on the market and we have discovered that all their features are handled with greater accuracy in Twproject. In particular:

1. Project planning and the Gantt diagram: setting up project timelines and the dependencies between its phases is the basic work of the project manager that must be done carefully, considering multiple aspects and not just the availability of a worker.

gantt twproject


Therefore our choice in Twproject is to let the availability of employees be managed independently based on their time sheets, but the absence of an employee will not change the dates of the project and its phases, but simply the workload will be recalculated.

Twproject’s Gantt also offers the possibility of dynamically managing dependencies between phases, which do not necessarily have to be consequential and without intervals between them, as is the case elsewhere.
Furthermore, it offers an integrated view with ToDo lists, also allowing them to be edited from the Gantt itself, thus integrating two of the main project management tools in a single view.

2. Workload: the workload distribution in Twproject is really dynamic and optimized, qualities that other software lacks. This is what our smart time management looks like.

workload twproject

In the image, the different colors represent different projects and the dedicated hours change according to the load of each single day. In fact, Twproject uses a load distribution algorithm that optimizes resource capacity, it does not simply sums up the values entered by the user.

Twproject also distinguishes between project, routine and ‘spot’ activities, making it possible to plan more realistically the timing of activities.

3. Agile management with Kanban board: here Twproject takes a further leap compared to its competitors Wrike vs Clickup and allows you to view the columns of your Kanban according to other criteria in addition to the status. In fact, it may be useful for you to view as many columns as you have Projects: you can easily move the To-Dos from one project to another. Again, you can have Assignees organized into columns and move tasks from one person to another or even distribute unassigned tasks. Also if you wish, you can view the To-Dos in Priority columns and then reassign them accordingly.

kanban board twproject

4. Cost management: as we have seen, budget planning is practically not contemplated in the two software analysed. On the contrary, with Twproject, cost management is a function of paramount importance and really allows you to take care of this need completely within the software, without the need to use additional external tools. Our software follows you step by step in the creation of the project budget as it has a dedicated report for each ongoing project and also for its sub-phases and activities.

budget twproject

In this table, the project manager can enter the planned cost and its actual application, divided between personnel costs and ancillary costs, estimated and actual.
In fact, only Twproject allows you to indicate the hourly cost of employees and as they insert the hours worked on projects: these will increase the expenses incurred on a project or one of its phases. At the same time, the project manager can record all additional costs, starting with estimated budget and then entering the actual expense items later.

In this way you can always keep expenses under control and compare them with the planned costs. You can possibly adjust the data over time and the system will warn you in case of overrun of the planned budget.

Put us to the test

The fact that Twproject has turned out to be better, even compared to the big names, in many key aspects, is due to the experience acquired in over twenty years of activity. Since the first release of our software, we have dealt with different needs of large and small companies and found ad hoc solutions for each of them.

Twproject offers you fifteen days free trial, during which you can take advantage of the advice of our support team.

Let us know if you try it and don’t forget to share your experience with us.

Try the alternative choice with Twproject.

ToDo list and Gantt are now together: a new view to simplify meetings

During project meetings, would you like to always have the ToDo lists at hand when consulting the Gantt? It is now possible, thanks to the new functionality developed by Twproject.

It is thanks to our continuous listening to our customers’ needs, and the efforts we make to turn these needs into growth opportunities, that Twproject’s Gantt now offers a unique and comprehensive overview.

The role of the Gantt in project meetings

This significant new functionality stems from a need that arose during project meetings; several project managers reported having difficulty switching between the two most frequently used views in these situations: the Gantt chart and the ToDo lists.

In other words, there was a need to have a synthesis between the general view on the structure and timing of the project (the Gantt) and its punctual development marked by the execution of single activities (the ToDos). The two aspects are in fact extremely interconnected, as a phase cannot be considered closed if all the activities associated with it have not been carried out.

Of course, the Gantt is definitely the main tool that we chaeck during project meetings, or at least it should be. Having an overview of the timelines and dependencies between phases is crucial for informing the entire team about the progress of phases.

Good use of the Gantt allows for crystal-clear communication with the entire team; in fact, this fundamental tool works when it concentrates much of the information in itself and becomes the ‘command centre’ for the entire project.

The new feature in Twproject: Gantt and ToDo list together

Twproject’s Gantt is one of the most dynamic that has ever been developed: it allows you to act in real time on all its components, by moving dates, creating various types of dependencies and managing milestones. In addition, it allows you to operate in ‘test’ mode and only save changes at a later stage, to explore various possible scenarios.

Furthermore, the data contained within it updates automatically as operators complete tasks, enter worklogs and so on. And finally, the Gantt also links and interacts with other important functions of the application such as assignment and workload management.

Now it takes a step further: it connects the Gantt view to ToDo management, thanks to a simple interface that allows you to see a summary of activities for each phase, and also their detailed list, allowing you to act on them in real time.

Let us now see all these innovations in detail.

The ToDo summary for each phase while consulting the Gantt

Show ToDo data

By clicking on this icon in the horizontal function bar of the Gantt, and selecting ‘ToDo data’, it will be possible to display a summary of the ToDo status for each individual project phase in a new column of our Gantt.

The overview will show a column with a summary of the ToDos (open – closed – total) for each individual phase. And all this will be visible without having to open additional pages.

ToDo summary in Gantt

This new way of reading the Gantt and ToDo summary together is useful to see at a glance where delays are accumulating and/or where there is the greatest active workload.

The extended list of ToDos in a side tab to the Gantt

Show ToDo lists

Then, if you want to have a detailed overview, you can click on the ToDo list button, which will show the extended list of ToDos for each phase in another window which can be placed side by side with the current one.

By clicking on the various phases within the Gantt, the list will update showing the ToDo’s for each selected phase.

ToDo list and Gantt side by side

By default, the list shows open ToDos for active phases and closed ToDos for completed phases. But this display can of course be changed using filters. For example, if you also want to see closed tasks for a phase that is still in progress, just set the filter ‘Status’ to all so that you see the complete list of open, closed, or else, ToDos.

From this window you can also act on the ToDo list as usual, adding items to the list, changing assignments, dates, priority, etc.

In short, it will be possible to act instantaneously without losing focus on the overall point of view and at the same time share these operations with everyone involved.

Final remarks

As anyone who frequently conducts project status meetings knows, one of the main causes of wasted time in these situations is the inability to keep the focus on the topic. Vagueness, in short, is always just around the corner when there is so much data and information to analyse.

This is solved by using more comprehensive and accurate tools that allow us not to lose the thread and keep the focus on the details we want to examine.

With Twproject, it is easier to have all the available data at hand and thus to keep a clear and transparent line, sticking to the real situation.

We have seen that a contextual action on the Gantt and ToDo lists is very useful during meetings (and not only) and allows an insightful and detailed view at the same time, involving the whole team in the path to results.

To get to know this and many other very useful features for the development and management of your projects, you can try Twproject for free for 15 days. Start now and promote transparency and sharing within your team!

The new feature is waiting for you

Scrum vs Agile: which framework is best for your needs?

When comparing Scrum vs. Agile, many professionals are left debating which framework is better suited to optimize their processes and maximize project efficiency.

In the project management world, these terms often go hand in hand. But what do they mean, and how can they impact your projects’ success?

This article will explore the nuances of both approaches and help you understand which might be the best choice for you and your team.

Scrum or Agile: Which one to choose?

Many professionals face a dilemma when choosing a project management framework: should they opt for the Agile philosophy or implement the Scrum framework?

Making the decision can be challenging and requires a deep understanding of the specific needs of your project and organization.

The Agile philosophy is like an ocean of possibilities. It is a set of guiding principles that promote collaboration, swift reaction to change, and incremental value delivery.

If your project requires a high degree of adaptability and your team is already mature and self-sufficient enough to manage change, then adopting an Agile approach may be the right choice.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences:

Agile Scrum project management

Moving into more detail, Scrum is a much more structured framework than Agile. It is based on a two-week iterative work cycle called “sprint“. Each sprint has a specific goal, and work is broken down into smaller operations called tasks.

Agile, on the other hand, is a more flexible framework. It does not have a specific work cycle, and tasks can be ordered differently depending on the project’s needs. 

It is ideally suited for organizations that already operate in a collaborative culture and seek to improve or refine their existing processes without a rigid structure.

Scrum methodology, on the other hand, is a specific framework under the Agile umbrella.

It is more prescriptive and provides well-defined rules, roles, events, and artifacts.

If your team is new to Agile methodology or if you need a more formal structure to guide your development process, the Scrum method may be the right solution.

It is particularly beneficial for projects that must manage complexity and uncertainty, where requirements are likely to change frequently.

The Scrum framework helps create a sustainable pace of work, called “Sprint,” which allows teams to focus on small work increments and regularly assess progress.

Scrum vs Agile: everything you need to know

Choosing between Agile and Scrum should be based upon an honest evaluation of your team’s capabilities and your project’s nature.

Consider the following factors:

  • Team size and distribution: Agile performs nicely with small, co-located teams, while Scrum can suit larger, geographically distributed teams.
  • Project complexity: Projects with clearly defined requirements and limited variables are well suited for Agile, while complex projects with many uncertainties can benefit from the Scrum.
  • Client requirements:The Scrum method may be a good option if your customer needs a final product within a specific deadline. Agile may be a better fit if the customer is more flexible and can adapt to change.
  • Team preferences:Choosing a framework that suits your team’s preferences is important. If your team is used to working in a structured manner, the Scrum methodology may be a good choice. Agile may be a better fit if your team is more flexible and prefers to work independently.

Generally speaking, Scrum is a sound choice for projects that involve a lot of collaboration and communication, while Agile is better suited for projects that require flexibility and responsiveness to change.

Scrum vs. Agile: philosophies and values

Scrum and Agile are based on a shared set of values and principles, including:

  • Individuals and interactions:people and interactions with each other are more important than processes and tools;
  • Software used:the software employed is the main measure of progress;
  • Cooperation with clients:collaboration with customers is key to creating value;
  • Responsiveness to change:it is imperative to be able to adapt to change.

However, there are also some differences between the two frameworks. For instance, Scrum emphasizes collaboration and communication more, while Agile focuses more on flexibility and responsiveness to change.

Roles and responsibilities

Scrum features three main roles:

  • Product Owner:It is the individual responsible for product vision and customer requirements.
  • Scrum Master:It is the process facilitator and is responsible for ensuring that the team works efficiently and productively.
  • Team Scrum:It consists of developers, testers, and other professionals working jointly to make the product.

Agile does not entail specific roles but leaves it up to the team to define roles and responsibilities according to their needs.

Scrum vs Agile

Scrum vs. Agile: pros and cons

Scrum and Agile offer many benefits, including:

  • Flexibility and adaptability:both frameworks are flexible and can be adapted to projects of all sizes and degrees of complexity.
  • Collaboration and communication:both frameworks promote collaboration and communication among team members.
  • Transparency and accountability:both frameworks provide transparency and accountability, as the work is constantly monitored and evaluated.

Yet, both frameworks also come with some downsides, such as:

  • Can be challenging to implement:both frameworks require some degree of cultural change and can be tricky to implement in teams that are not used to working in an agile way.
  • It can be difficult to manage:both frameworks can be complex to manage and require an experienced team.

Twproject: your strategic ally in Agile and Scrum management

In the project management tools landscape, Twproject emerges as a powerful ally for those who want to implement or enhance Agile and Scrum practices within their organization.

This flexible platform is great for both small teams and large businesses, providing a user-friendly and customizable set of tools that align perfectly with the flexibility, traceability, and collaboration needs required by modern project management methodologies.

  • Flexibility and customization: Twproject is designed to meet your project’s unique needs. Whether adopting a pure Agile approach or using the Scrum framework, Twproject allows you to customize your workflows, backlogs, and sprints. You can easily create and edit tasks, assign them to your team members, and establish priorities, making your daily work management smooth and transparent. Moreover, Twproject features an interactive Gantt chart that visualizes plans and allows real-time updates, adding assignments and dependencies even with delays. This tool is particularly useful for planning and tracking projects in an Agile or Scrum context.
  • Facilitates collaboration: Collaboration is a staple of both Agile and Scrum, and Twproject provides a platform where communication among team members is made simple. With features such as built-in messaging, forum boards, and document sharing, every team member is always up-to-date and can constructively contribute to the project.
  • Track your progress: One of the most crucial elements of project management is the capacity to track progress and adapt to changes. Twproject offers in-depth dashboards and reporting that allow you to monitor how tasks are progressing, how long sprints last, and the overall performance of your team. This information is vital for inspection and adaptation, two critical components of the Agile philosophy.
  • Support for Scrum roles: Acknowledging how important the roles defined in Scrum are, Twproject makes it easy to distinguish between Scrum Master, Product Owner, and team members. Each role is granted access to the functionality they need to perform their jobs optimally, from maintaining the product backlog to facilitating sprint planning and review meetings.

For a quick comparison, watch the two dedicated videos

Choosing between Scrum and Agile is not about deciding between two mutually exclusive alternatives but rather between two points on a flexibility and structure continuum.

The key is understanding your needs and how each approach can be shaped to support your team and project goals best.

Remember, what works for you is the right choice, not necessarily what is most popular or newest in the marketplace. With the right mindset and tools, both frameworks can lead your team and projects to success.

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.

 

The best time management software of 2023-2024

Are you looking for software to help you handle time management in your company? Then you are in the right place.

Our time is the most precious resource we have. And so far we can all agree.

But we know that it is not easy to learn how to manage time, and this is as true in life as it is in the workplace.

For those who have the professional need to monitor not only their own time, but also that of their team, finding efficient ways of approaching this task is crucial: it will help reduce stress and increase company well-being and satisfaction.

It follows that the benefits of accurate time monitoring in work projects are manifold:

  • reducing work stress and increasing productivity
  • meeting deadlines
  • assessing the value of the activities in which you invest the most time
  • the precise calculation of time spent on typical tasks and thus more awareness when making budgets
  • finally, and this applies to teams of any size, this will be complemented by shared responsibility for the work done

And if this list of benefits is not enough for you, take a look at the exhaustive list of reasons why time management is a key activity for your company.

Time management is probably one of the most important monitoring activities of any company, from the smallest to the largest and most structured.

But it has a weakness, which is constancy: we do not always have enough of it to find the right tools and so we risk relying on temporary or inconsistent solutions.

Therefore, shared efforts are needed, along with patience in implementing registration and monitoring, regularity in putting them in place and continuing them over time, but also courage to change course when we see that things are not working as they should.

Time management software is like a fellow traveller who accompanies and guides us in this task.

We need to try out several of them to find the ideal one because, although they are similar, they do not all work in the same way.

Two macro-types of software

Platforms that monitor work schedules and allow the creation of timesheets fall mainly into two categories:

  1. simple time recording apps
  2. comprehensive project management solutions that also integrate other functionalities.

Our advice is to combine time management software with other planning solutions, hence choosing a tool from the second category.

In this way, all parties are involved and working time is a piece of the puzzle that fits in with the others, which is useful for analysing the functioning of projects and the team as a whole.

One example above all?

The typical case where past timesheets are used to estimate the cost of future activities and plan the budget of new projects accurately.

We have already outlined the many advantages and techniques you can implement using a comprehensive time management tool within the broader framework of integral project management.

Our ranking

And here we come to the point. What are the best tools on the market?

So which ones meet the need to combine time management with other aspects of management and which have another feature that we find advantageous, namely flexibility? We are here to tell you.

We tested several software packages, among the most popular on the market, that have time entry and time tracking as their focal point, and came up with a ranking.

Hopefully this will be useful to you!

1. Twproject

Twproject time management

Twproject is the tool that makes flexibility in timesheet recording its strong point.

With Twproject, every insertion mode is covered in order to meet personal needs.

In fact, the platform offers the constant possibility to monitor the recorded worklogs in real time, highlighting overruns compared to the planned schedule and being able to adjust them if necessary.

The recorded data can be easily exported: by person, project, customer, dates and much more.

This data fits into every single aspect of business management with Twproject, from the planning phase, continuing through execution and up to the final invoicing phase of the work performed.

In addition, Twproject has a notification system to help you always remember to record your worklogs, so that you do not miss any information.

Best features:

  • Various recording modes: it is possible to enter the hours worked with timesheets showing a chosen time interval, or with a stopwatch that can be activated when needed, or also through assigned ToDos.
  • Various registration accesses: on any page of the platform you can enter your worklogs, starting from the dashboard and continuing on the individual project and phase pages, on the ToDo list or even on your timesheet, with different time intervals.
  • Calendar: customisable at time interval level (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly), integrated with the timesheet page.
  • ToDo: very flexible and user-friendly tool. Through ToDos the worker can enter the hours worked on individual tasks, manually or with timers. When a ToDo is closed, the worklog window opens automatically.
  • Costs: the budgeting function (for project or phase managers) automatically reports the hours worked on the various nodes of the WBS. In the cost statement, it is possible to view the details of the activities performed by each worker. In addition, a comparison between estimated and performed work can be displayed and additional costs can obviously be added.
  • Revenues: this section also distinguishes estimated from invoiced revenues, and it is possible to save invoicing documents.
  • Worklog management: this function allows you to view the progress of worklogs and also to approve worklogs entered by the project manager. By default, all worklogs have the status “to be approved”, but it is possible to customise this option according to business needs.
  • Workload analysis and management: based on the workload entered, from availability, and taking into account any absences, it is possible to plan in advance the workload of operators or to reschedule assignments in progress. The workload in Twproject is very efficient and also allows to distinguish between routine and direct project activities.
  • Project planning: the hours worked in certain projects can serve as a planning source for subsequent similar projects. Twproject offers tools for detailed planning and allows the project to be broken down into its single phases, assigning specific characteristics to each of them.
  • Interactive Gantt: the first and most useful planning tool is the Gantt chart, which allows you to set phase timings, deadlines, milestones, etc.
  • Statistics page: it collects the worklog data entered to generate graphs on the progress of the project or its phases, relating this data to costs. On this page it is also possible to view the situation at any point in the lifetime of the current project.

Pricing: from €4.89 user/month.

Pros: Twproject is the collaborative tool par excellence, it allows timesheets to be placed in a broader framework, it allows the manager to have budgets, operator load, statistics etc. under control, and the workers to always have a clear idea of the use of their time. It also helps not to forget to enter the hours worked. It adapts to the needs of any team.

Cons: We do not detect any cons.

For those looking for a comprehensive and collaborative time management system, the best choice is Twproject: simple and adaptable to every need, it allows work to be monitored effectively.

2. Clock Session

Clock session

Clock Session is a comprehensive time-tracking and project management software designed to streamline your team’s workflow and boost productivity.

With its intuitive interface and powerful features, Clock Session simplifies time management, task tracking, and collaboration, allowing you to focus on what matters most – delivering exceptional results.

Best features:

  • Time tracking: users can track billable hours, project time, and attendance with Clock Session’s built-in time tracking tools.
  • Task management: it gives the possibility of organising tasks, setting deadlines, and assigning responsibilities to team members for efficient project management.
  • Reporting and analytics: managers can gain insights into team’s productivity with customizable reports and analytics.
  • Integration: Clock Session can be integrated with popular tools like Slack, Trello, and Asana for enhanced collaboration and workflow automation.
  • Mobile app: Clock Session’s mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices.

Pricing: it offers flexible pricing plans to suit businesses of all sizes. Custom enterprise plans are also available for larger organizations with specific needs.

Pros: this tool has an intuitive and user-friendly interface combined with robust time tracking and project management features, such as customisable reports and analytics. It can be integrated with other tools and offers support and regular updates.

Cons: Some advanced features may require additional customization and there are limited customization options for certain reports. Mobile app functionality may be limited compared to the desktop version.

A good solution for businesses looking to streamline their time-tracking and project-management processes. With an intuitive interface and powerful features, Clock Session empowers teams to work smarter and achieve their goals with ease.

3. Timey App

timey app

Timey App is a web and mobile app making time tracking and  project management working together.

It is designed to help  individuals and teams track the time they spend on different  tasks and projects, as well as manage and organize projects.

Best features:

  • Time tracking: Timey simplifies time tracking with clock-in and clock-out features, ensuring precise time recording. It also  effortlessly records break times, allowing for accurate time  tracking and better resource management.
  • Kanban Project Management: you can visualize project progress  through the intuitive Kanban cards, making it easy to transition  projects between “waiting,” “in progress,” and “completed”  stages. 
  • Project overview: you can keep all project-related information in one place with the project overview feature. Monitor tasks,  work hours, reports, and milestones to ensure everything stays  on track.
  • Time-off scheduler: keep track of team’s time-off  requests, including vacation days, personal days, and sick days.
  • Billing Clients: create and send professional invoices to clients, with the ability to track payment status and add discounts or taxes.

Pricing: $6 user/month

Pros: Timey simplifies time tracking, streamlining the process for individuals and teams. Its intuitive interface and mobile accessibility make it easy to track time accurately and efficiently.

Cons: while Timey is a powerful tool, it might have a learning curve for some users who are new to time tracking software. Training or tutorials may be required to fully utilize its features.

A software solution for different individuals or companies that need time tracking and managing tasks or projects.

4. Clockify

clockify

Clockify is an application for recording working hours and creating timesheets that allows you to track work between projects and make it billable.

It also provides information on work habits and reports on team performance.

Best features:

  • Stopwatch or manual time tracker: allows you to record working times and mark them as billable. The recorded timesheets can be edited later to add more information.
  • Calendar: it can also be integrated with the Google or Microsoft calendar, it offers time-off management functions with request and approval protocol.
  • “Kiosk” function: it allows you to create access points to which you log in in order to monitor work times on certain projects. Several users can be logged in to the same kiosk at the same time.
  • Dashoard: it allows you to view statistics on how the team used their time.
  • Reports: They enable data to be exported according to different criteria.
  • Scheduling and project management: task allocation with a simplified operator load view; project management also has basic functions.
  • Budget: it is possible to enter supplementary expenses in addition to personnel costs and subsequently create receipts to the customer.
  • Maps: it monitors the movements of logged users over a given territory, a useful function for teams working on the move.

Pricing: basic licence from $3.99 user/month.

Pros: User friendly, easy to use; accessibility from various devices and good mobile app version.

Cons: little or no customisation. Not suitable for large teams, companies with several departments, etc. Lack of Gantt.

An application that started with the function of time tracking and later expanded to other basic project management activities.

5. Harvest

Harvest

Harvest is a web-based timesheet management system that has a strong connection with budget and invoicing management. For other functionalities it relies on integrations with other parallel systems.

So it can be a convenient solution for freelancers or small teams.

Best features:

  • Projects: it is possible to create projects by customer, of three types: consumable, fixed cost and non-billable. Each project has predefined tasks on which employees work.
  • Timer or manual recording via the weekly planner. The timer does not stop if you change windows or also if you close the browser.
  • Budget per project: settable in hours or money. Addition of extra expenses.
  • Invoicing: functionality with many options to create invoices from the hours worked on projects.
  • Summary graphs: line or block graphs to display trends in income and expenditure and hours worked, divided into billable and non-billable.
  • Team management: it shows a summary of hours worked, reports overruns, but has no real workload balancing functions since it does not allow reallocation of tasks.

Pricing: single pro licence $10.80 user/month.

Pros: a specialised tool offering various analysis tools, including “what-if” scenarios.

Cons: Client-based project management: may not be suitable for teams working differently. It is not possible to mark hours worked at several levels, but only for specific tasks of a project, i.e. not on phases, not on the project in general, etc.

Harvest offers analysis tools for time tracking and is suitable for those who rely on detailed chronological reporting; it has some rigidity.

6. TimeCamp

TimeCamp

TimeCamp is a time tracking application that pays attention to project budgeting and transparency in communication and time management.

Best features:

  • Types of insertion: with stopwatch or manual insertion.
  • Automatisations: automatic entry with url and keyword analysis to identify the project being worked on; “idle tracking” functionality that automatically pauses the stopwatch when the user is not active.
  • Status of timesheets: they are all subject to manager approval.
  • Different views: classic timesheet view or “calendar” style.
  • Reports: presence of more than twenty types of pre-built reports to check the productivity progress of the work group. Possibility of creating customised reports.
  • Invoicing: from workers’ timesheets, to which different hourly costs can be applied, invoices can be created and exported directly.
  • Budget: creation of a budget with addition of expected costs. Notifications in case of overruns.

Pricing: starter licence from $2.99 user/month.

Pros: Useful for those who need a basic tool. For all other project management functions it relies on external tools, allowing some integration.

Cons: Lacking in project management, it has no planning functions apart from time schedules.

Innovative tool with some interesting automations, more suitable for freelancers than for structured companies.

7. Sunsama

Sunsama

Software that uses agile methodology for task management and tracking. It makes main use of the kanban board, within which it inserts timings.

Best features:

  • Customisation of working methods: provides many options for personal planning and time management.
  • Task management: tasks can be added from the calendar, which has a kanban board style view, and assigned (if desired) to a channel and then placed in the right place on the day, week or month. There are tasks that can be set as routine tasks and added by default.
  • Task start and end dates: these can be set as desired.
  • Channels: sort of areas within which you can place your tasks. It is also possible to have sub-channels. Otherwise, tasks remain uncategorised.
  • Archive: can be customised or made automatic. In the latter case, it automatically takes care of saving past tasks.
  • Operator load: it signals in red if an assigned task causes an overrun of the scheduled working hours.
  • Review: it has weekly review functionalities in which the achievement of objectives is analysed.

Pricing: single licence $20 user/month.

Pros: Tool with a strong focus on personal well-being and on balanced working time management.

Cons: Sunsama is a good tool for personal productivity. But it may not be the best pick for larger team projects and collaboration with co-workers.

The philosophy of agile working is reflected in this application both in terms of graphics and content customisation.

8. ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab

Project management tool with time tracking functionality that allows you to monitor and manage work time, per project, per customer, per scope or per assignee.

Best features

  • Project management: it allows you to create projects with data such as description, category and customer. Customers can be included in projects but you can choose to hide certain activities from their view. There are no project sub-phases.
  • Task management: each task has an assignee and a delivery date.
  • Stopwatch: must be activated on projects by the project manager and at that point allows monitoring of work times.
  • Timesheet: it is also possible to add the hours in the timesheet afterwards, and it will show any case of over- or under-hours in different colours.
  • Resource management: it is possible to create different professionals with customised hourly costs, and to change the hourly cost according to individual customers.
  • Reports: they can be filtered by time frame or even by customer or type. They show progress on the work done.
  • Budget: it makes it possible to distinguish between worked and estimated hours, also in percentages, and to calculate the billable total.

Pricing: pro licence from $8 user/month.

Pros: good comprehensiveness of the tools available, ease in learning.

Cons: poorly customisable reports and interfaces. Lack of main dashboard.

A software suitable for different types of professionals and companies. Its lack of flexibility is compensated for by the variety of functionalities.

Final remarks

Thus, we have seen which are the best tools to help managers and workers keep track of the time spent on various tasks, projects and other deliverables.

A good choice will lead to more informed business decisions and an overall increase in productivity and profitability.

Therefore, the ideal is to find a tool that caters for individual needs, takes into account personal peculiarities and at the same time incorporates this activity within a broader framework, so that time tracking does not remain a stand-alone element, isolated from the rest of the business processes.

With Twproject, all resources involved can follow their own patterns and record the work as they see fit. The project manager will later be able to analyse this data with ease, as it will already be correctly integrated under every aspect of project management.

So hopefully we have persuaded you that time management is not a struggle against time. On the contrary, it means embarking on a journey and learning along the way, acquiring the practice that only the right experience can give you.

Try Twproject free of charge for 15 days and don’t miss out on any of the details of your working time!

New Twproject Release – Assignments and load for departments

Despite the summer period, the Twproject development team has certainly not stopped and today we are releasing a new version that we are sure you will appreciate. This new release, which is free for all customers, includes an important new feature on the workload and in particular on the use of department on projects, but let’s see all the details.

In Twproject, it was always possible to assign a department to a project, but the assignment had the sole function of giving all those belonging to that department specific permissions on the project.

From today, this assignment will have even greater value.

But this release does not only include this important change, we have also significantly enhanced Twproject’s financial management, making it more suitable for highly structured companies.

Also included are numerous bug-fixes, a complete list of which can be found on the changelog page.

This upgrade is free of charge for all Twproject users and includes updates to the database. A full backup of the application is therefore recommended before upgrading.

Let us now see the new features in detail.

New features

Department assignments

This important new change has several consequences.

As we have already mentioned, the assignment of a department to the project has always been possible, but the function was only to grant permissions to people who were part of the department/section (permissions are those given by the role with which the department is assigned).

Resources could not record hours worked on the department, but required their own allocation.

From today this will be possible! Being part of a department assigned to a project will give you the possibility to report directly on this assignment, you will be able to see the project and work with the to-do’s.

This major change will allow you to assign a department without worrying about who will be in charge of the activities specifically, knowing that everyone in it is fully operational.

In work environments where there are large teams and where there is a tendency to work in agile mode, it will be very convenient to have one assignment to which everyone reports.

Also, the assignment of a ToDo to a person will no longer create an assignment to the person if that person is part of a department/team already assigned on the project.

In the worklog analysis interfaces, however, the detail of the persons who reported on the departmental allocation is shown, while all analysis, control and approval procedures remain unchanged.

This is a new default behaviour of Twproject and therefore does not need to be activated.

Consequently, in all interfaces where one’s own assignments are shown or where one can record one’s worklogs, in addition to one’s personal assignments, those of the department to which one directly belongs are also shown, with the possibility of reporting on them.

If, on the other hand, a person also has his or her own nominal assignment on the same stage, the departmental one is ignored and only the personal one is shown.

Department workload

Obviously, this change, which gives the department an even greater importance than it has had up to now, could not remain incomplete, which is why the optimised load calculation on the department as a whole was also added.


Until now it was only possible to view the workload of people; with this release it becomes possible for departments as well.

The workload calculation takes into account many parameters such as dates, status and type of projects, estimated assignments, planned hours through the plan and/or ToDo’s, actual workable hours net of leave/vacation/illness, hours already worked on each assignment, for each person belonging to the department. Once this data has been extracted, the algorithm tries to optimise the allocation of resources so as to obtain the most plausible load possible, based on the available data:

  1. Hours worked by the resource (both person and department)
  2. Work capacity for that day. It is the sum of the capacities of all the resources belonging to the department; it takes into account working hours (horizontal or vertical part-time) and can therefore differ from day to day.
  3. Total load calculated as the sum of all contributions.

Colours are assigned on the basis of the phase/project. If several resources are allocated to the same phase/project, the box represents the total of all contributions.

Unavailabilities, shown at the bottom of the bar in pale pink, are holidays, leave, etc., entered in the Twproject diary indicating their type.

For more details on the algorithm implemented by Twproject for this calculation, we recommend reading this post on resource workload.

Improved cost management

Let us now move on to the part concerning cost enhancement.

Project budget

Several configurations have been included that can be switched on and off by default, giving you greater control over budgets and estimates.

The activation of the parameter BUDGET_OVERFLOW_FORBIDDEN makes the application prevent the input of financial costs, or costs arising from allocated resources, if these exceed the allocated budget. In addition, the sum of the budget distributed over the phases must respect the budget defined on the higher level.

This behaviour is intended to facilitate the financial planning activities of the project manager, who is then guided by Twproject in entering consistent estimates with the available budget for each individual project phase.

If we then analyse in detail the control exercised by the budget, we see that:

  • each sub-phase cannot have a budget greater than that of the phase to which it belongs (overflow) and, similarly, the budget of a parent node cannot be less than the sum of the budgets of its own sub-phases (underflow).
  • the estimated costs of a phase cannot exceed the budget of the relevant phase as well as the costs arising from the work of the assigned resources (hourly cost of the resource multiplied by the estimated hours of work on his or her assignment).
  • the real costs, in turn, are subject to the control of the estimated costs to which they must necessarily refer and which they cannot in fact exceed.
  • lpersonal expenses are tied to one’s personal budget, which in turn contributes to eroding the phase budget.

In order to better manage finances, Twproject shows for each node the budget allocated to all its sub-phases, if any, as well as the residual usable amount (value given by the budget on the phase minus what is allocated to the sub-phases and the costs of the phase itself).

As mentioned, by symmetry with the overflow, the underflow is also controlled, so an already entered budget may not be changed below what has already been distributed or estimated, and likewise, an estimated cost may not be lowered below the actual cost already incurred.

Two new budget management permissions have been created.

Management of resource cost per hour
USE_REAL_RESOURCE_COST

Twproject has two cost per hour indications: one on the resource, the other on the assignment.

This is done in order to differentiate the cost of the employees to the company (cost on the resource) from the value with which the resource is ‘sold’ to a customer (cost on the allocation).

However, should it be necessary or more convenient to always use the cost of the resource, this new flag has been introduced, the activation of which disables the hourly cost on the allocation, which is then ignored.

As a consequence, any change of hourly cost on the resource will be propagated immediately to all task assignments with active or pending status. The display of historicised consumptive costs (worklogs) and estimates, discounted to the new cost, is also activated.

The historicised worklog cost (actual cost) is the sum of the individual worklog costs to the hourly cost of the resource at the date of entry, while the estimated cost is the historicised hourly cost, on what was actually recorded, and the current cost for the residual part:

actual worklog cost + (estimated hours – hours worked) * current hourly cost

Please note that if the hourly cost of a resource is changed, the project cost page should be interpreted by taking into account the above calculation, not simply by multiplying the hourly cost by the hours.

Management of final reports (worklog entry)
WORKLOG_OVERFLOW_FORBIDDEN

Linked to the management of the project budget, but independent of it, is the blocking of worklog entries in the event of overruns.

Once this property is activated, it will no longer be possible to enter hours in excess of the estimate; therefore, in the case of non-estimated hours, worklog entry is disabled.

In the case of assignment to a department (see next paragraph), the block is activated on the total number of hours entered by the whole team.

In the event of an overrun, an alert warns of the error and shows the remaining number of hours that can be entered.

Note that this ban does not take into account budget overruns (provided the functionality is active), but only the estimate on the allocation; this is to avoid blocking normal work activities in the event of changes in the hourly cost of resources.

The property WORKLOG_ROUNDING_TO instead, controls the rounding to ‘n’ predetermined minutes. The value 0 (default) does not round and therefore deactivates the property.

Management of cost centres

With the same aim of simplifying the management of large teams and complex projects, several innovations concerning cost centres were introduced.

Cost centre propagation

A new default behaviour means that when the cost centre on a task or resource is changed, all ‘children’ having the old cost centre are updated to the new one. If, however, a child had a different one, it is not changed.

Choice of cost centre type
USE_DISTINCT_COSTCENTER_PRJ_RES

Its activation involves the appearance in the cost centre editor of a new drop-down menu, the ‘type’, having only two values, project and resource, and the task and resource drop-downs will only show the respective cost centres.

Cost centre inheritance
COSTS_INHERIT_COST_CENTER

This new custom feature has been introduced so that additional project costs inherit the cost centre from the phase, with no possibility of modification.

Security

With this release we have introduced 5 new permissions related to phase/project management of the budget, revenue and cost centre.

The application update procedure automatically adds them to all existing roles that have similar cost permissions.

To increase security, ownership of project phases will automatically be inherited from the parent node.

Thus, if even the individual project phase will have a different manager (e.g. a junior project manager) than the main project, this manager will not acquire ownership over all aspects of the phase, such as costs, etc., by default.

Many other new features

  • Kanban: added search in each column.

  • Assignment list: the printout now also includes any customised fields.

  • Operator loading: in the detail popup, we have increased and improved the summary information.

  • Tasks with an undefined status: their progress percentage is always zero and they are not taken into account in the project progress calculation.

But all this is but a brief extract of what you can find in Twproject 7.1.007!

With this release, Twproject has made many other system improvements and bug-fixes, a complete list of which can be found on the changelog page.

The new release is awaiting you

New Twproject Release – All types of Gantt dependencies

After months of study and implementation we are really happy to announce that a new version of Twproject has been released and it includes, among other optimizations, a particular step forward on the use of the Gantt chart.

The Gantt developed by Twproject is undoubtedly one of the best on the current market in terms of flexibility and interaction with other pages in the application. It is also one of the few that allows you to do all sorts of tests on project duration and dependencies, thus proving to be a useful tool not only when sharing timelines but also in the process of studying them.

As always, the new release will be for the immediate benefit of all our customers, who can start using the new features right away!

Dependencies in the Gantt

According to definition, in the context of project management, “dependency” is defined as the relationship between two activities in a project or between an activity and a milestone (a precise point that defines the beginning or end of a relevant phase).

Dependencies thus allow one phase to be linked to the next in a way that indicates that they are consequential.

dependency

Introduction of new typologies

Until now in Twproject, the dependencies between project phases that the user could enter were of one type, the so-called classic Finish to start (FS). This means that activity A must finish before activity B starts, or in other words, activity B cannot start before A is finished.

But as we delved deeper into this topic and also through feedback from our clients, we realized that limiting the possible relationships that exist between the phases of a project to this classic type of dependency was reductive. In fact, there are additional relationships that can develop between the activities to be performed and that have been theorized in the principles of project management. Let us look at them in detail:

  • The Finish to finish (FF) relationship type implies that activity B cannot finish before A is also finished. For example, if activity B is the completion of writing a book and activity A is the writing of the last chapter, it becomes clear that A must necessarily finish for B to be considered finished as well.
  • Furthermore, there is the case that a certain activity cannot begin before another activity has in turn begun, and in this case the relationship will be Start to Start (SS). A classic example is the project management activity (B) of a project that cannot start before the project itself (A) begins.
  • Finally, a very specific case is the last type of relationship called Start to finish (SF), which is probably the most complex to understand and applies only in certain contexts. In this case activity A must start before B finishes, or in other words B cannot finish until A is started. Such a scenario may arise, for example, during shift change in a manufacturing plant whose machinery needs constant monitoring. The initial shift (A) cannot be said to have ended unless the next shift (B) has already started, on pain of putting the plant at risk.

We are therefore overjoyed to announce that in the new release of Twproject we have introduced the ability to assign all of the above types of dependencies to project phases.

After creating the dependency between two phases, you can possibly change the default value represented by the FS dependency and select another type of relationship.

modify dependency type

The application of the concept of “elasticity”

Another important paradigm shift, which makes us very proud of our work, is that we have made all the newly added dependencies “elastic.”

Indeed, if until now the assignment of a dependency established the linear succession of one activity after another, we know well that in the real world the downtimes.

That is why Twproject decided to allow the user to freely manage this elasticity.

So from now on when you enter a dependency it will be saved at first with the default FS hard type. But this classic “hard” dependency can be converted into “elastic” and with any type of relationship.

This means that two interdependent activities may also not be chronologically consequential and move apart, leaving any gaps between them, or overlap for a time, as long as the logic of chosen dependence is respected.

This is a big change in terms of sticking to the facts when carrying out a concrete project and reinforces the concept of delegation that is central in Twproject.

Imagine a project tree where a Project Manager (PM) is assigned for the whole project and then a specific one for each phase, one for the analysis(PMA), design(PMG) and production(PMD) phase, these phases are linked by an FS dependency.

The PM can define a total project duration and assign a specific duration to the phases, thanks to the elastic dependencies, he can, while maintaining the logic of the dependencies, create a lag between the phases and therefore leave to PMA, PMG and PMD great freedom of action (moving end and start data) without affecting the overall dates!

This was not possible before, since a postponement of an end date, for example of the analysis phase, would necessarily have led to a postponement of the consequent phases, phases over which PMA has no right.

Other news

But it doesn’t end there. With this release Twproject has made really a lot of improvements to the system, a full list of which you can find on the changelog page.

Here’s a sampling of them:

Revenues: a useful tool for turning an estimated value into actual revenue has been introduced to further facilitate the entry of these items.

Worklogs: filters by ToDo and by project have been added to the worklog analysis sheet, and in addition a column with the sum of total worklogs on a phase or project has been added on the timesheet.

Role security: we have made permissions on task management even more secure in relation to cost and form entry.

Agenda: various improvements have been made to the agenda, including the ability to view the duration of ToDo’s, and in addition, events entered in the agenda have been integrated into a dedicated row on the ToDo and resource planner.

So, don’t waste any time and go find out now how much these latest innovations from Twproject will benefit the efficiency of your work!

All clients using Twproject on the cloud will get the update automatically in the coming days, while those who have Twproject installed on their own servers can find the new installers here.

The new release is waiting for you

Revenue management with Twproject: an excellent solution

By reading this article, you will discover how advantageous revenue management with Twproject is, and some tricks to put it into practice in the best possible way.

The detailed and constant analysis of a company’s financial flows is the main tool for not making losses, and in general for not running into unpleasant events that could easily degenerate over time.

But why is it so important to schedule periodic checks of these flows?

Because in order to manage a company properly, it is often necessary to play in advance, predict the moves and have clear forecasts of future trends.

To do this, it is useful to know in detail the economic potential of the ongoing projects, so as to make the right investments and not grope in the dark.

To this end, it is essential to have a tool that aggregates costs and revenues, and this is where the management of these factors with Twproject comes into play.

We have recently seen how easy it is to keep the costs of your projects under control.

Now it is time to focus on revenue posting. Doing it with Twproject is really fast and easy.

Estimated and actual values

What distinguishes the cash flow analysis in Twproject is the possibility of always differentiating between estimated and real flows.

This applies to both costs and revenues.

In fact, as in the cost sheet, also for revenue management with Twproject you can add all the expected revenue streams, thus obtaining a probable trend of this crucial aspect.

The method

First, enter all the revenues you think you will get, with an expected date.

Later you will enter the actual revenues and if you want you can also attach the billing document.

Twproject also offers you the possibility of quickly converting a forecast into an actual revenue with a simple click if the value and date have been respected. This will save you a lot of time!

Furthermore, revenues can be registered at each node of the project tree and the total will be reported in the main node under the “total on children” item.

Adding real incomes

The progress diagram (cash flow)

As you enter your data, you will see the financial (or cash) flow of your project compose with a linear diagram that aggregates income and expenses.

In addition, here you will also find the graph relating specifically to the revenue trend and which shows the gap between real and estimated values.

RRemember to always include dates so your diagrams are as accurate as possible!

And remember that the cash flow is visible in each node of the project’s tree so you will not only have a general trend of the project but also a specific detail phase by phase, depending on how you want to track the data.

As you can see, also in this case Twproject offers you the solution to leave all spreadsheets behind and to manage all aspects related to financial performance in a single platform.

An advantage in many respects

Thanks to project graphs X-BRAIN now keeps track of actual costs and revenues against what was budgeted.

1. The importance of forecasting in the revenue management with Twproject

Currently, if you use any electronic invoicing software it is normal to have invoices already managed and saved online, but there are no tools that allow you to differentiate between expected and actual revenues and above all that give you this information relating to a specific project.

This will allow you to truly identify those projects that do not meet the billing plan or whose income does not exceed the expenses.

This is crucial for analyzing deviations from the project baseline and refining techniques to make more accurate forecasts.

2. Data transferability

Consequently, it is clear that this is also an excellent tool for refining business strategies and using the real data of a project even on similar projects to be programmed for the future.

Having the situation of your revenues in real time will not only help you stay within budget during construction but will also be useful when you want to estimate the budget for new projects.

3. Sharing of responsibility

You will be able to choose who and to what level of depth will be able to access data on financial flows, making the monitoring of this aspect a team effort.

By sharing the data with your team, you will be able to give responsibilities to those directly involved, whether they are project leaders or in charge of single phases, or also decide to leave this aspect to well-defined figures.

Twproject security is extremely refined and you can define who will have the opportunity to interact with project costs and revenues.

Do not waste any more precious time and take a free trial to experience how convenient it is to monitor your revenue with Twproject.

If you like, share your experience with us and let us know what you think.

Manage your flows from A to Z with Twproject

Track time with Twproject – Simple as it should be

In the workplace everyone has their own habits and what a project manager soon learns is that the way of recording the time spent on the various tasks is very different depending on the person involved.

Some people focus on a task and complete it without distractions, putting off logging time spent until the end.
Others prefer to range between multiple commitments in a day and gradually register their timing.
Yet others find it useful for concentration purposes to activate a stopwatch that monitors project activity, turning the counting off and on when switching from one task to another.

But not only are we all different on a personal level, it is also the role we play that certainly determines how we count our time and categorize our activities in order to ultimately obtain a reliable work report.

In my experience, managing a small team of developers, coordinating and analyzing their work, mediating between the needs of clients and those of my colleagues, I find it useful for me to keep track of the projects regularly. Several times a day, I insert worklogs for projects I deal with, and for what purpose.
On the other hand my coworkers, most of them developers, find it better to follow a task from start to finish and then write down the activities performed and the total times.
In short, each experience and each person is unique.

In a recent article, we talked about the fact that one of the main resistance factor in the transition to a new project management system is the desire to migrate all the procedures used in the company so far within the new tool. This can be a blocking factor if you do not find a system that accommodates individual needs but at the same time shows advantages in terms of practicality and depth of analysis.

Finally, in addition to the different work and personal needs, in our opinion an efficient tool for recording working hours should give the possibility of entering timing at different levels of hierarchy in a project.
A project manager may need to enter his timesheets at a more general level than the workers engaged in project sub-phases.
An executive will be placed in a further grade, and so on.

worklog

The importance of accounting

Regardless of the method chosen, there is no doubt that for correct project management it is essential that each participant takes into account their working times, known as worklogs. Recording the hours or days that have been spent in performing a phase and more generally a project is useful both for those who carry out the time analysis and for those who carry out the work.

On the one hand, the transparency of work increases and this allows project managers to know in detail the operations that their team carries out to reach the objective; on the other, it helps workers to better plan their times and also to have an extra tool to report any work overload should this occur.

It is important that everyone feels comfortable with this monitoring operation. And as we have seen, the requests of companies, combined with the attitudes of workers, can give rise to various methodologies for tracking worklogs.

For this reason Twproject, a tool characterized by an extreme versatility in many respects, has developed a diversified method of entering hours according to the preferences and needs of individuals.

In Twproject there is not just one way to mark your worklogs, but you can use different tools and methodologies.
Let’s see them in detail.

Timesheet

The first element of the menu item dedicated to this topic is the Timesheet. Here you will see all your assignments, i.e. projects or phases in which you participate. From this table you can enter your worklogs with a brief description of the activity performed and you will easily see how many hours you have left to complete your total working time. The integrated agenda, showing your appointments, will help you fill the table out.

No other project management software offers such a detailed entry method, which proves to be very useful at the end of the project or at any time you need to report on the activity carried out: with a simple click on the chosen assignment you will see the total list of all the worklogs entered up to that moment by a resource.
This view can be very useful for providing a report on the work performed, for drawing up a final balance sheet and so on.

timesheet

Time counter

This type of worklog is useful for those who work on one project at a time. On the main page you will find a widget from which to select the assignment and start a stopwatch. The same operation can be done from the relative Time counter menu item, which opens a specific pop-up with the list of projects and sub-phases assigned to the user.

From the moment you activate the tool, it will start counting the time even when you browse other pages and you can stop it at any time by clicking on the button in the menu item, possibly inserting a detailed description of the activity carried out and also if necessary changing the total duration.

time counter

From the to-do list

Finally, for those who are used to orienting their daily activity on the basis of assigned tasks, the to-do list is the mainly used tool. To make work easier for this category of people, with Twproject it is possible to insert worklogs directly from the to-do list.

At the closure of each to-do, but also during ongoing processes, you can add the hours worked, while the description will automatically be pre-filled with the description of the to-do itself. From the list it is also possible to start an automatic counter, so as not to have to worry about calculating the times at the end.

to-do list

An easy and suitable solution for everyone

These three tools, or rather methods, allow you to freely choose how to monitor your own work and that of the other members of your team.

And for the forgetful, Twproject has a way of signaling, with a reminder sticky note, in case you miss recording hours for a few days.

In this short video you can find a summary of what has been explained so far.

As you have seen, Twproject offers a solution suitable for multiple work styles and will help you not run into internal resistance and finally have greater control over your work and that of your team.

If you like, you can do a free trial and experience what we have shown you.
Don’t waste any more precious time and start tracking your work now!

Choose the most flexible tool: try Twproject.

Project costs: everything under control

A successful project must not only be on time, but also on your budget.

In this article we will see how Twproject manages project costs.

The overall cost of a project depends mainly on the scope of application; the list of items contributing to the total will be very different between a consultancy project, a building construction project or an R&D project.

We can identify two categories of costs: those related to the people involved (resources) and those related to material goods (or “lump sum” services) necessary for the execution of the project.

For the resources we will have both the costs of the work done (simplifying: hours worked x hourly cost) and any costs incurred by the resource for carrying out the work (expense notes).

For all these entries Twproject collects both estimated and actual values. These data compared with the expected budget will give a complete picture of the progress of the project from an economic point of view.
A simple management of expected and actual revenues will also allow an estimate on the cash flow.

Let see in detail how it works.

Resources: the hourly cost

Each resource has its own hourly cost which depends on many factors (duties, seniority, etc.). Its definition is beyond the tasks of the PM.
Once this cost has been determined, it can be entered in the user card:

Resources: hourly cost and cost center

It is quite common to insert a “standardized” cost instead of the actual cost of the resource, in order to solve the problem of the exact calculation which could be complex.
In this editor you can also assign the resource to a cost center for cross-project analysis.

To simplify data input, in Twproject, both the hourly cost and the cost center (but also the working time) can be defined at the resource, department or company level; in this way the value will be inherited unless otherwise specified.

Resource’s cost will be entered only once, as it represents the “business cost” and will be the same on all projects in which this resource will be involved.

Resource costs: the cost of work

On each project, phase, sub-phase, etc. you can indicate resources that are involved through the assignment.
The project estimation is specified during the assignment phase (100 hours in the example below).

Project: resource assignment phase

Entering the expected hours, the estimated cost of this assignment will be computed using the actual resource hourly cost.

Each time a resource enters the hours worked on the project, a phase or a ToDo, the total will be updated on the project, thus generating a real cost that we could then compare with the one entered in the estimation phase.

In Twproject there are many ways to enter the hours worked; the timesheet (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly), the start / stop buttons on projects and ToDo, while closing a ToDo etc.
It’s a very quick and easy operation.

One “worker hour” record, brings with it the hourly cost and the cost center of the resource at the date of insertion.

Resource costs: expense reports

An expense item related to resources is the expenses report.
For some projects it is a non-negligible cost item and Twproject takes it into account; both in the estimation and reporting phases.

Expense reports and work costs close the resources related costs.
The summary dashboard looks like this:

Resource cost summary

For each resource we find the estimated hours, the hours worked, the hourly cost, the equivalent amounts, personal budget, total expenses incurred. At the end the estimated total cost and real cost.
Each overshoot is clearly visible and marked in red.
If the project is divided into phases, the last line will report estimates and costs on the entire underlying tree.
Estimates and costs can be structured along the WBS (Work Break-down Structure) simplifying its analysis .
Browsing through WBS will show at a glance where there are discrepancies between estimate and actual:

Overshoot alerts on WBS

Twproject was our number 1 choice as a project management tool, because it provided an excellent combination between the pure project management and the budget and cost control view

Additional project costs

This category includes all those costs that are not dependent on the activities of the resources.
Typical examples: materials, licensing costs, external consultancy, suppliers, rental fees, etc.
For each of these items, you can enter estimated and actual value, classification, cost center, any attachment etc .:

Additional cost editor

Also in this case a table will summarize the values for this project / phase and a summary row for the data of the sub-phases:

Project’s budget

So far we have compared the estimated values with the actual ones.
Twproject allows us to add a dimension, the project budget.
The project budget can have different meanings and uses depending on the goal we aim to achieve.
A very common use, which is adopted by companies that work on order, is that the “budget” represents the “cost to the customer”. In this sense, the summary table is quite clear:

Budget vs Costs Summary table

On the “Forecast” line we will read the expected margin for the entire order. This is the data that comes to the PM from the commercial negotiation.
On the “Estimated” line we will read how much margin we still have to stay in the estimated: depending on the phase of the project (start, ongoing or completed) it can be used in different ways, but in any case it depends on the quality of the estimates made by the PM (or by the project team).
The last line “Actual” also takes on different meanings depending on the phase, but upon completion it will tell us the profit we will “take home” with the project.

Even for what concerns the budget, it is possible to indicate it both at project level and at phases / sub-phases.
This approach, especially on very complex projects, together with the refined security management of Twproject, allows you to implement a delegation mechanism, in which the PMs of the underlying phases can manage their own budget.

With Twproject you can analyze costs, expense reports and cross-project hours worked with dedicated tools. Of course, there is also an export to Excel for fans 🙂

Remember that all changes to costs, budgets, hours entered, expense reports etc. are recorded daily in the project statistics, so it is always possible to go and see what the situation was on a given date:

Costs chart

To contextualize the costs with the other project parameters (dates, progress, ToDos, hours worked etc.), the statistics page with the use of the slider will allow you to have a complete picture at any point in the past:

Project’s statistic slider

Complementary to cost management, Twproject also provides tools for revenue management, but we will address this part in a dedicated post.

Try Twproject for free and see how easy it is to have the project costs under control without complications.

Start now with a proper cost managemen!t

 

Visual project management

Visual Project Management is an interesting approach to project management. A project management strategy designed to increase success by visualizing project components like data and activities.

It is a proven fact that people receive more than 80% of information through the sense of sight.

From the most tender age, we write and draw in order to visualize our thoughts, emotions and things to remember.

Why not use this way to make work simpler and more efficient? In fact, visualization is something we can implement in project management.

Visual management of the project

By adopting a visual project management, teams and organizations can complete projects of any kind with more speed and efficiency.

Visual project management therefore becomes a technique for work management.

Instead of listing activities in “to do list” or wasting valuable time tracking information in the mailbox, shared files and spreadsheets, it is much easier to track the work using a visual activity management tool.

Visual functionalities can be a valuable resource for any design style, but are more commonly associated with agile methods like Scrum and Kanban.

In a certain way, Visual Project Management is inspired by the old school blackboard.

The board acts as a roadmap, progress tracker and collaboration tool for all types of development teams.

This is why in TW project, besides the use of visual tools we have already talked about (such as the gantt chart and issue management), we have created real blackboards.

Physical boards and digital boards for visual management

Physical whiteboards are a common way to share information, for example to gather topics for a meeting. In Twproject, we find the “digital twins” of physical boards.

A blackboard is an “open space” where everyone (almost everyone, security is always in the background) can insert a message.

Here’s what a used blackboard looks like.

At any time during a project, hundreds of single data are manipulated, transformed and communicated.

These data include labor estimates, capital and operating expenses, activity lists, performance metrics, calendars, cost-benefit analysis, risk profiles, trend data, etc.

As business speed increases and the need to focus on increasing numbers of data in order to keep project execution under control, new and innovative tools and techniques are needed to help project managers.

The visualization of complex data and processes has proved invaluable in meeting these needs.

Visual Project Management as a facilitator

Traditional visual tools such as Gantt charts, Kanban cards, process diagrams, project team calendars, stakeholder organization graphs and similar are advantageous in their own way, but they do not tell the collective story of the general state of the project.

Complicating the issue, sponsors and key project stakeholders may no longer have time for long project status reports or weekly briefings.

Decisions must be made at the moment, with any data available.

For this reason, the traditional discipline of project management, that exploits processes and documents approaches in a “heavy” way, is quickly abandoned in favor of more agile methods.

Some studies have also shown that the information presented in text formats is ineffective and inefficient.

The human eye can see visual schems 65,000 times faster on an image with respect to a tabular form.

visual project management 1

These facts have therefore led to the creation of a new niche within the project management community known as Visual Project Management.

The Scrum-ban style

Regarding the current methodology, many of the useful visual tools combine the best aspects of Kanban and Scrum to which project teams are accustomed.

Some users have started calling this style “Scrum-ban“.

Common visual features include:

  • Real time dashboard
  • Timeline
  • Graphic reports (Gantt, burndown, ecc.)
  • Boards (Kanban)
  • Roadmap of the product

The key advantage of this new approach is speed, as critical project information can be produced, replicated and digested in more efficient and effective ways.

The adoption of this new approach also offers further distinct advantages to project managers, team members and, above all, to the most important stakeholders:

  • The state of project planning, execution, monitoring and control activities are available in a single view, at a glance and it is easy to understand
  • Improve clarity, visibility and understanding of the project’s overall scope and operational plan
  • Resource allocations, or over-allocations, through the project or multiple projects, are clearly visible.
  • As a consequence from the previous point: better planning and allocation of resources
  • The impacts of changes to the scope, plan, priority or resources are available in real time
  • The information is provided in such a manner that everyone can access it, at any time, place and convenient way
  • Ability to isolate problem areas faster

Accelerate processes with Visual Project Management

Visual Project Management can accelerate progress by sharing project information in real time in such a way that is easier to access, understand and transmit.

Today’s project manager has much more to manage than just the project scope, deliverables, communications and teams.

The visual management of the project is not really a radically new approach that messes up the discipline.

It is just a set of tools and techniques that reinforce what we already know: people work and manage projects more efficiently when they have a clear vision of how the project components move and connect with each other.

The best way to represent and share this information in real time is not with a spreadsheet or series of emails, but an image.

Have you adopted visual project management in your work too? Tell us about your experience.

Manage your project in a visual and intuitive way.

A try is worth more than a million words.

Work Breakdown Structure: some suggestions for using it to the best

A Work Breakdown Structure, abbreviated with WBS, is a visual tool for the definition and tracking of a project deliverable and all the small components necessary to create it.

With a Work Breakdown Structure, the project manager can concentrate on what he has to accomplish as he approaches the project deadline.

This is a fundamental tool for a PM as it helps to plan, manage and evaluate any type of project.

With a WBS, we start from the result or the desired final product, we analyze it and decompose it into smaller deliverables or the activities necessary to create it.

In a WBS, the deliverable can be an object, a service, or an activity.

Focusing on deliverables, rather than methods – the “what”, not the “how” – a Work Breakdown Structure helps to eliminate unnecessary and superfluous work.

A weighted WBS helps in planning, costs estimation and risk analysis.

It is usually a graph or a visual diagram that defines the temporal sequence and the process of a project. It breaks down into each activity that will be performed during the project life cycle.

A WBS is often represented as a structure, as a summary, but can also be organized using tabulations or other visual organizational systems.

What are the purposes of a Work Breakdown Structure?

Here are some of the benefits that arise whit the creation of a Work Breakdown Structure:

  • Provides a visual representation of all parts of a project
  • It offers a continuous vision on how the whole project proceeds, helping its management
  • Defines specific and measurable results
  • Decomposes the job into manageable blocks
  • Provides a system that allows successful experiences to be repeatable
  • Sets a basis for estimating costs and allocating resources, both human and other
  • Avoids overlaps or lack of work for the resources
  • Minimizes the possibility of forgetting a critical result or a risk.

 A well-done WBS can make the team work like a well-oiled machine, with the following advantages:

  • Increases productivity
  • Helps project managers predict results based on various scenarios
  • Helps with the project organization
  • Helps to describe the scope of the project to stakeholders
  • Helps to distribute responsibilities
  • Allows a correct estimate of costs, risks and time
  • Increases and improves communication
  • Allows more creativity and brainstorming
  • Focuses on the final results
  • Organizes the details
  • Prevents potential problems
  • Addresses programming issues
  • Helps to manage risks
  • Gives flexibility to the team
  • Eliminates confusion
  • Provides clear descriptions of the tasks of each team member
  • Provides a basis for a clear report on the status of the project, since each task is a measurable unit

Work Breakdown Structure templates

For a WBS, different types of formats and templates are possible:

  • Graphic format: emphasizes visual visualization of the project;
  • Linear structure: presents a time interval and dependencies between the components of a project;
  • Hierarchical structure: puts at the top the most important elements of a project for a greater emphasis;
  • Tabular view: allows team members to easily navigate to the most relevant sections for them.

Not all projects require the same type of format.

This can and must be adapted to the type of project and the type of members in the team.

Work Breakdown Structure: Best practices

1. Focus on the final results, not on the methods / actions.

The key lies in thinking about the “what”, not about “how”.

The main purpose of a WBS is to define the main deliverable taking into consideration the small components that compose it.

If the deliverable is not a physical product, a specific and measurable result must be provided in any case.

For example, if you are creating a WBS for a professional service, you need to define the results of that specific service.

2. 100 percent rule

The work represented by the Work Breakdown Structure must include 100% of the work required to complete the general result without including any extraneous or unrelated work.

Even sub-activities, at any level, should be taken into account, because are all necessary to complete the main activity.

In other words, the elements in the second level are equal to 100% and the elements in the third and lower levels are positioned within the percentage of the higher level with respect to them.

The finished project should never give a sum greater or less than 100 percent.

Work Breakdown Structure

3. 8/80 rule

One of the common mistakes is to break down the work too much or not decompose it enough. There are several ways to decide when a work package is small enough without being too small.

The 8/80 rule is one of the most common suggestions: a work package should not take less than eight hours of work, and no more than 80 hours.

Other rules suggest not to give activities that exceed ten working days – which is equal to 80 hours if you consider a full-time employee.

In other words, a work package should not take more than a month to complete.

Clearly, this rule should be applied if it makes sense within the project and the industry.

4. Attention to the level of detail

In general, work packages should provide activities that can be completed by a team member, or by the team in general, within a reference period.

If the team is less experienced and needs more supervision and coaching, one solution is to make the work packages smaller and shorter.

If you have a deliverable that may take longer to complete or cost more than your given budget, it may be useful to divide the project into smaller deliverables with shorter work times.

With a more frequent reporting and review time, you can solve problems and solve them earlier.

Another suggestion is to create tasks and delegate activities at the beginning of a project, but in case and if necessary create new tasks and new delegations during a project.

We gained a time optimization thanks to the structuring of projects with tools such as the template generator and cloning function of entire projects or portions


How to create a Work Breakdown Structure

The first step to create a WBS is to bring the team together.

Regardless of whether the team works in an office or remotely, it is essential that members participate in identifying derivables.

Collaborators must know exactly what is happening.

The project manager must also assemble the key documents of the project in order to start the development of the Work Breakdown Structure: the project charter, the problem that the project will solve, the scope definition, the documentation that refers to the existing processes for the project management, etc.

To start the creation, it is necessary to define the level one, ie the main result of the project.

Then gradually add as many details as possible. From the second level you will descend to the smaller pieces up to the third level, to the fourth level, and more, if necessary.

It is important to always define what is required in the previous level in the most detailed way possible before moving on to the next levels. It will be essential to further break down the work.

Here is a brief structure that can be useful for writing a WBS:

  • Determine and describe the project result;
  • Highlight all the necessary phases of the project;
  • Divide the final results into manageable tasks;
  • Assign each section and make sure that each owner, ie the corresponding team member, has all the information, skills and knowledge necessary to complete the job.
  • Ensure frequent feedback. The WBS is a dynamic document, whose content can be revisited, even frequently, to ensure the correct execution and delivery of the project.

In conclusion, the creation of a Work Breakdown Structure is a team effort and is the point of arrival of multiple inputs and perspectives for the given project.

Its goal is to make a large project more manageable.

The deconstruction into smaller blocks means that work can be done simultaneously by different team members. This will lead to better productivity and easier management of the project in general.

Have you ever created a WBS structure for your project? What tools and methods did you use?

Share them with us in the comments below.

Start creating your Work Breakdown Structure.

Project management software: 7 tips to help your team implement a new software.

Implementing a new project management software is not a trivial task!

It is a very complex process that must be faced in a methodical and thoughtful way.

You must be aware that this is a real change in the company. A profound change, especially if it involves a large number of workers and teams.

Like all changes, this change can also provoke opposition. A real resistance to change.

Fortunately, there are several strategies to follow that allow to create acceptance among employees.

Today we are going to see some of them.

*****************

“CONTENT INDEX”

Before purchasing

After purchasing

  1. Training
  2. User Acceptance Test – UAT
  3. Coordinate the transition between one software and another
  4. Reward the implementation team
  5. Measure the results
  6. Ask for feedbacks

*****************

First of all, it is essential to contextualise the moment of intervention.

This is because the strategies that allow to improve the implementation of the new management system, can be used in two fundamental moments:

  1. Before choosing and purchasing the new software
  2. After the purchase.

Clearly, it is possible to take action at any time. Let’s see how:

Act before selecting and purchasing the new project management software

The first step to facilitate the adoption by the user, in this case the worker, of a new project management tool is to involve him/her.

Finding a team to manage organizational changes is a great way to overcome some of the resistance to change.

This group will be responsible for creating an organizational change plan. The plan will be designed to involve stakeholders during implementation.

This group will therefore be responsible for three key aspects:

  • Identification of the need for change
  • Performance of the impact analysis on the stakeholders
  • Finalization of the requirements

Let’s every point in detail.

Identification of the need for change

This means taking a proactive approach to change and not a passive one.

Active research into ways and tools to improve inefficiencies will not only improve output, it will also be a great way to support the evolution of the project manager in his role.

An organizational strategy should be implemented and initiatives must be linked to business goals.

It is also necessary to know the goals that all the teams, or the company in general, are trying to achieve and all the critical points that can hinder success.

Having identified the goals that project teams are trying to achieve, it is possible to work to decide whether a new project management software can help in achieving these goals.

Performance of the impact analysis on the stakeholders

In order to perform a proper impact analysis on the interested parties, it is essential to create a list of each person, team and department that is going to use the new tool.

Not only is it necessary to indicate who the stakeholders are, but also how they will be influenced by the new software.

The consensus of the stakeholders is the key for a successful implementation.

It is important to communicate because change is essential. Not only that … the parameters that will be used to compare the products and who is responsible for the final decision should also be known.

When stakeholders know why change is occurring and how it will have a direct impact on them, they are more likely to be motivated and involved in using the new tool.

In fact, the best implementations provide an explanation on why the new software is being implemented. Advantages will also derive from the knowledge of benefits for everyone and clarity on the timing of implementation.

Finalization of the requirements

After having done the analysis of the impact on stakeholders, it is necessary to have an idea of the requisites required by each one of them and the way in which they translate into functionality within the new software.

For example, imagine that the result you are trying to achieve is a better planning of a project, with which stakeholders want to keep track of employee skills, availability and performance.

In this case, the key features expected from the new software will include resource management with these specific criteria.

After the purchase of a new project management software

Once the research has been carried out, compared to other products and taking into account the needs and requirements, the new project management software is purchased and installed.

Now begins the proper implementation phase of the new project management tool within the organization.

Software implementation may require a long initial process. The benefits that will result in the long term, however, will be worth the time commitment.

While working in implementing a new system, there are a number of factors to consider. These are factors that can bring undoubted advantages. Let’s see them together:

1) Training

When implementing a new project management software, it is a good practice for the software company to train one or several key people who will be able to manage the system.

That or those people become the “experts” and will therefore be responsible for teaching others.

In some other cases, it is preferable to train all the personnel that will have to deal with the software.

It is important to avoid misalignment regarding the use of new software. Misalignment can mainly be avoided by creating rules, FAQs and practical documents. You can also limit the rights and have a limited number of administrators / moderators.

To support this delicate situation, in TWproject we have thought of two areas of intervention able to provide multiple solutions

  • An area is linked to direct training, through courses and webinars dedicated to the company.

At this link you can find all information: https://twproject.com/it/servizi/

A proper user manual, simple and always available, which updates on the basis of new releises and requests from the users.

2) User Acceptance Test – UAT

This is an important step. The aim is to ensure that the software works as intended and to help in finding any bugs.

project management software uat test

It will be important to test few data in order to see if the software correctly processes all the information and in order to allow the staff to get used step by step.

If the system is integrated with other software tools, it is important to ensure that the systems communicate correctly.

3) Coordinate the transition between one software and another

When it is time to start switching to the new software, it is a good practice to keep the information even in the old software.

This allows the staff to get used to the general appearance of the new software and creates a greater level of trust before moving on to full use.

For a short time, the two systems can run simultaneously.

It can take between 6 and 12 months for users to feel completely comfortable with the new software. During this period, historical information should be always accessible.

4) Reward the implementation team

When certain employees have worked harder to implement the new software, it is a good idea to reward them

A party, a small bonus, a gift, a verbal “thank you”. These gestures can mean a lot. Such gratification is often worth more than a cash prize.

project management software - team

5) Measure the results

After the implementation of the new software, it is a good idea to analyze and measure the results in order to monitor the trend.

This can include things like the ability to process more orders in a day, the reduction wages paid for overtime or other factors.

Continuing to monitor and measure during the year is a good practice to make sure that the investment made sense.

6)Ask for feedbacks

Problems always arise during the early stages of implementation. It is absolutely necessary for the team to expose the problems it faces.

To get suggestions and create a positive feedback loop, a suggestion is to perform an internal survey about a month after the introduction of the new system. The survey will be repeated again after three months.

Team members will feel listened to and the process will also lead to useful tips and best practices for the future.

These tips will help both the project manager and the team to properly plan the change.

However, it is fundamental to ensure that, in general, new implementations are not misaligned with company goals, otherwise they will be destined to fail for sure.

Have you ever experienced the implementation of a new project management software?

How was your feeling towards this change? Tell us your experience and write us your suggestions.

Access your new project management software.

How to apply the Kanban method to project management

The Kanban method was developed as a methodology to improve production efficiency.

The Japanese word “Kanban” means “billboard” in English and it was born in the company of Toyota, in Japan.

Today this method is widely used.

Nowadays, the Kanban method is not only used as a planning system for lean production, but also in Agile projects in order to manage the backlog of activities.

Actually, thanks to the popularity of Kanban, there are now countless project management tools that follow this method. The goal is to help people plan and prioritize.

The advantages of this method are different.

Kanban cards work like visual panels with virtual notes that can be added.

These notes can be moved to organize the order of activities or in order to prioritize the things to do.

Kanban is often used by software house to manage bug status. We use for example Twproject, to change status and priority to all our new features inserted in every releases.

Therefore, Twproject enables more flexible planning options, a quickier output, as well as more carefullness and transparency throughout the project life cycle.

Try Twproject for free now

The Toyota company, where this system was first implemented, has created six rules that permit to apply the Kanban method to the production process.

Today, people and project managers of the most different sectors use the Kanban method for planning and managing activities and their priorities.

In fact, Kanban is a structured process of prioritization.

What is a Kanban Board?

A Kanban Board is like a blackboard.

A space in which Kanban cards  stand for the individual activities that have to performed and are categorized based on priority and delivery.

Nowadays, Kanban cards are used mainly as online softwares, or in some cases are directly integrated in more complex project management softwares.

In general, they allow to track the work flow not only of a team, but also of the single collaborators.

It is particularly used by the software development teams that follow the Agile methodology.

It is used to define user history and the activity priorities in the backlog or as a collaboration tool for innovation.

If we consider the most basic (and more structured) form, the Kanban card can be divided into three levels:

  • Work/activity in standby;
  • Work/activity in progress;
  • Work/activity completed;

Obviously, the complexity of the card depends on the goal of the project.

As every task is completed, team members move Kanban cards through the different sections of the board.

Kanban cards allow to:

  • Visualize the workflow;
  • Limit the number of activities in progress;
  • Move an activity from one section to another;
  • Monitor, adapt, and improve the process.

What are Kanban cards?

The Kanban method can be considerated as a system of knowledge and the cards permit to represent each singular object of work or activity.

Each Kanban card includes the critical data for the specific activity to which it refers.

The cards have different colors that indicate the type of task performed.

Different colors can also refer to other distinctions that have been agreed upon at the beginning of the project.

Some of the ways a Kanban card helps teams and project managers: 

  • Quick understanding of the details of every activity/task;
  • Easy communication within the team;
  • Information on documents;
  • Support with the future workflow.

How to use the Kanban method in project management

In order to manage different projects in an efficient and productive way, different methodologies are required.

In general, the Kanban method is an excellent tool for planning the project and prioritizing the activities.

It can increase team efficiency, optimize time management, as well as allow a more fluid and simple overall project management.

It is also excellent for supporting with resource allocation, workflow management and waste reduction.

Here is why in more detail:

Use the Kanban method to: Assign resources

The first step is to create the activities and then assign them to a team member.

It’s fundamental to make sure that the right people are working on the right job in the proper manner.

This will help to correctly manage the work, without blocking any other member of the team or delaying production.

Everytime a new project activity is added into the workflow, the right resource can be assigned to it in a easy and quick way.

Use the Kanban method to: Workflow management

The Kanban method is a perfect tool that allows to visualize the workflow of any project.

The workflow is a sequential series of activities and the Kanban card with its visual representation makes everything more understandable.

Kanban method

Thanks to the observation on how activities are related, collaboration within the team will be promoted and at the same time greater efficiency and productivity can be achieved.

Use the Kanban method to: Reduce waste

The reduction of waste, whether of resources or costs in general, is not only the rule of a lean system.

Every project manager is interested in obtaining results in this sense.

Kanban cards help in the identification of a probable expensive process.

Something that does not work as planned, an overproduction or a situation where team members are blocking the workflow are easily detectable.

The big advantage lies in detecting these factors before they become problems.

There is no limit to the number of cards, integrations and workflow management that the Kanban method allows.

This method can work not only in a small company with a single office, but also in a multinational company with offices all around the world.

The Kanban method in the software

The common thread that permits to use all the advantages of this method is a project management software.

For this reason, we added in Twproject the Kanban functionality in order to organize the to-do-list of the project.

The ToDo that in Twproject are used as cards can be easily managed with the Kanban multi-dimensional of TWproject.

Indeed, it allows to organize them in a fully visual way.

It is possible to move them and organize them by task, assignee, status or severity degree.

Shortly, a very flexible multi-dimensional Kanban.

Do you also use the Kanban method for your projects?

Use the Kanban feature to organize the to-do-list of the project

A proof is worth a thousand words.

The sixth edition of PMbok

General overview and differences from the fifth edition

At the end of 2017, the sixth edition of the PMbok was published. 

Let’s start from the base: what is the PMbok?

It is the Project Management Body of Knowledge, a guide, published by the Project Management Institute – PMI, which aims to document, gather and standardize the practices generally used and recognized in project management.

“Generally recognized” practices means the ones that can be applied to most projects and on which there is a widespread consensus on their value and usefulness.

This means that sometimes the latest project management trends promoted by some consultants, even if interesting from an evolutionary point of view, may not be part of the latest version of the PMbok, because they are not “generally recognized” practices.

The PMbok made its debut in 1987 and it has evolved over the years, up to the current sixth edition of 2017.

But which are the PMbok changes from the fifth edition to the current one?

Let’s summarize the differencies in this article.

PMBOK sixth edition: Increase of total chapters

In the fifth edition of PMbok five groups of processes were listed:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Execution
  4. Monitoring and Control
  5. Closing

The number of processes remain unchanged in the sixth edition, but what changes is the number of sub-processes within each process.

Furthermore, in the fifth edition there were a total of 13 chapters. In the sixth edition we find instead a new chapter that deals with the role of the project manager and its functions.

In addition to this, the skills and competences that a project manager must possess are now aligned with the so-called Triangle of Talent.

It is not enough to have technical skills, but due to the dynamism of the working environment and the evolutionary trends in the sector, it is necessary that the project manager possesses also additional skills. The most relevant include:

 

  • Strategic and corporate management: It is necessary to understand the progress and the functioning of the company business in order to adapt the project to it. The project manager must therefore possess the skills to analyze the competition, the market, know the legal implications, business models, etc.
  • Leadership skills: In the fifth edition of the PMbok, this skill is already explained, but the new edition gives it more emphasis. Among the leadership skills, we find emotional intelligence, problem solving, team building and the ability to influence and motivate the team;
  • Technical skills: This refers mainly to the sector in which a person works and the specific skills required for the project.

 The sixth edition of the PMbok: The knowledge areas

In the fifth edition of PMbok 10 areas of knowledge were listed.

These still remain in the sixth edition, but two appear with new names, as specified in the following list:

  1. Integration Management
  2. Scope Management
  3. Time Management is replaced by Schedule Management
  4. Cost Management
  5. Quality Management
  6. Human Resource Management is replaced by Resource Management
  7. Communications Management
  8. Risk Management
  9. Procurement Management
  10. Stakeholder Management

Why these two changes?

The new term Resource Management refers not only to the human workforce, but also to the physical resources (such as materials, equipment, licenses, etc.) that can be part of a project and contribute to its success.

Time Management has been replaced with Schedule Management, so that the importance of project management planning is emphasized.

 

the sixth edition of the PMbok

Moreover, in the sixth edition of the PMbok, each area of knowledge has four additional sections:

Furthermore, in the sixth edition of the PMbok, each area of knowledge will have four additional sections:

  • Key concepts;
  • Tailoring considerations: they must help to focus on the important processes of a project depending to its size and, of course, on the scope of work;
  • Developments and new project management practices;
  • Focus on the Agile  and adaptive Methodology.

PMBOK sixth edition: The three new processes

The sixth edition of the PMbok lists 49 processes, 2 more than the last edition.

In reality the changes to the processes are 4 because the three processes have been added while one has been eliminated.

The Close Procurement process has been removed. This refers to the closing of vendor contracts, a task that in most organizations is not performed by the project manager.

Among the new processes added we find:

  1. Manage Project Knowledge: born from the need to process the data of the market and the business in which the company operates to transform them into knowledge and “wisdom” on which certain decisions will be based. Knowledge is a power that will help the project manager to use data processing technologies and make decisions based on concrete analysis;
  2. Implement Risk Response: PMI surveys have stated that most project failures are due to improper risk management. Therefore, implementing the risk response in the management of the project is a necessary addition;
  3. Control Resources: this new process refers to the monitoring and control of the various resources present in the project and is aligned with the modification, seen previously, in the area of knowledge from human resources.

PMBOK sixth edition: 6 changes in existing processes

6 processes are renamed in the current PMbok edition, even if their content remains unchanged:

  1. Perform Quality Assurance becomes Manage Quality.
  2. Plan Human Resource Management becomes Plan Resource Management.
  3. Control Communications becomes Monitor Communications.
  4. Control Risks becomes Monitor Risks.
  5. Plan Stakeholder Management becomes Plan Stakeholder Engagement.
  6. Control Stakeholder Engagement becomes Monitor Stakeholder Engagement.

From Perform Quality Assurance to Manage Quality. This refers to the fact that, while quality assurance is a way to manage quality during execution, in reality there are also other qualitative aspects to consider.

This overall quality management is what reflects the name change.

The change from “Control” to “Monitor” indicates that, during the execution of the project, we monitor it to understand what is happening everyday and personalize the strategy to meet the changing needs.

the sixth edition of the PMbok

Points 5 and 6 on stakeholders refer to the essential factor of understanding how to involve the stakeholders to ensure that everyone agrees with progress and results.

Who will be affected by these changes?

The role of the Project Manager is becoming more and more important and is spreading in every sectors; this is why the need to certify its skills increases.

The PMbok then becomes a fundamental text for all those who are dealing with an official exam to get the title of Project Manager.

Nowadays, there are five internationally recognized certifications:

 

  • CAPM – Certified Associate in Project Management
  • PMP – Project Management Professional
  • PgMP – Program Management Professional
  • PMI-SP – PMI Scheduling Professional
  • PMI-RMP – PMI Risk Management Professional
  • PMI-ACP – PMI Agile Certified Practitioner

Regardless of the type of certification, students and prospective Project Managers will refer to the Pmbok and, consequently, their work will for sure be influenced by the changes in the sixth edition of PMbok.

But not only.

Even a certified Project Manager must be updated on the changes contained in the new edition of PMbok.

Being up-to-date is the best quality of a serious and competent professional.

A careful reading of the new edition of the Pmbok will certainly be useful and a source of interesting reflections that could help guiding any type of project in an efficient and professional manner.

Leave us your comment or your impression on the new edition of the Pmbok.

 

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