Critical Path in Project Management – How to

The Critical Path Method (CPM) is an algorithm used to plan a set of project activities, its purpose is to highlight the steps involved in the longest path that determines the project end date.

To use this method, you must build the model by paying attention to:

  1. Define all projects’s phases
  2. Highlight dependencies between phases
  3. Calculate the duration of each phase correctly

The critical path analysis allows you to highlight what activities are “critical” but also those that can be delayed without increasing the project lifespan.

If you have never used this methodology, let’s try to apply it to a simple example: imagine we have to install a shelf in the house.

First, you need to split the project into phases:

  1. Buy the shelf
  2. Buy the fixing bars
  3. Choose the wall and the height
  4. Make the signs on the wall
  5. Do the holes with the drill
  6. Install the fixing bars
  7. Mount the shelf

Once you define each steps, you can try to identify the dependencies: at a first analysis you immediately realize that some activities can not be started until others are completed, for example, you can not do holes with the drill until you make the signs on the wall, also the shelf can not be placed until the fixing bars are fixed. At the same time you see that the choice of the wall, the purchase of the shelf and fixing bars are activities that you can do in parallel. Here is the Gantt of activities with dependencies:

This type of activity can be easily planned using the Gantt diagrams that also shows the critical path calculation in red. The chart shows the sequential activities, they are in orange because suspended waiting for predecessor completion.

All these sequential activities are the fundamental steps that determine the length of your project. The critical path of the projects is the longest sequence of activities.

It is essential to pay close attention to phases on the critical path to manage the timing of your Gantt. For example, if you have a task that lasts 100 days, a 5-day delay on one of the sequential activities will result in a total delay of 5 days for the task.

Another important aspect to consider is the human resources availability, for example, we have said that some phases can be done in parallel such as buying fixing bars, shelf and choosing height in the wall, but these can be done in parallel only if you can count on three different resources available, in case you are alone to complete the project the Gantt changes drastically. Phases become all consecutive.

So, project critical path can be calculated according to tasks dependencies, but to determine task end dates it is necessary to identify the resources at your disposal and the correct duration of each phaseOnly after analyzing these two aspects will you be able to handle project times by using a Gantt diagram and see a correct schedule.

From this simple example it is clear that critical path analysis is not trivial, this method is particularly used for complex but predictable activities.

In the real world, in fact,  it is difficult to follow exactly the established plan, moreover,  you can have external new requirements or constraints not considered at an early stage of planning.

In our example, if you did not find the fixing bars in the store and you have to order them online you could introduce a delay that could reflect on the overall project’s duration, even if this phase was not in the critical path.

Conclusion:

To keep track of the progress of your plan, you must:

  1. Update your data frequently.
  2. Carefully monitor the steps on the critical path, but also the ones outside.
  3. Keep the availability of resources under control.

That’s why, relying on a software that manages easy-to-update Gantt diagrams, it’s crucial to quickly add dependencies, as shown in the previous images, but also to include phases duration and calculate the end date automatically. An interactive Gantt diagram will also allows you to quickly re-schedule tasks.

If you rely on a project management software such as Twproject, which includes, in addition to the interactive Gantt with critical path analysis, also a tool to monitor resources, you can easily manage the load to provide the flexibility you need to act promptly on any critical issues and finally have everything under control.

 

Start now planning your projects easily

Twproject 6.2.62001

I’m really happy to announce a new great Twproject release. This release includes an important fix related to task statistics and totals.
You can download the installer here

Download the new Twproject release.

We also work and improved a lot the plan and operator load page.

Operator Load: The Ideal Trend

In this new release we’ve introduced a checkbox to see the ideal workload of a team without considering the time elapsed and the work already done.
The standard workload load calculation in fact spread the remaining work to do in the remaining task days. This view is very important in case you do not use the time sheet functionality.

OLoadIdeal

And More…

We introduced also some other feature like the Gantt collapse all and expand all, and the possibility to see on the plan page the entire task tree.

Check the list of improvements and fixed bugs.

Want to know more about Twproject?

One try is worth a million words.

Twproject as CRM: In Practice

It happens that Twproject customers ask us if they can insert in the resource list just the users that have an active login in. Twproject, actually, can be used to insert also all your contacts and customers. This is a great feature that let you use the system like a CRM.

All resources inserted without login, in fact, are not counted in the license count, so you can have many.

What if we see it in practice?

The first contact:

Say that you are at one of  your yearly trade fairs and, after some hours, you meet John James from ACME SPA, he is smart and you talk to him for a while about your company services, he is very interested. You talk about his boss Mary Stuart, and also about the last NBA Match Boston – Cleveland, he roots for Boston Celtics. At the end of the conversation he gives you his business card.

Well, if you are using Twproject project management software, it’s time to save all these information, and you can do that very easily. For example I would simply take my IPad and create a new resource. I would create a new lead for John James from ACME SPA, I would record that his boss is Mary Stuart and all the other information written in his business card. I would also save in the notes that John roots for Boston Celtics…we never know.

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Follow the lead

Now that your lead is inserted, you can search for the project you use to save pre-sales information and insert a new activity for the conversation you had, just to remember everything you said.

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At the moment what you have is just a lead, so there is no need to create a specific task for this activity, it could be just a phone call. The best way to manage this situation is to create a new pre-sales activity (a new issue in Twproject), a reminder, to call John after a week and talk about what your company can do for him.

ScreenShot095

After a week the system will remind you about your call, thanks to the link you can check all resource’s detail and may start the conversation with the Boston Celtics. If your conversation is profitable you can finally create a dedicated pre-sales task for ACME, for registering in details your first contact, maybe a demo, your offer and the final contract.

A new Pre-Sales Project

Now that your lead has become a real pre-sale project you can insert it in Twproject to check its progress.

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Thanks to Twproject all pre-sales activity can be monitored, managed and saved like all the other projects:

  • Contacts and projects together
  • Agents assigned on pre-sales activity
  • Pre-sales progress monitored
  • Pre-sales budget and expenses management
  • Pre-sales effort registered for future report and considerations

All this because, with Twproject, you can have both a CRM software and a Project Management software, together.

CRM software and a Project Management software, together.

Twproject 6.2 – A Brand New Mobile App

Twproject 6.2 is finally out with a brand new mobile interface.
We are so proud of it and we really hope you will find it useful and practical as we do.

In the last few months we listened to all your comments and feedback and we realized that having a new app that could be more operative was crucial. Twproject is now used worldwide by thousands of companies: shared teams, flexible environments, enterprise customers that need to access everyday  Twproject just with their mobile devices. Now, with this new release, creating tasks, adding assignments, documents and issues is easy and fast and its all in your hand.

The design of the new mobile interface is easy to understand and use, we worked a lot on this aspect and I think we found the right compromise between powerful functionalities and usability.

A closer look to the new mobile app:

To access Twproject mobile just navigate with the browser to:

your_twproject_address/mobile

and add the page to your home.

It runs perfectly on every mobile devices, IOS, Android, Windows without installing anything new.

Login with your Twproject account and, on the dashboard, you will have exactly the same information you find on your desktop version. Things requiring attention are on top, marked with a red line, and then your open tasks, your issues and your approaching milestones.

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At the top left of the page you have always the menu icon, opening the main menu to access projects, issues, resources, agenda, documents and file storage, worklogs ad expenses.

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On every list you will be able to add new items and save, or to go back to the previous page (bottom bar). Twproject security model is applied on the mobile app too, so you can do here everything that you can do on the desktop application.

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The mobile app is very practical for inserting worklogs, closing issues, using timers just with few clicks. On projects and issues in fact, you have a swipe menu to easily insert worklogs or expenses.

twproject-mobile-screen4

 

With the new Twproject mobile interface you can access your contacts, read project documents, check your agenda.

Twproject mobile is free to all customers of previous versions and included in the free Twproject trial.

The power of Twproject wherever you are.

What’s new in 6.2?

The new release includes also a lot of small improvements and bug fixes.

Al details are available on the log here

Want to know more about Twproject Mobile app?

One try is worth a million words.

3 Project Management Templates – Free Download

The series of post we recently  created sharing project templates has been highly appreciated by all our readers, so we thought to share some new templates that can be of great help in the first adoption/testing phase.

Production Project Template

The first one is related to a sample production project: this project starts with customer requirements, that are the starting point for prototyping. Then, after the customer approval we proceed with the first production that is then tested and controlled, ready for the final release. The projects is almost consequential, so tasks have dependencies with each other.

Of course, this is just an example, something that you can use to start writing your own production project structure, with all your peculiarity. Twproject includes a very friendly yet powerful Gantt tool that can help you creating your project structure easily, even very complex one.

Once you import the project, you can add several other phases, you can change tasks duration, dependencies, also with lags. The chart will be adjusted automatically reflecting all your changes.

ScreenShot062

Click to download the production template

Scrum Project Template

The second example is relative to a typical scrum project. In this case I’ve added also a list of issues/activities that are all collected and prioritized in the backlog task and that are then re-scheduled in consecutive sprints (the list of activities are not included in the export).

The example contains just 2 sprints but of course you can add as many as you want, a sprint can be a template as well so you can create a new one with a click.

ScreenShot061

Click to download the Scrum template

 

Software Development Project Template

The last template is the one we proposed in our last post, in case you missed it, here it is:

https://twproject.com/blog/project-template-software-development-template/

This post shows also how to import this Json file and how you can use them as templates.

Twproject has a very powerful functionality for importing and exporting tasks, using them as templates saving time and energy. If you want to try twproject just click below!

 

 

How to Introduce Project Management Software & Succeed

One of the biggest challenges, a project manager can face in a new team, is to change things for the better and let this changes take effect without the resistance of the team.

One of the most frequent examples is when a project manager decides to introduce a new tool for project management.

This moment of change, even if it is felt like very stressful,  is actually a great opportunity for a company to improve its strategy and organizations.

So,  what if you are that project manager? What if you really want to change things in your company organization with a new project management software?

Fix your expectations:

One of the most important things you need to do, before introducing a new software, is identifying your goals. You have to answer these 2 questions:

  1. Which are the main reasons that bring me to search for a project management tool?
  2. Which are the key features of the tool I chose?

these very simple questions can let you analyze what you are missing in your team now and which are the milestones you want to achieve in the future. Here are some examples:

“I really need to let everyone see what they are working on, stop wasting time with e-mails, pointing out problems and delay. The software I’ve chosen has great dashboards with the list of active assignments by priority.”

“I started searching for a project management software because we really do not know how much our projects cost. We wanted to track time and extract reports with resources costs. We chose the software that lets us manage resource costs easily, together with a time tracking tool”

Once you have your goals in mind be realistic and set some small achievements for your near future. Having realistic expectations is very important, actually it is a key point, if you expect to achieve unrealistic goals  you will immediately face a sense of fail in your team, and this will bring the software to fail.

At the same time, if you do not communicate your expectations, no one will understand how much  helpful will be this change and they will abandon the software.

No one said it was easy….

stereotype metapher leadership or exclusion

stereotype metaphor leadership or exclusion

Team communications, change is for the better..

The other key point about introducing a new software in a company, is to let everyone know, that this will actually help everyone working better, not just the project manager.

This, in some cases, is very difficult.

If you are the project manager of a cohesive team, maybe this will not affect you, but now I’m talking to all those pm, having a big team to manage, maybe a distributed one, with several people working in different ways. So, how to let them feel that changes are for the better?

It is not a software to control who is working and who is not. It seems a bad thing to say, but most of the time, these kind of software are felt like tools to control. They are not and you have to tell them clearly. It doesn’t matter if in the future you will get amazing reports of all worked hours, or if, thanks to the software, you will be able to see who is overloaded. The reason for changing is not to control, or at least it shouldn’t be ;-).

Be your own pm and organize your work better. Once the project manager has created the structure of the task, with dependencies and time frames all the team will be able to check their priorities, organize their to dos and manage their work in autonomy. If you, as pm, are able to let them understand the utility of this new responsibility you will have them on board.

These are just two examples of what you can point out to your team to let them know how helpful can be a project management software, let them know that is a tool for the whole team.

Get the best from the software

Following this easy yet effective strategy to introduce the new software in your company you will get in time amazing results. If your team will use the software, inserting and updating data with no effort, you will get something like:

Inserting estimation and worklog -> team workload and cost tracking

When the software is well introduced you will start inserting projects charts, assigning your resources with estimation and hourly costs. Thanks to this, and having your team inserting worklog you will be able to see your resources workload, control tasks progress and check costs, all data updated in real time.

Managing teams and agenda -> meeting and documents sharing

If you start using a shared agenda, you will be able to share appointments and create meeting easily according to task work-groups. check unavailability and the same connection will be created to easily share documents.

Read more here about managing distributed team agendas.

Using task checklist -> self management and responsibility

When a pm software is introduced, it can give you also the possibility to track to-do lists connected to projects. This is a very useful way for all users to organize, prioritize their work, finally they will stop using notes on the desk and no ideas or messages will be lost.

If you feel that your team needs a more structured way to work, it is probably time to introduce a project management software. Yes, it will be a big change but you can really get results if you follow our strategy. Our software, Twproject, can really give all the results mentioned above, all those features in one software only.

Introduce your team to Twproject.

One try is worth a million words.

Happy Holidays from Twproject’s Team

2016 has been such a great year for Twproject’s team, we worked very hard on our software and we met so many new great customers along the way, we couldn’t be more grateful.

Despite all that it is happening around us, we know that the world is full of great people, working with passion and getting things done everyday.

Twproject changed a lot during these last months: we improved the user interface, made it more secure and faster. That said, we still have a lot of great ideas to implement in the future.

We want to thank all our beloved customers for their support, the software is becoming more and more successful thanks to you. Again, Thank you so much!

We wish you a wonderful Christmas time and a happy new year full of interesting new projects and goals to achieve 🙂

 

_tw-xmas-card-2016

 

Happy Holidays

Twproject’s Team

Twproject 6.1.61008 – Even More Secure

Twproject 61008 is out with an interesting list of features and improvements. Before checking them in details a special thanks to Larissa from Hornbach that revise our German translation entirely. The improved translation is available in this release.

We have significantly improved performance in saving big Gantt charts and introduced a lot of small improvements like filtering assignments list, moving in timesheet page with arrows, full task path in all pages and notification and several others.

The entire list of features introduced, bug fixed and improvements is available on our change log.

Even More Secure

The new big feature introduced is that now you can set a default number of login attempt before asking for captcha.

This, in case  your Twproject is exposed online will prevent external attacks making your Twproject more secure than ever.

The number of attempts can be set from the administration page:

ScreenShot016

and this is what you will have in case of too many wrong attempts: the user will be asked to confirm he is not a robot.

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This new features is included in Twproject 6.1.61008 that is a free upgrade for all users of Twproject 6.

How to be an Innovative Project Manager (Infographic)

Despite what people think, being a project manager requires a lot of creativity. A project manager has to be creative managing his resources and their productivity lacks , emotions or peculiar ideas,  be creative in communication with his own bosses, be creative managing large projects with unexpected delays…

So, how to stay creative even when your are managing complex projects? Here there are some suggestions:

Do meditate and don’t stay up all night – this is good suggestion in general. To be more productive and yet creative, studies show that you have to rest at least 6 hours per night. In addition to this, learning to meditate, can teach you the art of patience and to avoid to much stress accumulation.

Do be a sponge and don’t wait for inspiration –  project management methodologies are there to try them out and find the best one fitting your projects.  Agile methodology, waterfall, GTD, these are just few examples of methodologies to experiment. Try to be open minded to new strategy and learn to walk on unknown paths, teams are generally positive to a more structured organization that let them feel more secure and followed. If you are facing problems managing your projects and checking their progress you can use a project management software like Twproject that lets you work in different ways according to your needs.

Do trust yourself and don’t go it alone – even if you are the project manager do not forget about your team opinion. Trust yourself ideas and creativity but ask for their opinion too before going forward with an important decision. If a choice will fall back on your team too, it will be easier if they participated to the final decision. This will reinforce your team culture.

Do pay attention and don’t pass judgement – projects, from start to end are like a big creativity process, that requires your attention constantly. In this sense, you need to pay attention to everything happening in your company, if there is a problem that can impact on your projects too you have to operate immediately even in a creative way.  Never stop analizing your delay and their causes because they may happen again, and a deep study can help you facing them in the future.

Do say “Yes, and…” and don’t say “That never works” – Do push back and don’t argue – here we are talking about team building, because you can’t be an innovative project manager if you do not have an innovative team and a team can perform its best if everyone is free to express his opinion, and you , as projects manager, have to learn to listen to them, even if you do not agree. To have the most innovative team you have to look outside of the box.

“Old pattern only bring to old results”

“New ideas require risk. People need to know it’s safe to express new thinking”

09ef3d52ba51989da8a95d3c70782e04
Source Entrepreneur.

Tips & Tricks: Create Projects by E-mail

Even if I’ve worked with Twproject for several years I get surprised every day by  its number of hidden features. The one that I show you today could really help you, if, for example, you cannot access the application and you have to create a task to save information that you can loose otherwise.

Twproject is able to create a task, with document attached and assignments simply reading an email written in a specific yet simple defined format.

Example:

Email Subject
NEW PROJECT Twproject Mobile Release 3.0
Email Message
CODE TW_MOB3.0
START 08/11/2016
END 15/03/2017
A complete redesigned user interface and functionality for Twproject mobile app.

This email will create a task with name “Twproject Mobile Release 3.0” and code “TW_MOB3.0”. As you can imagine this task will start on the eight of November and it will end in the middle of March.
All the text of the message will be saved inside the description, and last but not least, in case you attach documents to this e-mail, those will be saved as document in the task.

Twproject security model works also in this case, the sender e-mail, in fact,  needs to be related to a user with task create permission.

ScreenShot005

Is that simple, isn’t it? You can even create a template of your message that you can use to compose it in seconds!

 

 

How To Manage Distributed Teams – Sharing is Caring

These days, companies has to face an ever growing need for dynamic teams, shared groups of people working together through the internet. This need increases hand by hand with the difficulty of managing team dynamics and project updates.

For this reason, using conventional software like Microsoft project, built for managing projects in their best case scenario with clearly identified teams, could not fit the needs.

Many Projects – Lots of Teams

Big companies, and small ones too, with a high number of projects can see their number of teams increase accordingly, and when I say team I mean people that are actually working on the project.  Even if your company has just seven colleagues like ours, and you have one team working on several different projects,  you can face the same problem: a meeting for a project, a meting for another, uncounted e-mails refer to a projects, many refer to another, what a mess!

For this reason we cannot underestimate this trend and we better try to manage it.

Sharing is Caring

Actively work on a project often involves sending  tons of e-mail to keep everyone updated on what is going on, share documents and information about progress and commitment, schedule meeting with customers and colleagues, share the list of to-dos to get the project done.

This continuous flow of information assumes that you have always in mind all those who compose a specific team. How many of you spend more than a minute checking the list of attendees to be sure that everyone has been added? What if someone is forgotten?

Distributed Teams – Somebody Help!

It’s clear now that we need something helping us managing distributed teams. But what if I told you that the solution is at one step distance? Dynamic teams are implicitly defined by your projects. No one knows better, who is involved, than project management software.

people-envolved-2

Node by node, different people could be assigned and different information could be shared. Simply looking at the team from the project’s point of view, you will see the work-group changing.

This simple yet effective idea, let you start from the point of view of your project: when you have an information to share you just need to focus on which is the specific project related, your team is already there!

Just open you projects management software, your changing teams are saved there!

If you have not introduced a project management software in your company you can try Twproject that solves this problem with a suite of functionalities that starts exactly by the work group created on a project.

Finally we will have the distributed teams problem solved and nobody will be forgotten.

If you want to read more about how to introduce a project management software and succeed you can read this post:

https://twproject.com/blog/how-a-project-manager-can-introduce-a-significant-change-and-actually-succeed/

We have the tools, we have the culture.

Twproject 6.1.61007: Three Features You Cannot Miss

Twproject  6.1.61007 has been just released with a huge list of features, fix and improvements that you can read here in details. This new release includes 3 amazing new features that will improve your every day usage of Twproject.

As always this is a free upgrade for all users of Twproject 6.

1) A brand new Dashboard

Twproject dashboard has been redesigned to improve readability, helping your team getting things done. Task requiring attention are now more visible, appointments are easy to read and find.  Twproject customizable dashboards are your home to check open tasks and things to-do and we are always at work to get it better and better.

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2) Documents: easy to add, share and move

Attach documents to your projects has never been so easy, now you have a dedicated editor for each kind of document you want to add.

You can simply drag and drop your files to upload them in your repository, or  you can create a link to an already uploaded file, available in your file server. With Twproject you even create a link with a repository available on Google drive, Dropbox, GitHub, every service exposing an URL. Last but not least you can create brand new text documents with all the information you need, authoring, versioning and locking available!

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The new release include also documents’ bulk actions, move them to projects or resources can be done with a click.

3) A new UI for inserting worklog

In these latest releases we have changed the way of inserting worklog trying to find a better way for you to record your time. In this new release we finally did the last step introducing a contextual box for your registrations, the same that you will find in the issue list, and all over the application.

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We believe that inserting worklog is one of the most important yet hardest thing to do, and this is the reason why we have always done our best to let you insert worklog with the minimum effort possible. We hope that this new release will do the trick.

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Let’s check this new feature.

To all Pokemon Trainers!

We are thrilled to announce that a legendary Pokemon has been sighted inside Twproject site. We have seen it only once, and it never showed up again, please help us finding it!
Articuno, one of the three winged mirage Legendary Pokemon, is somewhere inside Twproject website, hided very well in one of its pages. It seems he has found the perfect hideout! We really need your experience as Pokemon trainer to find it out!

pokemon-3

 

To the first one, sending us the screenshot with the Articuno Pokemon on our site, we will give 5 yearly license, totally for free!

What are you waiting for?

Gotta catch them all!”

Save cost of interruptions with Luxafor

“Got a minute?”

How many times do you hear that phrase in your office? Interruptions are the most common reasons for low productivity and it is very hard to avoid them, lets’ say that, simply you can’t say no.

Here at Twproject we studied a lot about productivity, in order to help people boost it, staying organized and having everything under control but we suffer the same problem, there is nothing that helped us managing continuous interruptions.

“I’m an efficiency expert. Time, which is money, is a precious commodity that we can’t afford to waste.”

Work interruptions can cost you 6 hours a day. The Washington Posts

“You don’t just give up a minute. You sacrifice your energy, enthusiasm, and work enjoyment.”

The Hidden Costs Of Interruptions At Work. Fast Company

We are a small and enthusiastic team working in a big open space, working all on the same project. It comes natural to ask for others opinion quite often with the risk of wasting a lot of time. We tried with empathy communications, cards or posters and also with rude ultimatum without success and finally we found Luxafor.

IMG_8894-5

Luxafor is a very stylish and useful productivity gadget, a led flag that you put on your computer to notify your colleague about your status. Red Flag? You are too busy to get interrupted. Green flag? Let’s have a chat. Simple isn’t it? Not just simple, smart!

Luxafor speaks with your productivity tool and can automatically get red when you are using them. It can also be managed manually so that you can change your status on your own. All of this through a really simple and friendly application that you can install on your Windows or Mac. We connected it with our development tool so that, while we are developing, we are not interrupted anymore (finally!).

luxafor_logo-1

Luxafor can be also customized to work in a notification mode, making the led flash when new emails or messages arrive.

Luxafor is available with the USB cable for connecting and recharging, you can also ask for your company logo engraved which is pretty amazing, we had our own with the Twproject hand impressed.

Since we started using Luxafor we have increased our productivity a lot, we are a really connected team and even with the red flag on we cannot avoid some interruptions but we are now aware of the problem and we try to respect people will.

Luxafor is shipped world wide and is approved by the Twproject team so stop wasting your time and order it now 🙂

If you want to have more info about our experience with Luxafor just write us at info@twproject.com.

 

Twproject LoVe Startups

Twproject love startups and thinks that great ideas deserve to be supported.
We have been a startup too and we know how hard is to stay organized when you have a low budget, few resources and tons of great ideas in your head.

When we started Twproject we were just a team of few smart guys with a clear idea in mind, a great idea that we strongly wanted to make real.
Years has passed and now that we are a little bit older 🙂 we understand how lucky we have been, we were able to stay focused and ship our product,
at the beginning, in fact, time seems to fly away and if you don’t fix a realistic plan, you risk to delay your shipping date forever. We remember that feeling very well and this is why we want to give you  Twproject for free.

There is an important difference between a team with a great idea and a successful company, and the difference is that the second one has been able to transform an idea in something real. Organize your work could be the key to achieve your goal.

How to apply for a Twproject free license for startups?

This is really easy, just click the link below. To qualify, you simply need to have been in business less than two years and have under 5 employees. Send us your details, we will get back to you within few days. If your request is approved, we’ll send you an email to welcome you to the Twproject family with the free license for one year/5 users/unlimited projects and a short html link that you will need to add on your website.

Apply for a Twproject free license.

Twproject will help your startup grow, we really want you to have the best possible start in your business. Apply for a free license now!

6 Project Management Blogs You Need to Follow

OK you know it, the community of Project management is full of great bloggers, podcasters and experts but there are some of them that you really cannot miss.
This list of course includes some gurus, some of the blogs that are known by all of us, but it includes also those we have always read since we started, our “personal” gurus. These people give us a lot of ideas for our project management software inspiring us every day.
Some of them are focused on increasing your productivity day by day, some are focused on project management methodologies, but all of them worth your time.

 

A Girl Guide to Project Management www.girlsguidetopm.com
This blog is managed by Elizabeth Harrin offering not only opinions and suggestions about project management but also tool reviews, free eBooks for managing your projects and much more. This is an incredible resource for all project managers.

 

Ricardo Vargas Blog www.ricardo-vargas.com
Here we go a little bit in depth. Ricardo Vargas is a Guru of Project management and in his blog you will find not only posts but also videos, podcasts, presentations. He is a specialist, he is the author of fourteen books of project management which have sold over 300,000 copies throughout the world.

 

The Lazy Project Manager www.thelazyprojectmanager.com
This is actually a podcast by Peter Taylor and let me say it: an amazing podcast. He is also a blogger and a Project management speaker. His mantra

“work smarter and not harder”

is one of our favourites 🙂

 

Project-Management.com Blog project-management.com
Written by a group of project managers giving tons of advice about project management. This is a website dedicated to providing useful tools, latest news, and best practice references for every project professional and business organization.

 

Twproject Blog twproject.com/blog
Written by the team of Twproject software they answer constantly to their customers management problem in the form of blog post. What is better than real life management problem answered?

 

PM Tips pmtips.net
This is more than a simple blog, here you have a collection of tips guiding you through the hard life of a pm, a very hard life  🙂 and if you think you have something to say too, you can even became a contributor. We love this because it deals with real problem of real pm life.

 

Herding Cats herdingcats.typepad.com
And here we came with another guru: Glen B. Alleman , we follow him since our beginning, his blog is focused on increasing the probability to having success with your activity. If you’re seriously interested in a scientific approach to managing projects, you can’t miss this blog.

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Twproject 6: This is why they already love it!

Twproject 6 success left us completely speechless, we have immediately understood that you were loving our project management software as much as we do and this makes us so happy! Ok, we have to be honest, we were so excited about your feedback that we did a little bit of investigating and we interviewed 3 of our customers to hear what they have to say about this new release: Rene Knuvers of Lucros Railway Engineering, Geir Thomas Andersen of Runbox, William Kendall of Acme and Patrick Guera of Arge Zeit Media, and here are their answers:

 

Why did you choose Twproject for your projects?

  • Rene: When we started our business end 2008 we looked for a software tool to manage both our hours spent per project as well as a simple to use planning tool. Since we were a startup we didn’t want to spend too much money initially. We intended to evaluate for some time and then settle for a definitive solution. We found TWProject suitable for our needs and were happy with the rapid and useful responses we got on our initial questions.
  • Geir: We started using Twproject because we needed to organize our projects and tasks in a system that would display them on a timeline in a user friendly interface. After considering 10-15 other systems we found Twproject to easily be the best one. The Gantt views and the customizable interface made it a winner.
  • William: We started using Twproject after a very long selection, we needed a software for tracking our projects progress in time, we needed in particular a software that would help us tracking time in a friendly way. Twproject convinced us because we can report time in many different ways, it depends on the phase of project, sometimes throw issues, sometimes with counters…and that was the key feature for us.
  • Patrick: Originally we used Twproject for getting a better overview about our projects. Today we are also using it for time tracking and tracking internal and external costs. Also we added some Systeminterface for Import/Export Information to our invoicing systems.

 

Which part of Twproject help you the most?

  • Rene: The timesheets and worklog analysis are the real center of our work in TWProject. Every hour that could be invoiced is accounted for in this piece of the software. Furthermore it helps us manage the different purchase orders we get from our customers and project codes they use for allocating the budget to the correct project. The way tasks and assignments work, is flexible enough to manage this.
  • Geir: The Portfolio/Gantt diagrams help us organizing our projects in a very intuitive and friendly way.
  • William: We work in particular with to-dos, so the issues sections is the most important for us, we manage our projects creating to-do lists associated to them and we use the organizer and the Kanban for prioritizing and scheduling, the report action on every to-do close action saved our lives!
  • Patrick: Time tracking system, Project overview, Cost tracking system

 

Would you recommend Twproject to others?

  • Rene: Certainly, we did and do this all the time. Both by talking about it, and by giving access to the public project pages to our customers project managers. They can keep an eye on our budget that way, and get a  good feel on what the software does best.
  • Geir: Yes. of course!
  • William: Yes, we love Twproject and its team even more, they helped us with the setup and they answered to our usage questions always within few minutes.
  • Patrick: Definitly – sometimes we would like if it could have many functionalities for wrike.com as well ,-)

 

Convinced? Try Twproject right now!

 

 

Twproject October Roundup

Two months has passed since we released the all new Twproject 6 and reactions went beyond our expectations. All our customers have really appreciated the new interface, migrating happily to a total new project management experience.  Our followers feedback has been impressive as well, all of you were so kind with us and we are happy you all love the work we have done as we do.

I’ve now upgraded to version 6, and everything looks great. Beautiful! It’s just what I hoped you would do. I think you’ve just made us a very happy and loyal customer!
Geir Thomas Andersen

Great, I tried Twproject 6, we can do everything with it!
Davide Miccone

Congratulations because of the new version ? it’s fantastic.
DaviD

New Twproject 6 works like a charm!
Rene Knuvers

These are just few of all the messages we received and again we want to thank all of you, is for moments like these that we work so hard 🙂

Of course our progress does not end here, we will continue to improve our project management system nonstop , so here we come with the first Twproject 6 minor release that contains some bug fixes and some new features.

Bug Fixes

  • Minor bug on web part search
  • Add issue gives error if not in issues section
  • Assignment expenses did not save anymore
  • Gantt fixed behavior of highlight and arrows
  • Gantt fixed behavior on dependencies dates
  • Gantt problem saving resources
  • Bug on worklog print
  • Issue created from Gantt out of project scope were not saved with no feedback

 

Features

  • Google Calendar import: now the default calendar is always visible from your Twproject agenda and you can add another from the import box
  • New custom feature that can be enabled to see Issue Impact in issue list, also sortable

 

You can download the new version here:

Twproject 6 October 2015 release

It is a free upgrade to all customers of version 6, no schema update required – but do backup anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracking work time in short time

Tracking work time could require little effort, and the company’s advantage is huge: so we did our best in Twproject to ease the process.

Even monsters feel the boredom of doing paperwork aside from their job, among which work time tracking: this because work means focusing on your core tasks, and time tracking is not among those. Read more

The many sides of issue tracking

An issue in a productive environment is something smaller than a project or task, but that is important enough to deserve separate treatment. Lets take a look at the life of issues.

 

  • Issues simplify

    Being easy to create, they save people time and help make thinks stick. Issues can be the main two sided relationship with management, and the tool through which all members of the team contribute to the whole project.

  • Issues multiply

    Issues grow on projects in time. The fact that anytime issues can be added on a project without changing the project status and timing is useful – and can of course be a source or symptom of a problem. Issues can be used as an idea repository, even before the project starts.

  • Issues transform

    In time some issues can become tasks, others . Also who has to deal with them may change in time; an issue can reveal a larger problem or opportunity. Issues may move from one project to another, from one resource to another.

  • Issues ease teamwork

    Issues create a shared base which benefits all team members. Bad communication sparkles contrasts, and having a reliable source can ease creating and maintaining good working relationships. This also eases team expansion with new members.

  • Issues are a knowledge source

    Work, discussions and changes get saved on issues, so their body constitutes a valuable knowledge source. Being small scoped and simple issues work as attractors, people put stuff on them and in time issue tracking ends up creating a knowledge base for the project.

  • Issues give you timing

    By fractioning large tasks in smaller issues, what looks impossible can get done a bit at a time.

  • Issues have several meanings

    “Issue” means different things for different people: improvement, suggestion, note, little problem, bug, doubt. In all cases, this constitutes project information.

 

How does Twproject help us in issue tracking?

Twproject can deal flexibly with the many sides of issue tracking, with user friendly and powerful functionalities. Over the years we have met many different ways of using issues and we have evolved Twproject in order to support a variety of scenarios.

Lets see how Twproject meets the different needs listed above.

Issues simplify

Twproject multi-row issue editor makes a breeze creating and updating all the issues you have in mind and could forget. Supports simple drag-and-drop of images / documents on the issue. And who is interested will be notified, who isn’t won’t. Of course you can deal with all issues on your smart phone, if you wish.

And you can discuss issues – this too is a part of the project’s story.

2014-10-09 12_15_24-Twproject

Issues multiply

Twproject can deal with large sets of issues, providing graphical tools for handling them. Filters, reports, custom views, Kanban like management, bulk move, all can easily be done in Twproject.

twproject-kanban

Issues transform

Twproject provides you with all tools needed for transforming and moving issues.

2014-10-09 12_28_25-Twproject

Iss2014-10-09 12_30_23-Twprojectues ease teamwork

Twproject supports sharing issues through projects, tasks, areas, involving the team implicitly defined.

Issues are a knowledge source

Twproject lets you group issues in any way: by task, date, resource, gravity, status, contents, tags … . And the resulting groups can be printed, exported as spreadsheet, bulk edited, discussed, linked.

2014-10-09 12_42_43-Twproject

2014-10-09 12_46_13-Microsoft Excel - issueList.xls [Compatibility Mode]

 

Issues give you timing

Twproject supports distributing issues to projects and in time via simple screens that let you quickly distribute tens of issues.

2014-10-09 15_29_58-Twproject

Issues have several meanings

In Twproject issues can be used with a variety of meanings by the same group on the same project.

Twproject also supports custom fields. for issues, which can also be used in search and aggregation criteria.

Try Twproject free trial