I have trialled several planning software applications and have find that RationalPlan is the best I have come across. I am using the Single version, which is free for Linux users, for other OS there is a charge. There is MultiProject version which is not free.
Too many of the software I have looked at is too much like MS Project 2003 which looks very 1980's. Presentation is always an important issue for clients and indeed colleagues, and RationalPlan certainly ticks the right boxes as the colour of the bars can be changed in the Settings/Options. Trying to fit a gantt chart and data columns onto an A4 or A3 can always be a frustrating exercise, which ever software package you are using. In RationalPlan, however, the best way is through Reports/More/Gantt, where there are the options to help you to manipulate the image to fit on the size of paper.
There is one item that does puzzle me, is that the Gantt report option is hidden under "More" and not displayed in the drop-down menu.
Data import is easy and anyone familiar with this type of project planning applications should not find it a problem. For beginners resource input will always present some problems, but trial and error should sort these out.
Data can by exported to xls either the whole data or through reports, for manipulation.
One of the annoying aspects of some planning software and versions of MS Project was the default setting for resource hours on the task duration which was Effort Driven resulting in the duration changing when the hours changed. In RationalPlan I am pleased to say that the default is Fixed Units, the changes which do not have an impact on the duration.
Customer support I have found is excellent having used it several times.
I would not hesitate in recommending RationalPlan as a planning software to Linux users.
I am using Rational Plan as a MS Project substitute and have greatly benefitted by all its features. It helped me manage the tasks better.
It is web-based and has better compatibility among different OS, it has similarbut better features than MS Project which include task and Gantt Chart features that the executives work with want to see. It integrates with Outlook, so tasks can be emailed to responsible staff. The export to PDF is great for sharing a snapshot of all the tasks in the entire project along with the Gantt Chart.
while exporting to Excel,it loses the formatting. There's no way to set up emails on tasks that are late. The main way to track tasks is by manually entering the percentage of work completed.
Not sure what product you are using but in the latest version of RationalPlan Cloud it is implemented the late task notification. Just make sure it is activated from the Administration area.
Resources can also track their tasks in the My Assignments area by entering their individual actual work and the percentage completion will be automatically computed by the application.
Regarding loosing format when exporting to Excel we would appreciate some detailed feedback in order to improve it. Just drop us an email to support.
Rational plan has helped to transform the way that we run our manufacturing operation. Our facility has a real mix of make to order and long term forecast demands being placed on equipment. There are several additional and variable constraints that make capacity planning software consistently fail. To overcome any lack of visibility from failing to plan we have found no greater tool than the simple flexibility, and ease of use that comes with Rational Plan.
Ease of use
The ability to lose information when closing down
As a sole-trader consultant I have been searching for an app that enables me to plan and manage projects that sometimes involve other consultants but sometimes just involve me and a whole load of people who are research subjects. After being led close to suicide by some other PM software (too complex, too "techie", only suitable for people who have nothing else in their lives!) I tried the add-on version of Rational Plan for Google docs and was impressed. So I bought the standalone Multi-Plan version. It worked very well for those projects where there was a good expectation of the steps laid out at the outset actually being the ones that were followed when the project started! The support from the team was excellent and my overall experience was good and I would recommend it to people who are actually running "manageable" projects. Having used it I realised that much of my work does not really fall into this category and, in much of what I am doing , the steps only emerge from the previous steps. In this case, the program is not very useful but I think that would be the case with any PM software I used. My dream is to have a single screen dashboard for all the components of Outlook so that I can see at a glance for a single project who is involved in it and in what capacity, that tasks that they have to do and the timescale, the e-mails associated with the project and the calendar entries for upcoming actions. It is really a cross between PM and CRM. Rational Plan comes close to the PM side of it.
I publish a lot of digital projects. They require detailed planning and ensuring that all the steps are followed. I would be lost without my RationalPlan software, which allows me to first plan the work, and then work the plan time and again successfully.
Ease of use, and ability to have more than one project plan.
I work with a lot of different customers and am constantly importing and exporting project plans (converting from MS Project). RationalPlan allows me to effectively and efficiently work with the plans in this mixed environment. I find it an essential tool for my business.
It is a native Mac program that imports and exports MS Project files efficiently.
I have had some issues over the years with specific bugs. But to their credit, RationalPlan has always been quick to respond with a resolution to the issues. I still seem to have some issues with the printing format and how it handles logos.
My partner and I build large custom homes. By using RationalPlan, we can queue the subs and make the entire process go more quickly. It is a great tool, but like any tool, you have to use it. It is not magic.
Intuitive. Easy to learn. Many features (some I have not explored yet).
I have not figured out how to have a couple of projects open at the same time.
Also have not figured out how to sort entries.
I'm not patience enough to jump through all the required configurations with MS Project and was looking for an alternative which was still compatible but better served our hybrid AGILE approach. My first project with Rational Plan let do many of the assumptions my way and help me arrive at project estimate of 18,300 hours . . . I spent less time on the completed plan than my failed attempts with MS Project . . . I'm not an expert with either tool. Isn't it great, I don't have to be to get results.
Compare with MS project, the flexibility to do it MY WAY is much better.
With dozens of windows open, it occasionally freezes which requires me to restart the app. Occasionally have to update a recently added line item, but normally retains the recent work when this happens.
Have used Rational Plan now for 3 years, and found it an invaluable tool to assist the business, both with accounting and invoicing
Ease of use
Not built exactly for construction industry
It is easy to work with. I can import MS Project files easily and work with them. Easy to setup project. It is also easy to integrate and manage multiple projects. Scheduling and tracking of tasks is also a plus with this product.
The inability to save straight out to MS Project format is an issue. I also have had issues with report and email templates. Updates frequently are not "flushed out" before they are released which sometimes breaks basic features temporarily.
We have not gotten to the point yet where we are utilizing the resource management tools, but given that we are typically managing 3 - 4 projects at any given time this is definitely the goal. What would be most beneficial at this time is to have some way of entering and accumulating data. Currently I have to set-up project spreadsheets with all of my cost codes down the left margin and dates across the top so that I can enter time sheets and accumulate hours for each job cost code for all projects. With the accumulated sub-totals I can then update my Gantt charts on Rational plan from time to time. It would be great if I could enter this time sheet data directly into Rational Plan instead of having to create and update these summarizing spread sheets.
2. Relatively easy to learn
3. Good customer support
1. cannot enter raw data; has no way of accumulating time in a given cost code
2. some of the options are confusing (e.g. "always keep assignment units as set" and "try to keep the work when changing resources"...what do these mean???
RationalPlan can export to a spreadsheet by simplg going to File/Data export menu.
The " keep the work when changing resources" option is a Project Management option which indicate the application to recalculate duration of a task when adding resources for example so to keep the amount of work constant
Rational Plan has been an invaluable tool. With the right amount of features for our everyday business needs. Its laid out very clean and easy to navigate. There may be more powerful software out there, but they come with complexity, tedious data entry and often very time consuming to maintain. For us its a balance between what we need and will use. Rational Plan fits the bill perfectly, it also comes down to how much effort needs to be put into a software for it to be a useful tool. Rational plan solves these issues. I would highly recommend this software for those who need the nuts and bolts of a project management software, with minimal effort to use and simple to maintain. Support has also been terrific, quick replies, friendly and right there when you need them. We use both Multi and Single versions. The Multi version allows me as a planner of projects to look at all projects on our plate in one place, with the ability to juggle numerous projects and manage the resources needed. The Single version allows a user to focus on the tasks at hand for a single project. Pricing is very reasonable. If our story sounds like yours, you should give it a try. I don't think you will regret it. ~ John M.
This is a full featured easy to use Project Management software that helps create a WBS and assign/track resources.
Rational Plan software is Great! It has Portfolio Management, Dashboard, WBS, Gantt View, and much much more. It has a downloadable Desktop view that syncs with the cloud version. It is very easy to set up and get started. The resource section is is very helpful for assigning tasks and managing projects. I also like the budget/cost features. I also love the controlling feature and work tracking features. I think this software is excellent
One think I would like to see is the option to use a graphic (Mind Map) view of the WBS. The other item I would like to see is a section for Risk Management.
Easy to use and lots of detail
Would like to have the ability to link tasks from the middle of a task to the start of another
I've been using RationalPlan-Single for close to 6 years now, and am still a huge fan. To me, Microsoft Project is not an option, both from being a Mac user and for the licensing cost, and honestly, I don't need all the bells and whistles. I'm not a professional project manager, but I do need to build WBSes and Gantts on a regular basis, and also sometimes need to open project files sent by customers.
Generally speaking, although the interface has its peculiarities, RationalPlan is pretty straightforward to use, and more than enough for my needs. There have been odd glitches in the past (corrupted save files used to be an issue), but those were worked out over time, and I feel the current version is stable and reliable.
All in all - enthusiastically recommended.
Excellent value for the price
Occasionally clunky interface
Project Management has always a balancing act, sometimes taking a great deal of time to accurately schedule projects, manage resources etc... For years we have used MS Project for doing just this. That is until we found RationalPlan, and we haven't looked back. This software is truly a hidden gem. It offers similar power to MS Project, with a simplified layout, client organizing, work breakdown, scheduling, Gantt chart's etc. etc. It also supports import and export of MS Project files, so for those clients who use MS Project, transferring data back and forth is quite simple. In closing, RationalPlan allows us to plan and communicate with our clients very clearly and has far exceeded our expectations. We now use this software daily for multiple projects, and always have a clear view throughout . It does seems to take far less time to accurately set each up. We have begun to roll this out to our company and have not run into any issues regarding this transition. All in all I cannot say enough about this software and company. The support staff is extremely responsive and friendly. Thank You for a great product.
I have been using this software to develop project plans for my business...its ease of use and its functional capabilities make it a great tool to develop complex (and even simple) project plans and over all management of planning an budgeting. I would highly recommend this software to anyone who wants an alternate to microsoft....
I have been using project management software since 1983 (CPM or critical path project management software even before microsoft project).
its a great low cost project management tool...
You should have some prior project management experience to better take advantage of all of the powerful features of this product.
It's good value for money but the options to print the Gantt diagram are confused or non existent. There no options to limit the dates for the printing (ie. I want to print form january to september eventhough the Project goes to december), there is no option to copy the diagram to another application, so we have to print in PDF and then copy it, etc. It's not friendly for report elaboration.
Value for money, does the work
It's not very friendly, lack of features to ease the elaboration of reports
I think this is the best project management software for the Mac at an affordable price. It is easy to use with most of the features found in the Microsoft project management softwareI am still wishing for a PERT Chart
I use this software to help me develop proposals.
Only thing I miss is the PERT Chart
I was able to provide it to many people in the organization for a reasonable price, with the assurance of knowing that it incorporates good, solid project management principles.
It most closely resembles the functionality in MS Project for a fraction of the price. It was obviously created by someone who understands project management, as evidenced by the list of steps on the left side. It supports dependencies, durations, and resource allocations that work together to come up with a completion date.
Online help documentation is practically non-existent, and the only apparent support is through email.
First of all I'm not a gantt expert. I just share my thoughts.
I have a big problem: On Linux last version is troublesome: in the gantt visualization, the mouse arrow blocks itself when passing on the gantt chart, while it goes smooth on other parts of the window.
Another thing I find bad is when I change tasks duration/resources/manhours. I would kike it to be in "full manual" control if I want. Beacuse sometimes automatic adjustments simply don work.
For the rest It is a GREAT product.
It works under linux, it manages multiple projects.
See main review
Could you please send an email to email@example.com with the details about your operating system and the version of RationalPlan you are using so we can see what might be the problem?
We are using RationalPlan already several years and this tool enable to make project plan quite easy way, unlike MS Project, which require much more ecperience/time. So there is much value for money.
All needed functionality is there. Easy to learn.
I have been a paid user of rational plan for a number of years. My experience has been nothing but positive. It's more than a cheaper alternative to Microsoft project. It goes almost you're to toe with it. The interface is still not as polished, but they keep improving and their customer service is spot on. I really recommend it to those needing project planning power but want better value for their money.
Easy to use. Mimics most of features of Microsoft Project. Great customer service. Good export options.
Does everything I need it to. Does whatever I would be using Micro$oft Project to do but at a price that anyone can afford.
Does what I need it to. Has the functionality of what I'd use MS Project to do.
Inability to save directly to native MS Project file format.
My company was looking for a new project management software and RationalPlan kept popping up to the top. I was able to get a demo copy immediately (a big plus) and began using it right away. I was impressed. It was easy to use which is important because many of our end users need to get up and running quickly without a huge learning curve for all the bells and whistles. One of the features I really like is to be able to lock a date on a task or milestone when dependencies are enabled. Our last software kept moving this date which quickly became a nightmare. We needed the dates locked. I recommend this software.
Easy to use
I was getting an error about having tasks outside the project date range but couldn't find it. It was actually in the Info section for the Estimated Start Date. Once I found this, the errors went away.