The new version of iPlanWare includes a couple of nice features which let you quickly produce portfolio and project status reports.

First lets start with the project status report. This gets its status data direct from the project updates made within iPlanWare by the project manager. With an easy to read one page report for each project it is ideal for distribution to stakeholders. If you have lots of projects to report on you can also produce a consolidated report which includes all the latest project status reports.

Sections are included for RAG status, issues, risks and financial tracking along with general commentary from the project manager.

iPlanWare Project Status Report

Project Status Report

Next let’s take a look at the portfolio status report. This is a summary report which let’s you keep check on the status of your overall project portfolio. You can decide what information is included in the report, so it can be personalised to the needs of your organisation.

Project Portfolio Status Report

iPlanWare Project Portfolio Status Report

If you are currently working in a PMO and spending a long time compiling project reports manually – perhaps you should take a look at iPlanWare and see how it can streamline project reporting.

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iPlanWare appoints Project Management Partners as a partner in the US region to help further develop and grow our US customer base.

Project Management Partners are based in Minneapolis USA and provide project management consulting and training services. Customers include Westinghouse, Ford, American Express, US Department of the Interior and General Motors. You can learn more about Project Management Partners and the services they offer at www.pmpartners.org.
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Many organisations looking at the iPlanWare PPM solution ask us to compare it to Microsoft Project Server. Let’s start with a little background on the products. iPlanWare PPM has been available since 2000, MS Project Server since 2002. iPlanWare was built as a PPM tool from the ground up, MS Project Server is a product that extends the capabilities of MS Project, Microsoft’s desktop scheduling solution.

When comparing  solutions, we will consider criteria such as the technology, implementation, support and licensing costs. In addition, we will also look at things like the evaluation process and user adoption. What we are not going to cover here is a detailed feature analysis.

Installation

MS Project Server consists of several Microsoft products which need to be installed on a server and then integrated together. While iPlanWare is also built around Microsoft technologies it is simple to install and keep up-to-date. A typical installation of iPlanWare takes around 30 minutes to perform if you want to install it on your own servers. We also offer a SaaS / cloud version of iPlanWare.

Set up and configuration time

MS Project Server implementation time-scales can often be counted in months. Contrast this with iPlanWare where a typical implementation is counted in days. Why is this? We think the key factor is that with MS Project Server, Microsoft have tried to cover all the bases in terms of features. More features means more complexity, longer learning curves and roll outs. MS Project Server (as you will see in the next point) also has a very strong dependency on MS Project which further compounds this complexity. With iPlanWare we focus on delivering the core PPM features an organisation needs wrapped up in simple to use PPM software.

Dependency on MS Project

With MS Project Server, MS Project (the desktop application) is used to build schedules. This has a couple of major implications. First you have to install and maintain copies of MS Project for each person who wants to build a schedule. Secondly, the cost implication is quite significant as MS Project Professional edition must be used which is the most expensive version.

With iPlanWare you don’t have to use MS Project to build schedules, instead users can use the inbuilt iPlanWare scheduler direct in their browser. We also integrate with MS Project if you want to use that in conjunction with iPlanWare – and we even operate with MS Project Standard edition (the lowest cost version).

Self paced evaluation

iPlanWare and MS Project Server have very different go-to-market approaches. With the growth of web-delivered software and SaaS “sign up and go”, the selection process for software is increasingly driven by individuals in an organisation who have an “itch they need to scratch” and go out and seek a solution to their problem.

With iPlanWare, they can quickly evaluate its capabilities and a bottom up buying process emerges. This means organisations can be confident in the investment they make and they are not going to struggle with user adoption. At iPlanWare we don’t consider we have a sales cycle, rather we have an evaluation cycle. We want our customers to be confident they have selected the right software.

Cloud solution

Are you looking for a cloud solution and the benefits it provides. If so then MS Project Server is not for you – it is not a true cloud solution. You will see “hosted “version of MS Project Server available but in reality these are just per customer installations of MS Project Server in a datacentre. Each needing managing, upgrading and looking after. Which means you miss out on the inherent benefits of a cloud based solution like iPlanWare – scalability, quick deployment and simple management. Note, you can also deploy iPlanWare on-premises.

Support and upgrades

With MS Project Server, support is additionally chargeable and provided by a network of partners, often on a per incident basis. With iPlanWare we like to keep things simple. With our SaaS solution, support and product upgrades are included in our subscription fee. For our on-premises model, we charge an annual fee that provides support and product upgrades. With MS Project Server upgrades are shipped approximately every 2-3 years, with iPlanWare every 3-4 months.

Total cost of ownership

iPlanWare will cost you less than a like for like MS Project Server implementation. Period. Whether you compare iPlanWare SaaS to MS Project Server hosted, iPlanWare on-premises to MS Project Server on-premises the iPlanWare solution will cost less. Go ahead, run the slide rule over the numbers.

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iPlanWare now includes an online training and education centre which people can access directly within their browser. This gives organisations a flexible, low cost and easy to manage training solution when implementing iPlanWare. People can learn at their own pace at a time and place that suits them. There are no additional service fees for the training centre.

The training and education centre includes a range of demonstrations, tutorials and how to guides which leads people though the basics of iPlanWare through to more advanced topics such as portfolio management. iPlanWare administrators can target training content to specific groups of users based on training needs.

Access the iPlanWare training

Access the iPlanWare training

iPlanWare PPM Training Content

Currently available content includes courses covering:

  • Fundamentals
  • Creating a project
  • Project binder overview
  • Issue and risk management
  • Tracking the project life cycle
  • Tracking project milestones
  • Creating a status report
  • Using the Gantt chart
  • Using the Gantt chart – advanced concepts
  • Using the Gantt chart – updating progress and % complete
  • Tracking project costs
  • Tracking project revenue
  • Advanced revenue tracking concepts
  • Introduction to portfolio management
  • Creating a portfolio structure
  • Requesting a project
  • Portfolio area overview
  • Project scorecards and using the investment map
  • Approving a project request
  • Understanding project types and states
  • Understanding scenarios
  • Project allocations
  • Capacity planning
  • Setting resource labour costs
  • Setting resource labour rates
  • Using the time sheet
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