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Critical Path Analysis & Software

22 replies [Last post]
Tony Hughes
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The company i am working for have asked me to find suitbale software for performing Critical Path Analysis.

I would be grateful for any feedback!!

Replies

Dear Daya,
you are right about the weakness (in fact absence) of marketing Spider in other countries. We are happy that Spider Project is very popular in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries where Russian is common knowledge and support rather small number of customers who use English version of Spider (most of them found us themselves through Internet or getting acquainted with the software at some conferences or exhibitions). And the reason is simple - I am sure that PM software should be supported on site. Our experience shows that implementing PM software is a small part of implementing project management at large and we are usually busy helping our clients to develop and implement project management systems. I wrote in one of my previous postings that we introduce Spider Project to the new markets only after finding reliable partners who are able to provide necessary support to our local customers. This way we came from Russia to Ukraine, Belorussia, Romania. There is a danger that without local support the software will not be used in a proper way and it is not good for its reputation.
Some of Spider Project customers are involved in the international projects where the clients ask to present the project schedule in P3e or MS Project formats (usually foreign customers) and that is why we included exporting and importing features in Spider Project capabilities.
And we spend very little on marketing within Russia too. We are not interested in selling the software, we are interested in the proper usage of our software. We create its reputation - if the company uses Spider Project then it is really serious about project management. So our support is much wider than just software support. We compete with the software pirates who sell Primavera, Open Plan or MS Project in Russia for $3 per unlimited number of installations. You should be much stronger to win such competition. The serious people and companies find us themselves because they want the best.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Dayanidhi Dhandapany
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Dear Vladimir,

I have gone through your explanation. Good.
As far as i know P3 has equipped with better facilities compared to suretrack/ms project. Since i’ve used all the three before. How did i get the chance to use these softwares, because it was prescribed in the contract documents to use it. Do you know that majority of the projects which i had worked before insisting the contractor to follow Primavera Project Planner with different versions(Putrajaya Development in Malaysia and Taiwan High Speed Rail Project, of course in Taiwan, infact now major pipeline/airstrip/main civil projects in Libya). How did they(Primavera) convince them(Client(s))to buy Primavera Products?. or How the client(s) get an impression to use Primavera Products. Eventhough we can have a chance to import other good softwares from UK/Russia or from other good countries. It is all because of marketing/support and services. or am i wrong? here. If someone introduced Spider before Primavera, Spider might have peaked in the market. But one thing is sure, If P3 is very weak compared to other softwares should have been vanished before. It is still existing in the market, since it has grabbed many users already, especially major clients are used to it, also insisting to use these software in the region where i am working.

Infact, i heard that local based software in india called Yojana - Project Management Information System, can do similar things like other PM softwares. I haven’t used the Yojana so far. Still it is not much familiar outside countries other than india - i think so.

Eventhough Spider is having better prospects(After reading all your replies & spider web page visit - i am having a good impression of spider), why it is not famous in American, Asian, African,.... continents. It is because of the improper marketing(for your kind information i am not really against any PM software in the market). May be i am wrong or may be i am correct. It is a small thought.

Regards

Daya
Dayanidhi Dhandapany:
One more remark. I am not sure that software popularity depends only on investment given for support & services.. etc. At least in Russia it is not true at all if we discuss professional PM software.
I recommend you to try different packages and then you will not think that the difference is due to marketing problems...
To Tony Hughes:
I hope that you understood from this discussion that Critical Path Analysis is one of the most simple PM functions that is supported by all known PM software. You shall decide what do you want from the software besides this function. How will you plan your work, what initial information shall be used, how and what do you plan to collect from the project participants to monitor and analyze project performance, what reports do you need, do you plan to consider risks and calculate necessary contingency reserves or not, what budgeting and cost analysis functions should be used, etc. Answering these and similar questions you will create a list of requirements necessary for selecting proper PM software.
Good luck.
Yes, Steven, you are right. I am defending Spider that is much more popular in Russia than P3 and much more powerful too.
But my first remark was made in response to the posting where it was stated that all PM software will produce the same results analyzing Critical Path but P3 is the best. Like "all animals are equal but some of them are more equal than others". I wanted to learn why P3 is more equal in analyzing Critical Path.

To Dayanidhi Dhandapany:
Yes, there are many tools around the world and I am interested to know if there are other PM tools that are popular in some regions of the plannet and not known in others. I know little about the PM software that is used in Japan or China. I am sure that there should be some local PM software that may be interesting to the planners from other countries. And we should be careful in our estimates and advises. The phrase "P3 is the best PM software among the tools I worked with" is correct, without among ... is not correct at all.
Tony Hughes
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Gentlemen,

Thanks for your replies, you have given me somthing to think about and there could be light at the end of the tunnel

All the best

Tony
Dayanidhi Dhandapany
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Dear Steve,

I feel the difference is due to marketing problems..................

Regards

Daya
Steven Oliver
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You could, you would be wrong, but you could.
Dayanidhi Dhandapany
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Can I say that P3(USA),Artemis(UK),Spider(Russia)..................
so shall we take that the popularity of the software is based on the variation of investment given for support & services.. etc.
Steven Oliver
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Absolutely. I am aware that you heavily favour "Spider", not the most popular software in the Uk, but reading from your reviews has some extremely useful features.

I have never really understood why P3 gained such popularity, as once you get beyond basic functionality it isnt particurlarly user friendly, doesnt communicate very well with other products, and produces only very basic reports.

Again, only an opinion.
Dayanidhi Dhandapany
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Dear Vladimir,

What you have said is true in some cases, as long as we do not have a chance to experience other softwares we could have a tendancy to suggest the known one. so it is unavoidable.


Regards

Daya.
Steven,
in other words your statement means that though any software tool produces the same results, P3 is most popular in your region and you know another software Artemis 7000 that you think is the best (among the tools you know). Is it correct?
Steven Oliver
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P3 is certainly the most popular (at the moment) IMHO Artemis 7000 is still the best, due to its inherent flexibility.

Shahzad,
you wrote that any software will produce the same results and then state that P3 is the best. Your statement is brave but I did not find any explanation of this conclusion.
Regards,
Vladimir
Shahzad Munawar
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The complete sentence is as under:

Normally critical path determination and analysis are based on Planning softwares, you may analysize CPM on any software either by using P3, MS project, Sure track and also its use depend upon your capability to run software but CPM technique will remain same on any software.

It is worthwhile to mention here that P3 is best planning tool for analysing CPM with respect to links and techniques
Andrew Pearce
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Tony,

Forgot one word of advice, steer clear of MS Project.
This package has limits on number of links from a task which restricts the layout of your CPA.
Andrew Pearce
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Hi Tony,
You have several options,
Powerproject 7 or 8 by ASTA will do all you need although it is not quite so simple to use as the old version 5.
Are you to be the only planner using software if so you can train up quite easily.
From my experience the down side of Powerproject is that it is not so good on the number crunching side.

As a previous post Suretrak will do the job, but not quite as Pretty as powerproject.

Another option is Pertmaster which includes risk analysis.
Hope this helps if you wish contact me at Project Planning Ltd andy.pearce@projectplanning.co.uk
Tony Hughes
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New Build & Refurbishment Construction projects,(government projects)
ranging from £5 - £30 million.



Tony Hughes
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Didnt understand that last post
Shahzad Munawar
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Normally these all are Planning softwares you may any name to these
Tony,
You need to be more specific about your needs for example:
Industry are you in
Quantity of projects to be analysed
Size of the projects
No. of users

There is an abundace of CPM software available, you need to research them all and select the one fit for your purpose.

Phil
Steven Oliver
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Try SureTrak, mini P3 but without some of the bells & whistles.
Dayanidhi Dhandapany
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You have plenty of options to choose as per the following:

1. Primavera Project Planner
2. Power Project
3. Open Plan
4. MS Project
etc. etc..........

but buying anyone of the above depends on size & complexity of the project(s) etc......