Today I wanted to introduce my new design which replaces MS Project for a lot of people in future. Let’s start by asking questions to us.
- Why we use MS Project?
It’s simple. Because there is a project.
- What is the most common way of using MS Project?
Planning and scheduling the resources correctly to see the end of the tunnel. Projects consist of several steps and planning those steps will lead you to better results in a specific time period. Therefore, planning the steps and scheduling the resources successfully is the number one step in project management. To do this, MS project offers something like in the picture.
As you can see, work breakdown structure is listed on the first column, then project steps such as plan, code, and test. Then it shows you a timeline on the right side. Because coding task can’t be started before a specific task completed. It tells you which steps are related to each other and how to proceed. What I created by using several ideas is below.
In the 1st version, work breakdown structure does not count automatically. I’ll try to automate it in next versions. Tasks can be collapsed in MS Project and can be hidden in my design. Start date must be set to work day. Then duration is getting added on the start date and shown on the right side on both options. MS project doesn’t offer very clear view for me and you can exactly see the days of the tasks.
- Do you able to collaborate with team members? If you use online version of MS Project, there should be an option. But it may require another license which is more expensive than desktop application. What about timeline? It’s same. Team members must report to project managers and project manager update the percentage in MS Project. On the other side, my new design is live on the Google Sheets and team members can update their tasks regularly. Also, when the project manager updates the status of a task on MS Project, it’s not visible on the right side. Maybe it’s an option but you need to dig into it to find out where it is. But my design automatically changes the color and you can view and monitor the status by its color instead of reading a lot of texts.
- You have to choose work days (M, T, W, R, and F) on START DATE column. Then duration is added by calculating business days to start date and automatically colors the exact date on the timeline which is awesome. Collaboration and working together has never been so easy.
- In the next versions, I’m going to add a dashboard with reports and status of the tasks. All you need for project management is just Google Sheets.
MS Project requires at least 1 GHz processor, Google Sheets doesn’t.
MS Project requires MS Windows operating systems, Google sheets doesn’t. You just need a browser on any operating system.
MS Project requires at least 1GB memory, Google Sheets just require maybe 100-200 MB memory in your browser tab.
MS Project requires at least 3GB disk space for installation, Google Sheets is running on cloud and doesn’t store anything on your disk.
MS Project works offline, Google Sheets is working online. If you want to use Google Sheets offline, use Google Chrome.
At the end of the comparison, MS Project will cost you 940 US Dollars, Google Sheets is just a part of your G Suite. In this case, as a fan of Google services, I recommend you to use this simple project management timeliner for free. I don’t need any license fee for usage. It’s up to you to share it. Let’s just be honest to each other and give credits before sharing. 🙂