Interim deadlines, staff shortages, resource issues, budget constraints—what’s a project manager to do? Well, he or she could turn on the PC for an overview, zoom into project details, examine a histogram, ponder a PERT chart, print a report, grab a cup of coffee, and feel a little better about the whole thing. Or not.
Love Microsoft Project, or looking for more information on it? Head to the Microsoft Project page. There's a tour of Microsoft Project 98 and an offer to sign up for the beta of Microsoft Project 2000—$6.95 on CD.
While at Microsoft, be sure to visit the Microsoft Project Downloads & Support page for templates, add-ins, and newsletters.
Microsoft Project users will find lots of links to love at The Project Management WWW Site. In the Resources section are links to companies such as Technology Associates and The Versatile Company, which provide training, consulting, and customization in project management software.
Still have questions about Project? Post them on the Usenet forum microsoft.public.project.
Microsoft isn't the only management game in town. Primavera Systems, which has been in the business since 1983, offers a range of project management programs.
Applications in Primavera's stable include TeamPlay ("the first IT project management solution that makes managing projects a repeatable, predictable, and positive experience for everyone involved") and the Concentric Suite, which bundles together Primavera Project Planner for the Enterprise, Expedition Contract Control, and SureTrak Project Manager.
Computer Associates' offering for project managers is SuperProject 4.0, which it describes as "easy to get started with" and robust enough to deliver project management "across the enterprise and beyond." Check out the demo or download the product description PDF file for more info.
- ProjectWorld hosts conferences across the United States, offering training in project management. Consult the site for a list of dates and places.
- Looking for an inexpensive alternative to Microsoft Project? Get the buzz on PlanBee from Guy Software, a $39 shareware program from Edward Guy, an IT consultant.
- Need a less formal planning solution and a way to bring far-flung employees and consultants together on the Web? Joint Planning gives you free Web-bish ways to create calendars (personal and group), to-do lists, address books, and discussion boards. Competitor hotOffice Technologies has a similar "team groupware" offering.
Lauren Willoughby is a Web editor at The Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville, KY, where she also writes the weekly "Technophobe" column. At night, she turns into an online auction junkie. When she's not spotting deals on refurbished 486s, she's reading a science fiction novel.
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