If you fail to plan,you plan to fail. A quote attributed to many people and regularly used at people who don’t adequately plan their projects. Planning your project is very useful in ensuring that you complete all of the required work in the time frame given. Today I am going to give a quick review of OmniPlan, one of the best timeline and project planning apps for your Mac. Its a very useful piece of software that can allow you to outline every part of your project with a high level of detail.
Setting Out Your Plan
OmniPlan is an extensive piece of software. It allows you to plan your project, assign people, tools, materials and costs. It can then be used to outline peoples schedules and work loads. Then, as you use the software, you can track your project. OmniPlan is an extensive app, that has plenty of features. I am going to highlight the main parts of the app.
Setting up a timeline of your project is very simple. We have a start or finish date. We can then work backwards, or forwards adding in the tasks and milestones. For example, if I started today I would add every task that needed to be completed and the order that they needed to be completed in. Then using the timescales I can adjust the times and the positioning within the list to ensure they can be completed. Then milestones and task groups are added.
Overtime, your timeline will begin to take shape. The typical gantt chart will begin to evolve. You can add dependency of tasks, for example if the second task is dependant on the first task finishing you can add in these types of dependencies. One type of feature that is very useful is the grouping of tasks. This allows you to control a subset of tasks easily and quickly.
The one feature that OmniPlan gets right is the resource allocation and control. Every task needs a person, a resource. By assigning a resource to a task, you can ensure that a person doesn’t have to much to do on one day, and the allocation of the tasks. This means on very complex tasks which involve many people and many tasks, one person doesn’t have to be in two places at once.
The final areas of the app, that are really cool, are the publishing and tracking options. It is one thing in building a plan, it is another problem in publishing it and ensuring people can use it. Omniplan allows you to submit your timeline of your project to calendars of people in your address book. The app also allows you to track changes from other people. This means when one person changes the plan, you can see the changes that have been made.
This app is very extensive. It can be used to project manage projects with many tasks, resources and tools. I have just scratched the surface on how complex this app is. Although it is complex, it is very easy to use an easy to understand.
As you begin to use the app, you will understand the in’s and out’s and how to quickly and effectively build your time lines for your project. This app is expensive, however if you use it extensively it is well worth it. As well as this, you will produce, better, more complex and in-depth project time lines and plans.
OmniPlan can be found on the appstore. In the mean time, I have to go back to an inferior version on Windows while at work. .