As its name implies, FastTrack Schedule is an application that concentrates on the scheduling piece of project management. The software is available for both Mac and Windows operating systems.FastTrack Schedule comes bundled with a large selection of templates – it’s even capable of creating schedules from Microsoft Project files, Excel spreadsheets, and several other applications.
Pros: If you’re concerned about a steep learning curve, you can opt to purchase a training module for FastTrack Schedule for an additional $100. This extra expenditure can help you learn how to get the most out of the software’s scheduling capabilities. Even without this training module, the number of templates and examples that come bundled with FastTrack Schedule make the application fairly straightforward to navigate.
Cons: At $349 for a single license ($448 if you purchase the training module), FastTrack Schedule is one of the more costly programs in this summary. Additionally, the software is very thin when it comes to collaborative tools, and that could be a deal breaker for those looking for an application to help manage the entire project team.
Milestones is a project scheduling application with an impressive list of features. In addition to including the basic scheduling capabilities found in other project management software, Milestones also provides users with the ability to create presentation reports, calculate earned value, and perform a number of other useful tasks. The application integrates nicely with the Microsoft Office suite and is even capable of communicating with MS Project.
Pros: The excellent compatibility of Milestones with Office products, such as Excel and Outlook, makes the application a very attractive choice for small- to mid-sized businesses. Also, the built-in graphing capabilities and report design tools should appeal to those who often make project presentations.
Cons: While not a difficult program to learn, it can take some time to become acclimated with all of the features that Milestones has to offer. Although Milestones has excellent scheduling capabilities, it is a little lacking when it comes to detailed task management. However, you may be able to use the product in conjunction with Outlook to handle this aspect of your project management system.
If you’re working on a tight budget, you may want to give MinuteMan more than just a causal glance. This relatively basic application is extremely easy to use and is capable of producing a number of standard project management diagrams, including Gantt charts and PERT charts. In his review of the product, Lee Clemmer states, “I believe this program is the best value in its market.”
Pros: The standard version of MinuteMan retails for $49.95, and MinuteMan-Plus runs $99.95. You can even purchase an unlimited site license for as low as $799.95. With this low price and MinuteMan’s ease of use, this tool could be the perfect answer to those looking for basic project management software.
Cons: As stated, MinuteMan is a fairly basic application. So, it may not have all the tools and features you need to manage your projects. To find out more about what is included with the software, see the full review.
Other Project Management Software Reviews
If you haven’t done so already, you may want to take a look at Parts 1 and 2 of this series (links below) to find out the scoop on other top project management software products. In Part 1, we examine Microsoft Project and Project KickStart. Part 2 covers MindView (formerly known as OpenMind) and RationalPlan Multi Project.
If none of these products fit your needs, check out some of the other PM software reviews here on Bright Hub PM. Included along with those reviews are a number of tips on how you can get the most out of software already on your desktop, so you may even be able to put off that purchase a little while longer as you continue shopping for that perfect solution.
This post is part of the series: Top Project Management Software
In this series, we review the top project management software, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each product. Each application has areas where it excels, but which aspects are most important to you?