Home Reviews Software PlanBee Pro
US FTC Compliance
Yes, all these ads are some kind of affiliate link and I get paid a commission if you click or buy.
Not enough to quit my day job, but it keeps the site alive.
- Jeb Riordan, Editor, PROJECTmagazine
PlanBee Pro Print
PlanBee is a critical path planning tool. It allows you to specify tasks and their durations, and will then calculate the earliest and latest start and finish dates for each task, based on dependency links which you give it. Critical Path Project management from: Guysoftware

 

It will calculate "Float", the amount of spare time that a given task has in the schedule as an indication of how important that task is to the overall timing of the project.

The application, a 1Mb zip file, can be downloaded and purchased on-line .
Installation is easy with the normal installation wizard.

Double click on the desktop icon and the application window opens along with a 'tip of the day'. Click on the 'tip of the day' window to reveal the working area. And it's shareware that is plain to see. The window is about half screen size and is mish-mash of buttons, windows, input boxes and overcrowded text.
The colour scheme is a sickening, stressful confusion of olive-greens, purples, yellows and blues on blues.

Image

Ohmygodfathers! and I came in through the serenity of the subtle blue-greys of Windows XP.

Wait a minute, what's that button? Top right. 'change screen color and print colour. Great! maybe you can customise it to look like XP. Hummm, maybe not.

The pdf instruction manual is a condensed version of the very comprehensive on-screen Help for PlanBee, both are logically structured, so getting up and running is not too painful. There is also the annoying 'Tip of the Day' pop-up, which gratefully can be turned off.

The output is made available as a Gantt chart, PERT digram and can be exported in a comma or tab de-limited file or copied to the clipboard.

For new users several sample plans are included which can be viewed and 'messed with' to get familiar with the application.
Especially interesting is the plan of the multi-million pound Great Train Robbery that took place in Buckinghamshire, England in 1963.

Starting a new project is quick and simple, enter the basic data and define the working calendar.
Tasks are then added either in the default spread sheet view or if adventurous in the PERT view.
Task durations and dependencies are also defined. for task duration working days or calendar days can be used.
Tasks can also be 'forced' to finish on a certain date.
Adding, deleting, editing tasks is a simple process using right mouse button to expose a small menu.

Tasks may be emphasised which will show in bold type in reports and with heavier outline in Gantt charts. Emphasised tasks can also be separately exported to file or clipboard.
Automatic emphasise permits groups of tasks to be emphasised based on user defines criteria.

Dependencies can also be 'grouped' in families. This is considered useful in complex plans, 'what-if' analysis and when allocation limited resources.
A 'criticalaity margin' can be defined, so that 'almost critical' tasks can be identified.

Allocation of resources to tasks is also a simple procedure. The resources are first listed, including a USD rate/day and the number of resource unit available.
Overloaded resources are shown in red in the resource dialogue box.
The resource data can be exported for example to MS excel for creation of fancy charts.

The working calendars and resource master lists can be saved separately for use in other plans.

A PERT chart is shown in a separate window. The PERT chart graphics are abysmal. The layout of the chart seems to be dependent on the sequence of inputting tasks and can be at first very confusing.
An automatic alignment function is included which tries to unscramble the task boxes and task links, but human intervention is needed before full clarity can be achieved.
The diagram can be copied to the clipboard as a bitmap screen-dump or as a vector graphic of the whole chart.

A Gantt chart is also shown in a separate window. The graphics are basic and the default colours are sore to the eyes. Options are available to show or hide the task dependency links and float times.
To expand or contract the scale of the diagram search for the small chevron icons far right of the menu bar!

Progress can also be tracked using the progress reporting panel and progress of a task is shown on the Gantt chart by a grey line across the top of the task's bar.

The colour schemes for the output charts can be customised (thanks Guy! the default yellows and greens were popular in the sixties - same era as the Great Train Robbery. Were you somehow involved ?)

Reports can be customised and printed or copied to the clipboard for further manipulation in other applications.

In conclusion: a very handy, easy to use planning tool, but please Guysoftware, do something about the amateurish graphics and get some serious help with the colour schemes. Then you will have an OK product.

 

PlanBee Pro
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of
Image3 bananas out of a possible 5

 

Buy it Now Online!

 

Share/Save/Bookmark
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
bold italicize underline strike url image quote Smile Wink Laugh Grin Angry Sad Shocked Cool Tongue Kiss Cry
smaller | bigger

busy
 
Copyright © PROJECTmagazine (c) 1998 - 2019 for practical project management information. All rights reserved.