Project Management

Package Selection

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Topics: Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
Scheduling tool recommendations
I'm looking for a scheduling tool that provides a bit more capability than just Gantt charts. Ideally, it would support durations, dependencies, and be able to (re)calculate critical paths, slack/floats, and automatically adjust to changing conditions. For example, if the start/end date or duration of a task changes, all subsequent/dependent tasks would be updated.

So far, I've tried Smartsheet and Asana. Smartsheet provides some of these capabilities, but seems able to calculate critical paths only for dependent tasks and doesn't calculate floats. Asana doesn't really cover any of my needs.

Any other recommendations would be appreciated.
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Primavera will definitely do all that, but it is a bit much for most organizations' needs. We use that on some quite large projects. To get the most out of it really requires a very knowledgeable scheduling expert. As a PM, I would normally develop the architectural level plan, and the schedulers would enter that into the tool, adding detail like standard sub-tasks.

As you start moving dates around, it will recalculate everything, but it often generates errors because of the many event dependencies such as your start date is now after your finish date. A skilled user can find those issues very quickly, and witnessing the capability of an expert is impressive, but a casual user isn't going to get as much out of it.
Thanks Keith on your inputs for Primavera.
Depends what level of scheduling you are looking for. Certainly, a popular and strong option is MS Project.
Primavera is your tool, it supports all what you’ve mentioned and more. MS Project is good too but I find primavera better.
Your question has so many possible answers. There may be over 100 products to choose from. How do you decide?

If you actually wanted to do a full review, you would need to establish major categories of features/functionality, cost, integration with other products, etc. and assign weights to them.

But before you consider that, check out this link:

It is Wikipedia, so how it was put together ... I'm not sure. There are ratings on over 10+ categories for over 50 different vendors' products.

I currently use MS Project. Features are quite good, but the visual could be much better.

Lastly, keep in mind that many of these products were developed with certain industries in mind, such as Oracle's Primavera -- which is quite suited for construction & engineering. That, of course, does not mean it isn't the right choice for other industries!
Primavera P6 is one of the top choices. There are countless features, such as the effort distribution curve for spreading out LOE activities over the project life cycle. It shrinks or expand automatically as duration dates are adjusted.
Microsoft Project in the Professional Version can do all that, and you can export the schedule skeleton to Visio, through an add-in, to visualize as WBS structure.
From the sound of your requirements it looks like Microsoft Project would fulfil your needs. First download a trial or demonstration version to see if it does and run a basic project on it to go through the processes. Other Scheduling software take a similar approach to Microsoft Project. Also there is Microsoft Scheduling but I think this might me product segmentation by Microsoft by creating a new product out of Microsoft Project due to increased functionality and complexity in Microsoft Project.
A lot of tools fit to your requirements.
Is it everything that you need?
In particular, do you have unlimited resources or need resource constrained scheduling capabilities?
Do you need to consider financial constraints?
Do you require skill scheduling?
And more ...
When you will create the full list of your expectations the number of tools that fit to your requirements may become much lower and selection will become easier.
I would suggest Atlassian tooling. Its a little bit fight to settle with some PM tooling addons, but you should be able to really customize the solution according to your needs.
As a bonus you will have an open doors to agile ...
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