PlanningForce is a powerful tool to automatically schedule and manage your complex project planning problems. Making optimum use of resources, it offers a new methodology to strategically approach project planning, that can help you build a highly effective plan in a matter of seconds for a single project or a portfolio of hundreds of projects.
PlanningForce Express Planner is also a free planning software, with it, all your projects are in one file and you share resources between projects. The big difference with other free software is that this software has a scheduling engine that automatically solves all the problems of over-utilization of resources; result is a realistic schedule in which we can trust.
PlanningForce Express Planner has been developed to meet the requirements and expectations of project managers who manually do their planning & scheduling job in spreadsheets or with old-fashionned and unefficient planning tools.
- These project managers usually struggle with workload balancing (ie ‘How to avoid / reduce / eliminate resource over-allocations while meeting project deadlines?’), and setting up project start dates and end dates;
- They also find either difficult or impossible to plan and schedule all the projects and resources at the same time because they need to reconcile data from several files;
- Therefore, they usually create their plan once and leave it unchanged, because it is really too tedious and time-consuming work to update plans regularly.
- With PlanningForce, all these will not be problems again. PlanningForce can create projects, define task requirements, setup date constraints and target end dates, create and associate calendars to projects and resources, check the availability of their resources at a portfolio scale, and automatically balance the task workload for them, so project managers will never struggle with resource over-allocations problems again.
PlanningForce has two kinds of version: Express Planner and Portfolio Planner, the former is free, while the later is for sales, but you could have a 15-day trial.
As the name suggests, Express Planner is all about planning your project/s in express speed. With the Express Planner, you get a realistic schedule of your tasks and resources on following a simple workflow. Express Planner needs only a few inputs to give you a practical and feasible schedule in seconds: You need to submit your Project Definition, then launch the automatic scheduler and finally, analyze the planning results using decisional tools to dispatch your plan through reports.
Key features of Express Planner
- 1. Unlimited Projects
- 2. Unlimited Resources
- 3. Concurrent Process
- 4. Automatic Schedule
- 5. No over-allocation
Portfolio Planner comes with an extended set of tools which help you plan all your projects and resources at once in the most effective way. Portfolio Planner uses WBS Gantt and Ideal Gantt to conceive your project goals within your constraints and resources. It also allows you to describe the roles, skills and levels of your resources to make optimum use of their potential. Portfolio Planner comes with a set of additional features to describe possible risks and uncertainties; to state your scope and priorities and to validate and create multiple solutions.
Prominent features of Portfolio Planner
- 1. Scope to describe roles, skills, levels of resources
- 2. Risks, uncertainties & coefficients
- 3. WBS Gantt and Ideal Gantt to conceive goals
- 4. Input and output diagnosis tools
- 5. Scheduling preferences; scope to setup priorities
PlanningForce is ideal for companies wishing to plan their projects and anticipate the impact of new projects within their current portfolio. This Free Planning Software is available for both Mac and Windows, you can try it from above link.