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I'm looking for a good, easy to use Critical Path Software that will produce Gantt charts and have no idea where to start. Anyone used any good ones? Any that don't cost too much? Any good tips on what I should be looking for? I'm a GC who will manage 3-4 projects at once, and every trade you can think of.

Thanks in advance.

MNTeton
 

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I'm looking for a good, easy to use Critical Path Software that will produce Gantt charts and have no idea where to start. Anyone used any good ones? Any that don't cost too much? Any good tips on what I should be looking for? I'm a GC who will manage 3-4 projects at once, and every trade you can think of.

Thanks in advance.

MNTeton
There's an Open Source (free) clone of Microsoft Project that I prefer: OpenProj.

"OpenProj is a free, open source desktop alternative to Microsoft Project. The OpenProj solution is ideal for desktop project management and is available on Linux, Unix, Mac or Windows. OpenProj is a complete desktop replacement of Microsoft Project and even opens existing native Project files. OpenProj shares the most advanced scheduling engine in the industry with Projects On Demand. The OpenProj solution has Gantt Charts, Network Diagrams (PERT Charts), WBS and RBS charts, Earned Value costing and more. You can get more detailed information on OpenProj or download now!"

http://openproj.org/

There are a bunch of other Open Source project management packages out there, many of which tend to be web-based (require installation on a web server) or they're integrated into an ERP or CRM.

Hope that helps...
 

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Dave from Macatawa
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Sure Track or Microsoft Project. If you don't have experience at setting up preceding/ succeeding tasks and grouping work category tasks the learning curve will be steep in either. I have used both for years and find MS easier but ST has more depth. The most important thing is YOUR understanding of job sequencing and task duration. You have to tell the program the start sequence. Start to start, start to finish, finish to finish, lag time, lead time, artificial constraints, procurement time, winter conditions impact, etc all come from you. And the chart isn't worth a toot unless all tasks are linked together.

Dave
 

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Have you looked at Virtual Boss? It's got a much shorter learning curve than MS Project. I've been using it for a couple of years and it has proven to be stable and useful.
I think MS Project is great software but it seems to me to be overkill.
 

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Average Joe
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Microsoft Project all the way. There are 100 alternatives, this one works just fine for me. I think it's very user friendly.

YOUR management skills are the most critical factor in any critical path formula. The software is merely a vehicle. You can successfully take on a 50 story building project with a pencil and paper.

MP...well worth the money.
 

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General Contractor
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I've used Primavera Project Planner (P3) for years, but for most small to medium companies it's way overkill. As far as a total package I would suggest SureTrak - made by the same people that made P3. Similar cost to MS Project and IMO much more flexible in regards to activity relationships and visual clarity.
 

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Check out FastTrack Schedule 9 by AEC software. I picked up a copy at a trade show for a really good discount. It is similar to Microsoft project and can upload and save in their format too. I am still in the learning curve since I do not need it that often but seems to have a lot of features.

Todd
 
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