LiquidPlanner: A Microsoft Project Alternative

May 29, 2018 by Tatyana SussexTatyana Sussex



We’re often asked how LiquidPlanner compares to Microsoft Project. Which makes sense—after all, Microsoft Project was the go-to project management software for years. But times and the way we work have changed, and you need a project management tool that better fits your evolved needs.

Just think: 10 years ago, the predominant project management method was using a tool that lived on one person’s computer—namely, the project manager. This person would create a project schedule, send the plan to the team, which they could access if they had the scheduling tool installed, and then attempt to keep the schedule updated by manually tracking and inputting updates.

We don’t have to tell you about the pain associated with this process, or about how impossible it is to keep the schedule truly up to date.

Turn the clock forward to today, and you’ll see a new landscape of project management tools—tools that have transformed a rigid, desktop-only project management environment to one that is collaborative, fluid and cloud-based.

We built LiquidPlanner based on the belief that teams work best when they organize tasks by priority, make best/worst case estimates, collaborate in one central location, and can rely on a scheduling engine that automatically updates whenever plan items change.

So how does a new-generation tool like LiquidPlanner compare to a traditional one like Microsoft Project?

In this article, we’re going to compare LiquidPlanner to Microsoft Project, more specifically, Microsoft Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365.

Building and tracking project schedules was the bane of a project manager’s existence in the old world of manually creating and updating plans. LiquidPlanner provides easier access and the ability to make changes that are automatically reflected in the most current project schedule.

Uncertainty is inherent in all projects. Being able to manage uncertainty effectively is the difference between leading a hair-on-fire reactive project and one where you can foresee incoming risk and act responsively.

A project schedule is worthless unless it’s kept up to date on a regular basis. If it updating the schedule becomes tedious (i.e., manual or a one-person job), the likelihood of keeping it updated plummets. Updating tasks should be a collaborative effort, and changes should be automatically reflected in the plan, in real time.

Generating meaningful visibility into project status and data shouldn’t be so hard. Team leaders, stakeholders and project managers need insight into data performance, and they want options on how they view and access that information. Smart dashboards and at-a-glance views should provide project managers with all the data they need to give updates, drive strategy and make meaningful decisions.

Teams can’t work in silos anymore and be competitive. Plus, project teams are often working in multiple locations, and need a system that brings everyone together—whether they’re working in different time zones, or on different floors. Collaboration tools foster clear communication, pool brain power, and increase performance and productivity.

Resource leveling is the one step that many project managers forget as they develop a project schedule. Too often, the pick-a-date approach is used to back into a project delivery date without accounting for resources and current task assignments. Ideally, you want a resource-driven scheduling engine that calculates the project plan based on team members’ availability and project costing.

Understanding how a technology solution empowers project teams to be autonomous and take initiative is important for the team implementing the solution. Depending on the software solution, you may need additional software for each PC or additional servers to support analytical reporting.

The project management marketplace has a growing selection of tools to help teams do great work. Our goal is to continue to be the best collaborative PM tool in the market, and help teams deliver projects with a reliable and meaningful project schedule—and without a ton of administrative burden.

If you’d like to see what managing your projects in LiquidPlanner looks like, sign up for a demo with one of our product experts.



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