Project managers usually opt for Microsoft Project, OmniGroup’s OmniPlan or one of many other specialist software products, but some also make use of the ready-made templates included in diagramming software. Many diagramming tools make it possible to create Gantt charts, Pert charts and flowcharts, and some also offer templates …
What is a Project Manager.... ?
And for me, here in lay the problem.
As a PMP Certified PM I understand what the PM community feels a PM is. And in facts demands recognition of the same. Anyone who has ploughed their way through the PMBoK will know what I mean.
The problem is, the rest of the world see PM's differently. I've been described as an administrator, facilitator, document monkey, the guy who draws the pictures and, perhaps ironically the most important, the guy who talks to the customer......
The "Anonymous Coward" post in the article is fine as it reflects two things : nobody knows what a PM really does and therefore, everybody else thinks that they can do it.
And do I do Perts ? Na. Nobody wants them, Give me the Gantt is usually the chant.....
A better way maybe
For a long time we have found that if you want to REALLY include the client into project management transparency you simply have to use better tools.
Gantt and Pert methodology always will depend on the sic " guru " to explain and leaves most management totally in the dark.
Want REALLY good project management integration go use http://basecamphq.com/ and to visualize like you have never seen it before link Basecamp to http://www.beedocs.com/ 3D Timeline
Listen , Listen , Listen to your client they will always steer you right ( pun intended )http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/happy_32.png
Pete, those may be good for you- but it's important to have everyone on board and one of them is a Mac system while the other is online collaboration - not so easy to get my mobile XP-based team involved then!
Actually we also avoid cloud stuff here anyway, as our Citrix sytem for desktops is so unreliable we have to rely on local copies. It is a shame that MS Project doesn't have better graphical features, considering how many other features it does have, and I've not found any software that uses MSP data to produce charts successfully... not that I've looked much for a year or so.
Pert is good
I use pert a lot as on a large project schedule it is easy to establish the true critical path and also those roque products or activities that are either found to be outside the dependency network or actually not so critical as everyone thought them to be.
But granted more in a workshop environment and under guidance and management of yours truly. We must not forget that there are tools/methods to manage the project, and then there are those to communicate about the project. The two do not have to be the same.
PM is the one who makes things as complex as humanly possible, thereby checking off the maximum number of jargon credits. If there is any time left also blocks necessary fixes and re designs until after the catastrophe is upon you. Then asks ;how come you did it this way'.
Maybe if we give them sufficiently entertaining graphics tools they will become absorbed in making pretty pictures and get out of the way.