Last week I ran an afternoon session on using MindManager with JCVGantt to create a project plan. As preparation for that I wrote a 20 page booklet for the attendees but also to make sure I really understood the process. Writing what you think you know, really does reinforce your comprehension.
Creating a project plan that automatically recalculates: the critical path, resources used and cost; requires discipline when setting the model up. The project planning tools have no ability to make assumptions on behalf of the user. 20 years ago I used Pertmaster Advance to estimate project costs and give me a timeline. I remember being asked “Why are you doing this before we have got the job?”. The simple answer is “How could I estimate the job without looking at the plan and considering what could be done in parallel, who could do it, when their and the clients holidays were?” The big advantage is when you have built a robust model and someone asked the really awkward question which throws the spanner in the works, you can make a few alterations to dates or people and the impact is immediately visible.
The guide takes you through a process which should create a valid plan. You can see it now as a web site. An Introduction to JCVGantt – Creating a valid project plan in MindManager – Transforming it into a Gantt Chart