Thursday, November 30, 2006

Comparing MS Project and TeamDirection Project

Now that we've released TeamDirection Project, it's time to answer the elephant in the room: How does TeamDirection Project compare to Microsoft Project?

Well, we do pair a task grid on the left with a gantt chart on the right. And I personally think TeamDirection Project is much prettier. But really, our focus is on the small to medium business, 5 - 50 employees, that would like an easy way to structure, schedule and share projects in a team environment.

When you don't have limitless resources, you need the right tool for the job. You can't give everyone a scalpel and expect surgery to be successful. You don't give everyone the tiller and expect docking to be smooth. Any non-trivial project requires a group of people to interact, do their part and communicate their issues as efficiently as possible.

That's what TeamDirection brings.

Microsoft Project is a great product. You can plan canals, nuclear reactors and hospitals with it. You have an array of tools at your disposal: resource pools, 10 or more working shifts per day, PERT and WBS structures, critical path analysis and a gazillion more features a skilled project manager wants, and might even need.

We think that's great. But the ability to level resources, find critical paths and adjust level of effort is lost on the person who is just making an image for the website. They only need to report when they're done, attach the image for people to see and comment how it synthesizes Bauhaus post-modernism and consumer durable gooods.

TeamDirection bridges these two worlds. It lets the project manager have all the power, and it lets the team members execute their tasks, see and connect with their team members online to resolve issues and report progress.

One product can't make everyone happy. But one product can bridge the divide between planning and execution, allow users the tools that fit their needs and focus on sharing information-- among the team, and with just a little bit of direction.


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