I am a huge fan of OmniOutliner and use it pretty much every day when I am writing, so I was intrigued to take a look at OmniPlan. I am actually really surprised that I haven’t reviewed OmniOutliner before, but maybe that is because it is such a favorite of Tim’s that he always grabbed it for himself.

Anyway, back to OmniPlan, at $149 not an application to be taken lightly.

“Project Management Made Painless” is what they claim, but this is starting to sound a little like the “miracle diet” products that spring up all over the diet market. To lose weight you just eat less and exercise more right? To bring a project in on time and on budget you just work hard and remember what you have to do right? Apparently not!

“How to get your project done on time and under budget:

* Translate strategy into tactics everyone can understand
* Create summaries of work broken into lists of activities
* Distribute workloads fairly and efficiently
* Manage costs as you go

Plan, monitor, and control it all with software designed to make your job easier, not harder.

With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success, optimize resources, and streamline budgets. It’s project management made painless.”

I don’t believe it! Losing weight isn’t painless, and nor is running a project! Sure certain tools can make it easier, more enjoyable, less stressful, but painless – no way!

So how about using a project management application, to run a project on …….. losing weight!!! Now that really would be stretching the “painless” claim to its limits.

I have reviewed Project Management software before and I generally find it very difficult to differentiate between them. After all Project Management is a pretty established discipline so it isn’t very likely that you will get anything really new in an application, so all that is really left to consider is how well (and easily) does it do what it has to do. Let’s face it – you are going to get Gantt Charts, Critical Paths, Scheduling and these days options for sharing data and you get all that with OmniPlan:

* User – Friendly Interface
* Easy Task Management
* Efficient Resource Allocation
* Smart Scheduling
* Visual Timelines
* Violations and Critical Paths
* Options for Sharing Data

Each section has a screenshot and comprehensive movie on the web site so not much that I can add. They are well worth a look though.

If you are looking for a Project Management application you could do a lot worse that OmniPlan, primarily because it has the exceptionally clean, simple and efficient interface that everything else of theirs that I have looked at has.

4 thoughts on “OmniPlan

  1. Bill Hyndman

    This review didn’t tell me what I need to know. As a a consultant and PMP cerfitifed project manager I frequently work in mixed OS environments. I would love to have a Mac based project scheduling tool that interoperates with windows tools.
    More detail on what functions OmmiPlan provides would have been helpful. For example:
    * Does it support PERT charts and not just Gantt charts?
    * What types of scheduling options are available.
    * How well does it integrate with MS Project?
    * Can I import MS Project files work on them in OmmiPlan and then export them and import them back into MS Project?
    * Are there any limits on the numbers of activities, tasks, resources,etc.? More information here would have been helpful.
    It is probably worth noting that OmmiPlan, MS Project, etc. are project scheduling and schedule management tools, not project planning tools. At least for medium to large projects.


  2. MyAppleStuff Post author


    Apologies – here are some extra notes 🙂

    As far as I can see/work out it doesn’t create PERT charts, but as MS Project can create a PERT chart from a Gantt chart, and you can export to MS project I assume that this would be the means by which you would be able to create a PERT Chart.

    With respect to Scheduling I amnot sure if you have anything specific in mind but Tasks can be scheduled according to a variety of rules – as early as possible, on a specific date, or as resources allow. OmniPlan’s calendar mode gives you options for determining work week schedules for your resources, and editing specific dates as needed. Once you’ve completed and fine-tuned your project plan, OmniPlan lets you set a baseline (a set of original start and finish dates, durations, and work/cost estimates), which acts as a reference point against which you can compare the actual progress of your plan.

    I am afraid that I don’t run MS Project, so I can’t give you a personal view on the ease of use. The export options include Microsoft Project Exchange (MPX) and Microsoft Project (XML) so I would think it woul be pretty easy to integrate. Again, importing from MS Project is an option. If you want to email me a MS Project file I will happily try it out for you.

    I agree TOTALLY with your note regarding project scheduling tool.

    Hope this gives you a bit more information, let me know if I can help further.

  3. karen

    what can i do with critical path analysis. how can it be helpful for me

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