How Deskera compares to Microsoft Project | Collaboration

by | Oct 24, 2008

Rest of the series: Project Planning, Simplicity

We know how Deskera lets you work on Microsoft Project files on the web. But that’s not all, Deskera offers much more than just Microsoft Project on the web.

In this part of the series, we compare the Collaboration Capabilities of Microsoft Project and Deskera Project Management Software.

Using Microsoft Project for Collaboration

Let’s take the case of John and Richard who are in-charge of end-to-end Project Management including planning all the project activities and Work Breakdown Structure for their biggest client so far.

John’s boss gifted him a copy of Microsoft Project last Christmas (for the extravagant sum of $1000) and he gets going on the project plan immediately.

  • He gets a draft ready and wants Richard to take a look at it.
  • Richard unfortunately does not have Microsoft Project installed on his PC.
  • He tries using a free .mpp Viewer and e-mails out the changes required to John
  • John updates the file and re-sends it for review each time. Way too cumbersome.

So finally Richard gets his boss to spend another $1000 for his own copy of Microsoft Project and suddenly feels all important and in control. So John and Richard start ‘collaborating’, sending each other new versions of the plan by e-mail till the file name reads something like this: Project-plan-(1)(150508)(1.6)final3.mpp

  • They are still working on different versions
  • More time is spent updating the changes rather than getting any real work done.
  • No single version of the file for the team to work on.

The only way to get that done is to spend another $5000 odd for a copy of Microsoft Office Project Server. So after a lot of money and time spent for installation, configuration and training, they can at least work on the ‘same’ file.

But it’s still not Real-time. The copy they are working on is as of last ‘checkout’ date, but they trudge along…

How do they discuss and collaborate on the project plan?

  • They send out numerous emails to each other and the rest of the team.
  • Using various online chat and Instant Messaging applications such as Yahoo, MSN, Skype, etc.
  • Numerous phone calls and brainstorming sessions

Unfortunately all this communication history was either never tracked or lost in heaps of other Minutes-of-Meeting documents.

And they haven’t even started working on the project yet… Just the project plan so far.

What if they switch from Microsoft Project to Deskera instead?

  • John uploads his existing Microsoft Project plans to start working on them immediately.
  • Richard and the rest of team see the changes being made in real-time and update the Project Plan and Gantt Chart themselves. No additional software required, saving time and money.
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  • All team members access the project status from any computer running any operating system
  • This leads to dramatically lower costs than buying Microsoft Project for each team member.
  • John and Richard communicate real-time using the inbuilt chat functionality, or send messages to each other.
  • Dedicated project discussion forums are used for gathering feedback, resolving issues and holding all other team discussions.
  • Using the dedicated calendars, they setup meetings and events for all project members.
  • All communication history is available whenever they need it, even for the new members who would join later.

Collaboration tools including Messages, Discussion Forums, To-Dos and Calendars are leveraged for getting the actual project work done.

And all this at negligible cost compared to Microsoft Project.

So why not sign up for Deskera? Let us know what you think.

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