Published on June 4th, 2011 | by Kyith1
How to do Gantt Project Management on the iPad – SG Project
One of the most popular category of app on the smartphone devices are To Do list applications. It is no secret why they are so in demand since
- most users have their phones with them just like their wallet
- with that, they are able to collect new tasks and review which tasks to carry out
Developers on the iOS have come up with great todo apps and in the process many of the most popular ones such as Omnifocus, Things, Toodledo and Appigo ToDo advocates users to use David Allen’s Getting Things Done to make sense of task management.
In a certain sense, Getting Things Done puts you in the role as the project manager and your job is to ensure the completion of many mini projects.
These apps work great for most people but for folks who does project management as a profession or plan projects at work, it may be lacking.
Some of the reasons why this is so:
- Projects managed typically defined by a start date and end date. Not all GTD task list does that.
- Projects can have infinite level of sub projects as defined by more granular milestones. Only Actionlists on the iPhone and iPad does this.
- Milestones affect main projects start and due date and they would have to adjust accordingly.
- Manpower resources needs to be allocated to tasks.
- Most todo list is not made for extensive review. Project management involves alot of review, adjusting start and due date and quick inputs. GTD todo list do not provide a eagle eye view on milestones and tasks to do that effectively.
- Most GTD task app syncs to the cloud but for most project managers they still use MS Project.
Being a project lead in software and system maintenance, I do acknowledge that task management app are found lacking in these area.
That is where SG Project comes in. The folks at SG Project came up with a very comprehensive management app for the iPad platform to carry out project management.
What SG Project does
To be honest I am astounded why there aren’t alot of third party developers who would tale advantage of the large screen size to create such a planning app.
SG Project comes in 2 versions SG Project Pro and SG Project 2.
SG Project Pro costs USD 39.90 and is made up of SG Project 2 (USD 9.99), SG Action Log(USD 5.99) and SG Risk Log(USD 5.99)
SG Project 2 is the task planning gantt chart review portion of SG Project Pro. My initial thought is that this is what i need only so if you want an app that can help you review big projects like how you would do it in MS Project then buying SG Project 2 could be enough.
SG Project Pro is able to do the following
Manage projects and sub projects
At the bare minimum, a project management app should allow the user to create milestones and sub milestones to it. SG Project does a Good job with that as you can freely indent and outdent your tasks.
Group tasks as their milestones or projects and have a clear overview
Easily reorder and delete tasks and projects
Specify greater detail for each task. This includes
- Start Date
- End Date
- SG Project Risks
- SG Project Action Items
Indent and Outdent, or add new tasks easily in the main task planning screen
Easily change the duration of each tasks or project on the main task planning screen
Easily complete tasks on the main task planning screen
Create dependencies for tasks constraint by other tasks
Set Predecessors so that tasks with dependency can be linked
Coloring and Predecessors enables user to view which tasks are constrain to only start after certain tasks.
Review in Gantt Chart
These nested task will be presented in Gantt chart format which can be maximized or minimized with a button.
You can move the timeline, that is, your start date of these tasks by dragging the task activity bar on the Gantt chart.
I find that the best view to review your Gantt chart is on a landscape view because you would be able to view more task details such as dependency, completion and manipulated them there and then instead of navigating within each task to carry them out.
Attach manpower to tasks
Often that is not provided in most To Do List app is assigning owners to the task or delegation.
SG Project allows you to assign a single owner to it
SG Risk Log Pro
Risk Log Pro enables you to create, manage the risk asscoiated with the project so that owners take a reponsibility in how they are handled.
It allows you to
- Document multiple risks for each project
- Set an Owner and Due Date for each risk
- Categorize risks into 4 main risk management strategies
- Quantify by assigning likelihood and severity values to each risk
- Sort and Filter the risk list for a project
- Maintain an organized history of notes for each risk
- Export a risk report to PDF and email from directly within the app
SG Action Log Pro
To be honest, I don’t really get the main difference between an action item and a task. I suppose if you use the concept of Milestones and Action Items, this will work well because Action Log will be linked to the milestones created in SG Project Pro
- Document multiple action items for each project
- Set an Owner and Due Date for each action item
- Set the state of each action item to move through a simple lifecycle
- Quantify by assigning a priority value to each action item
- Categorize action items into up to 10 custom-named groups
- Sort and Filter the action item list for a project
- View compressed view of the items using a pinch gesture
- Maintain an organized history of notes for each action item
- Export an action item report to PDF and email from directly within the app
Where SG Project Pro didn’t do so well
We wish that duo locating tasks is easier as in the course of preparing this example I have numerous tasks that I would need to do that.
Collapsing tasks and milestones
All tasks are expanded and when reviewing, you really wish that you can collapse the tasks to view them on a high level
Limited colors to choose from
It would be better if they have more color tagging choices as for bigger projects these colors can easily run out.
Exporting to MS Project XML
Instead of exporting to a native ms project XML format, the app only allows you to export to ms project XML. The limitation is transiting between windows desktop and iPad will be a problem since most people do not save their document in XML.
SG Project comes across as a competent iPad app. This is the first iPad project management app reviewed and certainly I can envision myself managing tasks with a defined start and end date instead of processes on it.
The ability to review and see dependency not to mention delegation are pluses.
My gripe about it is that there are occasional crashes that is irritating me which I hope can be ironed lout in future releases.
Read my Getting Things Done series today!