The first beta of OmniPlan was released last evening at 8pm sharp. After giving it a couple of run-throughs last night and this morning, and updating to the latest beta (these guys are on the ball), it looks like this will be a nice tool for any project-strapped workgroup. This is not a full review of the software, simply my notes of a first glance.
The software has three view options. Resources, Gantt and Calendar views. All of which are simplified in comparison to Merlin or iTaskX. When in Gantt view you can choose to show critical paths, which highlights the nodes in your gantt chart that are dependant upon other tasks. It’s a cute feature and seems like it could be very handy with large complicated project scheduling.
OmniGroup has done an excellent job simplifying the gantt systems we’re currently used to. The feature that stuck out the most to me was the resource allocation they’ve worked into OmniPlan. The software presents the resources in rows and you simply drag a task onto the resource (individual or machine) and it assigns it and holds the schedule accordingly.
The outlining of tasks is typical OmniGroup style all the way down to keyboard shortcuts so jumping into this from OmniOutliner should be a fairly simple transition to most people.
My overall impression of this new product is good. In my opinion, gantt chart style scheduling is not condusive to small teams with multiple projects. At least not in my organization it’s not. If a team has one project to focus on, and that project is complicated, this is the product to use for scheduling.
My hat goes off to OmniGroup for a job well done, or should I say “in the process of being done”. If the need arises, I’ll shell out the 149 dollars for this.