With Steelray Project Exporter, we support the conversion of Microsoft Project MPP files to UN/CEFACT XML files. Did you also know that we support the reverse process – converting UN/CEFACT files to Microsoft Project MPP files?
I didn’t, but I just discovered how simple it is . . .
Step 1: Open the UN/CEFACT (Format 6) schedule in Steelray Project Viewer.
Step 2: In the top left menu, Select “Save as XML…” and save the file.
Step 3: Open the file in Microsoft Project. In Microsoft Project, you can save it as an MPP file.
It’s really easy, and it works great!
The project management software is compatible with Macs, Windows, and Linux environments. This is a must-have feature for individuals and businesses that use different operating systems.
Steelray software products have long been a popular solution for individuals and businesses with project management needs. From project viewing to analysis tools, this ensemble is a sweet bargain for anyone needing a quick cost-effective solution for working with Microsoft project files.
In the world of PC operating systems, one major division exists. The Windows operating system has been around for a long time, but a rival platform, Mac OS X, has garnered a substantial base of customers. For many reasons, there is a clear dividing line between Windows users and the Mac users. Aside from being a virtual tug of war, this division has led to real-world issues, particularly in the world of business. Many software developers tend to gear their products toward specific operating systems; multi-platform programs are growing in number, but can still be difficult to find.
Manage your Projects with Ease
Fortunately, Steelray Project Viewer can be used on Mac operating systems in addition to Windows. If there is one software niche where this matters, it is the project management genre. Although many smaller companies instill the Mac corporate culture into their workplace, this is not always the case for all businesses. If you have staff that are using both Windows- and Mac-based systems, it is probably a hassle to manage and share project schedules effectively. Compatibility issues tend to be the main issue in this respect, which can cause time and money constraints.
Why Mac Compatibility Matters for Steelray Project Viewer
The key benefit offered by Steelray Project Viewer is the ability to access and view project schedules on both operating systems. Project Viewer is Steelray’s flagship software; it is a very cost-effective alternative that can be implemented on an enterprise level. Businesses that use this program save thousands by not having to pay licensing fees for Microsoft Project for each of their employees.
Microsoft Project users can quickly make changes to existing projects, while other team members can simply view updates on the status of the project. Simply put, if this software was not Mac friendly, a vast number of business owners would be put at a major disadvantage. All Steelray products were designed to be user-friendly.
There are a considerable amount of Mac users out there; if you are one of them and if you have project management needs, consider Steelray.
We are happy to announce that the article about Steelray is now live on Techrepublic!
Please visit the link below:
Reviewed by Cindy Zingarello, Steelray Software
Forecast Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2010 2010 by Eric Uyttewaal, PMP, MCITP, Microsoft MPV for Project
At Steelray Software, our mission is to build tools to make better project managers and Eric Uyttewaal’s book Forecast Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2010, Best Practices for Real-World Projects does exactly that.
Too often, a Microsoft Project schedule is created at the start of a project, and once execution begins, is either abandoned or treated as a static timeline. Many project manager are working with “dead” schedules during this phase and do not have an accurate picture of project performance, much less the ability to forecast. Forecast Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2010, by Eric Uyttewaal, teaches project managers how to effectively create, manage and forecast Microsoft Project 2010 schedules. He speaks the language of real world project managers.
Forecast Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2010 will help you answer the 4 big questions every project manager faces daily:
The breakthrough in this book for every project manager is Eric’s concept of forecast scheduling. Using this method with Microsoft Project 2010 will allow you to create a schedule in which you can forecast your project’s end date and total cost through execution phase without additional tools like Earned Value.
By setting up your Microsoft Project 2010 schedule using the principles of forecast scheduling – for example, using deadline dates and minimizing constrained dates, effectively using task dependencies, and always baselining your Microsoft Project schedule (one of the easiest but most underutilized features in Microsoft Project) during the planning phase, you will be able to effectively keep your schedule dynamic through the execution phase and use it to forecast.
The book provides easy to understand definitions and steps, and extensive tools and checklists that, when combined with MS Project 2010, will help project managers move past those static schedules and into forecasting. This book will be useful for anyone managing a project with Microsoft Project 2010.
Steelray Software and Pricewaterhouse Cooper are partnering to provide solutions to Lockheed Martin, a leading Aerospace and Defense contractor. On November 2-4, 2010, Steelray and Pricewaterhouse will present solutions at LM Connect, , Lockheed’s premier solution focused event in Orlando Florida.
Are you using Microsoft Project 2010? You will find that other software companies have not yet made their project Viewers compatible. There is good news and hope, however! Our Steelray Project Viewer version 18.104.22.168 works with the newest version of Microsoft Project. We have spent many months getting ready and are happy to announce that we’ve succeeded where no other company has!
Please see http://www.steelray.com/download.php?prod=spv for your ten-day trial version today!
By Laura Bamberg – Global Sales Administrator
Project managers know resources can be as scarce as dollars. Even when you have enough resources, managing them can be difficult for several reasons, any of which could cause project failure. What are some ways to manage resources to head off failure at the pass?
Consider Strengths & Weaknesses
A construction project manager wouldn’t contract an electrician to do plumbing work. So why would a project manager make a similar mistake? If your sponsor is requiring someone to handle a project area in which you know they will fail, you have to push back.
I’ve recently heard a recurring theme through our various social media outlets. Just because one team member is efficient in one area doesn’t mean you can’t use them in another and expect the same success. But how do you know whether to make that decision? One way is to pay close attention to evaluationsand the team member’s effort for the project duration. Is someone showing an aptitude for something you didn’t expect? If so, put them to work using those skills next time and see what she can do. You might be very pleasantly surprised.
I read a blog post by Simon Buehring regarding project failure that I have to take issue with. This is just my opinion, but Buehring states that you should blame causes when a project fails, not the project team. I can see where this might be valid. If an outside vendor didn’t provide a necessary piece of equipment in time for one of your team members to finish a task on schedule., that’s a cause for failure and not the responsibility of the team member. However, if that team member was simply not doing his or her job, blaming the vendor would be completely wrong.
Buehring wrote “By understanding that your decision to allow your staff to miss a crucial deadline (and not you yourself) caused project failure, you [are] better able to learn the lessons of the failure.” While this is true, it’s worth pointing out that there are still two causes of the failure – the team for not holding itself accountable and the PM for not holding the team accountable.
Pick Software that Fits
There are so many project management software packages out there that it can make your head spin. I recently chatted with one of my LinkedIn PM group members about that this. My advice was to pick one that fits your company’s business goals. This doesn’t have to be complicated, I promise! You want something that’s manageable enough for small project work but expert enough for complicated projects too.
Set Up Task Updates
A good Viewer for Microsoft Project gives you the capability for many things, and one of those is the ability of project team members to update the PM via a task update tab. As long as you set up the notification ability in your project schedule, each member on your team can let you know if a task is going to slip, for example. This makes collaboration a breeze!
Use All Resource Tools in Your Software Package
Resource sheets that show the names of each team member, how much effort they’re putting into your project and how much each hour of their time costs is just one way we can help. The Resource Graph view is a way to make sure you haven’t over-allocated your project team by alerting you with red color in the graph. The Task Usage View shows you every piece of information relevant to each resource, and each task that resource has to complete. If you think your current software can handle this better than we could, give us a try – especially if you don’t use a project management software package at all – and let us know if we’re wrong.
Give Them Room to Vent
When you’re closing out a project, do you look back over the course of it and determine what your strengths and weaknesses as a PM were? Did you have a positive attitude for the duration of a project, even if was difficult at times?
Project resources could end up being one of the biggest constraints on a project. Managing them well is never more critical than when you’re working on a challenging project. The temptation to complain right along with them is great, but they need to see a positive role model in these situations. Give them room to vent – but don’t let it become a habit. Explain to them that all they have to do is change their perspective – a challenge can be an opportunity.
When you’re working on your project schedule and you notice that one of the constraints is that you don’t have enough backups for resources, you can immediately plan for cross-training. One way to do that is through resource slack. If there isn’t someone to fill in for a lost resource, whether that person was taken away to be used on another project, out sick for a time, etc. – your project would be in trouble.
Put Yourself to Work
I once had a boss who said she’d never ask me to do something she had never done herself. I feel pretty confident that it wasn’t true, but it’s a nice sentiment. When things are chaotic and a project is really backed up, do you step in to lend a hand? If not, is it because you think you’re too busy or you just aren’t expected to? Even though it challenges your time table, you might have to put yourself to work to keep your project on schedule.
I hope these suggestions help you when it comes to managing resources. Yes, the strategies you’ve been taught, some of which we’ve included, are useful and can make a positive impact on your project. But we can’t stress to you enough how much the right software makes a difference, and believe us when we tell you that this isn’t just because we sell it! It’s because we believe in what we sell. We are innovative, we are determined to provide the best tools and expertise, and we know that our software can significantly help you with that.
As always, let us know what you think. We value your feedback, even if it’s something you think we don’t want to hear. We design our software according to what you tell us that your needs are, and after speaking with customers about this specific topic for the last several months I can tell you we’ve succeeded. However, we still want to hear what you have to say!
by Brian Leach
Do I want an iPad?
It depends on which of the two voices in my head that I listen to . . .
The voice that says I want one has a pretty simple argument. It says: ”Last week you really wanted a Kindle. This is a Kindle, but with color, web browsing, music, video, and thousands of apps. Surely that’s worth a few hundred dollars more. What’s to think about?”
The other voice is also compelling. It says: ”You carry around a laptop in your backpack. The laptop has all of those things, and you use it to get work done. You also carry around a smartphone which gives you pocket-sized email and web browsing. With your laptop and your smartphone, why in heck would you need this ‘in-between’ thing?”
If you’re only looking for a eReader, it’s still hard to top the Kindle. Spending a few hours reading from the iPad’s backlit LED screen cannot be as nice compared to the Kindle’s paper-like glareless screen.
In a few months, I can see myself in a coffee shop or an airport gate, watching an iPad owner typing on a BlueTooth keyboard, staring at a propped up iPad tethered to a power outlet to preserve the battery. I’ll wonder why they aren’t using a laptop.
If the iPad were a new model of iPhone or iPod we’d all be laughing. If it had a fold-out keyboard and Apple called it a NetBook Mac we’d be similarly unimpressed. If it was only an eReader, it wouldn’t compare well with Kindle.
It’s the perfect companion, however, for the DMV line, the Doctor’s waiting room, the coffee shop, the auto repair shop, or anywhere else where you’re jonesing for today’s newspaper or wishing the TV would be showing something other than John & Kate Plus Eight.
I can certainly see why people who don’t carry around a laptop or a smartphone might be attracted to this strangely named new toy. But what about people like me, power users who live on the early part of the adoption curve? And that’s exactly the conflict. Power users don’t need it. Early adapters must have it.
We’ll see which voice wins . . .
What new features or improvements would you like to see in Steelray Project Analyzer in 2010? We’d really like to hear from you, so let us know by contacting Steelray Support.
Just send your project files to your team and let them open it directly with Steelray Project Viewer. You’ll save time, and they’ll see every major view, just as if they’re viewing it in Microsoft Project.