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Planzone V2: the collaborative project management software

By stephane.carrez

Augeo Software has released a new version of Planzone, the Collaborative Project Management Software. The new interface design makes your life easier by providing a better workflow, a fresh and modern design, and several major improvements in the project scheduling.

Collaborative Workspace

First of all, Planzone is a collaborative workspace designed for non-techies. No need to be an expert to manage your project!

Each collaborative workspace is organized arround a project which is shared by several members. The workspace contains an area to manage simple todos lists, another area to share files and write online documentation, a discussion area and last but not least a project schedule area to plan and track the progress.

Todos

Beginners will start by using todos only. This is the easiest item to manage. In that manner, Planzone is very close to Basecamp. Planzone V2 brings several improvements on the todo area. First the design clearly shows what the todo is, the fact that it now has a shape makes you feel you can move and do something with it.

Second, project todos can now be grouped by date, priority and team member. Before a meeting, a project manager can group by team member, print the sheet and discuss with the team with a clear vision of tasks assigned to each other.

When the number of todos increases, it's easy to create a todo list (called activity in Planzone).

Planzone V2 todos

File and online documentation

While the project evolves, team members will share files in the document storage area. You can upload and share any type of file and there is no real limit for the file size (you are limited by the license).

In Planzone V2, the file and online documentation are now grouped under the same area: Documentation.

Planzone V2 documents

The online documentation is provided through a simple Wiki. Don't expect to write complex documents such as those you can write with Microsoft Words. Wikis are intended to be fast and efficient to write simple text, with sections, bullet lists and minimal formatting. Two editors are provided, a visual editor which allows you to write documentation without knowing the wiki language, and a text editor which is rather basic but more powerful if you know some wiki markers and best if you know some CSS (here, it's for expert!).

Planzone V2 wiki

Discussion

The discussion area provides a central point where team members will share comments on the project and the work to do. Discussions and comments are associated with the project , activities, todos, milestones and documents (comments on wiki will come shortly). The major change in Planzone V2 is the ability to see in one place all the comments related to the project.

Planzone V2 discussion

Project Scheduling

When the project grows or is complex, the project manager has to plan and split the work in several activities. Activities are scheduled over time, they can contain todos as well as milestones (A next version will allow to attached documents). The project schedule area is dedicated to this work.

The project scheduling contains many improvements that help the project manager. First, the resource assignments are now made exclusively from the project schedule page. It becomes easier to manage activity assignments and resource allocations. You expand or collapse the activity assignments and you can add, remove or change the resources while having the project schedule in front of you. This is a major improvement which makes the scheduling area a killer feature.

Planzone V2 schedule

On the project resource usage side, the timeline displays the consolidated remaining work for each resource and the expand collapse of each resource makes this part quite neat and easy to use.

Try Planzone

Planzone offers a free version of the service. Of course the free version is limited but you can still manage complex projects with small teams (5 persons). Prices range from 9.90EUR/month for the individual license to 69.90EUR/month for the business license.

Give it a try and leave me some comments. Signup for a free Planzone.

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Why Planzone? Interview : Bob, IT Executive at Audioprox

By stephane.carrez

Audioprox is a national group of hearing aid specialists with a network of hearing solutions centers. They manage a team of 6 specialists who often collaborate on transverse projects : laboratory network development, IT network management, staff management, accounting, supplier relations, central-buying service management, or marketing. Audioprox is using the Online Project Management Service Planzone to manage projects requiring a perfect synchronization between the staff.

Read the full Interview : Bob, IT Executive at Audioprox to learn more and try yourself Planzone!

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New price list for Planzone service

By stephane.carrez

The new price list is available at Planzone Pricing Subscription Plans

You can now get a discount if you subscribe for one year instead of one month!

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Présentation de l'interface utilisateur Planzone

By stephane.carrez 2 comments

Pour ceux qui souhaitent avoir un apercu de Planzone avant de s'enregistrer, une video est disponible: Présentation de l'interface utilisateur Planzone

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Planzone - A workspace for getting things done

By stephane.carrez 2 comments

Project management is entering a new epoch. The long standing supremacy of Project management a la Microsoft Project has gone. In this antic model, the project manager is alone to work on his single Microsoft Project plan. Of course he discuss with his team, ellaborate plans with the management but he rarely share his project file with the team. The reason is that Microsoft Project' is not shareable. It is not designed for collaboration and only one person can work on the project definition at a time.

Nowadays you are expecting more collaboration when you use an application. You see this with a number applications that Google develops such as the calendar, the document writer, the spreadsheet. In these application the same document can be changed, displayed by several users. The technology is here to do this. With the establishing of Web 2.0, it's not only a matter of technology but a matter of individuals who are willing to share what they do. The project management has to catch this Web 2.0 wave.

With Planzone the project management is jumping on the Web 2.0 wave by providing a space, called a Planzone, where a project is organized and grows. The project is not a matter of an individual (like in Microsoft Project) but rather a collaborative work of all the team. The project manager organizes and drives the project as usual but team members and partners can share information on the project , modify it and exchange information, documents, ideas, tasks with each other. This is true Web 2.0 not only by the technology (it's full of AJAX stuff), but also by the social engineering nature that it creates.

Within a Planzone you can invite users who will work, are interested in or must be informed by your projects. You create your projects, build your team by inviting those users and assign them tasks. A document storage space allows to share documents on the projects. It can be used to save deliverables associated with the project. The project wiki space can be used to write online documentation.

The Planzone is at the beginning and many functionalities will be added like mail notifications, calendars, activity scheduling, budget management and others.

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