Alternatives to Microsoft Project?

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Cottle 7 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #162062

    Chris Cairns

    Microsoft Project is definitely the default project management software in government (and in most companies). Bascamp and OmniPlan (for Mac) seem to be popular alternatives.

    What good alternatives are there to Microsoft Project?

  • #162102

    Steve Cottle

    Still getting used to it, but Trello offers a good way to let everyone on a team know what everyone else is working on, assign tasks, create due dates, checklists, etc. It’s a lot more fluid than Project and there are no Gantt charts staring you down. If used wisely, I think it can help avoid some of the issues brought up in this post:

  • #162100

    Chris Cairns

    Good suggestion. I’ve tinkered with it. A lot of folks really like it.

  • #162098

    I’ve used Basecamp for project organization…not sure it’s as Project Management-y as MS Project (i.e. haven’t seen Gantt Charts and such…maybe that’s a feature I just haven’t used yet), but it works fine – solid UI. Another one we explored (but ultimately didn’t use): GanttProject

  • #162096

    Chris Cairns

    I’d definitely categorize Basecamp as a Project Collaboration tool.

  • #162094

    Dustin Haisler

    I’ve used Basecamp (, Bettermeans (, OpenAtrium ( and Manymoon ( in various projects.

  • #162092

    Henry Brown

    About 2007, when I wanted to expand my horizons and the agency I was working for would NOT expend the money required for MS Project(at least for me) I found Open Project which enabled me to get up to speed on electronic project management. Late 2010 the agency let me become officially involved in project management and procured a copy of MS project for me. Still kept a copy of Open Proj on my personal computer and if I wanted to expand my project management skills would open up Open Project and learn how to do it before getting on the government computer and “mucking” up MS Project

  • #162090

    Corey McCarren

    I’m a big fan of Trello since we started using it. I’ve recommended it to a few people and they all seem to really like it.

  • #162088

    Chris Cairns

    Never heard of Bettermans and OpenAtrium. What did you like / dislike about each?

  • #162086

    Steve Ressler

    Mr. Brown –

    You are a gem and I love it!

    Best –


  • #162084

    Chris Cairns

    Never heard of OpenProj, but it looks pretty slick. Thanks.

  • #162082

    Sid Burgess

    I have really enjoyed

    It gives me solid PM support but also doubles as a CRM. It is a nice fit for us.

  • #162080

    Bill Kirst

    I highly recommend the cloud PM solutions over at i-lign – – for portfolio, program, and project management across the enterprise. They are working with many Government entities and customers in NZ and are trying to court other government customers in US and North America markets.

    Tony and his team just get it! They understand the importance and power of how to “use social technology to solve complex problems.” All of us project managers know that a lighter, leaner cloud-first technology would empower us to lead, deliver, delegate, report and collaborate on projects from anywhere in the world. This is where i-lign excels in helping managers work smarter, not harder.

  • #162078

    Stephen Dixon

    I have used OpenProj. I think it is an excellent alternative to MS Proj, especially for all the people in your organization who are not PM’s, but who would benefit from a PM solution. At no cost, it is a no brainer 😉

  • #162076

    Chris Cairns

    Looks interesting, but I ask myself what’s the point of having an integrated PM and CRM solution? I’d rather have a tool that focuses on one thing and does it really well. Of course, I say this without having tried it.

  • #162074

    Chris Cairns

    I’d like to see how it does portfolio management.

  • #162072

    Chris Cairns

    What you say it provides nearly the same functionality as MSFT Project?

  • #162070

    Jeffrey J Kontur

    Corel tried an alternative to MS Project called Timeline. From what I could see, they were quite similar except that in the same way as WordPerfect is a bit more techie than Word, so is Timeline compared to Project. I don’t know if it’s still available.

  • #162068

    Stephen Dixon

    Hi Chris – Yes… nearly. Disclaimer – I am not a power user, so there will be some functions I am not aware of or don’t use. It’s a free download, so very easy to give it a try.

    Highlight Features of OpenProj

    • Project Planning, Resource Scheduling and Management.
    • Easy to use interface, Microsoft Project alike.
    • Gantt Chart, Tracking Gantt Chart, Network Diagram, Resource View, Projects View, WBS Chart, RBS Chart, Report View, Task Usage Detail, Resource Usage Detail, Histogram, Charts, Task Usage and Resource Usage.
    • Supported platforms: Linux, Mac and Windows.
  • #162066

    I believe we need to use the default solution used by government. The issue we need to deal with is members may leave and/or join this team. A new team member can get up to speed much quicker if we maximize the chance he/she is familiar with our deployed tools. Another point…I have an actual customer with whom I am communicating. Chris C. seems to be a veteran GovLooper and has some knowledge of existing tools. Everyone seems to agree we need a cloud based solution. Therefore, I am asking Chris C. to identify a cloud based solution for us to use and report back to us.

    Additionally, we have the following need:
    1. We need a repository to store docs/etc so we can better collaborate. What default platform (e.g. Sharepoint) does the government use? Hopefully, someone knows the URL too.

    Thanks everyone. I appreciate your input and encourage you to always provide it. Please make note as to who the team members are…I am!!! 🙂


  • #162064

    Chris Cairns

    Yes, sir! That’s a good idea. I’ll look into some recommended default(s).

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