Metrics Collection Tools

ProjectLibre

All the main features you could expect from a Gantt charting tool, including task specification (fixed units, duration, work; effort driven; priority), task scheduling (e.g. alap, asap); custom calendars; resource allocation to tasks and resource load visualization.

It generates various types of reports, including Earned Value Analysis and PDF reports.

Interface and interaction might be nicer, at least on OSX. Java availability is another potential issue for OSX users, although the application also ships with an embedded Java runtime.
The releasing of new versions has slowed down: only one release in 2014, while six versions were released in 2013.

OpenProj

The project from which ProjectLibre forked. The last version released is 1.4 (2008) and requires Java 6.

The version available for download is functional, but ProjectLibre provides a superior alternative, since it has fixed various bugs and it provides some new functions.

GanttProject

If you plan by duration rather than effort, this tool is for you.

The tools allows one to define the schedule, allocating resources to tasks and computing tasks and project costs, based on resources’ effort and cost. A resource load view allows to analyze the current load of resources. Among the limitations, tasks can be scheduled only by duration (and not by effort).
Java-based, the interaction is quite nice; tasks can be assigned colors and patterns (something I use, to make the plan more readable). A nice overview highlights the main activities/milestones in a given period. Exporting features make the plan available in different formats.
Make sure you set “Link Hardness” as “Rubber” in the preferences, otherwise GanttProject will enforce zero slack between linked activities.
Newer versions of the tool support also baselining and comparison among different versions of the same plan.

TaskJuggler

Based on a fascinating concept, namely, using a human-readable text format to specify a plan. This is not the ordinary way in which plans are built, but it has various advantages, among which versionability and a format which is easier to keep over time. It used to have a GUI interface on linux systems, which, however, was not updated to match changes in the file syntax.

TaskJuggler has a powerful scheduler and can be used to generate a plan out of the specification of your constraints (tasks, dependencies, resources).
Building a plan with the tool can be a pain, if you are used to GUIs. Tracking progress of complex plans is also difficult, because of the textual description.

Open WorkBench

Open Workbench is a desktop application for project management and scheduling in which you can define a work breakdown structure, set dependencies and resource constraints, assign resources to tasks, auto schedule and then monitor progress.

Computer Associates distributes the free version with no technical support. A paid-for version is made available with Clarity PPM.
An older version (1.1.4) is still available fro SourceForge.

Planner

Last news from Christmas 2011, when it released version 0.14.6.

With a clean interface, the tools allows to build a Gantt chart, allocating resources and scheduling with fixed duration or fixed effort.
The tool offers also a resource load view, but it has no features to monitor plan execution (that is, it does not support baselines and baseline comparison).
Importing MS-Project XML files is not completely functional, as dependencies and resource allocations seem to be lost.

Post a comment