I depend on MindManager to aggregate and manage project information from many sources into a “dashboard”. It’s also a great planning tool providing rich, but simple to edit, task, process and resource information. For me a project, of any type, generally starts with a MindManager Map.
The downside is, for most people, in our business one expected project plan deliverable is a Gantt Chart. I actually despise the mythical linear view of projects promoted by Gantt Charts. It’s so far from the “churn” of my project reality as to be nearly useless as a reference. That’s why I prefer maps with their relational, hierarchical, but not linear presentation. Before today I’ve used the “Export to MPX/Project” feature in MindManager to satisfy the demand for a Gantt Views. Sometimes I tweak the results but the downside is it’s an export so any changes in Project do not update the source map.
One add-on I’ve tested, and seriously considered buying, in the past is JCVGantt. It was, yes was, a 3rd party application which offered powerful project planning tools – including Gantt Charts, Resource Allocation and Costing – with a bi-directional link to MindManager. The only reason I didn’t get it was cost and I had little need to maintain, as opposed to create, this sort of project planning.
That has changed so I was pleasantly surprised, actually shocked, to see an announcement that "Mindjet have acquired JCVGantt" appear in my feed-reader today. JCVGantt was always a seriously good product and there are currently some great add-on, bundle and upgrade deals on offer from Mindjet. If you want to try it first, like MindManager, there is a free trial but I won’t need it. They just sold a copy to me…
Above is my first attempt after installing JCVGantt. I’d seen the web demo and read the first 2 pages of the “5 Minute Quick Start”, which showed how to sync a branch in MindManager to JCVGantt, then just leapt in. Whether you edit the Map or JCVGantt/Project views changes are sync’ed to the other application. Adding task info, dependencies, resources, costs in JCVGantt views would be familiar to anyone using “that other Project software”. In fact I think it’s easier and more powerful for the average user. Then you have the added delight of having all that data in a Map view which can be edited knowing the “Project” is being updated as you do it.
I’ve still got a lot to learn in JCVGantt but so far I’m impressed. Who knows, I might even get to like Gantt charts…
MindManager Pro 7 with Mindjet JCVGantt for Visualizing and Managing Information
Provides effective project time management, helping executives, project managers and event organizers improve the accuracy of their time and cost estimating while decreasing the time it takes to plan a new project.
- Quickly calculates the total project cost
- Instantly identifies the project’s critical path
- Create charts in minutes with drag-and-drop GanttParts™, designed to let you think through a project schedule once, and then use it again.
- Easily assign the same resources to multiple projects.
- Full ink support enables hand-written projects on Tablet PCs
- Instantly synchronizes data in both the JCVGantt and MindManager for increased productivity throughout the full project life cycle from business analysis, gathering requirements, planning and execution