Comparing Open Workbench and Microsoft Project
Differences Between Products
||Schedules based on Duration, which is defined as Effort ÷ Availability. Changes can be made without all the information surrounding resources changing.
||Schedules based on Work, which is defined as Duration x Units. Microsoft Project attempts to satisfy this equation at all levels of detail. Any updated value automatically changes another, while the third value is maintained.|
||The schedule will move only when the Auto Schedule functionality is run, allowing for completely manual scheduling if desired.
||The schedule will move dynamically as new information is introduced. No true manual scheduling available.|
|Creating Inter-Project Dependencies
||The user can browse the project WBS and create dependencies with other projects.
||The user must open the project, temporarily combine it with the other project, then create the dependency.|
|Baseline Business Rules
||Baseline information is validated through business rules. For example, baseline finish must be after baseline start, daily baseline work must add up to total baseline work.
||No business rules to validate baselines.|
||Supports deploying standard views of information to Open Workbench clients. Shared views do not overwrite the user’s personal views.
||Standard views overwrite personal views.|
||Supports scheduling work on holidays.
||Does not support scheduling work on holidays. |
|“Actuals Through” Date Tracking
||For each resource, the date through which actuals are posted is tracked. All remaining work for that resource is scheduled after that date, so it is not possible to schedule remaining work for a resource to occur in the past.
||The date is not tracked at the resource level, so it is possible to schedule remaining work in the past.|
||Front contour schedules work to complete as soon as possible. Back contour schedules work to complete as late as possible.
||Front is a triangular distribution starting high and decreasing linearly over time based on manual entry.|
|Role or Resource Replacement
||When a role or resource is replaced, the work estimates are maintained.
||When a role or resource is replaced, the units are set to 100% by default which may affect work estimates.|
||Activated manually. Critical Path or top-down driven. Resource constraints can be included or excluded.
||User selected option for either automatic or manual calculation. Dependency or top-down driven.|
|Accessing Multiple Project Plans
||Master plans may be created ad-hoc or predefined. Opening a master plan automatically opens subordinate plans. Resources can be assigned in subprojects and are recognized across projects.
||Each individual plan must be opened prior to opening the master plan. All resources are included from each plan, often resulting in duplicates.|
|Project-Specific Resource Information
||Allocations are supported at the project level, so even if projects are combined into a master project, allocations are properly resolved.
||Must use a shared list of resources for master/sub projects. All resource attributes are global within the master/sub set, including for example availability and billing rates.|
Features Common to Both Products
Managing Tasks and Schedules
Work Breakdown Structures can have as many levels as needed.
Dependencies can be created between tasks within a project.
Inter-project dependencies can be created between projects.
Master–subproject relationships are supported. Information flows upward and downward.
Information is rolled up from the task level to the project level, as well as consolidated across multiple projects.
Project baseline settings can be established and reset.
Status on every task can be updated manually.
Critical path is identified.
Key tasks and milestones are identified and displayed.
Progress of the project is tracked through several methods:
ETC (estimates to complete)
Task Status and % complete
A resource can be a person, a group of people, material or equipment.
Resources can have variable “% availability.”
Resources assignment can easily be replaced if necessary while maintaining work estimates.
Customizable views can be created to reflect individual management styles.
Gantt Chart, CPM and spreadsheet-style views are supported.
Reporting and Analysis
Calculated fields are provided to analyze status, such as:
Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled
Budgeted Cost of Work Performed
Actual Cost of Work Performed
Estimate at Completion
Variance Analysis (schedule, cost, at completion)
Performance Indices (schedule, cost, schedule variance)
% Complete Indices (BCWP, BCWS, ACWP)