EASE Project Management System
EASE Project Management System Features
Schedule Work Breakdown Structure (SWBS) - Ten level hierarchical Lettering/Numbering system clearly establishes the relationships among tasks and task groups. Vastly superior to task indenting used by other systems. Summary level tasks represent the total span of subordinates with best and worst case progress. No need for so-called "hammock" tasks. The system (2000 task system w/resources) allows tasks to be assigned to Cost Work Breakdown Structure (CWBS) which is a hierarchical arrangement of cost categories typically represented in the form 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 2, ... Displays can be alternately based on SWBS or CWBS as the user chooses.
Resources (the 2000 Task Version w/resources) include labor assigned on an hourly basis and materials set as a quantity needed at the start of a task.
Task Group Cloning - Much more effective and easier to use than Templates. Copy a task group from within a project or from another project and globally reset SWBS codes to fit the new group. This is an important feature for the many organizations which manage repetitive projects. Often, a new task group just requires a quick cloning and setting an anchor date.
Critical Path Method Network Computation - Maintains dynamic link lists for fast operation. Tells you when changes make re-compute appropriate but allows you to make additional changes before re-computing. Use 5, 6 or 7 day weeks with/without holidays. Computes start, end, critical dates, slack etc. Detects and specifies network loops, and other data errors.
Task Specification - Flexible specification (Start & End Dates, Start date & Span, Start Interface(s) & span, etc.). Delays, multiple interfaces, etc. All periods can include decimal part days (10, .25, 1.5, 6.125, etc.). Critical Completion date can be assigned to any number of tasks and resulting critical end dates will be calculated for all predecessor tasks. WBS Summary Level tasks are automatically computed. Milestones are set on a specific date. Rubber tasks use an interface to other tasks for start and/or end (One may be set on a date.).
Task Interfaces - Specify percent of predecessor task required and optional delay in days (including decimal part days).
Data Entry - Dialogs and graphical entry. Many options and conveniences. Non-modal dialog can be continuously available while any of the displays is up. Click on a task and it is ready for data entry. Innumerable intuitive conveniences built in. Global text editing, SWBS reordering, Task group deletion, in addition to task group cloning and graphical update on a Gantt chart.
Calendars - You can choose a 5, 6, or 7 day week. You can exclude holidays which are listed in a simple .txt file which you designate under project preferences. A holiday file is provided. You can update it in NotePad.
Four different Gantt Chart Approaches: each has its own preference dialog with many options.
Detail Gantt - Innumerable options: task select and sort, calendar length/start, interface graphics, critical dates, progress, summary tasks shown with/without task lines, changeable colors of features, tasks per screen, baseline tasks from another project, status line, text start/end dates ... in this example, all tasks are shown. Summary activities are pink. Detail tasks are blue. Progress lines are green - best and worst for summary activities. Dark blue vertical lines show interfaces the red end caps indicate computed critical dates. The red triangle on A4B is an assigned critical date. The red vertical line is the as of (status) date (Project is 3 months behind schedule.).
Summary Level Gantt - Options: task select, summary level, calendar, higher level task lines shown, baseline, status line, tasks per screen, progress as best/worst, text start/end dates ... In this example, a level 2 summary is shown.
Variable Level Summary Gantt - Vary the summary level to display detail in some areas while summarizing adjacent areas. Options similar to Summary Level Gantt. Summary WBSs are preceded by a - if they are expanded or a + if they are contracted. Clicking on the + or - will expand or contract the task groups. In this example, A2 and A4 task series are summarized while the A1 tasks are all shown. (A3 is a detail level task.)
Graphics Data Editing on Gantt - All tasks are shown in SWBS order. Mouse can be used to change start/end dates, assigned critical dates, spans, and progress. Mouse position readout as date or days as applicable. Dialogs available to make interface and string changes. Not printed.
Network Diagram - Tasks are positioned by start date (horizontally) and slack (vertically) to make task interfaces easier to follow. Select display scale, task group, and maximum slack.
Reports - There are a wide variety of schedule and resource charts provided.
Printing- Except for the Graphics Data Editing Gantt, the current display can be printed. Most of the choices are borrowed from the current on screen display. Gantt charts can be printed multiple pages in width. The Network Diagram is drawn left to right and normally occupies multiple pages horizontally and a single page vertically. Reports are printed or saved as text files. Printer selection dialog includes a Preference button making printer changes (portrait/landscape, for example) available.
Help Files - An extensive Help file is accessed from the Menu|Help. It includes a Getting Started tutorial and an extensive table of contents. This same file is opened at context sensitive topics by striking F1 while using the software.
Note: If the acronym WBS is used, it refers to the Schedule WBS (SWBS).