Project KickStart Pro 5 New Features

New features are frequently the best customer's suggestions, and Pro 5 is no exception in that regard. But, one difference in this release is we focused on increasing efficiency given the tough economic environment for everyone.

First, the most obvious feature upon opening Project KickStart Pro 5 is the user interface changes. Second, when you run a report, you'll hopefully like the quick access to project dashboards, task and Gantt reports. Customers also wanted a bit more control over PKS so we've added five preferences and I'm sure we'll be adding more.

Finally, two convenience features were implemented. You can now import contacts via a text file import utility and we've created project templates that are more pro than ever before. Also, don't forget our earlier enhancements in version 4.0 earlier this year (read more).


Pro 5 features are detailed below.


Dashboards & Reports | Merging Multiple Projects | Enhanced Gantt Charts | Sharing and Collaboration | User Interface |Preferences | Import Contacts |Templates | Vista Compatibility | Windows 7 Compatibility | Windows 8 Compatibility

Dashboards & Reports

We've introduced a project dashboard so customers can quickly assess what is Due Today, Next Week, or Next Month. The new report interface provides easy access to project data to keep everyone associated with the project up to date and on the same page.

Merging Multiple Projects

Project KickStart Pro 5 has added flexibility in allowing you to merge a subproject within a master project. It is very powerful and very easy to use. Just go to the Task List or Gantt chart, where you want to merge, then go up to the menus and select File / Merge. All the tasks of the project with all their information will be merged. You are able to think in chunks, and you get an overview over the entire project or projects.

Enhanced Gantt Charts (with Dependencies)

To make scheduling easy and quick, the Gantt chart still opens in a starter schedule for new projects by setting today as the start date and assigning a one-day duration to each task. Now, you have the flexibility of setting task dependencies task by task,instead of having them auto-assigned. (You can still auto-assign task dependencies, if you want to, with the new Options Dialog.)

Sharing and Collaboration

Collaborate and share projects, reports and dashboards with colleagues and management to discuss and share progress and encourage participation. Project KickStart is a project management and collaboration tool that you can immediately set up. Work with your team, clients and contractors. Email reports and dashboards. Real time collaboration through the optional GoToMeeting addon.

User Interface

A large part of the user experience is the look and feel of a product, and the ease of use. A cornerstone of Project KickStart from day one was making an easy-to-use software product and customers tell us we've really succeeded on that front. For the user interface in Pro 5 we've revamped the look and feel to make it more contemporary looking, and we've implemented common user interface practices that we hope will make you even more efficient, and make your projects more successful.

Preferences

Customers can set the program font size and color to their liking. Allowing customers to choose their default directories for projects, templates and contacts will save time and increase efficiency, especially in a multi-user environment. Customers can also choose to automatically set dependencies as a project default.


Import Contacts

Project KickStart Pro 5 has added flexibility in getting your contacts and resources into the application. The ability to import your coworkers, partners, or other resources from a comma separated value (CSV) means less time copy and pasting or inputting those resources manually and more time accomplishing your project goals.

Templates

We've included over ten new templates with Project KickStart Pro 5 which can serve as a model to help you build your own projects, or you can customize them to suit your own needs.

Project KickStart Pro 4 Key Features

Project KickStart Pro 4 (03/08 release) provides powerful task dependency tracking. In a nutshell, the Pro 4 version automatically updates your entire project timeline to account for any date or timing changes in related tasks.

You'll come to rely and know the power of a task dependency Gantt chart the very first time your project changes - and your plan adjusts before your eyes. Well designed, and well worth your money.


Advanced Gantt Chart Dependencies | Enhanced Gantt Chart Functionality | Flexible Project Options | Document Management | Project Reporting | Flexible User Control | Import/Exports | Microsoft Vista Compatibility (V3 and earlier versions do not work on Vista)

Dependencies in your Gantt Charts

1. Project KickStart Pro now includes dependencies on the Gantt chart to make complex project scheduling easy and straightforward.

2. Use dependencies to handle scheduling demands, delays, and surprises without modifying every task in your project. Dependencies let you make adjustments as events change, giving you a more robust schedule and the opportunity to conduct what-if analysis.

3. Although dependencies meet your advanced scheduling needs, the Project KickStart Pro approach to dependencies keeps them as simple as possible. Project KickStart Pro does not burden you with complicated error messages and various types of dependencies. It provides only one type of dependency, finish-to-start, which is the most common type. This means you can fine-tune your schedule as soon as you open the Gantt chart—without having to learn technical terms or advanced project management techniques.

Enhanced Gantt Charts (with Dependencies)

We heard our customers loud and clear that Gantt Charts needed more flexibility to mirror the complexity and needs of their projects:

1. To make scheduling easy and quick, the Gantt chart opens in a starter schedule for new projects by setting today as the start date and assigning a one-day duration to each task. This creates a waterfall or cascade pattern, with one task following the other. To adjust the schedule to fit your project, you can move task bars around as well as change their start dates, finish dates, and durations. Also, you can change the project "start date" to change all the dates in the project.

2. Phases which contain tasks are represented by summary bars that "contain" their tasks.

3. You can set % done in a special column, which display in the the task bars.

4. You can set milestones (the task bar turns into a diamond-shape) by setting the task duration = 0.

5. You can change the color of task bars for emphasis.

Flexible Project Options

The Planning Wizard has been streamlined from earlier versions, with the following added features:

  • The Task List view includes cost and % done columns.
  • A new Task List toolbar makes adding new tasks, subtasks and notes clearer.
  • A Task Information dialog allows for easy editing on the Task List and Gantt chart.

Document Management

Project KickStart has its own Document Management system built into Task Notes. Now you can attach a document, graphic, or any other type of file related to a task. For example, to a task such as "Review proposal," you can attach the proposal document. You can also attach a hyperlink to a page on a web site.

Project Reporting

  • Print three styles of Gantt chart reports (wall chart, scale-to-smallest scale, and repeat tasks on every page).
  • You can use the Report Wizard to select the data to print (date range and completed vs uncompleted tasks), see print previews of the Gantt charts, and specify Headers and Footers of Gantt reports.
  • Learn more about our insightful reports here

Flexible User Control

  • Speed your projects with Undo button and right mouse enabled.
  • Modernized user interface.
  • Weekends are shown as non-working days.
  • Set holidays or other days as non-working days.

Improved Imports/Exports

Project KickStart 4's exports (which were called "links" in Ver 3) have been substantially enhanced, including exports to Microsoft Office 2007:

1. Word export saves in Word doc format

2. Excel export saves in Excel workbook format

3. Power Point export lets you chose a design template, provides clearer information, and lets you include the Gantt chart in your presentation.

4. Outlook Export lets you:

  • Export your tasks onto the calendar as a reminder on the due date
  • Improve the Task View in Outlook
  • Preserve the original order of your tasks within any project

The Import from Outlook to the People Library has also been improved:

  • On Import, you can see the company name as well as the person's name, to help you identify which contacts to import.
  • Imports contact information into an address book in the People Library , showing Company name, phone number, email, etc.
  • Also lets you import contacts from the Outlook Business Contact Manager

Learn more about Microsoft Office and Project exports here

 

5. ACT! 7 and later (2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010) are now supported with an enhanced Export and Import.

  • The Export puts tasks on the ACT! calendar as timeless to avoid clogging up your calendar view
  • The Export is smart enough to be able to update your existing tasks from the same project
  • It preserves the task history (task cleared, notes, etc.) in ACT!.
  • It updates the latest task status and assignments (rather than overwrite all the tasks in ACT!)
  • You can create ACT! assignments right from Project KickStart.
  • The Import from ACT! 7 and later to the People Library has also been improved:
  • And it displays the company name as well as the person's name to help you identify which contacts or users to import.

Learn more about the ACT! export and import here

 

6. The new MindManager 8 export/import lets you easily export to MindManager. MindManager instantly displays a visual map of the tasks in Project KickStart. You can see the project structure, including the phases, tasks, percent done, costs, and notes. Or, you can develop a rough plan in MindManager, and export your mind map to Project KickStart for detailed planning. It goes both ways!


Learn more about the MindManager export here

System Requirements

  • Windows Me / NT / 2000 / XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10
  • 128 MB RAM, 30MB free disk space
  • Project KickStart may be installed on a network

There's no substitute for taking a test drive - download our Free trial here.

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