My brother works as a service engineer in a company involved in electrification projects. He has seen a company using project management software handling the projects and wanted to do the same in his company. So, we spent time on searching free alternatives to MS Project and found these interesting alternatives, which have the same functionality as MS Project.
What is MS Project?
MS Project or any Project Management Software will help the project managers to create plans, assign resources to tasks, track the progress of the work, and manage budges and workloads. The following is the description taken from Wikipedia:
“Project creates budgets based on assignment work and resource rates. As resources are assigned to tasks and assignment work estimated, the program calculates the cost equals the work times the rate, which rolls up to the task level and then to any summary tasks and finally to the project level. Resource definitions (people, equipment and materials) can be shared between projects using a shared resource pool. Each resource can have its own calendar, which defines what days and shifts a resource is available. Resource rates are used to calculate resource assignment costs which are rolled up and summarized at the resource level. Each resource can be assigned to multiple tasks in multiple plans and each task can be assigned multiple resources, and the application schedules task work based on the resource availability as defined in the resource calendars. All resources can be defined in an enterprise-wide resource pool.”
Below are the three alternatives I found.
OpenProj: OpenProj is a free open-source project management solution. This is the first one I found and even I read some blog posts stating that small companies are using this software successfully as an alternative to MS Project. OpenProj is available in Windows, Mac, and Linux versions. Site also says that OpenProj has been translated into French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Galician, Persian, Russian, Korean and Chinese. Even, my brother selected this for his projects. It is just 6 MB approximately.
Open Workbench: It is also an open source free software available for only Windows. Site states that one lakh project managers are successfully using it in their project managements and it is powerful alternative to Microsoft Project. Download count on their homepage also showing nearly 2,000,000 downloads.
KPlato: It is a Linux alternative for MS Project available as a component in KOffice. It only works on Linux distributions. It is still in development and bugs persist. It takes some time for it to evolve into fully functional project management software.