Project planning at Ultralab – using xTime Project

One of the projects that I work on involves setting up a website in partnership with the Design Council, as part of their work on the Schools’ Renaissance campaign. The website is a form of questionnaire for which we use the ‘Gearbox’ software developed by Nick and Alex at Ultralab.

The online metric project, as it is being called, is a fairly complex beast and for the first time at Ultralab I have started to use a piece of project planning software called xTime Project.

This is a simple project planning tool which allows me to add resources we will use (including people, hardware, software and time for holidays, etc) and cost these into a budget. The software allows me to link events in the project together so that we can see the flow of the work we are doing but more importantly than all of that it integrates nicely with iCal and can be exported to a web server as well.

This means that using iCal I can broadcast the entire project plan as a series of diary events to the Ultralab WebDAV server for anyone else to see and subscribe to. xTime also integrates with Address book so I cn easily add people and resources that way, and it keeps track of the budget for me, showing totals against events (events mean work done by people on the project) and I can even export this financial summary to Excel for the finance admin team to get to grips with.

All in all a cool piece of software, well worth the money ($129 for the standard version, but it is easily worth the $249 for the ‘Pro’ software, which we use), easy to use and very visual in what it does.

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