Team Collaboration

When working on a team project, some users expect the app to provide more team collaboration capabilities than just sharing project files among team members. For example, the following requirements:

And they also think that preceding requirements are very natural today, and its corresponding costs should be very low or even free, also as Apple Number does.

In fact, because of the complexity of the relationships between project tasks, collaboration on project plans is complex, and many collaboration expectations are not possible. Even when some collaboration features are feasible, their use is inconvenient and their costs far exceed expectations.

Real-time collaboration

The tasks in project schedule have more close relationships, such as parent-child relationship and task link relationship, and some task properties depend on the project properties, for example, task work, task cost impact by project resource and project calendar.

Whether we can change part of the project depends on other parts of the project, and changing one part of the project schedule will impact other parts. There is no way to support to edit the project at the same time by multiple users(it’s possible to modify the same project by multiple users, but not at same time) or one user to edit a project plan on multiple devices at the same time, as it will cause severe logic problems. Following are some cases which will cause logic problems when operating on two devices at the same time:

Logically, real-time project schedule is impossible as there are tight relationships between tasks and project properties in a project schedule

Collaboration based on file locking mechnism

Ok, since real-time collaboration can lead to unpredictable logic problems, we can also accept scenarios where only one user is allowed to make changes to a project at the same point in time. Yes, my request is just that all the users can edit the same project, but no the need to edit at same time

Yes, this is possible - we need a server to coordinate it, by locking / unlocking the project file, to make sure only one user is editing the file.

If you need the service provided by a vender:

QuickPlan is a document-based application; the users own the project files (with .qpp file extension) created by themselves. The users will make the decision where to store the documents – by default on the device, or on the removable disk, iCloud Drive, Dropbox.

So the users own the decision and the risks for the security, safety, and cost if they need team collaboration. There are some optional solutions for team collaboration based on files, you will have full control of the project file security and safety.

Of cause, as the apps on the macOS has direct access to the project files, if using one preceding solution, you will find that working on Mac will be more convinient than on the iOS devices

Share project files with team members

Oh!, security, safety and cost. My projects are sensitive and important. So how about just a way to share projects with other team members?

You have it on hand. A project is stored as a .qpp file, sharing the project is to share a .qpp file.

Usually, to share files across iOS and macOS devices, the cloud storage services are the suitable solution, For example using Dropbox which provides the apps for various platforms with comfortable access support.

For the enterprise, security is a critical point for choosing a solution. Public cloud storage may not be in the considerations; MS SharePoint server may be the suitable solution to share files inner the enterprise with easy access and permission control (your enterprice may has other suitable file sharing solution).

If the solution provides access control, it's possible to allow the other team members to edit the project - you can just grant write permission to another team member, after changed, change the permission to read only again.(make sure only one user can edit the file)

So other team members need to use QuickPlan to open the .qpp file. Actually I just want to share the project content to the team members

Please just export project as PDF file, and to share the pdf file.

The possible straight-forward requirements

An..., what exactly I want is to get task status input from the team members

QuickPlan Slack BOT, a FREE macOS app, which provides a CHEAP solution to help a team to communicate the project plan via Slack Service(a platform for team work). You can just treat the BOT app as your project assistant, other team members can chat (via Slack) with the BOT to update their task status

The practice is that – one project member (usually the project manager) owns to maintain the project schedule, other project members provide INPUT of the project schedule, but other project member does not take responsibility to edit the project schedule.

Give an example, for a new task, the project manager will need the input for the estimate from some of other project members. The project file editing work can be done by the project manager or by an assistant, and it will not be a good choice to ask other project members to edit the project schedule – other project members just provide input (for example the estimate information in a excel file if needed).

If, I do need collaboration support for the project schedule with team members

Please think of this as a big deal! We have some suggestions:

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