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Is Microsoft Project better than Primavera? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am giving a presentation on scheduling software next week for a construction company. The two competitors are Microsoft Project 2010 and Primavera Contractor. Personally, I like Project much better. It's easier to use, it's cheaper, and it really produces the same, if not, better results in print form.

    What are some benefits that Project has over Primavera that I can bring up? I would really like to see project utilized. Project Server is not of any importance, nor are any internet or networking capabilities. 

    The company has been using an older version of Primavera for years and they are a bit resistant to change. They seem to have a bad taste in their mouth because Project apparently wasn't such a great program years and years ago (I have no idea, I've only used scheduling software for a few years). They seem to be leaning toward the more expensive, more cumbersome, less user-friendly Primavera. How can I help them see the light?

    Thanks


    Friday, June 8, 2012 6:23 PM

Answers

  • We did an exhaustive schedule tool trade back in 2008 for our largest customer.  The tools that we looked at included MS-Project Server, Primavera, Open Plan, AMS Real Time Projects, the old Scitor tool PS-6, PowerPoint, and Fasttrac.

    Criteria included the ability to be integrated with a relational DB, the ability to generate presentation-quality schedules, the ability to do critical path analysis, and an interface with schedules coming from their development contractors.  Though the Customer wouldn't directly admit it, generating presentation quality schedules is very important (hence, why PowerPoint and Fastrac were on the list), and we weighted it #1 or #2 on their criteria list. 

    Of course, PowerPoint and Fastrac were eliminated since they are not analysis tools. 

    Primavera was eliminated because of (a) per-seat cost and (b) we were unable to get it to generate a presentation-quality summary schedule. 

    OpenPlan and PS-6 have some nice features, but they are also-rans and they have nothing that sets them apart from the pack. 

    AMS Real Time Projects has come a long, long way and actually trumps MS-Project in some regards.  I like it's ability to compute the critical "path to" any task with the click of a tool bar button.  It also has the ability to split the gantt chart into two different timescales (for example, you might want months for the first two years but quarters after that).  Costs for the tool are very competitive and it has a Server version of the tool.  If I was going to do a large project from scratch like build a nuclear power plant and I could pick my tool and team of people, I may very well choose this tool.

    In the end we chose Microsoft Project Server.  Most of our people already know the tool and training to Server was a short leap.  Also, our Customer requires development contractors to deliver their schedules in MS-Project, so interfacing with them is a no-brainer.  Costs are reasonable.  We are able to generate presentation quality schedules that are on par with Fastrac and come close to what you can draw with Visio or PowerPoint.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 1:37 PM

All replies

  • Hi Matt,

    I suggest reading these materials with the main benefits of MS-Project 2010.

    http://www.microsoft.com/project/en-us/project-professional-2010.aspx

    http://www.microsoft.com/project/en-us/project-pro-2010-benefits.aspx

     I hope I have helped


    Hezequias Vasconcelos

    Friday, June 8, 2012 8:20 PM
  • Hi Matt,

    I won't voice an opinion on which is better, as I think its very much down to your specific requirements.

    However, in my view the most painful part of implementing a scheduling tool is the integration with finance systems and the user training/communications. If you're already using Primavera and it's integrated into your finance system, and that integration is working well, then an upgrade to the later version of Primavera may actually be cheaper in the long run. The license costs will be higher for Primavera, but the labour costs for changing over to MS Project, rebuilding the integration, and retraining your users may end up higher in the long run.

    When doing a comparison between the two, make sure you're comparing the total cost of ownership of each, and don't underestimate the investment you'll need to put into integration and training/winning hearts and minds exercise you'd need to put in  to change to a new platform.

    Hope this helps,

    Andrew

    Monday, June 11, 2012 9:03 AM
  • Hi,

    I wonder if you will ever come to a decent comparison. I've tried many times but aal you get from People who use or know Primavera is a mantra: "Project is a toy". Even politely insisting didn't help. "Project is a toy, that is the comparison". Poor marketing!

    Greetings,

    Monday, June 11, 2012 2:13 PM
    Moderator
  • Primavera works better in some niche industries than others, so you need to llok at what your scheduling and project reporting tools need to do. Inegration with finance tool is one, effective reporting is another, working with other contractors and subbies is another and so on. Brainstorm these needs, then evaluate which tool (whole cost of ownership is essential) is likely to work best.

    Bottom line? Each tool has strnghts and weaknesses and each can do things the other can't, so if starting from scratch i would certainly prefer MS Project. Also make sure to compare Primavera 6 with Project Pro plus Project Server.

    Finally, a bad scheduler will create an equally bad schedule with either tool!


    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:22 AM
    Moderator
  • We did an exhaustive schedule tool trade back in 2008 for our largest customer.  The tools that we looked at included MS-Project Server, Primavera, Open Plan, AMS Real Time Projects, the old Scitor tool PS-6, PowerPoint, and Fasttrac.

    Criteria included the ability to be integrated with a relational DB, the ability to generate presentation-quality schedules, the ability to do critical path analysis, and an interface with schedules coming from their development contractors.  Though the Customer wouldn't directly admit it, generating presentation quality schedules is very important (hence, why PowerPoint and Fastrac were on the list), and we weighted it #1 or #2 on their criteria list. 

    Of course, PowerPoint and Fastrac were eliminated since they are not analysis tools. 

    Primavera was eliminated because of (a) per-seat cost and (b) we were unable to get it to generate a presentation-quality summary schedule. 

    OpenPlan and PS-6 have some nice features, but they are also-rans and they have nothing that sets them apart from the pack. 

    AMS Real Time Projects has come a long, long way and actually trumps MS-Project in some regards.  I like it's ability to compute the critical "path to" any task with the click of a tool bar button.  It also has the ability to split the gantt chart into two different timescales (for example, you might want months for the first two years but quarters after that).  Costs for the tool are very competitive and it has a Server version of the tool.  If I was going to do a large project from scratch like build a nuclear power plant and I could pick my tool and team of people, I may very well choose this tool.

    In the end we chose Microsoft Project Server.  Most of our people already know the tool and training to Server was a short leap.  Also, our Customer requires development contractors to deliver their schedules in MS-Project, so interfacing with them is a no-brainer.  Costs are reasonable.  We are able to generate presentation quality schedules that are on par with Fastrac and come close to what you can draw with Visio or PowerPoint.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 1:37 PM