Over the past 18 months or so I, along with another project management colleague Aaron Hudson have been developing what we would want to see in project management software, which we have called Grapple. We have recently launched our Alpha prototype, which is free to use, for now.
As readers of my blog, I thought I would give you the opportunity to be among the first to trial it.
I would also like to introduce you to some of Grapple’s key features and encourage you to give it a try and share your thoughts on what you like and don’t like. It would really help us out to determine which features in our long list of planned features we should prioritise.
The idea for Grapple came to me out of frustration when planing a new project. I was frustrated that I had to plan a project schedule using MS Project, plan the budget and cash-flow using Excel and document the project plan using MS word!
Once all that was documented, I then had the god awful task of trying to get it all formally approved, by that I mean, get all the key stakeholders to sign the Project Management Plan. Those that have experienced this before, understand this painful process I am sure.
I thought it would be great if all these was in one place, one document. I started looking into other project management software that I could use to solve this pain, but it didn’t exist, at least no to my satisfaction.
So Aaron and I started building this thing ourselves.
The idea behind Grapple is to allow the project manager to plan and document a project in one place. That is, plan both the dynamic documents (spreadsheets, Gantt Charts etc) and the static documents (Charter, PMP, etc) then manage the project to completion, all in the one tool.
There are hundreds of what I call transactional management tools, like task managers and document storage, but nothing the integrates it all into the once place, that is what Grapple offers.
Cloud Project Management Software
Grapple is hosted in the cloud on secure remote servers, this means you will have access to Grapple 24/7 no matter whether you are at your desk or in the field. All you need is an internet connection.
Create A Project Charter Using The Project Canvas
Using the Project Canvas, is a simple and efficient way to capture the key project information and requirements, while all the key stakeholder are in the room together. This is great for collaboration and saves on the duplication of effort. The Canvas automatically converts into a Project Charter with the click of a button.
Once the Project Charter has been created, it can quickly be e-mailed, in a nicely styled PDF document only to those stakeholders that hold the authority to approve the project. Once they review and accept the PDF Charter, they can electronically approve the Charter at the click of a button, without needing to login to Grapple.
These approvals are logged and once all required approvals are registered, the project dashboard automatically updates with the key project data, such as, Milestones, Risks etc.
Alignment To International Best Practices & Standards
We have built Grapple to be aligned with the recently released International Standard ISO:21500 and the leading project management framework in the world, PMBoK version 5. Just by using Grapple and with no extra effort, you will be following international best practice project management.
Much More To Come
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are busy planning the next phase of Grapple and would love your feedback. Please give grapple a try for free and let us know what you think. Tell us what you like, what you don’t like and what you would like to see. Your feedback will help us prioritise the feature list.