[Tool Review] – Tom’s Planner – Making Gantt Charts Pretty

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Are you an Agile Project Manager or Scrum Master Project Manager? Read: Standard Project Manager? Well, if you have a client that still needs Gantt charts to see schedules, look no further. This tool is a really easy gantt chart maker, all on the cloud.

“Tom’s Planner is Gantt chart software that allows anyone to create, collaborate and share Gantt Charts online with drag and drop simplicity. It’s web based, extremely intuitive and easy-to-use.” – Tom’s Planner

[Enter]: Tom’s PlannerReally pretty online gantt chart maker

So why are we reviewing this tool? It’s not exactly a standard Agile tool and many people would say that making a Gantt chart isn’t Agile at all. I would disagree. These type of scheduling charts still have their place in business. So let’s give it a run.

Here is an actual example of a Gantt chart that I built out for a client (in about 20 minutes). It was easy to build, real quick, and I was able to show the client several of the tentative schedules for their Agile projects. As you can see above, for my use, we showed the relative estimates of each project as well as the iteration demo days.

It’s easy to add tasks, change information, add resources, and add the current status.

Each part of a project can be color coded, and filters can be added to see exactly what you want to see.

Many project managers are very familiar with MS Project. If you know anything about how to build out an MS Project plan, this should be a breeze.

A small addition is that you can also add your own personal logo on the GUI. When you print it out, it’ll look nice and clean for presentation.

Tom’s Planner is a very light tool. Not a whole lot of options, but just enough to make it useful right off the bat.

Since it’s free, you are given the ability to create one project, oh and if you want extra options, like exporting it into MS Project, oh wait, now you have to pay. It’s a freemium model!

Options below are slim:

  1. Create new schedule
  2. Open new schedule
  3. Save schedule
  4. My schedules
  5. Share / Collaborate on Schedule
  6. Print
  7. Export to Image
  8. Export to MS Project
  9. Undo changes
  10. Hide legend
  11. Adjust timeline
  12. Show reference date
  13. Add a logo

And… that’s about it!

Tom’s Planner does exactly what it says it does. Easy Gantt chart maker. Share. Collaborate.

It’s pretty alright. May just be what your client needs.

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen ourĀ Agile tools list?]

2 Responses to “[Tool Review] – Tom’s Planner – Making Gantt Charts Pretty”

  1. Thinker Bell :)
    March 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    If you’re an APM or SM working an Agile project, and your customer asks to see pretty Gantt charts, show them your burnup/burndown charts instead, and explain how they directly related to real and accurate project status, as well as reflect the delivery of value.

    If your customer still demands you provide them with the illusion of control via Magical Pixie Dust ridden Gantt charts, you should walk away, really.

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