Team Collaboration

QuickPlan supports team collaboration via iCloud Drive. Please check out the details.

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

Moreover, we may think that the above requirements are very natural today, and the corresponding costs should be very low or even free.

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 a 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, the project resource and project calendar impact the task work and cost.

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. It will cause logic problems if the same project is edited simultaneously on multiple devices (by various users or by one user). Following are some cases which will cause logic problems when operating on two devices at the same time:

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

Collaboration based on the file locking mechanism

I got it. Since real-time collaboration can lead to unpredictable logic problems, we can also accept the 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 not at the same time.

Yes, this is possible - we need a server to coordinate it by locking/unlocking the project file. Locking mechanism makes sure that no more users are editing the file at the same time.

If you need the service via a server 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, and you have full control of the project file security and safety.

We will feel more comfortable using QuickPlan with the file-based collaboration solutions on the Mac than on the iOS devices because QuickPlan on the Mac can directly access the project files.

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 a project is to share the .qpp file.

Usually, to share files across iOS and macOS devices, cloud storage services are suitable solutions. For example, Dropbox supports to run on various platforms with comfortable file accessing/sharing support.

For the enterprise, security is a very critical point for choosing a solution, and public cloud storage may not be in the considerations. MS SharePoint server may be a suitable solution to share files inner the enterprise with easy access and permission control. Of cause, your enterprise may have other appropriate file sharing solutions.

If the file-sharing solution supports access control, it's possible to allow the multiple team members to edit the project by granting writing permission to other users. Please pay attention not to grant writing permission to multiple users at the same time, as editing at the same time may cause logic problems. Give an example, if you want to a project member to help you update the project file, please temporarily grant writing permission to the team member. After the project file updated, please change the permission to the team member back to read-only after the project file is changed.

So other team members need to install the QuickPlan app to open the .qpp file. No, I did not mean that I just want to share the project content with the team members.

Oh, then please export the project to a PDF file to share.

The possible straight-forward requirements

An..., what exactly I want is to get the task status updates from the team members. I don't want to have a meeting with the team to update the task status in the project, and I think the team members can update the task %Comp directly into the project.

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 teamwork). You can treat the BOT app as your project assistant, and other team members can chat (via Slack) with the BOT to update their task status.

And the practice is that one project member (usually the project manager) owns to maintain the project schedule, other project members provide INPUT only. Other project member does not take responsibility to edit the project schedule - Providing "input" is not to update the file. Because after the task progress is tracked and updated in the project, The project manager may need to reschedule the project, who still need to know the details.

Give an example of a new task. The project manager will need the input for the estimate from some of the other project members. The project file editing work can be done by the project manager or by an assistant, and it is not a good choice to allow other project members to edit it. – Other project members provide the input only, for example, the estimate information in an 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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