Tue 26 Apr
It’s been surprising — very surprising — the number of people that I know who have made the switch to the Macintosh in the past year or so. It’s as if Apple’s “Switch” campaign, which stopped airing two years ago, is only now having a delayed effect. But really, what it’s about is that the smartest and most creative people are doing the smartest and most creative projects on the Mac. And yet there’s still a big hole in the platform’s offerings when it comes to pulling off great projects: project planning software.
The 800 pound gorilla in this niche, Microsoft Project, has its faults, to be sure. But really, that program is sufficiently fluid and pliable for serious work, and it has the added cachet of serving as a de facto standard for project plans nearly everywhere. At Behavior we use it extensively, and not just our project managers — I spend time in it frequently myself, and I reluctantly depend on it as a fine-grained, flexible tool for estimation, planning and tracking of fairly complex jobs.
I’m not naive enough to hold out hope for a port of Microsoft Project to Mac OS X, but it puzzles me that more Mac users don’t bemoan its absence. Surely people aren’t using Fast Track Schedule, are they? Not that I have anything against that long-standing project management contender (which has been commendably faithful to the Mac), but it hardly has the look and feel of a modern application. More to the point, I’ve never heard of a single person mentioning that they use it, in real life or anywhere online.
And it can’t be the case that no one is doing project management on the Mac, because there are plenty of all-Mac operations out there doing serious projects that require tight coordination. What kind of software are those operations using? Perhaps there’s some other, Macintosh-native project management software out there that I’m not aware of, and that users never mention, perhaps as a part of some secret oath of fealty? (Or to avoid the ire of Microsoft Project-devoted clients?) And if there’s not, then shouldn’t there be one? The answer is yes, and it should integrate with iCal, the Mac OS X Address Book and iSync.