To Gantt or not - landscape management At
September 5, 2018 4:32 PM   Subscribe

I design and manage large and complex landscapes - I also work alone so don't have staff to manage this for me. I have quite a few on the go at any one time across a wide area - it's all becoming unmanageable.

At the same time most software is ill-suited to folk who work alone or is designed around software production.

What I need:
A software solution would be good as I could see it as I travel, Windows + Android.

MS project is beguiling but has more overhead than I need, at the same time a timeline is nice but is there a kanban system that incorporates this in some way?

Job timelines can be very long with some plant orders for instance 3 or years into the future.

Some way of showing job relationships is increasingly useful so e.g. I can see if a contact who owns a bulldozer is located in region C, or where two planting operations in same region line up.

I expect this will not be a free solution and that is fine.

I don't need a CRM (currently using Insightly for this), or CMS and don't need to track job time. I'm currently assessing Clubhouse but is there anything more suitable?
posted by unearthed to Work & Money (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Liquid Planner?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:03 PM on September 5, 2018

I’ve been using Wrike for awhile. The pay version has Gantt charting abilities. I work alone but in a similar field (residential architecture) and I make tasks and to-do lists and use it for every one of my projects.
posted by amanda at 5:09 PM on September 5, 2018

What exactly do you want software to help you with? Because there is stuff to help with databases or vector graphics or billing or maintenance scheduling or plant informatics or soil quality or GIS or ... etc.

Are you most interested in management of physical resources like the bulldozer mentioned?
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:13 PM on September 5, 2018

SaltySalticid - A 'typical' recent project involved creation of an instant old orchard from large fruiting trees. The site is remote and I have other projects in that region, I can go there using three different roads taking me past other projects (and I'd like to link these in in some way so when I was trip planning I could see who else I could visit at same time).

This project has been two years in making:
Produce plan and get cleared by client.
Work out a suitable transplant date (usually August at this latitude).
- Relationship - Number of possible jobs constrained by this so need to maximise opportunities for other sites.
Find trees and get them wrenched so they could be moved later.
- Relationship - Who else's trees can be prepped?
Find suitable truck driver and book them.
- Relationship - can they do anything else in this period
Pre-prepare site which also meant finding a good excavator operator.
- Relationship - Which other sites need prepping?
Book everyone for planting day.
Order any special gear for day and get to site.
Order trees and notify all of THE day.
Job followup and post care.
- many of these stages have potential to link with other jobs. I want to be able to enter and then view opportunities usually on a location basis.
posted by unearthed at 5:55 PM on September 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Microsoft Planner (on Office 365) is a kanban-oriented system that works quite well.

That said, it's not going to help with your resource management concerns. You'd need to look into a professional services automation tool (PSA) with project/job management capabilities for that. Unfortunately I'm only familiar with PSA platforms oriented towards IT and legal workflows, but there are definitely other solutions for other industries out there.
posted by BrandonW at 6:42 AM on September 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Airtable or Trello both have free basic options (which are great for solo users) and Trello in particular is supposed to be really good for kanban type stuff.

If you're looking for a true Gantt chart solution, I just used the free version of Team Gantt and was pretty impressed with the functionality.
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:20 AM on September 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

It looks like Wrike will solve my problems for now thanks amanda

A friend showed me Asana, but it may be more than I need, and looks to have too much overhead for a one-man-band.
posted by unearthed at 1:54 AM on October 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

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