FAST Planner for IT (Software)
Publisher: Resource Management Systems, Inc.
Version 1.0, Add-on for Microsoft Excel
Ease of Use and Training
A. Not at all. To use FAST Planner for IT you basically need to have: 1) a general idea of the work you need to do, 2) an idea of when you want to do it, 3) your best estimate of the resources (i.e., people, hardware, contracts, etc.) that may be needed. That's it. FAST Planner for IT guides you step-by-step through the process - just fill in the blanks with the information you know and skip what you don't.
A. Yes. There is an extensive help function. A user manual is supplied in PDF format for on-screen viewing or printing; the hard copy version of the user manual can be purchased online at http://www.rms.net in the "Products" section.
In addition, the software provides numerous context-related "hints" about the software, preliminary planning, and cost estimating.
A. No. It is likely to take you longer to decide upon a name for your project than to learn to use this software.
A. As quickly as you can type the information. Data-entry screens and fields are straightforward and easy to understand.
Making decisions about your project is what is likely to take up your time, e.g. answering questions like "do I think the testing phase should begin in September or October" will take longer than clicking on a month and date in the pop-up calendar. And, that is the way it should be.
After all, shouldn't you be spending more time thinking about your project instead of learning how to use the software?
A. The software is cross-referenced to RMS' 11 Steps to Developing Winning IT Budget Justifications (Second or Lite Editions) when the two address topics that they have in common. "11 Steps" Guides printed before September 1998 are not cross-referenced to the software. Nonetheless, terminology and definitions are used consistently in all products.
Keep in mind that while these two products share a common goal, i.e., to help organizations make faster and better IT investment decisions, they have different purposes. The "11 Steps" Guides contain a procedure and detailed instructional for writing a complete budget justification; FAST Planner for IT focuses primarily on the initial project plan and cost estimate.