Project management for small businesses, the cloud way

LiquidPlanner focuses on predicting the impact of project plan adjustments and helping smaller companies manage and prioritize resources.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

In theory, it should be really easy for yours truly to stay on top of projects and deadlines, because I just have to worry about myself. But with so many variables that are constantly in flux, this is anything but simple, and I know from the past that the challenge of managing projects grows exponentially as more people become involved.

Enter LiquidPlanner, a cloud-delivered project management service that specifically was developed with smaller companies in mind. Charles Seybold, the CEO and cofounder, said his motivation in creating the software was to help small companies optimize their resources. "I haven't made an SMB yet that doesn't change its plans on a dime," Seybold said.

LiquidPlanner aims to help with this by using a data analytics to help predict how changes in deadlines or resources will impact a project's milestones. When someone reschedules one piece, the changes are reflected throughout the entire project. This is especially helpful when a project manager is trying to decide whether to move a person from one project to another, Seybold said. "It really helps with scenarios where you are trying to optimize a resource pool," he said.

The reason I decided to write about this new service this week is that LiquidPlanner, based in Bellevue, Wash., has just released a new Android application that hooks into the project management system. LiquidPlanner already has an iOS mobile application, which has been downloaded approximately 13,000 times since its release in September 2011.

LiquidPlanner, because it is a cloud-delivered application, is optimized to work with staffs that are highly distributed, Seybold said. The company's average sale right now is departments that have about eight people, and the service is targeted at organizations that have been 30 to 100 people. It can be integrated with email services for alerts and notifications.

The software is priced at $29 per user per month or $24 per per user month if your company prepays at least 12 months of a subscription. Approximately 40 percent of LiquidPlanner's early users are from the IT profession; others are from industries that deal with a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to resource allocation, Seybold said.

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