Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is Program Leader® different than competition or home-grown methods?

  1. Home-grown methods aren’t suited for bigger, more complex, less defined, or numerous projects.  (We know, we tried before developing Program Leader project management software).  You can spend more time configuring and proof checking than on client deliverables!
  2. No competitor advertises that it’s suited for small projects.  Effective Project Solutions is the only one.
  3. You have to setup report formats with low priced or free competitors.
  4. High priced competitors need significant training and skill to use without error.
  5. Instead, Program Leader focuses upon matters that befall many project managers: unclear communication, creeping costs, and no straightforward way to manage foreseeable risks.
  6. Leading software providers offer toolsets. You then need to architect these toolsets into workable business processes. Program Leader monitors and controls projects out-of-the-box, mirroring the practices that the owner of Effective Project Solutions applied to his most successful projects.

IT Information and Considerations

  1. It’s safe! Download source (for PCs) is “Certificated.” A third party (Comodo, Inc.) assures that the Program Leader instance that you download comes from the authorized computer that developed it.   You see this certification on the installer.
  2. Norton 360 protects and backs up the development PC computer.
  3. The certificated code is used for Mac computers uses this certificated software.  Macintosh versions are published from one of our computers, with its firewall activated.  EPC may at some point obtain certification from Apple Computer.
  4. Program Leader was written with Filemaker Pro Advanced 14.  Filemaker Pro is longstanding, respected data handling software.  Filemaker Pro is what “talks with” your computer.  The code that EPC writes “sits atop” Filemaker Pro.  EPC’s never directly interfaces with your computer.  We leave that to Filemaker, Inc.
  5. The PC installer used is Inno Setup by JRS Software.  The Mac installer used is Packages by S. Sudre.
  6. In order to maintain the fidelity of product downloads, this website is maintained by professionals (Cyberlynk, Inc.) in order to protect your systems.
  7. Mainspring, Inc., a leading Filemaker development company, participated in development.
  8. Norton co. conferred its Norton Safe Site rating to this website in 2016.  We so state in the footer of every webpage.
  9. Program Leader operates on PCs and Macs.  Version compatibility is stated after you complete and submit the Contact Info.
  10. Your email is safe and protected with us!  We do not sell your information.

Further aspects are written in a blog post here.

Why is Program Leader better than a hand-list or using Microsoft Outlook or Excel?

  1. Ever try to format a report with a spreadsheet?  Use the pre-formatted reports in Program Leader and spend your time at better pursuits.
  2. Program Leader’s advantage over spreadsheets is as great as accounting software over a hand-written check register.
  3. Program Leader can aggregate task data using “tables” and “defined relationships” that spreadsheets just don’t have.  This provides the “magic” that gets meaningful summaries and reports.
  4. Ever want to track your tasks in a Gantt format?  Program Leader features five Gantt layouts.  One checks resource availability so that you don’t over-assign them.
  5. Few users build data validation into their spreadsheets.  Program Leader guides where to supply missing data before it executes reports.
  6. Program Leader has been tested by the guidelines from the American Software Testing Quality Institute.  We would bet few of you have applied these practices to your spreadsheet models.  Using your models can be risky to your business.

Does Program Leader supplant a Gantt schedule?

  1. It complements a Gantt schedule for larger projects.  Gantt charts are difficult to change when baselines are used.  They also don’t communicate well when they get too big.  That makes them unsuitable for managing the hundreds of ad-hoc tasks that arise during the course of a project.
  2. Just showing progress gives the client no proof that work is getting accomplished as claimed.  Showing that details are being managed earns client trust.  This is where Program Leader adds real value.
  3. The Advanced Version of Program Leader has Gantt charts.  Unlike other Gantt software, they need no configuration from the user!

When the 30-day trial runs out, can I get to my data?

Yes, after purchasing a license.  Activating your license executes a routine that automatically imports data that you entered during the trial.

How does one install upgrades?

  1. Installing upgrades requires a license.  Download Program Leader again the same way you got the Trial version.  It will import data automatically that you entered during the Trial and subsequent to a license.
  2. Without a license, subsequent downloads of Program Leader will erase prior data.
  3. Effective Project Solutions will send notice of upgrades. Please refer to the Read Me First documents about this topic.

 

 


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Summary for the Small Project User

Program Leader is designed foremost to be easy to use and forgiving. It will improve your confidence and effectiveness because it features:
  • Step-change capability over free web apps and spreadsheets.
  • It’s far less expensive and risky than competitive offerings that replace business systems.
  • Written by an owner and contractor design/construction project manager whose software creations have been incorporated by prominent organizations.
  • Program Leader supports issue, task, risk, and cost management for projects subject to frequent deviations from project plan or design basis.

 

Attractively designed and easily installed, learned, and operated, while forgiving user oversights,  Program Leader offers:
  • Basic mode for newcomers,
  • Guiding dialogs, report templates, tooltips, infocons, help text, wizards, data consistency checks, and training videos.
  • In order to simplify operation, maintenance, and quick response at client’s sites (where WiFi is often private) the product operates from the user’s computer.  This enhances security as external-to-company servers are not employed.

 

In Small Project Domains, Program Leader documents agreed tasks with project team members:
  • in a way that interactive communication principles found in The One Minute Manager* can be exercised.
  • Program Leader affords the project manager database control so that information can be trusted.
  • Gantt views with predecessor linkage, finish date prediction, and framing by stakeholder context visualize task flow.
  • Performance measurement is achieved with Metric Reports.

 

Additional Comments for the Large Project User

In Large Project Domains, it facilitates managing and controlling stakeholder engagement while reporting tasks that their reports are responsible to do:
  • in order to contribute to efficient project execution,
  • to add to the project knowledge base,
  • and to suggest when to engage stakeholders so that the owner’s representative and project manager maintain political support.

The PM gains the owner representative’s trust when issues important to the owner’s stakeholders are attended to as promised. Therefore, Program Leader supports: developmental, engineering, construction, owner-managed, systems, and energy service company (ESCO) projects.