We have recently found that many of our gantt chart clients are using our product to manage program level issues.
There are a number of interesting reasons for this. The primary reason is flexibility. At a program level, more so than a project level massive flexibility is critical to enable modeling the program from a number of points of view.
By using Chart gantt templates, large clients have been able to import all individual project plans from MS Project into separate tabs (using the Copy tab function). Once the MS project project plans are in Chart Gantt, then they can be related. New resource tables and WBS structures can be created as required. Feeds can be taken from various corporate systems to hand items such as employee leave schedules.
Relatively quickly these clients have been able to build out a number of individual project plans (some upto 1,000 lines long) into on Workbook. This workbook can contain upto 20 individual project plans 1,000 lines long. Then group resource tables can be constructed to give a more accurate program level view.
The final step is to create a program or portfolio level view. This can then be constructed by linking cells from each of the individual project plans within the same workbook. Any updates in the individual project plans are then reflected at the program level. This approach can incorporate both PMI, OPM3 and Prince 2. The solution is offered in Excel 2007, Excel 2010 and Excel 2011.