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TMCnet Online Project Management Week in Review

TMCnews Featured Article

May 19, 2012

TMCnet Online Project Management Week in Review

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

In Online Project Management news this week, Systemation has introduced Project Performance ROI Calculator, a free online tool which will help project managers more easily manage overwhelming projects. Created by one of the oldest and most seasoned performance improvement firms, this free tool reportedly assists organizations in determining performance improvement opportunities, allowing them to view the monumental results which can be obtained by making even the smallest of changes throughout the process, ultimately helping determine whether you need to modify your business strategies or not. In an age where the consensus has always been that workshops, training sessions and project methods best improved project performance, Systemation challenges us to ask ourselves, “is what was good enough yesterday sufficient for today?”

Ben Snyder, CEO at Systemation, reflects on project managers who say, “We are too busy getting work out the door to spend time on this” or “due to tight budgets, we need to live with what we’ve got” in relation to adapting the new ROI calculator. Systemation, which has been improving the performance of Fortune 2000 companies and government agencies for more than half a century, begs to differ from these mundane opinions, rather insisting that what organizations need to flourish today is practical, customized learning solutions tailored for a broad range of project needs. The ROI calculator addresses these lingering issues by computing how much money one could save for other investments on projects by entering generalized information about projects undertaken within one year and selecting a randomized increment of improvement. The calculator will then produce an immediate report – both on screen and via mail – with an “Improvement Value.”

A recent report sponsored by PwC revealed that the global construction market is expected to witness a 70 percent increase. This growth, which will reach $12 trillion by 2020, provides a great opportunity for construction companies. This advantage launched by Flowfinity Wireless Inc., a proven provider of enterprise mobile apps for business process automation, will help contractors, architect and builders to better manage their projects. As it is crucial to maintain a competitive edge in this challenging field, this new mobile software by Flowfinity makes daily, project-related tasks automated on smartphones and tablets. The software also ensures the most efficient productivity, allowing project managers to upload and access information while working on site.

This accommodating feature also helps them complete fully customizable forms, requests and documents, such as site surveys, inspection reports, punch lists and incident reports on the field. Overall, this collaborative tool makes managing various projects more efficient by promoting communication between contractors and consultants. Vice president of Flowfinity Sales and Marketing stated in a press release that, “Flowfinity has a unique solution that delivers more efficiency, timeliness and accuracy in managing construction tasks and teams. The result is that the solution, not only reduces delays and total time spent on a construction project, but also provides an audit trail with thorough documentation of the project.” At the beginning of this year, Flowfinity also introduced their version 6.2 of Flowfinity Actions, which fully supports iPhones and iPad mobile devices and provides increased functionality with such things as camera for photo documentation and GPS for work location validation.

Axiom EPM declared that they take a different approach to enterprise performance management by offering a united platform to support its organization’s performance management needs. The Performance Management Software Company – which has now been named in the BPM Partner’s Core List of performance management vendors for 2012 in recognition of its easy-to-use, unified and comprehensive solution and deep, industry-specific functionality – must be on the right track. BPM Partners explained that in order to be included in its Core List of performance management vendors, one must demonstrate a depth of product functionality, sales and customer success, and must meet performance management market needs. The newest list reflects a survey conducted between November 2011 to March 2012, and now in its 10th year, the survey incorporates feedback and input from hundreds of BPM end users around the world and across all industries.

Axiom EPM, who scored an exceptional customer satisfaction rating of 4.9 out of five, jumped right to the Core Vendor List, completely surpassing their Best New Vendor category, normally the next step in the selection process. Michael Choi, CEO of Axiom EPM, stated the following in a press release, “Our commitment to delivering the most innovative and effective performance management solutions backed by world-class support is the key to this huge accomplishment. We were able to completely bypass the Best New Vendor category and jump right onto the Core Vendor List - beating out huge vendors in the market - because we have a deep understanding of the industries we serve, an incredibly strong team of experts and high-quality applications. Our success can also be attributed to our strong commitment to customer service, which is clearly confirmed by our extremely high customer satisfaction ratings.”

Wrapping up this week is news on the differentiating factors between online task management and project management, and why it even matters. The common confusion between the two was addressed and the danger of their confusion was brought to light. In a nutshell, tasks are defined as the building blocks of projects, usually separated into separate assignments which can be quickly delegated to and completed by working individuals. Task Management applications will not suffice, though, when it comes to trying to accomplish major initiatives. When working on a major project, the project manager requires specific insight into key areas like task estimation, project scheduling, resource and capacity planning, portfolio-wide management, and risk management.

These key areas create an environment which informs crucial business decisions, which is most vital when maintaining a successful company. Software that keeps these aspects in mind looks at the project holistically and not just at its tasks, thus keeping it better on track. Some project management software strives to offer the best of both worlds, providing a “task list” to individual contributors as well as a way to track non-project tasks. All the while, project managers are able to see and manage the big picture. Tools like LiquidPlanner (News - Alert), for example, automatically generate schedules based on a task’s priority and who has been assigned which task. In another nutshell, online project management software allows companies to access each project’s details in one central location by using cloud-based services, which includes tracking projects’ statuses, managing involved teams, collaborating online and tracking results using intelligent reporting features; in other words, excellent progress reporting.

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