Blog Archive

Managing Multiple Projects (3/4): Completing Tasks “Projects Kickoff”, “Budget Control” and “Informing the Management”

In order to ensure quality managing multiple projects, project manager has to deal with the tasks which do not arise in the case of managing a single project. The article considers four of them: eliminating obstacles during project implementation; new projects kickoff; informing the management about project statuses; controlling consolidated budget of the projects. The skill of completing these tasks makes up a part of the answer to the question how to manage multiple projects.

Managing Multiple Projects (2/4): Dealing with Tasks of Casting and Motivating of Employees

The situation of managing multiple projects requires special efforts in staff management. The article describes an approach to casting employees for projects; we also consider employees motivating.

Managing Multiple Projects (1/4): Experience in Automation of Managing a Pool of Simultaneously Implemented Projects

Quality managing multiple projects implies an approach which differs fundamentally from the technique of managing a single project. Dealing with multiple projects, we necessarily face a number of tasks which are insignificant or have no sense for a single project situation.

The present article provides a quick insight into the range of issues of managing multiple projects and introduces a series of articles.

Critical Remarks on Present-Day Project Management Systems

While writing the article on application of MS Project for project management, I was haunted by the feeling of writing something wrong. “It can’t be true”, I thought, “that such simple things are done in such a complicated way within the program being one of the most popular tools for project management”. I checked myself, evaluated relevance of my needs and studied other programming solutions. One way or another, I came to the following distressing conclusion: as a project manager, I have certain needs which are either forgotten or deliberately neglected by the developers.

Application of MS Project for Management of Software Development Projects

I would like to share my experience in applying MS Project to management of software development projects. I’ve been working in project management for about 10 years. As a result, I have developed a certain methodology for MS Project application, which increases benefits from this software and reduces its drawbacks.

Earned Value Management

Earned Value Management techniques enable a manager to be aware of potential project schedule disruptions at the earliest possible stage. Research shows that the efficiency of invested funds and the scale of schedule deviations change only slightly after 15-20% of work is completed. Therefore, based upon these indicators, a project’s completion date as well as its entire cost could be forecasted in early stages with a high degree of accuracy.

Microsoft Project alternative: ProjectsProfiler vs. Microsoft Project Server

Microsoft Project Server is a very powerful tool. It is rich in functions, flexible, and scalable. It can be adjusted to the requirements of a very wide group of users. However, such power and universality have an unpleasant drawback: installing the software is a difficult process even for experienced IT-professionals. In addition its usage is not very straightforward. Our target users are generally occupied with uncomplicated tasks. To execute such tasks one does not need the gorgeous set of Microsoft Project Server functions. The processes we address are routine, and should be completed quickly and with minimal difficulty. Is it really possible to do something simple in Microsoft Project Server without a headache?

 

Our customers are very busy people, often responsible for numerous projects which are executed simultaneously. They require issues to be resolved simply, quickly, and with ease. This is why our software is a genuine Microsoft project alternative (and Microsoft Project Server as well), because it deals with everyday routine issues more quickly and comfortably than these Microsoft products do.

ProjectsProfiler has come into world!

We are releasing our first creation – the ProjectsProfiler. Among the creators there are people with a longstanding software development team management experience. We had used both project development software (such as MS Project) and issue tracking systems (Jira, Basecamp, Trac). All these software overloaded our “Big Boss” with too many details while methodical recommendations had often required changing our development process in order to use these products. All these things were concealed with the words on how "the new processes plus new software will help us much better (should we know what this "better" means :)) to develop our software. But our experience told us (or better say shouted) that it’s a matter of people not the process. If everything works – what’s the reason to change anything? That’s how the idea of the ProjectsProfiler was born – let PMs manage their projects whatever they like and in the software  they used to. While I, their manager, want to see the overall picture and bottlenecks, problems (that’s where the word “profiler” is from). To make it you just need to summarize the data coming from PMs and when the problems are discovered I will think how to get out of a difficulty. There a not so many options actually. You either need to add employees somewhere (and take out of somewhere accordingly) or to decrease amount of work. And it would be good to see what will happen out of it. In general our software is designed for informational support of day-to-day management of a project portfolio