EPM Live Ensures PMs Never Lose to Scope Creep Again

Scope creep is the dreadful culprit of lost profits, disheartened resources, missed deadlines, and frustrated clients and stakeholders. When clients ask for one more tiny feature, and then another slight change, and then an extra hour here and there, as every experienced PM knows, it all adds up. The onset of little changes and delays sneakily drains resources, hours, and costs and before you know it, your project is in sad shape.  Poor scope management is the downfall of many project managers and can result in the loss of their credibility and even their job.  

However, this problem is completely preventable with the right tools and methods of communication. Never let scope creep ruin your project ever again! Here are a few ways to avoid the problem once and forever.

1-      Have a scope management plan from the beginning. Show your client or project owner what a change order form is, when and why you would use it, and what it looks like so they know what to expect if you need one.

  • Post the change order form in your documents library on WorkEngine or leverage WorkEngine’s out-of-box change request module to track your changes.  The fields can be customized to map to your current form if applicable. 

2-      Explain to the client or project owner that change control is the best way to make THEM successful. Having a paper trail of changes, reasoning, and resulting impacts provides the detailed information they need to explain any delays or changes to their management and external audiences. It also makes sure that everyone is on the same page as far as what is in scope or out of scope so there are no resulting misunderstandings.

3-      Talk to your project team about the importance of providing updates and alerting you if there is a problem or if a task is taking longer than expected.

  • Team members can update tasks in their view on WorkEngine and write a note to the PM about issues, concerns, time, risk, or scope. The PM will then be alerted of the change and can make decisions about next steps.

4-      Get in the habit of submitting a change order form for every request that results in a modification of scope, budget, resources, risk, or time. The form is not just for changes to costs or time. It’s all part of good PM documentation and clear communication.

5-      Submit a change order form and discuss any scope modification BEFORE you actually perform that change.

6-      Meet with your client or project owner on a weekly or more frequent basis. In this meeting, go over change orders in person and make sure to get an actual signature or written agreement before proceeding with additional work.

  • Again, keep track of change orders in the documents library in WorkEngine or use the out-of-box change request module.

7-      Update the project plan with each change and add a notes column to record details about why it was needed, the overall impact, and when it was approved. Create baselines and each scope change that affects the schedule should result with a new baseline to track the overall impact.

  1. Using EPM Live’s Project Publisher, changes made on the WorkEngine project site, can be easily merged back into the Microsoft Project file.

Using these steps will ensure that scope is well-managed and never creeps up on you again. To learn more about the ability to manage tasks, changes, alerts, and integration with Microsoft Project, review the information on EPM Live about WorkEngine, and Project Publisher

NASA Improves Project Visibility and Reduces Costs With EPM Live Enterprise Project Management Solution

As a center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is responsible for space missions exploring Earth, the solar system and the universe beyond. The laboratory employs approximately 5,000 people and is running a large number of projects at any given time. JPL chose to deploy EPM Live  for their enterprise project management solution because of its ability to centralize all work and easily integrate with their current systems in place.

The organization was using Microsoft Project Professional within the laboratory to give project management teams access to project schedules. However to share the schedules, JPL’s Project Schedule Analysts (PSAs) needed to create portable document files (PDFs) and then place them in a file share directory for access by project team members.  This meant that the schedules viewed by team members were a static image of project status at any given point in time, and did not provide any ability to drill down into items or make changes. When engineers needed to make a change they had to coordinate with the PSAs, creating additional work for both roles.

JPL decided to deploy WorkEngine from EPM Live, an Enterprise Project Portfolio and Work Management solution that integrates Microsoft SharePoint Server and Microsoft Project Server to achieve improved schedule visibility, greater collaboration, and reduce costs.

Various projects are being migrated to the WorkEngine solution, including plans and schedules for major upcoming flight projects. With EPM Live’s WorkEngine solution, project schedule visibility has been transformed from a static view of the project at any given time into real-time access for all project teams to review and status.

By deploying a project management solution that is integrated with SharePoint Server, JPL is able to create project workspaces where teams can access schedules and other key project information in a single location. This has improved collaboration within the teams, as employees can work together on documents, calendars, tasks and other items, removing version control issues. Project teams have real-time access to data, which boosts productivity among employees.

As well as benefiting from improved collaboration and visibility, JPL anticipates significant cost reductions from moving to an enterprise project management solution. A PSA can create approximately 30 PDFs of schedules during an update cycle, including the top level schedule and a version for each Cost Account Manager. Using the web view will save PSAs up to half a day’s work each week. JPL will also create cost efficiencies through improved collaboration by integrating its projects.

To learn more about how we work with other government agencies, contact us.

Get the SharePoint Advantage by Operating EPM Live Solutions

Running an enterprise successfully requires establishing a fixed set of processes and methods within your organization. In order to manage, supervise and examine varied projects, both internally and externally, many organizations are expanding upon their current SharePoint deployment.  SharePoint is no longer strictly an IT tool, more and more organizations are expanding the capabilities of their SharePoint solution into a fully functioning Project Portfolio Management solution. Leveraging EPM Live’s SharePoint-based Enterprise Project Portfolio and Work Management Software not only helps protect current investments already in place but it gives businesses unprecedented boost in productivity, resource allocation, cost management and overall project portfolio visibility. EPM Live project software is already helping over 5,000 companies simplify and become more effective at delivering projects successfully while selecting the right work for the most profitable portfolio. 

Smart Project Management is the key function towards successfully meeting project deadlines and within budget. EPM Live gives every organization the tools they need from simple online project management to strategic, top-down portfolio planning.  Because EPM Live project software is flexible and intuitive, PPM maturity is no longer an issue with user adoption.

Many organizations today face a variety of work including application creation and maintenance, new product development, project deadlines and service requests.  EPM Live’s WorkEngine solution helps organizations create increased productivity by improving resource visibility, execution and collaboration across all work-types. WorkEngine helps in organizing all types of work and managing schedules, resources, costs, time and other functions which are critical for the business. WorkEngine demonstrates key value additions to an enterprise and provides tools and processes to maximize the resource utilization. Leverage EPM Live WorkEngine’s app marketplace for powerful, easy-to-use, predefined templates that are built with leading industry and business best practices to enable rapid adoption and standardization of all types of work.  

EPM Live’s PortfolioEngine solution provides you with an outstanding tool to simplify project portfolio planning and make informed critical business decisions to choose the right projects to drive the business toward its strategic objectives. PortfolioEngine allows you to manage resource capacity planning, portfolio sequencing and financial target modeling to know which projects will deliver the highest ROI. Intuitive end user interface and pre-built reports and dashboards provide increased visibility into project status for all team members and stakeholders.

EPM Live PPM solutions are all Microsoft SharePoint-based and seamlessly integrate with other business productivity tools such as Microsoft Project, Outlook and Excel. A perfect balance of scheduling options, project and portfolio management best practices, collaboration tools and out-of-box reporting and dashboards provides a simple, yet powerful tool.

EPM Live software is flexible and relevant to meet the needs of every business. Free trials are available for each of EPM Live project solution edition. EPM Live believes in the right to choose the best deployment option to fit your organization, on-premise, hosted or SaaS. Watch an on-demand demo and overview of EPM Live or flip through a slide deck for more information on how EPM Live can change the way you work. If you have to work, work smart!

Emergency Physicians Medical Group Selects EPM Live

Emergency Physicians Medical Group (EPMG) is a physician-owned, hospital-based, emergency medicine practice that creates highly-effective emergency departments in order to ensure every patient receives the most compassionate care and experiences the best possible outcome. A collaborative and patient-focused approach to building a strong emergency department is driven by their culture of care. EPMG’s goal is to create an environment that supports everyone in providing the finest care for the best patient outcome.

EPMG was formed in 1976 with the establishment of its emergency medicine program at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over the years, EPMG has expanded into a complete system of healthcare services developed specifically to respond to patient and community needs. EPMG provides comprehensive administrative and management services to several healthcare organizations.

EPMG works with the best doctors to implement systems, fill positions, and create emergency departments that are highly capable, compassionate, and efficient. EPMG does this by working to fill temporary needs, improve quality controls, and build long-term partnerships with hospitals. Their mission is to improve emergency services though cutting-edge procedures, information, training, and best practices. The result is higher patient satisfaction and emergency departments that are better equipped to provide the best care possible.

Learn more about the Emergency Physicians Medical Group

 

 

Welcome GAVI Alliance to EPM Live's Valued Customer Portfolio

GAVI Alliance saves lives by providing children in developing countries with vaccinations they need to help prevent disease so they can grow up to lead productive lives.

Every child, no matter where he or she is born, has the right to the opportunity of a healthy life and vaccines are one of the best ways to assure it. Yet each year 1.7 million children die from a vaccine-preventable disease. The overwhelming majority of these deaths occur in developing countries. That’s one life every 20 seconds.

In January 2000, with global immunisation rates stagnating, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) was launched to fund vaccines for children in the world’s 70 poorest countries. Its mission: to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in the world’s poorest countries.

By pulling the specialist skills of all the main players in immunization –  WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, donor governments, developing countries, international development and finance organisations and the pharmaceutical industry – into one, decision-making body, GAVI has brought a single-minded focus to the urgent task of closing three critical gaps in the provision of vaccines.

Click here to learn more about GAVI Alliance.

EPM Live Welcomes IonPhasE Oy to Our Valued List of Customers!

Solving Static Electricity Challenges in Plastics

IonPhasE is an innovative solution provider of static dissipative polymers, that helps you to manage ESD and static electricity related issues in plastics materials. Based in Tampere, Finland, IonPhasE® IPE® technology is made with patented polymer structure designed for specific applications in the Electronic and Chemical industry packaging.

Their products have applications in the electronics industry, chemical industry, food packaging industry, automotive industry and many others.

IonPhasE offers a wide range of static dissipative masterbatches that fit to your process and products.

Click here to learn more about IonPhasE 

 

 

 

 

 

With EPM Live, Managing Resources has Never Been Easier!

Many times when managing projects, I have needed to manage the list of resources in a spreadsheet from memory based on who I know in the organization, or in a Project Management Software tool that only most of the project team members use. Although it is possible to export my resource list from Microsoft Project to a spreadsheet, it takes time and is not fool-proof, sometimes resulting in duplicate versions of the truth. Therefore, keeping track of resources and communicating tasks can be a challenging, manual process. The problem with manual processes is that some resources may be overlooked, overbooked, or under-utilized. In order to make sure that everyone knows which tasks are due when, it is necessary to spend massive amounts of time sending reminder emails, re-emphasizing timelines in meetings, and tracking down people one at a time to check in on their status or communicate work changes. When managing multiple projects, this ad-hoc and time-intensive coordination requires the need for even more spreadsheets, emails, meetings, and difficulties in keeping track of the resource pool. Some organizations hire a full-time person just for resource management.

 So… that is the long-houred, stressful, and painful way to handle resource management

Luckily, I have happily discovered an easier way. As a die-hard Microsoft Project user, EPM Live’s WorkEngine edition makes it possible to communicate to team members and contributors without the export to a spreadsheet step from Project. All lists and assignment information is online and accessible by everyone saving me lots of time and drastically reducing confusion and mistakes. In WorkEngine, it is so easy to build a team for a new project. I can add people to the resource pool, quickly pull them into my project, see their availability, and assign them tasks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can view and share the list in a Spreadsheet, Gantt chart, or simply online. As the project manager, I can approve or decline resources added by others so security and central management of resources is not compromised. And my favorite feature is that when I assign a task to a resource, it immediately shows up on that person’s workspace page so they can see the task details, priority and due date. Wow- I don’t have to track the person down or send more emails to communicate his/ hers latest assignments. 

I love how the resource lists and charts are included in the same project workspace as the shared documents, announcements, and other great EPM Live tools. The resource management capabilities in EPM Live’s WorkEngine edition make my life as a PM of multiple projects so much easier! 

Terex Environmental Group Chooses EPM Live's WorkEngine Solution

Terex Environmental Group is an environmental consulting firm based in Calgary, Alberta providing environmental project management services to the energy sector. 

Terex specializes in providing clients with effective solutions to assess and manage environmental liabilities. The core services provided include environmental site characterization, environmental liability assessment, soil and groundwater remediation, and regulatory liaison.

Click here to learn more about Terex Environmental Group

Meet the Increasing Demand Placed on Your Service Teams – Service Management for SharePoint

Organizations often overcomplicate their initiatives by introducing tools that offer more capabilities and command more change than what organizations today are prepared to support.  The EPM Live’s “Service Management App” is a lightweight flexible template complete with pre-built lists to help your service organization effectively monitor, manage, control and execute on service requests.  Our mission is to help organizations at any level meet the increasing demand placed on service teams.

The EPM Live Service Management App will support your service team’s capability to ensure maximum employee productivity and achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.  This template includes capabilities to help your service organization effectively monitor, manage, control and execute on all service requests.

By managing your Service Requests with your EPM Live solution, you can incorporate the platform’s features including process management, time management, resource management and cost management.  Easily convert Service Requests to Projects for those items that evolve into a larger project.  Help your teams to work effectively and efficiently to provide all technology delivery services.

 

 

Service Management App” Highlights

  • Incident Management

 

  • Work Log – Quickly log time within a simple status interface

  • Collaborate on Service Requests using EPM Live Comments Feature

EPM Live has many templates to choose from to meet every work management need!  To learn more contact us!

Use SharePoint to Build Your Next Project Schedule

As many of you know, SharePoint 2010 allows you to build project task lists within your SharePoint sites.  That being said, the functionality can be somewhat limited if you are needing a more comprehensive tool to schedule your tasks.  If you are looking to manage a project in SharePoint and you need the flexibility of a scheduling tool but you also need it to be user friendly and easy to use, take a look at EPM Live’s schedule management capabilities.  EPM Live’s project planner has all the typical features of a scheduling tool including:

  • Summary tasks (indent and outdent)
  • Predecessors/Successors
  • Milestones
  • Gantt chart
  • Critical path
  • Baseline
  • Resource assignments

Notice I say “typical”.  There are also many features you simply won’t find anywhere else in regards to other SharePoint Project Management solutions.  These include:

  • A SharePoint-based resource pool that can be easily customized with critical resource data important to your organization
  • A “my work” rollup that users can access and view all of their work across all projects regardless of what site it resides in
  • Out of the box schedule, resource and cost reports stemming from your project schedule
  • Out of the box schedule dashboards and views

In addition to the above, there are many other advantages to building your schedules in SharePoint using EPM Live.  Take a look at the video below to take a quick tour!