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Online Project and Work Management for the Future!

Wayne Gretzky was once asked if there was a secret to his success as a hockey player. He simply said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.”

This is why I love working at EPM Live, a project and work management software business that is successful because we are constantly innovating and building for the future!  Obviously, this is why EPM Live has been recognized as a Red Herring Top 100 North America Tech Company!   Technology industry executives, investors, and observers have regarded the Red Herring 100 lists as an invaluable instrument to discover and advocate the promising startups that will lead the next wave of disruption and innovation.

These days, there are a variety of ways to sell software.  While EPM Live does continue to meet the demands of those implementing “on-premise” solutions, Software as a Service (SaaS) has made a significant impact in the enterprise project and portfolio management world.  Organizations need transparency, collaboration and interaction across the globe and the SaaS project management market is providing it.

While “on-premise” and “SaaS” costs both increase over time, there are many reasons that the SaaS architecture offers lower total cost of ownership, and is more efficient for customers.  Some key benefits driving many of our customers to leverage our Software as a Service include, but are not limited to:

  • Leverage the benefits of our latest features and benefits without the worry of upgrade plans and strategies
  • Lower your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) since SaaS project management software requires no software or hardware, no dedicated IT team and supports seamless upgrades and updates
  • Unsurpassed support for your mission critical project and work management application including unlimited support cases, system health check and services to support an accelerated deployment
  • Easily collaborate within your organization as well as with your partners, suppliers and customers
  • Focus on successfully managing your projects rather than worry about purchasing, installing and maintaining software or hardware
  • Securely collaborate across the value chain, with your partners, suppliers and customers and help drive adoption with a simple online user experience

Our product team is always striving for new and innovative ways to manage your portfolio of projects and work with new features and capabilities such as:

  • Comments to enhance collaboration

  • Resource Matching to let you easily select resources from the right department, with the right skill(s), in addition to their availability

  • TFS Integration with our Agile Planner to support your Application Development projects

  • New workspace templates for our Application Marketplace

    We have benefited from over ten years of deploying EPM / PPM solutions, and while we recognize that each organization is unique, we also take the best practices and embed them right into our marketplace templates.   There’s no need for customers to start from scratch!!

We also understand our services, such as implementation, consulting and training are not accessories to our product.  Our services are an integral part of EPM Live’s products, and contribute directly to the success of our customers deployments.  Our Build To Order (BTO) approach is a cost effective, innovative approach utilizing industry best practices to accelerLKeate configuration and leverage key system capabilities to design the solution that fits our customers need.  Along with the variety of training offerings EPM Live offers at our EPM Live University, our services organization has you set up for success!

Software + Service + Customer Effort = SUCCESS!!

The Resource Management Life Cycle- Effective Planning for Maximum Utilization

Employees are the most valuable asset and the biggest expense for most organizations. Any organization that fails to manage their resources to ensure that sufficient capacity is available, and that they are being assigned and managed efficiently, risks losing control of its project and work costs and having its business activities seriously constrained. The ability to deploy employees effectively against often conflicting projects and other work priorities enables organizations to optimize their return on human resource investments. In order to maximize both task throughput and company morale, resource and project managers need an efficient system to place the appropriate staff on the right teams at the right time.

Before we get into all the various levels of resource management, let’s touch on the basics.  What is resource management?  Wikipedia defines resource management as “the efficient and effective deployment of an organization’s resources when they are needed.”

The term “resources” does not always refer to human resources, but all resources that need to be considered when scheduling a project activity.  For the purpose of this blog I’m going to be referring to the management process for human resources and the five levels within it. 

Unlike some project management processes, in order to complete the resource management life cycle, all resources must play a role. Each part of the life cycle could be owned by a different stakeholder and will vary from organization to organization. 

  • Executive Management will play a key role in identifying and selecting the RIGHT work and projects for the organization to execute. In many cases, Executive Management will only be involved in resource management from a reporting and analytics standpoint. For example, which projects and work to include in the business portfolio based on resource management metrics and data?

  • The PMO will be in charge of inputting resource data into the resource management tool. The PMO will play a key role in the first two steps in the resource management life cycle including planning resource roles and identifying which resources will fill them. 

  • The Project Manager will be involved primarily with execution rather than the planning stage of resource management. Once the resources are assigned, the project manager will be accountable for resource performance.

  • The Project Team’s role is to collaborate with each other to foster a positive team environment. Shared knowledge and expertise will be a critical factor in delivering work successfully.

  • The team member’s main role will be to get the work done!

 

Let’s take a look at the full resource management life cycle. As you can see in the graphic, this is a top down approach to managing your resources. To truly accomplish full resource management within your organization, all areas must be considered and accommodated. That being said, it is always wise to consider organizational maturity as it relates to resource management to ensure you are adopting the right amount of discipline and functionality at the right pace to ensure you are not introducing unnecessary risks.

By the way, it is very common for users within your organization to be at different levels of maturity. One of the most important aspects of implementing and executing a new tool or discipline is that you understand your audience and their needs as well as their current processes in place to ensure that new technologies introduced will be easily adapted.

Resource Capacity Planning

 

Capacity planning helps to ensure that resource capacity meets current and future business requirements in a cost-effective manner. In the Capacity planning stage you will need to identify all the roles needed for the given project or work effort at hand. For example, which organizations or departments will be involved in your project? This will help you establish the structure for your project, potentially establish how your tasks will be organized, and even identify security constraints. 

What disciplines and skill sets are required to complete your project? Without the proper skill sets and expertise particular tasks may require more training, longer term times, possibly even result in rework. Effective resource management relies on the fact that these factors have all been considered prior to selecting your resources. Once you have determined your generic roles, you will need to determine the quantity of each role needed as well as the timeframe. 

As this information is obtained, you will then be ready to analyze your plan, make adjustments and prepare for actual named assignments.

 

Resource Allocation

Now it’s time to assign your team. Before we do, we must look at all the factors involved in this process. Who is available and when? What competencies or expertise do the resources possess? Have they worked on a similar project in the past and if so how well did they perform? Are they interested in working on the defined project and finally how much will it cost to obtain the resources for the project? 

In addition to the environmental factors, a roles and responsibilities document should be completed prior to assigning resources. An organization chart will also aid in this process when determining the resource assignments and when viewing the preliminary project schedule to see when each resource is needed and for how long. In many cases, the project team members are known in advance. In other instances, you may need to be prepared to enter a negotiation process with functional managers or maybe even other project managers, should the resource be currently working on other projects. In this case, project priorities and benefits may be weighed to determine which project has the greater need for the requested resource. 

In many cases, if project teams are already over allocated, there may be a need to consider acquiring resources from a 3rd party vendor or consulting firm. You may also consider whether or not having a virtual team will be adequate for your resource management needs. After resources are assigned and confirmed, you will need to be prepared to manage all future changes that could potentially come into play to ensure your plan is flexible and scalable to handle unexpected shifts in resource demand and allocation.

Resource Work Management

 

Resource Work Management is an ongoing process in the resource management life cycle that begins with allocation and ends at the completion of the final project or work deliverable. This stage in the life cycle is typically managed by the project manager. This process includes managing all assignments, tracking team member performance, providing project feedback and status, resolving issues and risks, and coordinating changes to enhance project performance. 

All of these tools necessary for project execution and management are also essential to your resources. As with any work or project deliverable, time, resources and costs must all be considered together in order to effectively and successfully deliver a project.

Resource Collaboration

 

Resource collaboration is a key practice in the way we work today.  Working together on work deliverables allows us to streamline our work, deliver services, and increase overall productivity across the organization. It’s simple math really, more experienced resources working together equals less time. Resource collaboration is a critical stage in resource management.

If your resources aren’t communicating and they aren’t working towards a shared understanding of goals, carefully putting together a resource plan pre-execution will be less productive. Resources must communicate in order to keep projects and work on track. When defining the tools to implement for resource management, ease of use and flexibility are essential to ensure high user adaption and effective collaboration.

 

Resource Task Management

  

The last level of the resource management life cycle focuses on those accountable for individual work items. We all have project work or various work items that we must complete and most likely that work is combined with our own personal to do list as well. In order to be the most productive, resources need a tool that will handle all of their work tasks and any personal tasks they may have in one location. Resources must be able to gather their work, update their work, and monitor all related work and dependencies in one system.

 

 

Waterfall plus Agile Application – Predictive & Adaptive Planning for the Best of Both Worlds!

I recently read a great blog post that I could strongly relate to.  In his blog post “Predictive AND Adaptive Planning”, Chris describes the benefits of approaching project management in a hybrid approach.  Projects are almost never completely waterfall (predictive), or completely agile (waterfall) and can succeed and benefit from both.  Chris references the success of projects such as the Lewis and Clark expedition referenced as a “startup”, Apollo missions to the moon, and simply building a table in your garage to help visualize the adaptive and predictive elements within each “project”.  In each case, the project is successfully completed and delivered using a range of approaches and/or methodologies.

At EPM Live we cater to all users, all work and all processes.  We don’t believe there is a one size fits all approach to managing projects and work effectively.   Some EPM and PPM tools are rigid and require organizations to adjust their processes to align with the tool.  Because our background includes over ten years of consulting with organizations to successfully deploy Enterprise Project and Portfolio Management solutions, our product has been built to easily adapt to the way you work.

For example, when you create a project workspace, you have the option to select from a variety of pre-built Project Management templates accessed from our App Marketplace.  Our Apps are built with leading industry and business best practices embedded in the configuration to enable rapid adoption and standardization of all types of work.  As we gain insight from our service team, partners and customers, we continually enhance and build new templates for our customers to benefit from.

Some of our most recent additions include our new PM plus Agile Select template.  Essentially, this template is our “hybrid” approach to support using waterfall (predictive) and agile (adaptive) methodologies within one template.

  • Collaborate with team members with requests, team discussions issues and risks.
  • Manage schedules with our online planner, or Microsoft Project along for your predictive needs
  •         
  • Plan iterations and manage your backlog using our Agile Planner for more adaptive and iterative planning.

It is the best of both worlds!  Reality is it doesn’t have to be agile vs. waterfall.   It’s about managing and delivering successful projects in the most effective, efficient method that works for you!

If you’d like to read Chris’s full article:  http://anagilestory.com/2011/11/17/predictive-and-adaptive-planning-2/

Other Related Links

Blog – 5 Benefits of Agile

Blog – How Waterfall and Agile Work Together at EPM Live

Blog – Burn Down Charts – Not Just for Software Development Anymore….

Blog – WorkEngine #Agile Management – Expanding Iterative Planning Outside of Software Development

Gartner's 2013 PPM Predictions – View Report Here

2013 is well under way but organizations are still struggling with their Project Portfolio and Work Management processes.  The business world is forever changing and for organizations to thrive they must be able to adopt or even better, be an early adopter of the noted trends and predictions. Gartner Inc. predicts in 2013 that PPM leaders must embrace constant innovation and change.   We believe our PPM solutions align with Gartner’s predictions through online project management software that is flexible for the entire organization and robust enough for the most experienced user.

 

Download Gartner’s full 2013 PPM Predicts Report here

 

Here are Gartner’s top 2013 predictions for the Project Portfolio Management industry:

1. Through 2016, the accepted norm will be 20% project failure as organizations are forced to take on increased risk to achieve desired returns.

We find that successful program and project reviews focus on strategies to make project delivery successful.  Even for projects doing well, forecasting future issues is critical and overall risk mitigation must be an ongoing practice.  Leverage the right tools to track all issues and risks and introduce portfolio what-if modeling to determine the result of ongoing project changes.

2. By 2015, 60% of the Fortune 1000 will establish an EPMO to improve the value created by investments in projects and programs.

Enterprise processes and standards are critical in enabling repeatable successes.  Best practice implementation will mitigate common challenges and in return prevent rework.  We provide tools that align with your current processes and helps you build a roadmap to adopt more functionality and discipline at the right pace to ensure user adoption and prevents the introduction of additional risks.  To learn more about process adoption and common EPM deployment challenges, join us for our upcoming webinar PPM for the Enterprise – Overcoming Deployment Challenges

3.  By 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.  

The project management industry has changed significantly over the last few years. We are seeing that Project Management tools are aligning more to the users, giving them tools that adapt to their working styles.  Social project management (click here to view a presentation on social project management) has come into play to help users become more productive by giving them the flexibility to get the work done in their own way. This approach fosters relationships, builds knowledge share, and identifies team experts in various areas that may not have been discovered before.   It’s an innovative world and we must modify our technology as our culture changes to appeal to our stakeholders.  Work CAN be fun. 

Learn more about EPM Live and why over 5,000 customers trust us with their PPM Work Management Needs. Try a free trial today!

 

Improve Project Success with Better Scope Management

More often than not, organizations lack standardized forms or templates for scope management. Scope management is critical in avoiding project risks and failure. More and more project leaders are turning to project management software and better work management practices to help them better manage scope through all phases of the project.

Project Scope Management describes the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully.  Per the PMBOK Guide, scope management includes the following elements: scope planning, scope definition, WBS creation, scope verification, and scope change control.  How many times have you worked on a project and the end result is aligned exactly to the original requirements?  My guess would be, not that many.  Giving your customers what they ask for is essential… no more, no less.  That being said, scope creep happens, so know how to manage it!

What does good scope management consist of? 

  • Global Visibility of Work Performance:
    • Keep an eye on all work that affects your project’s bottom line
    • Keep all stakeholders up to date with current project and task status
    • Ensure all stakeholders can access their work in one location
  • Implement Change Control:
    • Set up a change control process to ensure all changes go through the proper governance for approval or dismissal
    • Set up workflow where needed to streamline these changes for faster turn times and process automation
    • Leverage a scenario modeling tool to easily visualize how the proposed scope change affects your current workload and resources
  • Make Sure All Changes Align to the Project Objectives:
    • Ask yourself…Does the requested change align with the project objectives?  Is the new change required to meet the needs of the customer and ensure project success? 
    • Control the project; prevent unneccessary work and don’t add work simply because someone came up with a cool idea
  • Establish a Communication Plan
    • Set up a portal for team collaboration and communication
    • Allow team members the ability to work the way that works best for them; don’t enforce how the work gets done, just ensure that it does
    • Encourage team knowledge share.  This will foster a positive team work environment and will empower productivity.  You never know when experts will appear from no where.  Give people the grounds to communicate

For detailed scope management, follow best practices and align with the steps below:

1. Scope Planning:

  • How will I manage scope of this project?
  • What tools should I use to ensure the requirements of the project are met?
  • How will I measure performance of this project?
  • What factors must I consider regarding internal process and governance?

2. Scope Definition:

  • What is and is not included in this project?
  • What are the needs or requirements of the stakeholders?
  • What pain points are being resolved with the product? 
  • What are the tangible deliverables that will address the pain points?
  • What constraints must be considered in the project?
  • What are the project assumptions?

3. Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):

  • What deliverables are needed for this project?
  • How can I break those deliverables down into manageable peices of work?
  • What tool can I use to define my WBS?
  • Ensure all work items can be interpreted clearly by your resources, don’t allow for misinterpretation
  • Who will do the work?
  • Have all requirements been accommodated in my WBS?

4. Scope Verification:

  • Run project reports to measure completed project work against project plans and scope
  • Communicate with project stakeholders about project status
  • Ensure all work delivered and plan aligns with the original scope definition plus all changes that have been approved through the change management process
  • Ensure all work delivered meets quality standards

5. Scope Control:

  • Prevent scope creep by implementing change control processes
  • Evaluate potential impact of all requested scope changes to make the proper decisions
  • Be proactive

EPM Live Transforms PPM Cloud: EPM Live's Answer to Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis

In today’s day and age, we have a plethora of smart software at our fingertips designed to streamline organizational components, align strategic goals and create automated processes. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE GARTNER REPORT

With that said industry experts are raising the issue of the lack of a single data-sharing platform that would allow business managers and executives to unify disparate financial, project, and operational data to collaborate effectively ado achieve the highest ROI. Specifically IT organizations are confronted with this challenge; is Integrated IT Portfolio analysis (IIPA) is the answer?

There are many benefits to implementing IIPA, it’s designed to help facilitate automated processes for one or many functional silos. IIPA gives department managers the tools to provide accurate information to stakeholders and executives so they can understand the current state of each department, allowing executives to make better strategic decisions and plan for increased business growth.

The capabilities of IIPA are desirable for businesses who view their IT function as a critical strategic component of the business.  IT can enable or cripple the ability to deliver projects and services to market and generate revenue.

IIPA is also for organizations that build products as the IT department serves as its core and requires regular technical changes to underlying components. IIPA can help these types of companies maintain and integrate the respective IT portfolio views required to fully understand and analyze the IT function before changes are made to it, reducing time, cost and risk.

Additionally, if you characterize your business as mainly operational, and IT is not typically viewed as strategic to your business’ success, IIPA will help you identify opportunities to modernize the IT function and reduce underlying IT overhead costs. Cost optimization is one universal benefit of practicing IIPA, but the additional use of IIPA to analyze IT change from a strategic perspective is a more powerful and compelling capability. 

In our newsletter featuring Gartner research, EPM Live presents our answer to IIPA with our latest product release, EPM Live 4.3 – a PPM Work Management Platform. Instead of your typical single solution software, EPM Live has created a platform that supports multiple business verticals with cutting-edge build-to-order technology that extends Project Portfolio Management to all areas of the enterprise regardless of work focus.  EPM Live brings all work together for true IIPA including project, products, applications and services. 

EPM Live’s App Marketplace, allows organizations to add on additional line of business (LOB) applications with a simple click of a button without the need for another platform investments. This allows organizations to build on their PPM solutions at their own pace to bring truly integrated work solutions to every team in the business including Sales, Operations, Application Teams, Product Development Teams, Service Teams and PMOs.   

EPM Live apps come in many forms:

  • Single Apps-  Add a specific feature to your PPM and work management environment such as timesheets
  • Bundled Apps- Add multiple features/apps such as service requests that include a service request planner and service request task list
  • Site Apps- Add full solution apps (LOB apps) that include all the tools, disciplines and methodology you need to manage a specific type of work for a specific area of business including Sales, Operations, Application Teams, Product Development Teams, Service Teams and PMOs
  • Add On Apps- Add 3rd party apps from trusted EPM Live partners to add even more functionality to your EPM Live environment such as Newsgator, Yammer, HelpDesk OSP, SharePlus, Microsoft Project Professional, etc.

Watch the video to see how the App Marketplace can help you extend PPM across your organization. 

To get more information on EPM Live’s award winning technology:

Why EPM Live? Project Portfolio Management for Everyone!

One of the biggest and most important questions we get at EPM Live is “Why EPM Live?”  

EPM Live’s roots began in 1999 as consultants for Project Portfolio and Work Management solutions and implementations. We quickly become a Microsoft Gold certified Partner and Microsoft’s go to Technical Advisor. To date we have been a part of implementations in over 35 countries. We also have a global Partner Community of over 125 Partners in over 30 countries.

So Why EPM Live? Our solution is designed with usability in mind, EPM Live creates efficiencies and empowers resources to work smart and receive the highest ROI.

  • All Work , All Processes, One Platform – EPM Live is designed to manage all work in the truest sense. Organizations can now manage their projects, their products and their services as well as all other work in one platform without the need for integration. EPM Live software is built with industry best practices and supports all PPM methodologies. Learn More
  • Flexible Platform to meet  All Users, All Maturity Levels – EPM Live specializes in providing functionality aligned with user maturity, while leaving a high ceiling for growth and scalability. Individual silos can all use the same centralized system to manage varying projects and tasks. For instance, Marketing teams can leverage the simple scheduling tools to run marketing campaigns while product teams may use more mature agile tools to plan their iterations and releases and IT PMOs may need full blown scheduling engines to build out their plans. Regardless of the maturity, the tools are offered in EPM Live. Learn More.
  • EPM Live App Marketplace – Prebuilt Apps & Templates – The EPM Live App Marketplace for diverse organizational verticals is the 1st Work Management Platform leveraging build-to-order technology that extends Project Portfolio Management (PPM) to all areas of the enterprise regardless of work focus.  With EPM Live’s App Marketplace, organizations can build on their PPM solutions at their own pace to bring truly integrated work solutions to every team in the business including Sales, Operations, Application Teams, Product Development Teams, Service Teams and PMOs. Learn More.
  • We Support You – PPM systems are typically not simple and many times resistance follows due to forced processes, change and fear of the unfamiliar. EPM Live’s SharePoint base already contributes to less resistance and faster user adoption; however, we offer users many support formats to ensure users have what they need to continue to increase productivity with EPM Live. EPM Live has the following support tools offered to every user: Live chat, user forums, access to knowledge base (KB), online training, EPM Live University, how to videos, FAQs, technical blogs, phone support and email support. Learn More
  • The Power to Choose – While many PPM systems specialize in either online or on-premise solutions, EPM Live understands that there is no one size fits all solution or deployment option. EPM Live offers all deployment methods to support the requirements of all of our customers. EPM Live offers online, hosted and on-premise options as well as a dedicated environment offering. With EPM Live you are never locked into a deployment method, get started online and easily move in-house, deployment options will never be a limitation. Learn More

Want to learn more about EPM Live, try a FREE trial today or Request a Demo!

Not sold quite yet…

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!

Publish Your SharePoint Project and Work Tasks to Outlook with EPM Live

One of the biggest challenges with an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution is getting all users to actually use the tool.   The data that comes out of the PPM tool is only as good as the information going in.  That being said, a critical success factor for implementing a PPM tool is high user adoption.  So how do you ensure that all users use the tool, and even better, WANT to use it?   You provide the tools needed to ensure users can work in the format most familiar to them.

EPM Live has been implementing PPM systems since 1999.  Because our solutions are built with usability in mind, removing adoption barriers is a requirement that has been the basis for many new features over the years.   Email applications are one of the most commonly used systems in organizations today which means that users are familiar with their email toolset.  In addition to many other integrations EPM Live offers to help users collaborate more effectively, EPM Live offers an Outlook integration that synchronizes all EPM Live work items with your Outlook task list.

With EPM Live, work is always consolidated in one central location (“My Work”) within Microsoft SharePoint.  EPM Live’s Outlook Publisher allows Microsoft Outlook users to easily connect to projects, tasks issues and other work items in EPM Live to collaborate in the way most familiar to them.

Easily Synchronize All Work Assigned to You In Any Outlook Task Folder

Features:

  • Synch with EPM Live: Outlook synchronizes with your “My Work” view from EPM Live automatically and in real time
  • Set automatic synchronization schedules with EPM Live sites or manually synchronize “My Work” from EPM Live at any time
  • Easily automatically connect to EPM Live when creating new Outlook task folders
  • “My Work” items are automatically removed from your Outlook task folders when any related EPM Live connections are removed for easy self clean-up
  • Changes to your “My Work” items are stored and automatically synchronized later if network connectivity is unavailable at the time you save the task, issue, risk, change, backlog, or custom work item for offline support needs
  • Easily manage all tasks in your Outlook task folders.  Switch views via the ribbon to only see your EPM Live “My Work” items, your Outlook native tasks, or both types of tasks in one consolidated view
  • Make changes to your work items directly in Outlook and changes are automatically synched back to EPM Live

Publish changes from local My Work items back to EPM Live

The EPM Live Outlook Publisher works with both Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2010. We offer both 32- and 64-bit versions for Outlook 2010.  Sign up for EPM Live today!

EPM Live, Agile and Team Foundation Server

Many organizations are looking for a way to bridge the gap between Agile project & work management needs and application lifecycle development using Team Foundation Server 2010 (TFS).  Team Foundation Server 2010 automates the software delivery process providing powerful tools to deliver quality software while building and sharing institutional knowledge.   An organization that is looking to have portfolio visibility across all types of projects, manage ALL work, and utilize a more robust agile/iterative planning tool then Excel, can leverage the power of EPM Live with TFS integration.

EPM Live’s partner OAG International, a Gold Certified Microsoft partner, has built an out of the box integration with Team Foundation Server to strengthen your application lifecycle management solution by bridging the gap between Agile project management using EPM Live’s SharePoint based project and work management, and application development using TFS 2010. . We’ve brought together the best of both worlds to create a win-win situation that enables project management/Scrum master and development teams to collaborate and communicate a project timeline and progress using familiar tools such as Visual Studio and EPM Live WorkEngine, or PortfolioEngine on Microsoft SharePoint 2010.  Key highlights include:

  • Robust Agile Planning:  Tightly integrate TFS tasks, resources and activities with EPM Live to get the right information to the stakeholders for planning and collaboration.  Synchronize backlog items with TFS, and use the Agile Planner to iteratively plan and track tasks, defects, etc.
  • Jump-start Adoption:  Your development and project management teams can stay in their comfort zones and easily collaborate and communicate a project timeline and progress using familiar tools.
  • Focus on Productivity: Your employees can utilize the “My Work” module of EPM Live to view all the tasks assigned to them. They can also use the Timesheet module to report time against all their assigned tasks. Managers can perform what-if analysis and optimize resource utilizations.
  • Faster Agility: Utilizing the project roll-up and dashboard functions in PortfolioEngine your agile team will gain faster insight and gain greater control over projects resulting in improved project performance.

How does it work?  Simple….  Each project, or release, is associated to a TFS Project for synchronization.

Then, from EPM Live, Project Managers or Scrum Masters, can easily synchronize the backlog list to Team Foundation Server.  Project Managers, or Scrum Masters, can leverage our pre-built templates such as the Software Development – Agile EPM Live template.  Your team can log defects, features, user stories, and task as they arise, chat in team discussions, and share documents.   Built-in reports let you see relevant project dashboards and artifacts such as Burn Down reports. This template leverages the EPM Live Agile Planner which provides drag-and-drop capabilities for moving backlog items into specific iterations, moving items between iterations, and for decomposing user stories and defects into tasks and subtasks. The EPM Live Agile Planner provides dynamic rollups of Story Points and Work Estimates compared to Point and Work Capacity Values, so that over-allocations can be viewed and addressed.  Immediately capture team status, time and new requests from a simple SharePoint user experience.   View resource workload assignments across all types of work, including backlog items.  You could also leverage the PM plus Agile select template which is our “hybrid” approach to support using waterfall (predictive) and agile (adaptive) methodologies within one template.

 

On synch, all work items are given a unique ID to be used for mapping purposes, and you can navigate to the work items within TFS:

Now, with all project data in one system, executives have visibility to the complete portfolio of all projects and all work with over 60 pre-built reports!

For more information on our TFS Integration, VIEW VIDEO.