Posts

PMBOK Template for SharePoint – Following the PMBOK has Never Been Easier!

The PMBOK is an internationally recognized standard providing fundamentals of project management that apply to a wide range of projects. The processes that are defined in the PMBOK are outlined in the PMI Framework. If you are a PMP then you know how difficult it can be to ensure your projects are properly aligned with the framework. For this reason, EPM Live is offering a PMBOK SharePoint Project Management template. This template gives project managers the tool needed to meet PMBOK compliance for all projects. Use the easy to use check list to view all inputs, outputs, tools and techniques for all process groups and knowledge areas. Following the PMBOK has never been easier!

 

 

 

 

PMBOK Highlights:

  • Project Scheduling & Task Management – leverage multiple scheduling tools to meet every scheduling need

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Issue, Change, & Risk Management – easily convert items (ex. convert a change request to a task or issue)

 

 

 

 

  • PMBOK Checklist & Compliance Dashboard- leverage out of the box dashboards to monitor compliance

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Integration with Microsoft Project – in addition to online scheduling tools, you can also connect with Microsoft Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Visual Reports with Dashboards – leverage out of the box reports for simple project reporting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easily practice the PMBOK methodology as you manage your projects with EPM Live’s out of box PMBOK template!

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!

 

 

Jack in the Box Implements EPM Live to Reduce Cost and Improve PPM Maturity

EPM Live recently sat down with Kourtney Kennedy, PMP, Manager of Jack in the Box IT Portal Development.  Jack in the Box is one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains with more than 2,200 restaurants in 19 states.  Most people don’t know they were even responsible for developing the first major hamburger chain drive-thru.

Now that you know who they are, let’s touch on EPM Live’s relationship with Jack.  Jack in the Box had a common pain point with many IT organizations today; they had a multi-maturity organization that required a Project, Portfolio Management (PPM) solution that would meet the needs of each individual, each team and every department.  EPM Live has completed hundreds of large EPM implementations since its conception in 1999.  It is refreshing to see that many of the common challenges that were faced 5 years ago have been addressed with easy to use, yet comprehensive technology.  It is no longer impossible for organizations to have a one-size-fits-all solution that will indeed meet the needs of every stakeholder.  Jack in the Box is the perfect case study to reflect this evolution.  The system was designed to give executives visibility into all project and work initiatives within the organization, while at the same time, meeting the needs of each individual team.  They type of work didn’t matter, EPM Live could handle iterative planning for the product teams, complex project planning for IT and lightweight planning or simple to do lists for all other functional teams.  Take a look at some of the highlights below; to download the full case study or view the case study video, please click here.

Challenge:

  • Jack in the Box was using multiple segregated systems to run their projects
  • There were multiple project management maturity levels within the organization.  Jack in the Box could only accommodate those who were mature enough to use a complex toolset.   Adoption was low and there was resistance to use the current system in place
  • Project schedules were scattered and were not available for global visibility
  • Project communication was not structured nor centralized
  • Project requests were copied and pasted into toolset and received through multiple methods
  • IT contracts and requests were difficult to submit, making IT services hard to obtain

Solution:

  • Support 687 users and over 600 projects
  • Leverage system already in place (SharePoint) to protect current IT investments
  • Remove disparate and segregated legacy systems and accommodate all users, all work and all processes
  • Map to current processes already in place
  • Meet requirements for multiple teams, users and roles
  • Aid in the portfolio management selection process by scoring project requests via defined KPIs

Results:

  • Global visibility into work and projects across the entire organization for more informed decision making and control
  • Reduction of dollars spent on redundant systems and duplicated effort
  • Organized method of managing work to reduce resource effort and increase productivity
  • Standardized tools and processes to implement best practices and repeatable processes
  • Eliminated the risks and costs associated with implementing the wrong projects or those that would provide minimal value to the organization
  • Roadmap and plan to gradually increase PPM maturity across the organization
  • One tool to support all users and processes
  • Increased value of IT by automating processes and making it easy for business owners to make requests

If you would like more information on how EPM Live can help your multi-maturity organization, please feel free to contact us or join one of our recent webinars, “Implementing Enterprise Project Portfolio Management for a Multi-maturity Organization“.  To sign up for a free trial, please click here.

PPM for Government – How Government Agencies Can Leverage EPM Live to Reduce IT Spending

Last week, Federal Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel released the following statement in his blog, “This week, we released the details of the FY 2013 IT Budget request totaling $78.8 billion. This is a 0.75 percent decrease from the FY 2012 enacted level of  $79.4 billion – and is noteworthy given the historical growth of Government IT spending. In fact, from FY 2001 through FY 2009, IT spending nearly doubled, growing at an annual rate of 7 percent.”  He then went on to say, “We are seizing on the power of 21st century technology to consolidate data centers; move to lightweight, shareable technologies, such as cloud computing, while also directing agencies to consolidate commodity IT services; and shift to shared services. For example, the Department of Defense (DOD) is saving up to $300 million in FY 2013 from the closure of 100 data centers and the President’s Budget proposes close to a $1 billion decrease in their IT budget.”

As with many organizations, the administration is looking to IT to help reduce costs and maximize efficiencies. By consolidating systems, leveraging cloud computing and bettering Project and Portfolio Management processes, government agencies can make these goals a reality.

Achieving operational efficiency while running large-scale programs effectively are mission critical disciplines that many organizations must conquer to receive the true benefits of IT. EPM Live has had the opportunity to work with many government organizations in the last 10 years.  During the current recession many government leaders have been instructed to cut IT budgets. That being said, they are also looking to IT to reduce costs as a result of IT initiatives. So how can government leaders do more with less?  EPM Live’s strategies that have been implemented via government contracts  including Federal civilian, department of defense as well as state and local governments include:

[unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • Eliminating Redundant Systems and Segregated Silos of Information – Government agencies have a tendency to build custom solutions that are disconnected from other IT platforms.  The escalating trend and popularity of SaaS (software-as-a-service) and cloud services can help these government organizations bring systems to market quickly, less costly and without the overhead and infrastructure typically required to implement new systems, not to mention the maintenance that follows. Because EPM Live is an “all work” platform, eliminating unnecessary legacy systems is a reality.  Managing all work within an organization including projects, operational work, products, etc. on one system is now possible. Just like any other business in the world today, these government agencies must not lose site of innovation, new technology and new ways of managing work in order to keep a competitive edge. Data center growth can now take a back seat and data consolidation can bring to light the significance of having more resources available to work on the initiatives that will bring more value to the organization.
  • Implementing Project Portfolio Management (PPM) – Resulting in Better Decision Making and Positive Project Outcomes– Over the years many government projects have been evaluated and processes have been modified as a result. Over the years, the budget plans have reflected the need to cancel and cut projects that are severely over budget and behind schedule. They also require detailed business cases for initiatives that will likely bring more value and attract new funding. To support these efforts, PPM technology is essential. EPM Live has helped government organizations evaluate their projects and programs by allowing business case creation, scoring criteria, ROI analysis and what-if modeling. These organizations can ensure the right projects are being implemented. It has been stated that many government projects weren’t realizing value for years. By that time, the fast-paced world we live in today has changed dramatically, the original benefits of the project were no longer valuable and the needs have changed based on technology drivers, environmental factors, or economic conditions. Implementing PPM technology that will show ROI, timeframe, cost estimates and resource plans along with the business drivers is essential to ensure this type of planning doesn’t consume investments. Choosing the right projects and ensuring a short term value realization can help government leaders make the right strategic decisions to align with objectives, and just as importantly, reduce the risk of potential failure.
  • Improving Organizational Maturity– As mentioned above, one of the best ways to cut costs is to improve Project and Portfolio Management processes. EPM Live helps government organizations align their current processes to a toolset which in turn brings a familiarity to the system creating fast adoption rates and usability. Once the current processes are mapped and usage of the system is high, maturity growth is natural and the risks of overcoming change is minimal. Because we design our products to accommodate all users at all maturity levels, there is a sense of accountability that comes with individual ownership of a tool that can only be present if the users feel as if the system was built with their processes in mind. EPM Live provides many tools for collaboration that help users share best practices, create repeatable processes and work towards maturity improvement goals. As processes improve and maturity levels increase, productivity increases and overall efficiencies begin to unfold.  To join a webinar on “Implementing PPM for a Multi-Maturity Organization” register here.
  • Increasing Project Transparency and Awareness – It is becoming more and more evident that providing constituents with data insight into government project spending and status is critical to running projects effectively. The degree in which the government serves its customers is crucial to its success just as it is to all consumer focused businesses operating today. The government has taken many steps to improving project transparency over the years. In 2009, an IT dashboard was launched to give the American people insight into how government funding was being spent and how those initiatives were performing. Later, the government launched a program in which they would conduct program reviews and would allow for termination of programs that were not producing dividends for the American people. EPM Live has implemented these dashboards
    within many government agencies to increase transparency, generate awareness, bring to light potential risks before they become major issues and to create timely solutions to the visible problems that persist. Awareness simply gives businesses the ability to react quickly and respond to the issues that often manifest within projects due to delayed resolution.

[/unordered_list]

There are many steps that government agencies can take to realize full benefit of IT.  To learn more about EPM Live and its Government solutions, please contact us for more information.

 

Project Manager Today Shares EPM Live Product Review

Steve Cotterell of Project Manager today takes a look at EPM Live, “A SharePoint add-on that turns it into a full-blown portfolio, project and work management tool.”

“Microsoft’s SharePoint is a major player on the corporate collaboration scene. It therefore makes perfect sense that any project oriented organisation that’s invested SharePoint technology would want to take advantage of that investment when considering what project management software they should use. Enter EPM Live, an American company with offices in London and Australia and partners in thirty-five other countries. There are currently three Engines in EPM Live’s portfolio:   Project, Portfolio and Work Engines.”

Project Manager Today provides an unrivalled means of addressing the project & programme management communities in the UK and overseas.   To read the full review click here.

EPM Live "PM Lite" Template for Simple Online Project Management

An enterprise project management system typically isn’t tailored to meet the needs of ALL users.  An enterprise system is just that, a tool to be shared and used by the entire organization.  The problem is that most teams in an organization work differently.  They have different processes, they follow different leaders, they have different areas of focus, and most of all, they are at different maturity levels within the PM maturity.  In fact, most likely you have non-PMs running projects somewhere across your organization.  A PPM system must allow you to define your enterprise needs and then customize the tool to meet the needs of individual teams, project managers, or departments.  If each user understands that the tool will meet their needs and resolve their pain points, everyone wins.  Executives get to see what they need across the enterprise and individual teams can work the way they work to make the tool effective.  Usability equals success in an enterprise system, and the data outputs are only as good as the information going into the tool.

With this in mind EPM Live offers our “PM Lite” PM Lite Project Workspace template suits those project managers looking for a simple project management tool with easy collaboration and scheduling tools.

Project teams improve collaboration and keep projects on track with the power to choose to use either the EPM Live Online Planner or Microsoft Project to manage your schedule.  Your team can log issues as they arise, chat in team discussions, and share documents.   Built-in reports let you see relevant project dashboards and artifacts.  EPM Live is always striving to meet the needs of ALL users and ALL process across ALL work!

Watch a few videos to learn more about how to use our Online Project Planner:

Project Planner Overview

Project Planner Deep Dive

PM Lite” Highlights:

  • Project scheduling using the EPM Live Online Planner or Microsoft Project.

  • Issues & Document Management

  •  Visual Reports & Dashboards

  • Notifications & Alerts to improve collaboration for your team

 

 

How EPM Live Aligns With the Top 10 Project Management Trends of 2012

I recently stumbled upon an interesting article on PM Hut that identifies and describes the top 10 project management trends of 2012, as determined by ESI International senior executives and subject matter experts.  At EPM Live, we strive to keep our products and services ahead of the curve, and in alignment with industry best practices and standards.  It was with great delight, though without surprise, to see that EPM Live’s products are right in tune with many of the top 10 trends for this year.

As said by ESI International, “custom-made project approaches, innovative project tools and smarter resource management will be essential for driving the greatest business impact.”  Yes, we agree!

1.  Program management will gain momentum, but resources remain in short supply

With EPM Live tools, you can effectively plan resources from initial high-level role based planning down to detailed work item assignments, and ensure that the right resources are appointed.  When resource scarcity is an issue, plan and assign resources accurately to maximize their availability without over-allocating them to too much work.  Maximize resource allocation by ensuring the right resources are assigned to the right work at the right time.  Some of these tools include our Resource Planner and Analyzer, Resource availability reports, what-if-modeling for resource assignments, and more!  Click here to read more about resource management available with EPM Live.  To view PortfolioEngine Resource Management capabilities click here.

2.  Collaboration software solutions will become an essential business tool for project teams

“Collaboration is central to project management and having a site which allows project artifacts to be created, shared, and distributed within a repository that provides Web-based access and critical functions such as automatic distribution and notification, version control, and user authentication, greatly enhances productivity.”

EPM Live offers many ways for project teams to easily collaborate with one another and communicate efficiently.  The EPM Live solutions are built on SharePoint, so we’re able to start with all the well-known collaboration capabilities, and then add EPM Live’s collaborative tools.  Share knowledge and better collaborate with your work teams to increase productivity and efficiency through various modes of communication.  Some of these examples include comments threads on work items, workspaces for teams to focus on project-specific collaboration, easy statusing of work items, flexible alerts and notifications, and much more!  Click here to see many of the collaboration tools available from EPM Live.

3.  Learning transfer will become the new mantra, but with little structured application

4.  Agile blends with waterfall for a new “hybrid” approach

EPM Live offers pre-built templates that allow teams to manage projects using a variety of methodologies.  This includes Agile & Waterfall joined as a hybrid approach, as well as the same solutions independently.

We have a related blog on this topic.  Click here to read more about Waterfall plus Agile as hybrid planning with EPM Live.  To see some of the work template offered with EPM Live’s WorkEngine, click here.

5.  Smarter project investments will require a stronger marriage between project management and business process management (BPM)

“The more impact the project has on reducing internal costs, the higher it will be ranked. The “smart” money will be spent on driving costs out of the business.”

With EPM Live, organizations gain visibility across the portfolio, and can utilize tools to ensure the right projects are selected and managed, in accordance with important business-wide drivers and priority scoring.  Capture and determine the right mix and sequencing of proposed projects and ideas to best achieve the organization’s overall goals. View various reports to evaluate which projects bring the most value to the business.  Click here to read an EPM Live white paper about successful portfolio planning.

6.  Internal certifications in corporations and federal agencies will eclipse the PMP®

7.  More PMO heads will measure effectiveness on business results

“To judge business effectiveness, PMO heads need to determine if their work has had a positive, quantifiable effect on the business in terms of troubled project reduction, lower project manager attrition, and faster time to market. In 2012 the practice of measuring the outputs, not the inputs, of project management will gain traction.”

Reporting is essential to see not only how the business is doing with regards to their active portfolio of projects and work, but also to see how successfully they closed out completed projects, for metrics & future improvement.  EPM Live has many out of box reports available, and the capabilities to modify existing and build new custom reports.  Click here for more info about reporting & business intelligence from EPM Live.

8.  Good project managers will buck unemployment trends

9.  Client-centric project management will outpace the “triple constraint”

“The new definition of project success is that a project can exceed its time and cost estimates so long as the client determines that it is successful by whatever criteria they use. In today’s environment, project value is determined by the “recipient”—or client—not the “provider.””

EPM Live offers flexible & configurable project success criteria and business drivers.  This allows your organization to determine how you will grade your projects and requests, objectively scoring them in accordance with those business drivers.  This can also be done in terms of determining the final success of an active or closed project.  Take those same capabilities of the project selection scoring, and incorporate them as objectively scoring the success of the projects.   Click here for more about the portfolio management capabilities available from EPM Live.

10.  HR professionals will seek assessments to identify high-potential project managers

 

Note: All quotes are from the PM Hut article.  To view the full article posted by ESI International on the PM Hut site, click here.

 

Queensland Department of Employment Selects EPM Live's WorkEngine

The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) brings together specialist knowledge, networks and services to work with significant businesses and industry sectors. In this way it will help deliver an economy and way of life to benefit all Queenslanders.

Improving job opportunities for individuals is a DEEDI priority, as is assisting businesses to start-up, expand and respond to challenges like climate change and carbon trading.

DEEDI is marketing Queensland to the world as great place to do business and the ultimate holiday destination. It is helping to take Queensland products to new markets while continuing to expand traditional markets.

The Department is collaborating with local, Federal and State agencies to address major obstacles in areas such as land use, infrastructure and complex legislation; while meeting community expectations to protect individual rights and the environment.

The Department is also tasked with increasing by 50 per cent the proportion of Queensland businesses undertaking research and development, and halving the number of Queensland children living in a household without a working parent.

These are ambitious targets in a volatile time. DEEDI is tackling the challenge using market research, engagement with regional Queensland and the business community, and customer feedback.

With more than 5000 staff, DEEDI offers a range of services to individuals and businesses in all regions across the State. These include:

  • Job opportunities and training
  • Business capability development, investment and trade
  • Technical support and innovative solutions for the entire supply chain
  • Marketing and promotional opportunities
  • Assistance in gaining access to resources and markets
  • Licences, permits and certification
  • Access to applied research and development
  • Access to skilled labour
  • Help with compliance to standards, codes and regulations
  • Responses to animal and plant pests and diseases

The Department reports to the Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade, Andrew Fraser; the Minister for Energy and Water Utilities, Stephen Robertson; the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies, Tim Mulherin; the Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business, Jan Jarratt; The Minister for Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure, Craig Wallace; and the Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining, Stirling Hinchliffe.

 

 

EPM Live Welcomes Abbott B.V.

Thank you for selecting EPM Live’s WorkEngine solution!

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to discovering new medicines, new technologies and new ways to manage health.  Abbott’s products span the continuum of care, from nutritional products and laboratory diagnostics through medical devices and pharmaceutical therapies.  Abbott’s comprehenisve line of products encircles life itself – addressing important health needs from infancy to the golden years.

 

EPM Live Wins TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award for Scheduling Software

The schedule is one of the most critical components used for delivering a project. Project Managers have needs to manage schedules with different levels of rigor and complexity. Other project plan software limit Project Managers to one scheduling tool and method. WorkEngine offers a variety of scheduling methods and tools to meet the needs of every Project Manager.  EPM Live’s WorkEngine has always been known for its flexible scheduling tools that allow users to build schedules and tasks using a variety of methods including simple task lists, the online planner, the agile online planner, or Microsoft Project.  Regardless of user maturity or preferred methodology, EPM Live’s WorkEngine has the right tool for every user.  We are thrilled to announce that it is finally official, EPM Live has been named as one of the top scheduling software tools for 2012 by TopTenREVIEWS.

EPM Live’s WorkEngine’s scheduling application was chosen for the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award because of how effectively it streamlines communication and keeps projects on schedule and under budget.  TopTenREVIEWS evaluates products from multiple platforms providing customers the information they need to make smart purchasing decisions. TopTenREVIEWS only make recommendations for the best product in each category.  “With WorkEngine you can keep track of everyone on your team, their tasks, the budget and the schedule all in one program,” noted TopTenREVIEWS, “with a myriad of support options available from EPM Live, now you can focus on the project and not worry about the details falling through the cracks.”

To read the full review or check out the review video, click here.