Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Problem 6- The Eternal Weekly Progress Meeting

Keeping track of the issues and tasks throughout the life of a project is essential to the project’s ultimate success. Typically, progress meetings are held so that specialists can relay the progress they have made with their tasks and issues and, ultimately, the project to the project manager. A roundtable process sees each specialist update the project manager on where they are at within their project.

The chief concern of the specialists in attendance at the progress meeting is obviously going to be their own involvement in the project, and not that of the others’. For this reason, progress meetings can prove to be tedious and dull for specialists, as well as proving to be a waste of time and resources by having them sit in when it is not necessarily needed. It is these types of meetings that get satirized by Dilbert cartoons and the like.

UniPhi is all about collaboration. The OnSite mobile applications, the issues and risk  modules, contract deliverables linked to timesheets and document sharing all provide a platform for each specialist to communicate any progress made as and when it happens through the software. Providing these simple tools to specialists on the project means that the status of a project is live.

When meetings are called, they can focus primarily on the problems that arise or on strategy development for success. These meetings all have a targeted attendee lists and agendas so that time and resources aren’t wasted. Meetings become a tool to extract the most value from the group environment as possible. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Problem 5 - Issues and Risk Escalation

Issues and risks unfortunately arise continually throughout any and all project environments. These things need to be resolved in order to progress the project, but how can they be resolved properly when those who have the tools and knowledge to actually provide the leadership and solutions can’t seem to find the time? These strapped-for-time guys are senior managers of organisations and are therefore members of numerous governance committees. Being involved in numerous committees is exactly what strips them of all their time and prevents them from getting involved with the issues and risks that need their attention.

Project managers are required to report to senior managers, but, due to the lack of time on the side of these senior managers, the reports are met with little to no feedback and as a result, the project suffers. Project managers continually find themselves in a completely one-sided conversation and a senior manager simply becomes valueless to the project, when they and their expertise should prove invaluable. It is frustrating, it holds up progression and can also end in less than stellar results.

UniPhi Software's project management escalation functionality provides these senior managers with the time they need to be able to clearly see the issues and risks that have been escalated to them throughout any of their numerous projects. At a glance, they are able to see all risks escalated to them and by drilling into a particular issue and reading comments by all who are working on the project, they can then gain context to the issue and contribute to the conversation. This functionality eliminates the one-sided conversation project mangers seem to find themselves in and encourages and promotes the much needed input of the senior managers. This allows for a level of transparency to arise and promotes the successful completion of a project.