Improving Tools

Enterprise Project Management Tools are one element of capability uplift. Many organisations running projects now have some form of tools, compared to 10 years ago. Similarly most of them have some sort of defined Project Management methodology the tools should align to.
EPM Tools vary in complexity, ranging from:

  • Basic stand-alone tools such as Excel, Word and MS Project, used in a ad hoc or defined way
  • Possibly used in conjunction with collaboration tools such as SharePoint, for sharing and information logging/reporting
  • Mid-level Enterprise Project Management tools such as MS Project Server or Daptiv, where Project Management information is centralised and often focused on reporting
  • Large, complex, typically Finance focused Enterprise Project Management tools such as Clarity

The Enterprise Project Management tools are provisioned either on site or hosted by a third party off site. The latter has seen significant growth, and is typically termed “Software as a Service” or SaaS. Many software vendors are focused on moving their customers to SaaS, as it benefits the vendor (through lower support costs) as well as the customer (accessibility and lower support costs).

Core Consulting Group (CCG) can assist customers define their needs, to help select a tool. More importantly CCG can assist customers get more value out of the EPM tool they have. Over the years we have seen many EPM Tool implementations which have either failed or are poorly regarded, generally due to not being seen as providing value together with a perception of being difficult to use. We often find the root cause is a combination of poor or overly complex configuration, poor user training/induction and poor user support and data quality assurance.

CCG can assist customers address these issues through simplification, standardisation, support and training/education. We have seen what works and more importantly what does not. Workflow (automation) is a great example. There is a role on projects for Workflow, e.g. Document approvals. Workflow can be taken too far however, neglecting the need for real Governance (decision making, prioritisation, discussion) which involves interaction between people.