Technologies (especially “project administration application”) has been and will keep on to be an critical element of project administration dialogue and exercise. This is justified. The proper undertaking administration software that is applied correctly can have considerable, constructive consequences on an firm. Even so, the incorrect software program, or computer software carried out poorly can pull an business down.
In our knowledge, we have seen organizations wrestle with the suitable implementation of the right computer software. Several times we discover this stems from a minimal or misunderstood view of the purpose of technological innovation in the first location. For illustration, corporations might appear for a device that can just “schedule tasks”, or they basically do not think through the broader, strategic goal that the technological innovation must provide. This prospects to choosing the incorrect technologies or not implementing it in a way that supplies the most worth for the firm.
The objective of this white paper is to supply a clean perspective on 5 major functions of technologies (and undertaking management application in distinct) in project management.
These reasons arrive from classes realized in the aviation area. The aviation discipline is similar to undertaking management in the sense that it seeks to produce predictable, productive results in an activity with inherent danger. It makes use of technology heavily to fulfill that aim. By learning the function of technologies in aviation, we can derive the key and similar functions that technologies need to serve in task administration. In so undertaking, we can also increase the strategic use of technological innovation to assist our organization’s strategic targets, needs, and procedures.
project management fundamentals : Situational Recognition
Some of the most essential aviation systems, these kinds of as the ILS (instrument landing system), glass panel shows, and GPS (global positioning program) are centered on situational consciousness: permitting the pilot know at every second in which the aircraft is headed, how it is oriented, how higher it is, in which it demands to go, how it is performing, or a amount of other pieces of details.
Venture administration technologies is no diverse. It requirements to offer situational recognition of every single project’s situation, where they are headed, how they are carrying out, and how they need to continue. It also needs to offer recognition of the circumstance of an organization’s total task “portfolio.” If you can not make use of your technologies to know the present predicament of your tasks, you are not making use of technological innovation properly.
The “present venture circumstance” may possibly be different relying on your organization and its certain processes and aims. It could indicate the status of the task schedules, the high quality of the deliverables, the existing diploma of risk, the fulfillment of the clientele, or the point out of the spending budget or earnings figures.
It may possibly suggest how current source utilization will influence the project, what concerns have arisen that would derail the project, or what has slipped by means of the cracks.
The critical thing is to always be mindful of the task predicament so that you can make smart, well timed, well-knowledgeable choices.
You can aspect this into your undertaking management engineering implementation by doing the following:
Discover the key data that you need to have to maintain situational recognition.
Make certain that your undertaking management software program resource(s) can observe and provide this details.
Train your employees on supplying this data in the tool.
Purpose two: Decision Producing
In aviation, pilots must be in a position to make rapid choices making use of accurate info. For instance, a pilot requirements to know exactly what is incorrect with the plane to make a excellent selection on following measures. They require to know how much gasoline is remaining to make a decision on weather conditions avoidance.
Similarly, managers require to have correct knowledge to make conclusions in task administration. They require to know what is mistaken with a venture so they can make a great choice on up coming methods. They require to know resource availability to prioritize attempts and decide on directions. In many organizations, this sort of info is not commonly accessible, possibly because the correct toolset is not in place or the toolset has not been applied in a way that supports this strategic objective.
More than ten years back there was a undertaking supervisor situation that was held by the author of this whitepaper. Each and every 7 days, the venture administration team would spend hours (virtually) compiling long standing reviews for management. They would need to have to track down the standing of everything and document them, together with a host of other information. Is it good to have this details compiled? Indeed. But it positive is a useful resource-intensive way of carrying out it that could be substituted with very good technology and very good process. Was the info properly and used? That was unclear.
Request by yourself, what is the data you need to make very good conclusions? What difficulties does your organization routinely experience? Do you have actual-time insight into these issues? Do you have all of this information readily available at all moments? If not, make a professional-active energy to use method and engineering to empower your choice making to be significantly a lot more exact, educated, and effective.
In order to make selections, two factors have to arise:
The data needed to make decisions should be compiled.
The details essential to make conclusions need to be easily offered.
Venture management application technological innovation fits into this broader purpose, but once again you need to have to make sure that:
You know what information you want.
Your undertaking administration application technology is able of compiling the data you need to have to make conclusions.
The information in your project management software technologies is constantly commonly accessible.
Your crew is trained on how to accurately compile the appropriate details into the tool so that you can retrieve it to make conclusions.
Objective 3: Automation of Routine Duties
A recent article in an aviation periodical referred to a specified modern airliner as a 650,000 pound computer. There is a lot of technology in cockpits these days and much of it automates regimen duties for pilots. For illustration, pilots can use automated engine administration systems that get rid of the require for the pilots to deal with the particular thrust levels, temperatures, and other engine parameters checklists are automatic alerts (notifications) are automatic and so forth.
This automation does three things:
It lowers the threat of human mistake (i.e. somebody makes a blunder whilst pursuing a dull, routine approach).
It frees up the sources (aka pilots) for far more essential issues.
It permits much more responsibilities to be achieved in the same amount of time with fewer men and women (a third pilot is no for a longer time necessary).
There are a lot of, a lot of program tasks done in task administration which get an massive amount of time. Every single group has program responsibilities that it has to do to be operational. Sometimes it is inconceivable how a lot of a great number of several hours are spent on mundane pursuits. This might only be because it is much more relaxed and simple to do issues the identical way that we are employed to carrying out them. Some that come to head contain the notification of functions, the reporting of standing, discovering out if some thing is carried out or not, locating a doc, routing incoming requests for perform, filling out and disseminating types, and collecting time.
The proper venture administration software technologies can automate the regimen issues that your group does. This has equivalent advantages for project administration:
It minimizes the danger of human error in your procedures.
It frees up sources to do more critical things (these kinds of as billable operate or getting function off somebody else’s plate).
It helps make it easier to complete the approach (much less skill is required to carry out it).
It permits much more responsibilities to be accomplished in the exact same volume of time with much less folks.
If you implement or use engineering without having possessing this broader function in brain, you will not be making use of your technological innovation efficiently. In reality, you may be just swapping one particular instrument out for an additional with no a net reward.
What are approaches that technology in task management can automate routine responsibilities?
Having standing inputs (this kind of as a crew member entering % complete) and instantly rolling that up into venture-stage position.
Routinely notifying important staff when an problem has arisen.
Centralizing all information so that there is a single area to locate it.
Automatically routing incoming requests so that the appropriate person can see and respond to it.
Amassing time described details and routinely creating reports on actual time usage.
Instantly aggregating all undertaking ideas and schedules into helpful source utilization views and reviews.
Instantly making new tasks from templates that adhere to a pre-defined route and get rid of the require to re-create that route.
Automating the era of proposals and other templated paperwork.
What this looks like for your organization will be various due to the fact you have different strategic objectives, diverse procedures, and distinct routines that eat up a lot of your staff’s time.
The point is to recognize the goal of technology so that you can use it strategically to achieve a certain purpose.
As with other functions, you need to have to consider pro-active motion to satisfy this objective by making certain:
You know which tasks are regimen and time-intensive in your business.
Your undertaking management computer software tool(s) can automate those routine tasks.
Your venture management application tools(s) are set up correctly to automate these routine jobs.
Goal 4: Assistance for Standardized Processes
Standardized procedures are a massive part of the aviation world and a massive explanation why it has had success at creating predictable, effective results in a dangerous setting. In aviation, engineering supports the standardized process surroundings. Technology is not implemented simply because it would be cool or neat. It is strategically applied to help the standardized procedures. For case in point, component of the takeoff checks procedure is to affirm that the appropriate runway is programmed into the flight administration computer. Properly, in many systems, the proper runway is displayed correct where the pilot wants to see it to total this normal procedure. It is also regular process that when an plane is descending in clouds in direction of a runway that they cannot proceed beneath a specified altitude except if the runway setting is in sight. Technology supports this procedure by exhibiting the minimal altitude and alerting the pilots if they go below it.
Technological innovation in venture administration tends to be separated from the function of supporting standardized procedures. We may have a procedure, but we may possibly also be seeking for a “scheduling instrument.” In other words, we appear at them in a different way, but the two go hand in hand. A single of the primary reasons of technological innovation have to be to support the standardized processes of an business. Why is a standardized method important? Because you cannot have a predictable (ordered) final result if you have a random process. The method should be standardized and purchased.
Engineering ought to aid us implement, keep, and increase standardized procedures across the business. Examples include on the internet checklists and templates, exception reporting of products exterior the procedure (aka alerts), and workflow automation that follows a certain approach. These kinds of items assist the strategic process and the general purpose of implementing strategic goals.
Your undertaking administration software program resource(s) need to fulfill this fundamental purpose as well. You also require to get the pursuing pro-active methods:
Guarantee that your processes are documented correctly.
Make certain that your task management computer software device(s) support your processes.
Guarantee that your team understands how to control the procedure in the resource.
Make sure that your group is skilled on executing the procedure inside of the tool.
Function five: Perception into Traits, Troubles, and Overall performance
In aviation, there are methods and even companies in location to mine data and discover tendencies and potential long term risks. Is there a pattern of particular errors that pilots are creating that require to be addressed by means of training? Is there an unusual spike in upkeep anomalies for a specified plane?
This is typically the furthest factor from the head of a venture supervisor. We are so busy with the working day to working day that we can’t (or will not) get the time to look at things like developments and prospective issues. Nevertheless, that is element of our occupation. Issues and pitfalls are constantly lurking and will strike when we least anticipate it.
This is where technologies will come in to engage in. As in aviation, technologies can make it less complicated to do this. The correct engineering will assist us run reports, search at info exceptions, and supply related views into our project administration environments.
There are two details listed here really worth mentioning:
When you pick technological innovation, you ought to hold this purpose in thoughts. How simple is it to mine for different sorts of knowledge?
We ought to be specialists at swiftly drilling into knowledge and extracting useful data.
Companies proceed to struggle with either poor undertaking management software program instruments or venture administration application equipment that are not executed accurately. The objective of this paper was to support companies comprehend the broader purposes of technological innovation in project administration by looking at lessons from the aviation discipline. By undertaking so, organizations can broaden their viewpoint and pro-actively implement these functions in their possess project management environments, as a result making a toolset that progressively supports the strategic objectives, requirements, and processes of the business.
Want to Discover More?
Check out the “Traveling into Undertaking Management” website at [http://www.flyingintoprojectmanagement.com] for more insight, lessons, and discussion on what undertaking management can understand from aviation to develop predictable outcomes and deal with threat.
About the Writer
Mark Kenny is an aviation enthusiast and venture management practitioner. He retains a personal pilot’s license with an instrument score, about two hundred hrs of traveling time, and virtually chose aviation as his career. Mr. Kenny has also invested in excess of 15 years working in task management in a variety of capacities. He obtained a Certification in Undertaking Management by means of the University of Washington, held project administration roles in the manufacturing, large-tech, and health care industries, and is presently the President of Team Interactions, Inc., which develops EnterPlicity.