Offthe Shelf Technology Must Be Configured

EPM technology is designed around proven EPM concepts. Although those concepts may apply universally, your organization is unique. When you purchase an EPM software application, it must be configured as well as installed. Installation means loading the software and making sure it runs on your network. Configuration means setting all the variables within the system to reflect the way that you want to manage projects. A simple example is found in Figure 13.3, which shows what an executive might see looking at all the projects under his or her span of control. The projects are grouped by categories— categories that were chosen and entered into the technology as part of the configuration. The more powerful the tool, the more configuration options you have.

Configuration should be distinguished from customization. As powerful as EPM tools can be, you may still find some functionality that is important to your organization but not included in the tool. In that case, you'll develop some unique interface or add-on to the EPM tool. That is customization.

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