Implementing Packages

Certainly, it helps project managers manage their projects more effectively if they break projects down into phases, activities, and tasks. Similarly, software package implementation tends to be more effective when phased in. Unfortunately, however, in their zeal to "get current," organizations often try to implement too many changes at once. Thus organizations that formerly had no tools at all might acquire three or more. The acceptance of those tools, and sometimes even the methodology, plummets.

For organizations starting from scratch with project management-related software tools, the following order can help tremendously in implementation:

■ Time accounting packages. These packages should be introduced first because they affect the largest number of people. When using these packages, everyone on a project team has to track his or her time, and it is often quite a shock to people who have never had to track time before. When a time accounting system is implemented, it is critical that people understand that the purpose is not to police their work. Rather, the goal is to collect accurate data on how a current project is going, and to build an accurate database for estimating future projects.

■ Project management packages. The organization will be ready to standardize on a project management software package three to six months after it introduces a time accounting package. Project managers should be involved in the selection of this standard. Otherwise, implementing the tool will be more difficult because managers feel they were not included, or do not understand the rationale behind the selection of a specific tool. Having a core group of project managers supporting the selected tool enables the company to include them in pilot testing of the system, and in system training. This also forms a core advocacy group for the new tool.

■ Process management packages. In another three to six months after the project management package is introduced, project managers will be ready to further hone their project management skills. With a few projects under their belts using the time accounting and project management tools, they will be able to more fully integrate the new process management tools into their project planning process. If, however, process management tools are introduced too soon, project managers might not have enough real project experience to appreciate the benefits of the somewhat complicated process management tools.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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