Avoiding the Pitfalls

You need to consider one last subject — avoiding the pitfalls that are associated with implementing Project Server.

When you define requirements, be sure that you ask how many projects each project manager expects to be managing at any one time and determine the average size of the project. You may discover that some project managers define a project differently than others. This presents a problem only if you find that project managers tend to manage many projects, and each project has only one or two tasks. In cases like these, defining these projects as separate entities in Project 2003 will make maintenance difficult. You may instead want to combine these smaller projects into one larger Project 2003 file.

Also ask both project managers and team members about the current reporting process. Ask whether the organization has one, and determine whether it works or whether people regularly bypass it. If people bypass the reporting process, try to determine why. The process may need to be changed to better suit the needs of those who are using it. If you expect to produce accurate reports and forecasts, the information that you provide to Project 2003 needs to be accurate and timely.

Determine whether the organization considers available resources when it accepts projects. If it does not, it will probably experience changes to project scope, costs, and resources regularly, and Project 2003 won't provide accurate information about resource requirements. Try to get senior management to agree to new methods that include the evaluation of resource needs when considering new projects.

Ask different role players how they deal with problems that arise on projects. If you get different answers from different people, then you don't have a company-wide mechanism in place that deals with resolving problems. In such cases, only some projects will be accurately reporting status, and any comparison or forecasting that you do will be inaccurate. To solve this problem, find a method that you can standardize across the organization. Define what tools to use to look for problems, when to use these tools, what options are available to solve problems, and who needs to be in the loop to resolve problems.

Note Don't forget to establish a method to deal with problems while implementing

Project Server —that is, make sure that the implementation project has a mechanism to address problems.

Ask project managers about the methods they use to analyze performance. Determine whether they use earned value, and identify the method of earned value. Project supports only the Percent Complete and Physical Percent Complete methods. If the organization is using some other method or uses methods inconsistently throughout the organization, you can't accurately analyze performance across the organization.

Identify the types of costs that the organization wants to track, because Project tracks costs by calculating the cost of resources using rate tables or fixed costs. Many projects have sizeable costs that are not resource related. The implementation team must make it clear to the organization exactly what Project can and cannot calculate.

Phase the introduction of Project Server into your environment to avoid disrupting your regular business process, but don't let more than six months pass without introducing a new group to Project Server. In this way, you interrupt your business only minimally, but you don't lose the momentum of the implementation.

Identify the criteria that the implementation team needs to meet to have the system accepted by management as well as by team members. Keep those criteria in mind through all phases of the process.

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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