Problem statement

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In 2000, a young company that offers Webcasting services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for radio, television, and Internet-only programming found themselves facing a new challenge. Their client base and Webcasting services had grown to such a degree that they needed to increase their Webcasting ability. To meet this need, they began constructing the largest and most advanced Webcasting facility in the Seattle area, working with proprietary hardware suppliers and installation contractors. Because they needed to complete the facility rapidly to satisfy work contracts and customers' needs, the project required in-depth management and some customized tools.

In developing their hardware and software systems, the Webcasting company chose a hardware supplier who competed on the supply side with their integration contractor. This situation required management diligence and help in understanding how to communicate project information through all parties. The integration contractor provided a schedule that described when parts would be needed, based on their integration schedule. The Webcasting company internally managed the P.O. process to get hardware on site in time for integration and at or below the budgeted price through the integration contractor. The Webcasting company began this process using a Microsoft Excel 2000 spreadsheet, listing all of the parts required, the budgeted cost, and supplier names in separate columns.

Based on the spreadsheet information, the Webcasting company used a manual process to determine when orders needed to be placed and when they would arrive on site. There were several drawbacks to this approach:

♦ The manual process was very labor-intensive and required continuous phone calls between the Webcasting company staffers, the integration contractor, and the hardware supplier.

♦ This solution required that the spreadsheet be passed around among team members to add information, thus calling into question versioning and data integrity issues.

♦ The Webcasting company staffers also lacked the time to work through the estimations to determine when P.O.s needed to be placed.

As a result, several of the first integration parts were ordered too late to be on site in time to meet the integration schedule established by the integration contractor. To help them better manage the procurement process, the Webcasting company hired Bluewater Project Management Services, LLC, to develop a custom software solution using Microsoft Project 2000, Project Central, and Microsoft Excel 2000.

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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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