Technological innovation (specifically “task administration software”) has been and will proceed to be an essential portion of venture management dialogue and exercise. This is justified. The right venture management computer software that is carried out properly can have considerable, good consequences on an group. Even so, the wrong software, or software program applied improperly can pull an business down.
In our experience, we have seen organizations battle with the suitable implementation of the proper software program. Numerous occasions we find this stems from a limited or misunderstood check out of the objective of technological innovation in the 1st location. For case in point, businesses might appear for a resource that can just “schedule tasks”, or they merely do not believe by way of the broader, strategic purpose that the engineering must provide. This qualified prospects to picking the mistaken technology or not implementing it in a way that supplies the most value for the business.
The goal of this white paper is to supply a new perspective on 5 significant purposes of engineering (and task administration application in distinct) in task management.
These functions arrive from classes learned in the aviation field. The aviation discipline is comparable to undertaking management in the perception that it seeks to develop predictable, effective outcomes in an action with inherent danger. It makes use of technologies heavily to satisfy that aim. By learning the part of technologies in aviation, we can derive the major and similar functions that technologies must serve in project management. In so doing, we can also improve the strategic use of technology to assistance our organization’s strategic targets, wants, and processes.
Function 1: Situational Awareness
Some of the most critical aviation systems, this sort of as the ILS (instrument landing technique), glass panel displays, and GPS (worldwide positioning technique) are centered on situational recognition: permitting the pilot know at every instant where the aircraft is headed, how it is oriented, how substantial it is, where it needs to go, how it is performing, or a quantity of other pieces of details.
Undertaking administration technological innovation is no different. It requirements to offer situational recognition of each project’s scenario, where they are headed, how they are carrying out, and how they require to continue. It also demands to supply consciousness of the predicament of an organization’s whole undertaking “portfolio.” If you cannot employ your technology to know the existing situation of your tasks, you are not utilizing technological innovation successfully.
The “recent project scenario” may be diverse depending on your group and its certain processes and objectives. It may possibly suggest the status of the project schedules, the high quality of the deliverables, the recent degree of threat, the satisfaction of the clients, or the condition of the spending budget or profit figures.
It may possibly mean how present source utilization will impact the undertaking, what problems have arisen that would derail the undertaking, or what has slipped via the cracks.
The crucial point is to always be informed of the project circumstance so that you can make intelligent, timely, effectively-informed choices.
You can element this into your venture management engineering implementation by undertaking the following:
Identify the important info that you need to preserve situational recognition.
Guarantee that your task administration computer software tool(s) can keep track of and offer this information.
Prepare your staff on delivering this information in the tool.
Objective 2: Decision Producing
In aviation, pilots have to be capable to make quick conclusions using correct data. For instance, a pilot requirements to know exactly what is improper with the aircraft to make a excellent selection on up coming methods. They want to know how a lot fuel is remaining to make a choice on climate avoidance.
Equally, professionals require to have correct knowledge to make choices in project administration. They want to know what is wrong with a undertaking so they can make a great choice on subsequent steps. They need to know useful resource availability to prioritize efforts and select directions. In several organizations, this type of info is not readily obtainable, either simply because the right toolset is not in location or the toolset has not been executed in a way that supports this strategic objective.
Above ten many years in the past there was a undertaking manager position that was held by the writer of this whitepaper. Every 7 days, the project administration team would devote several hours (virtually) compiling prolonged status stories for administration. They would need to have to track down the position of everything and doc them, together with a host of other information. Is it good to have this information compiled? Yes. But it confident is a useful resource-intensive way of performing it that could be substituted with great engineering and good procedure. Was the details effectively and used? That was unclear.
Question yourself, what is the information you want to make very good choices? What troubles does your group routinely face? Do you have genuine-time perception into those problems? Do you have all of this info easily accessible at all moments? If not, make a professional-active effort to use process and technology to empower your choice producing to be significantly much more precise, knowledgeable, and effective.
In order to make conclusions, two factors have to arise:
The data required to make conclusions should be compiled.
The information essential to make conclusions have to be easily accessible.
Venture administration computer software technology suits into this broader goal, but once more you require to make certain that:
You know what info you want.
Your undertaking management application technology is able of compiling the info you want to make choices.
The info in your task administration software program technological innovation is always conveniently accessible.
Your group is qualified on how to properly compile the appropriate details into the resource so that you can retrieve it to make decisions.
Function three: Automation of Program Tasks
A current post in an aviation periodical referred to a certain modern day airliner as a 650,000 pound laptop. There is a lot of technologies in cockpits right now and considerably of it automates routine duties for pilots. For instance, pilots can use automatic motor management programs that eliminate the want for the pilots to manage the distinct thrust ranges, temperatures, and other motor parameters checklists are automatic alerts (notifications) are automated and so forth.
This automation does 3 things:
It reduces the risk of human mistake (i.e. someone makes a mistake even though pursuing a unexciting, schedule process).
It frees up the assets (aka pilots) for a lot more essential factors.
It enables a lot more tasks to be attained in the exact same sum of time with less men and women (a third pilot is no more time needed).
There are several, numerous schedule tasks done in venture management which just take an huge volume of time. Every group has routine tasks that it has to do to be operational. At times it is inconceivable how numerous many several hours are put in on mundane actions. This may only be due to the fact it is far more comfortable and simple to do factors the identical way that we are utilised to doing them. Some that occur to head contain the notification of events, the reporting of position, finding out if one thing is done or not, discovering a doc, routing incoming requests for function, filling out and disseminating varieties, and collecting time.
The appropriate venture administration software program technology can automate the routine issues that your group does. Pro Manager Tools has related benefits for venture administration:
It decreases the danger of human error in your procedures.
It frees up sources to do a lot more critical factors (such as billable perform or taking operate off somebody else’s plate).
It tends to make it less complicated to perform the process (significantly less talent is required to perform it).
It permits much more jobs to be accomplished in the same amount of time with much less people.
If you implement or use technological innovation with no having this broader goal in head, you will not be making use of your technological innovation efficiently. In fact, you might be just swapping one tool out for an additional without having a net advantage.
What are ways that technological innovation in venture administration can automate program responsibilities?
Getting status inputs (these kinds of as a team member moving into per cent total) and instantly rolling that up into project-amount position.
Routinely notifying crucial personnel when an concern has arisen.
Centralizing all data so that there is 1 place to locate it.
Routinely routing incoming requests so that the right person can see and respond to it.
Amassing time noted details and immediately creating stories on real time utilization.
Immediately aggregating all project plans and schedules into helpful source utilization views and reviews.
Instantly creating new projects from templates that stick to a pre-described path and get rid of the want to re-generate that route.
Automating the generation of proposals and other templated documents.
What this seems to be like for your business will be distinct due to the fact you have diverse strategic goals, diverse procedures, and distinct activities that consume up a whole lot of your staff’s time.
The level is to realize the goal of technology so that you can use it strategically to attain a certain purpose.
As with other functions, you need to have to just take professional-energetic action to fulfill this objective by making certain:
You know which tasks are regimen and time-intensive in your business.
Your project administration computer software resource(s) can automate individuals regimen duties.
Your project management computer software equipment(s) are set up appropriately to automate those regimen jobs.
Goal 4: Assistance for Standardized Processes
Standardized procedures are a large element of the aviation globe and a large purpose why it has experienced good results at producing predictable, successful outcomes in a dangerous environment. In aviation, engineering supports the standardized method setting. Technology is not implemented since it would be great or neat. It is strategically carried out to assistance the standardized processes. For case in point, part of the takeoff checks process is to validate that the correct runway is programmed into the flight administration personal computer. Effectively, in several systems, the appropriate runway is shown appropriate the place the pilot demands to see it to full this standard procedure. It is also common process that when an aircraft is descending in clouds towards a runway that they can’t commence beneath a particular altitude unless the runway setting is in sight. Engineering supports this method by displaying the least altitude and alerting the pilots if they go beneath it.
Technology in project administration tends to be separated from the function of supporting standardized procedures. We may possibly have a procedure, but we may also be hunting for a “scheduling device.” In other words and phrases, we search at them otherwise, but the two go hand in hand. 1 of the main needs of technological innovation need to be to assistance the standardized processes of an organization. Why is a standardized approach critical? Due to the fact you can’t have a predictable (ordered) result if you have a random approach. The method need to be standardized and ordered.
Technological innovation ought to assist us put into action, sustain, and boost standardized procedures throughout the firm. Illustrations include online checklists and templates, exception reporting of items outside the house the method (aka alerts), and workflow automation that follows a distinct process. These types of things help the strategic method and the total purpose of applying strategic targets.
Your task administration software instrument(s) should fulfill this essential purpose as properly. You also want to get the subsequent professional-active steps:
Make sure that your processes are documented correctly.
Make certain that your project management software resource(s) assist your procedures.
Ensure that your crew understands how to manage the procedure in the instrument.
Make sure that your group is skilled on executing the procedure in the instrument.
Goal five: Insight into Tendencies, Problems, and Efficiency
In aviation, there are programs and even companies in place to mine knowledge and discover trends and prospective foreseeable future risks. Is there a craze of specific mistakes that pilots are making that need to be tackled by means of coaching? Is there an abnormal spike in upkeep anomalies for a specific aircraft?
This is typically the furthest thing from the mind of a venture supervisor. We are so hectic with the working day to day that we can’t (or will not) consider the time to search at issues like traits and potential troubles. Even so, that is component of our job. Issues and hazards are usually lurking and will strike when we the very least anticipate it.
This is the place technologies will come in to enjoy. As in aviation, engineering can make it less complicated to do this. The appropriate engineering will aid us run reports, seem at data exceptions, and provide comparable views into our project management environments.
There are two details below value mentioning:
When you choose technology, you should preserve this function in head. How simple is it to mine for different sorts of info?
We need to be professionals at swiftly drilling into knowledge and extracting beneficial information.
Organizations proceed to struggle with both very poor undertaking administration computer software resources or venture administration application equipment that are not implemented accurately. The goal of this paper was to aid businesses recognize the broader functions of technology in venture management by seeking at lessons from the aviation discipline. By undertaking so, businesses can expand their point of view and pro-actively employ these functions in their own task management environments, hence producing a toolset that increasingly supports the strategic targets, needs, and procedures of the organization.
Want to Find out Much more?
Pay a visit to the “Flying into Project Management” blog at [http://www.flyingintoprojectmanagement.com] for much more perception, lessons, and discussion on what project administration can find out from aviation to create predictable outcomes and deal with threat.
About the Author
Mark Kenny is an aviation enthusiast and task administration practitioner. He holds a private pilot’s license with an instrument score, about two hundred several hours of traveling time, and practically selected aviation as his occupation. Mr. Kenny has also put in more than fifteen years working in project administration in different capacities. He obtained a Certificate in Undertaking Administration by means of the College of Washington, held undertaking management roles in the producing, substantial-tech, and healthcare industries, and is currently the President of Group Interactions, Inc., which develops EnterPlicity.