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Re: Project Management Package?

From: Mark H Smith
Subject: Re: Project Management Package?
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 10:12:09 -0000

On 13 March 2002 Gil Hauer wrote

>  - a major part of the planning process is accomodating resources. In
> other words, I have a pool of engineers and equipment and I need to know
> their availability which means that all projects need to draw from a
> common resource pool.

The common resource pool can be based on the Human Resources  data, if you
are using that package also. HR data often  includes the skills,
qualifications and experience that staff have. The HR data might need to be
supplemented  with info about contractors if they are used, and equipment. A
project manager should be able to search the HR data for staff with the
required skills, and then check on people's availability by seeing what
other projects they are already committed to.

> It's also rather
> important to document how each activity in the project was estimated so
> that these can be revisited ("why the hell did I only allocate 5 days
> for this one?")

Ah yes..., that familiar feeling. Part of the business of comparing
estimates to actuals depends on getting the actual hours into the project
management application, which I find isn't well catered for generally. It
would be really good if there could be a 'Time and Expenses' module where
everyone can enter the hours worked each week on each task within a project.
You would then have the basis for tracking project progress against
forecast. A time and expenses module could also be used to feed data into
Payroll, or in the case of Expenses, into Financials.

I've been hearing the term 'Professional Services Automation' (PSA) used
recently to describe this kind of integration of Project Management  and
other applications, and it would certainly make life easier if it could be

Mark H. Smith

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