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Technical Project Management

Biggest problem in technical project management: A project is late one day at a time but its percentage of complete can be changed from 90% to 70% or even to 50% in just one day.

It really doesn’t matter so much what methodology the project has adopted, the biggest problem of project management for decades has been the model for collecting and disseminate project information doesn’t protect data integrity or too easily allows dishonesties. Consequently, everyone is merely guessing from the official project information. For a small-size project, it is possible that an experienced manager guess most things correctly. But for a large-size project, the project manager is unlikely to guess everything correctly.

8Manage was designed to solve the above problem. Its Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) can tracks every single project element associated with the audit trails of its responsible persons in real-time. It also displays a single view of accurate plan & execution information to everyone in real-time and totally eliminates the misperception caused by multiple versions of the truth.

8Manage PM functionality is second to none

8Manage supports PMI 9 project management areas:

  • Scope Management
  • Time Management
  • Cost Management
  • Quality Management
  • Communications Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Risk Management
  • Procurement Management
  • Procurement Management Integration Management
8Manage supports PMI 5 project management processes:
  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Controlling
  • Closing

Besides supporting PMI 9 project areas, 8Manage has the advanced functionality described below.

Project plan & execution are linked

When there is only 1 mishap, it can be tracked down easily. When there are wrong dependencies built on top of wrong dependencies, unnecessary confusion and complication are created and accountability will also become an issue.

In 8Manage, plan and execution always go hand in hand. The current plan always reflects the latest status of the project teams deliverables and accomplishments. One can always go back to the baseline of the plan or a previous snapshot version. But there is always one and only one current plan that everyone can share.

Requirements communications & changes are managed together

It is difficult to communicate complex requirements in a single exchange. 8Manage provides a framework for the delivery of complex requirements as necessary. It also automatically tracks the reviews and acceptances of the requirements and provides a Reality Check feature to detect communication problems.

In order to effectively manage complex requirements, 8Manage automatically detects any shift or change, however slight, in the requirements, associating them with various project phases to alert people so that all involved understand the impact of any modifications. In addition, 8Manage automatically tracks requirements dependencies and indirect changes, so any potential impact can be anticipated and assessed at the earliest possible time.

Resource skills & times are planned and tracked

8Manage provides features for searching, requesting, allocating and tracking of resources in multiple sites, groups, PMOs, projects and activities. It automates cost estimating and budgeting and tracks actual against plan. 

For human resource management, it automatically detects skill set gaps and overloading. It can aggregate data (e.g., skill set gaps, time spent , deliverable results) from lowest activities to the highest portfolios or groups.

8Manage also supports advanced resource management features such as resource provisioning, prediction of future needs and skill set search.

Schedule and progress are automatically tracked

All activities have planned start date and end date.  The time is ticking once the activity passed its planned start date.  The responsible persons must update the progress or the system will automatically calculate.  People can easily see the un-proportional time consumption and % of complete and the system will automatically send out alerts and mark the activity is overdue when the activity passed its finished date and its % of complete is less than 100%.

Cost management is accurate, integrated and portfolioized

The project manager can decide to track or not to track costs in her project.  If  the project manager choose to track costs, she can define budget in activity and/or project level.  Efforts will be automatically converted to actual labor costs and procurement and travel expenses will be automatically calculated in the actual material , service & travel costs of the corresponding activity.

8Manage cost management features include:

  • Budget planning and tracking
  • Expense management
  • Purchase order and account payment management
  • Invoicing and account receivable management
  • Fixed asset and inventory management
  • Project accounting and P&L management
  • Contract accounting and P&L management
  • Portfolio accounting and P&L management
  • Group accounting and P&L management
Change impact is clearly tracked

A project will have a baseline once it is approved.  8Manage has the change control policies and parameters to automatically trigger the need for project re-approval when cumulative schedule or budget changes of the project are beyond the preset threshold. Every time a project is approved, a new baseline is recorded The system can show the current plan & execution against any previous baseline so that the user can gauge the current duration, resource , cost  and deliverable deviations  from any of the previous approval point.

Accountability & result are clear

8Manage helps to structure work in a natural manner where proper accountability and commitment will be enforced. When someone changes his commitment, 8Manage will notify the affect parties. 8Manage also provides the following ways to facilitate result management:

  • Setting policies for review and acceptance
  • Real-time alerts for review and acceptance results
  • Real-time dashboards and periodical email of reports
  • Accountability and results can be made clear to all stakeholders by using the above features
All issues are categorized and automatically tracked to closure

Since a project issue can range from a non-issue to an issue that can become a disaster, the biggest challenge in project issue management is to systematically surface and categorize issues and issues and actions to closure.

8Manage automatically collects issues from different activities and enforces their categorization.  It allows centralized tracking of issues, severities and priorities and provides automated alerts and escalations.  It also supports the traceability of issues, sub-issues, actions and sub-actions.

Risk Management:

8Manage automatically detects systemic risks  and also provides an integrated risk register for recording user-identified risks and tracking them to closure.

Issue Management:

8Manage provides the following functions to track issues and actions to closure:

  • Multi-level issue aggregation and tracking
  • Critical issue management
  • Emergency management
Structured Communication & Collaboration

8Manage provides the foundation for individual and group to coordinate. It facilitates:

  • Functional and project-oriented organization management
  • Common language for request, commit, deliver and accept
  • Group, committee and site coordination and management
  • Client, partner and supplier coordination and management
  • Inter-organization interaction and escalation management

8Manage also provides powerful communication tools such as automated capture email communications into project and activity plans, forums for trailed discussions and on-line chats for small group communications and negotiations. All communication records are stored permanently in 8Manage.

Agile product development

Agile methods are best used for the development of products that need to win the market competition. Since the market and competition are often changing, the product requirements can be changing as well.

Agile methods aren’t suitable for the projects that have well-defined and stable requirements under strict budget and schedule control.

8Manage Agile was designed for agile product development. It supports incremental requirements measured in story points and defined in story books, multiple short iterations for incremental development and testing and burn-down charts to show progress and remaining work for each individual and for the entire project.

8Manage Agile provides easy-to- use idea-sharing, communication and issue-tracking tools to the project team. If the daily short meeting approach is taken, 8Manage also provide easy-to-record and easy-to-read comment facility for each activity.

For the agile projects that have high level schedule and budget constraints, 8Manage Agile can function in the hybrid mode to support the high level schedule and budget control but allows incremental development via short iterations at the same time.

Best practices are both encouraged and enforced

Due to the fact that a static view and a dynamic view are often different, during project execution, people often find certain needed controls lacking and certain procedures unnecessarily clumsy; consequently adjustment to the policies is needed. 8Manage solves this problem by allowing people to see both static and dynamic views to make adjustments incrementally. 8Manage also provides a Project Template facility, and the Policy facility to encourage and enforce practices during project execution.
Structural complexities are organized and controlled

8Manage provides a dynamic framework to deal with the structural complexities that can grow overtime to the point that they can cause things to become extremely convoluted or even out-of-control. Typically when organizations are small, they can manage these complexities because they are small. But when organizations without the knowledge and ability to handle these structural complexities grows, they pay the price, operating in an extremely hard-to-coordinate and inefficient manner.

8Manage is one of the few tools in the world that is will equip you to deal with these structural complexities effectively.

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