Technology Positioning Statement Report

1.1.2 Project Management Tools

Description: Applications manipulating detailed project plans and time lines, supporting charting and graphing capabilities.

Category: 1 - Authoring and Editing   Subcategory: 1 - General Purpose
Old Category: End-User Tools Productivity Elements Project Management

Vision

RetirementContainmentCurrentTacticalStrategic
  Project
 
Project
Project Central
 
 

Standards

Industry UsageSC Usage
  

Performance Metrics

Fast, web-based project visibility - for cost, schedule, risks, requirements tracking, issues, skill sets, and other status data about any project.


Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: What project managers really want is not more information, advice, or rules -- these just represent more reading and more work. Rather, they want tools that will easily raise the visibility of the work that they are responsible for, highlight the issues that need attention and hide the rest. Good tools will also enable a learning process, so that management can improve the accuracy of future planning.

Microsoft Project dominates the desktop for project management tools. Project 2000 provides support for multi-user and multi-team access to multiple projects, via ProjectCentral, which is deployed on a web server with SQL Server or MSDE. Project 2000 is also integrated with Outlook/Exchange, which creates the software tools necessary to support full team-based work assignment and monitoring.

For 2002, Microsoft Project includes four products:

  • Microsoft Project Standard. This is the upgrade to Microsoft's core project management program for planning and managing projects from the desktop.
  • Microsoft Project Professional. This new desktop program includes all the core project management functionality of Microsoft Project Standard. Used with Microsoft Project Server 2002, it also offers powerful collaboration features, including enterprise resource management and analytical tools.
  • Microsoft Project Server. This new companion server product for Microsoft Project Professional is the platform for project management. It provides powerful enterprise management tools and enables collaboration by storing project information in a central location.
  • Microsoft Project Web Access (Microsoft Project Server Client Access Licenses). This is the Web interface through which team members and executives can access Microsoft Project Server data. You can use it to extend project information and analysis tools through the Web.

Competing team-based products are far more expensive than Project, although they may be more capable and easier to install. For example, Planview (http://www.planview.com/) and Primavera (http://www.primavera.com/) provide dashboards that contain configurable project information that also has drill down capability. In the professional services automation (PSA) market, Business Engine (http://www.businessengine.com/) and Changepoint (http://www.changepoint.com/) provide graphical information that lets managers monitor a portfolio of projects, also with drill down capability. There are fewer vendors that manage status, metrics and analysis without having planning tools attached. Artemis (http://www.artemispm.com/) offers PortfolioDirector, a newly launched portfolio management tool, and for monitoring at a more technical level, Quantitative Software Management (http://www.qsm.com/) has the SLIM Suite that looks at the tactical execution of software development projects.

SC Usage: Microsoft Project is widely used, often linked with other COM-based applications such as Excel spreadsheets and Outlook. Project Central, which has proved to be difficult to install, is not being used. The new Project Server may be easier to install; support for team-based project management should be available to SC customers.

SC Application Impacts: Budget Execution requires access to project management capabilities.

SCIP, the web portal, will also include modules capable of performing some project management functions such as GANTT charting, document management and workflow. SC's portal technology will allow a standard "project management service" to be rapidly set up for any team that needs to start a new project.

Last Update: Valid Until:
4/11/20025/11/2003

References

Previous TPS

E-Business Demands New Project Management Tools, Margo Visitacion, Giga, 11/10/00, 10/17/01.


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