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Topics: Communications Management, Resource Management, Schedule Management, Scheduling
Best Tool for Multiproject Management with different teams
Hello, I'm looking for a software that helps me manage multiple projects (over 20) in a waterfall environment, specially I need help tracking team members activities (as some teams are local and other regionals) and build weekly reports.

I currently use MS project 2007 and Excel. I'm unsure if just by upgrading to a recent version of MS Project might give me the help I'm looking for or maybe I should consider other tools like Monday, Liquid Planner, ITM, etc. Based on your experience what would be your recomendation? (Generally I'm really time-constrained, as I just not only manage projects but I also need to execute internal activities for them).

Thanks.
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Dec 21, 2019 5:25 PM
Replying to Vladimir Liberzon
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Sergio, I agree with your point.
The tool may help with informed decision making only if right processes are implemented. But from the other hand project management processes depend on the tools that are used.
I understood that Julio needs the tool that can calculate multiproject (portfolio) schedule taking into account all existing constraints and collect reports from multiple project stakeholders.
Fully disagree. The process never must be tied to the tool. There are lot of examples outside there about that is the first step to fail. One of them the clasic "No silver bullet" paper from Fred Brooks. We use multi project/program/porfolio management using MS Project and MS Project Server.
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1 reply by Vladimir Liberzon
Dec 22, 2019 3:04 AM
Vladimir Liberzon
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Dear Sergio,
using Spider Project the company will create classification of project activity and resource types, will develop the ways of measuring work quantities, create databases of internal norms that will be applied to units of volume of typical tasks and resource productivity on typical assignments, create the database of resource skills, create the library of typical project fragments and assign people responsible for maintaining these databases.
Corporate processes will require the usage of these internal norms for all typical activities and fragments in any project or explanations why in certain concrete cases activity duration, cost and resource estimates shall be different. Portfolio leveling and risk simulation will be required and project performance analysis will include analysis of project parameter trends including trends of probabilities to meet project targets.

All these requirements and corresponding processes will not make sense if the tool does not work with activity volumes and corporate norms, does not include automatic leveling of project portfolios, does not include skill scheduling and risk simulation, does not keep project history and does not show project parameter trends.
And certainly the way of collecting performance reports may be different with different tools.
Processes shall be adjusted to selected tool capabilities and may look very different.
Dec 21, 2019 5:41 PM
Replying to Andrew Craig
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I am always curious about these questions. Great looking at what is available, but from an organizational and architectural aspect, is selecting a new capability solely based on an individual's needs?

So where do we start? What are the requirements for the new capability, e.g, what problem are we trying to solve? What gaps exist with the current tool(s)? Have there been conversations with IT, Enterprise Architecture, Compliance, Vendor Management? Cloud or on-premise? Integrations with current technology stack and other capabilities within the ecosystem

Lots of questions and rigor that is involved in the decisions that go on behind the scenes to bring in a new solution to the organization.
What you stated @Andrew is the key success factor for not fail. I was in both sides of the desk as a tool provider and as a tool buyer. As a tool provider we win lot of times to other vendros because we demostrate people that we wiil help them to get a tool instead of a nightmare. Key word is solution as you mentioned.
Dec 21, 2019 9:34 PM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Fully disagree. The process never must be tied to the tool. There are lot of examples outside there about that is the first step to fail. One of them the clasic "No silver bullet" paper from Fred Brooks. We use multi project/program/porfolio management using MS Project and MS Project Server.
Dear Sergio,
using Spider Project the company will create classification of project activity and resource types, will develop the ways of measuring work quantities, create databases of internal norms that will be applied to units of volume of typical tasks and resource productivity on typical assignments, create the database of resource skills, create the library of typical project fragments and assign people responsible for maintaining these databases.
Corporate processes will require the usage of these internal norms for all typical activities and fragments in any project or explanations why in certain concrete cases activity duration, cost and resource estimates shall be different. Portfolio leveling and risk simulation will be required and project performance analysis will include analysis of project parameter trends including trends of probabilities to meet project targets.

All these requirements and corresponding processes will not make sense if the tool does not work with activity volumes and corporate norms, does not include automatic leveling of project portfolios, does not include skill scheduling and risk simulation, does not keep project history and does not show project parameter trends.
And certainly the way of collecting performance reports may be different with different tools.
Processes shall be adjusted to selected tool capabilities and may look very different.
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 22, 2019 5:11 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
I respect your opinion but as I mentioned the tool must fit to the existing process. If organizations choose a tool to fix they process then they are choosing "the silver bullet" which is the usual most of the times unfortunatelly.
Dec 22, 2019 3:04 AM
Replying to Vladimir Liberzon
...
Dear Sergio,
using Spider Project the company will create classification of project activity and resource types, will develop the ways of measuring work quantities, create databases of internal norms that will be applied to units of volume of typical tasks and resource productivity on typical assignments, create the database of resource skills, create the library of typical project fragments and assign people responsible for maintaining these databases.
Corporate processes will require the usage of these internal norms for all typical activities and fragments in any project or explanations why in certain concrete cases activity duration, cost and resource estimates shall be different. Portfolio leveling and risk simulation will be required and project performance analysis will include analysis of project parameter trends including trends of probabilities to meet project targets.

All these requirements and corresponding processes will not make sense if the tool does not work with activity volumes and corporate norms, does not include automatic leveling of project portfolios, does not include skill scheduling and risk simulation, does not keep project history and does not show project parameter trends.
And certainly the way of collecting performance reports may be different with different tools.
Processes shall be adjusted to selected tool capabilities and may look very different.
I respect your opinion but as I mentioned the tool must fit to the existing process. If organizations choose a tool to fix they process then they are choosing "the silver bullet" which is the usual most of the times unfortunatelly.
Sergio,
the tool must fit to existing requirements.
Existing processes may be improved and in any case tool capabilities influence project management processes where tool is used.
A tool is never silver bullet because it is a tool, nothing else. And good tools may improve the way people manage their projects.
The tool that meets all existing requirements is fine. But when it does not supply project managers with required data it makes sense to look for another tool.
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 22, 2019 7:22 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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Is exactly what I wrote: the tool must fit to existing requirements. The problem with this debate, at least between you and me, is now I am aware that you belongs to a tool vendor. That´s said with all my due respect. My last comment is: when organizations will select a tool they must take into account the basic herarchy (from bottom to top, where top items are derived from bottom items): approach-process model-process life cyle-method/framework-tool. If not they are in the case of the Silver Bullet Syndrome. And regarding your last comment what people need is information, no data. Information is creating for data, indeed. So, @Julio, if you will go to evaluate any tool my recommendation is not forget that. Just my recommenendation as somebody that is in charge of this type of things in my actual work place.
Dec 22, 2019 5:23 AM
Replying to Vladimir Liberzon
...
Sergio,
the tool must fit to existing requirements.
Existing processes may be improved and in any case tool capabilities influence project management processes where tool is used.
A tool is never silver bullet because it is a tool, nothing else. And good tools may improve the way people manage their projects.
The tool that meets all existing requirements is fine. But when it does not supply project managers with required data it makes sense to look for another tool.
Is exactly what I wrote: the tool must fit to existing requirements. The problem with this debate, at least between you and me, is now I am aware that you belongs to a tool vendor. That´s said with all my due respect. My last comment is: when organizations will select a tool they must take into account the basic herarchy (from bottom to top, where top items are derived from bottom items): approach-process model-process life cyle-method/framework-tool. If not they are in the case of the Silver Bullet Syndrome. And regarding your last comment what people need is information, no data. Information is creating for data, indeed. So, @Julio, if you will go to evaluate any tool my recommendation is not forget that. Just my recommenendation as somebody that is in charge of this type of things in my actual work place.
...
1 reply by Vladimir Liberzon
Dec 22, 2019 11:31 AM
Vladimir Liberzon
...
Dear Sergio,
I not only belong to the tool vendor, I created this tool that fits to my vision, understanding and experience of corporate project and portfolio management requirements and requests of the tool users.
I am not very strong in English and so maybe do not understand the real difference between data and information. When the tool levels project portfolio and supplies project managers with the information who shall do what, when and where, what are future supply requirements, project and portfolio cost S-curves, earned value parameters, probabilities to meet set targets, etc. is all of this information or data? Is information created for data or data is used for the information?
Dec 21, 2019 6:01 PM
Replying to Vladimir Liberzon
...
Andrew,
the core need is functionality. The tool that fits to all requirements that you listed and company ecosystem but does not do what is needed is of little value if not useless at all. But in any case tool selection shall start with the creation of the requirements list.
Vladimir - certainly, if the core functionality need is not met, would not make the final cut for selection and would not satisfy the requirements, which include functionality needs (I would hope!). The selection process should include enough due diligence to ensure even the low hanging fruit is identified and taken.
Dec 22, 2019 7:22 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Is exactly what I wrote: the tool must fit to existing requirements. The problem with this debate, at least between you and me, is now I am aware that you belongs to a tool vendor. That´s said with all my due respect. My last comment is: when organizations will select a tool they must take into account the basic herarchy (from bottom to top, where top items are derived from bottom items): approach-process model-process life cyle-method/framework-tool. If not they are in the case of the Silver Bullet Syndrome. And regarding your last comment what people need is information, no data. Information is creating for data, indeed. So, @Julio, if you will go to evaluate any tool my recommendation is not forget that. Just my recommenendation as somebody that is in charge of this type of things in my actual work place.
Dear Sergio,
I not only belong to the tool vendor, I created this tool that fits to my vision, understanding and experience of corporate project and portfolio management requirements and requests of the tool users.
I am not very strong in English and so maybe do not understand the real difference between data and information. When the tool levels project portfolio and supplies project managers with the information who shall do what, when and where, what are future supply requirements, project and portfolio cost S-curves, earned value parameters, probabilities to meet set targets, etc. is all of this information or data? Is information created for data or data is used for the information?
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 23, 2019 3:46 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Good to read you are the creator. I am not against tools. Just I tried to help Julio to be aware about selecting a tool. I tried to wrote something additional to the others comments.
Dec 22, 2019 11:31 AM
Replying to Vladimir Liberzon
...
Dear Sergio,
I not only belong to the tool vendor, I created this tool that fits to my vision, understanding and experience of corporate project and portfolio management requirements and requests of the tool users.
I am not very strong in English and so maybe do not understand the real difference between data and information. When the tool levels project portfolio and supplies project managers with the information who shall do what, when and where, what are future supply requirements, project and portfolio cost S-curves, earned value parameters, probabilities to meet set targets, etc. is all of this information or data? Is information created for data or data is used for the information?
Good to read you are the creator. I am not against tools. Just I tried to help Julio to be aware about selecting a tool. I tried to wrote something additional to the others comments.
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