<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects]]> www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v6 Mobile Update]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/01-13-2017/keyedin-projects-v6-mobile-update We are delighted to announce the latest release of the KeyedIn Projects mobile app.

The new version of the app features:

  • Improved Collaboration - Project managers and team members can post against the projects they’re working on, reply to posts, send messages to other users and receive push notifications to alert them to new posts
  • Push Notifications - The majority of notifications available in KeyedIn Projects can now be received as push notifications on your mobile device or tablet. Push notifications are only received if you’re not in the app. If you’re currently in the app, you can still view the notifications on the new Notification screen.
  • Project Time Approval Improvements - Project managers can now disapprove time on their projects. A reason for disapproving time can also be entered if enabled on the General Settings screen in the web application.
  • Expense Claim Improvements - Users now have the ability to enter a comment when accepting/rejecting an expense claim and also claim non-reimbursable expenses if enabled on the General Settings screen in the web application.


The new version of the KeyedIn Projects Mobile App will be available to download via Apple's iOS App Store or Android's Google Play from Tuesday, 17th January. For those customers using KeyedIn Projects v6, you will need to re-enter you login credentials and select the V6 server option.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Three Ways to Transform Your PMO Into a Strategic Powerhouse]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/three-ways-to-transform-your-pmo-into-a-strategic-powerhouse It’s proven that managing portfolios better creates cost efficiencies and helps companies complete more projects to specifications and to budget requirements. Did you know that the other proven benefit of competitive portfolio management is an ability to identify and move quickly on the most strategic projects?

The PMI Institute in its recent report, Delivering on Strategy, the Power of Project Portfolio Management describes the correlation between effective portfolio management and advancing the strategy of the company:

“Effective project portfolio management requires a keen understanding of the relationships between strategy development and strategy implementation. The selected portfolio of projects and programs must collectively advance the organization. Project portfolio management, often referred to as simply portfolio management, is forward looking. If you can’t see the future of your organization by looking at your portfolio, you have no chance of getting there.” In my years managing portfolios for forward-thinking IT companies, I have seen it time and again: If the portfolio reflects mostly strategic-based projects, the company is positioned to lead in its segment. If the portfolio is stuffed with “catch-up” infrastructure programs and unaligned, scattered “next best ideas” then I knew the writing was on the wall for that company’s lack of effectiveness in the marketplace.

Here’s why:

  1.  Transformed Alignment: Of course, you know I believe that KeyedIn Projects solutions enable alignment like never before. I keep saying this because it’s true: Our clients experience almost instant alignment once they are up-and-running. Alignment across the entire project lifecycle means that projects are more often selected and prioritized based on resource capability and financial constraints, yes—but they’re also scored against strategic impact. Once our enhanced reporting function kicks in, every part of the company can work with increased responsiveness and a richer understanding of the potential consequences of every change in project scope—to the portfolio and to the company’s continuing competitive power.
  2. Transformed Visibility: If you possess only snapshots of your portfolio without complete visibility into all of the aggregated resources in the organization you’re flying blind. To select, prioritize and execute projects with such a limited view will ensure that you will never deliver the highest strategic and tactical business value. If you possess visibility, then your organization is free to continually add value, improve results and strengthen performance. One of our clients, was able to gain a handle on their rapidly growing, global professional services company only after they gained this visibility.
  3. Transformed Performance: Let’s face it—when you’re prey to overruns and drastically hobbled by poor resource deployment, your PMO isn’t performing the way it should. “Throwing resources at the wall and hoping they’ll stick,” is how I once heard it described. Our solution allows you to clearly see your PMO metrics for the first time. Once your PMO machine is in order, its performance issues fixed—that’s when executives learn to trust you with all of their strategic priorities. You can respond quickly to external and internal changes; eliminate orphan projects, redundant systems and low-value initiatives; and clearly articulate project decisions using a risk vs. rewards lexicon—that places strategy front and center.

There are so many ways we can help you become more strategic. Our client testimonials include great examples as does this “cautionary tale” of a webinar detailing what a non-strategic PMO looks like: The Disturbing Reality of Today’s PMO; or you can check out our industry-specific case studies.

The speed of competitive advantage along agile portfolios; digital-empowered companies; and global professional services delivery continues to accelerate. You have to execute now—and get strategic before your leadership wonders why you’re not the engine they need you to be.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Introducing KeyedIn Projects v6.1]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/11-15-2016/introducing-keyedin-projects-v6-1 Version 6.1 follows our major release of Keyed Projects v6 and offers a couple of useful improvements to existing features as well as a few minor bug fixes including: 

  • My Projects Resource Tab - This provides project managers with greater visibility of resource demand, supplied resources and actuals incurred on their projects. Project managers can see who they’ve requested, who they’ve been given by resource managers and how much work was actually done.
  • Expense Submissions - You can streamline the expense approval process by including non-reimbursable expenses in expense submissions. This allows expenses that won’t be reimbursed to the employee (company credit card expenses) to be submitted and approved as part of the same process. To support this, a payment exchange rate can now be entered against non-reimbursable expenses.
  • Navigation - The main navigation menu is always collapsed apart from when a user clicks on the hamburger button. Selecting a navigation option will automatically close the menu.
  • Inline Edit of Supply on the Resource Plan - Resource managers can now make changes to supply on the Resource Plan screen with the introduction of the inline edit supply feature.
  • Minor Bug Fixes and Improvements 

KeyedIn Projects v6.1 will be live on Tuesday, 22nd November and will be available to .net users the following day. If you have any questions about the release please contact your account manager. 

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Why Stellar UX ensures Project Management Technology ROI]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/why-stellar-ux-ensures-project-management-technology-roi You can’t reduce Project Administration and Reporting Times by 75% if no one is using your PMO tool

Depending on how mature your IT Project Management Organization (PMO) is, you might decide you need a cross between a work management solution and a full portfolio management solution. The good news is—you don’t have to choose.

Experts agree that for most enterprises, and for agile and bimodal IT PM in particular, the best tech for IT PM is scalable for all user levels and needs only an exemplary user experience (UX) to provide an immediate return on investment (ROI). (You might surmise here that of course I am talking about KeyedIn in particular).

Let’s look at what constitutes an impactful UI philosophy in our PM space; how UX ensures adoption with your most potent PM groups; and how your organization will benefit from super-charged UX in your PM platform.

“Aye, there’s the rub”

When we build our solutions, the first thing we look at and incorporate is what our customers tell us is keeping them up at night. The number one complaint is that users are not using their current PM solution because they can’t figure it out. It’s too complex for non-IT people—and up to 50% of your project teams lack the background to use such complex systems readily. Abysmal project success rates follow. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, organizations surveyed reported 44% of their projects being challenged, late, over budget or reduced in scope, with an additional 24% considered failures, leaving only 32% categorized as successful.

Walk before you run

As you might imagine, the lost revenue associated with these percentages, while undisclosed, is substantial to any company. If they don’t possess intuitive web-based navigation that is truly plug-and-play, the whole team won’t have access to the information they need. If only some people are using the solution, the data won’t be complete and any status reports spotty at best. That’s where UX comes in.

UX Magazine’s Joe Dickerson published a UX checklist that will ensure full adoption from your teams and, by extension, a more robust ROI from your PMO tools. Following are some of the actions our KeyedIn team has taken to fulfill the promises on this list:

  • Review legacy user research to extract/validate insights from research. We know our user base and the range of functionality they use; when they use it most during project lifecycles; how they manage work vs. projects vs. programs (and most have a mix of all of these); how they stay focused even when agile projects stutter and start at will—in short, how they behave on our tool and what works best during their project management. We also have general UX research to help us stay on top of best practices in our field.
  • Review high level requirements. Your PM tool must be a Ferrari to meet the needs of your most complex projects in your portfolio and to handle more agile IT portfolios as a whole. But for many people in your organization, that high performance vehicle ends up being nothing but driveway “eye candy.” We have designed a “stepping-stone” UX to ensure the optimal user experience for both kinds of PMs – those who are working on simple projects as well as those with enterprise-wide portfolio needs.
  • Review personas (if they exist): If someone works on projects on any level in virtually any type of organization--- service organizations included—we’ve worked up a UX persona for them. Our entire design philosophy echoes our clients as they manage role-based projects. We follow a virtual person through all kinds of PMO and PM scenarios and ensure, from first entry-to-report, the process unrolls smoothly, logically and intuitively.
    Identify and document initial thoughts on core user needs/drivers/desires: I love this stage of the process—and spending time with our talented team of software geniuses (I can’t really call them anything else) to connect the dots between our extensive research and UX outcomes on our new and upcoming releases.
  • Create a conceptual model/design that represents initial ideas around the experience: Our True Prototyping approach that delivers the "to-be" live system at the project kick-off, allows requirements and UX design to be jointly executed on the actual system, speeding understanding, agreements and delivery into live operation. When you are experiencing UX and fine-tuning for your enterprise, you’re improving first line delivery when others might still be documenting requirements and embarking upon design.
  • Identify research needs: This is the part of our UX design that clarifies those last few opportunities. We’ve parsed feedback from our customers, live implementations, and follow up interviews with actual users and identified knowledge gaps. Then we have our software teams come up with UX and functional innovations to solve them.

By providing unparalleled UX, any level of PM user can gain immediate benefit. In fact, our customers have reduced project management administration and reporting times by up to 75% within a few short weeks of implementation.

Learn more about our UX approach - or get involved

To learn how you can become more productive and experience solid ROI from a PM platform with killer UX, check out our ROI calculator. To gain some additional insight about how to avoid a big bang deployment and gain ROI for the short, medium and long term, check out our implementation checklist for PM software

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Are creeping scope issues scaring your PMs]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/are-creeping-scope-issues-scaring-your-pms Are creeping scope issues scaring your PMs?

We are just about ready to celebrate Halloween—the time of costumes, pumpkin carving, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night and creepy crawlies. Yet every season can be a scary season for PMs—when project scope begins to creep and their (collective) skins begin to crawl.

As industry-leading providers of project and portfolio management solutions, we’ve worked with PMs from most major industries—professional services, hospitality, healthcare and IT, to name just a few. Project scope issues come in many shapes and sizes and primarily rear their ugly heads because of poorly defined assumptions and restrictions. Here are some of the ways we’ve helped PMs tame their “creepy scope” issues.

Dark shadows over resource planning

Perhaps you didn’t realize how complex your project really was and you’ve run out of resources. If the scope that you’ve agreed on with your customers is based on limited resource demand planning, never fear: We’ve worked with people who have mitigated this outcome almost completely. Here’s how:

  • Utilize easy-to-use demand management and capacity planning so you can run scenarios and estimate resources precisely before you begin
  • Analyze historical project data to make informed decisions based on lessons learned

Creepy people

People are your most important resources. Yet the people part of any project can sometimes offer more stumbling blocks to on-time, on-budget delivery than anything else. 

A recent client had this issue. By 2013, the company workload and headcount had expanded 50%. They had to utilize scarce resources across five US offices. They used KeyedIn Projects to provide improved visibility into deploying people during projects that tended to have a lot of “scope creep” and solved this issue with solid resource allocation to improve overall profitability.

Budget scares

As you go forward on a project or when managing competing projects within a strategic portfolio, keeping a handle on the budget can sometimes become a challenge. An article by Shelly Doll in Tech Republic discusses the financial impacts of scope creep in a horror story about a software development project that made me shiver. And even though her seven steps are those that we’ve cut our teeth on as seasoned PMs, she makes a good point: Financial slip-ups are the ones that delay and destroy projects more than almost any other kind of mistake we can make.

One of our clients, a leading provider of technical services and hosting solutions needed to gain an iron grip on just such expenditures. To ensure that the costs and expenditures associated with their international consulting operations were under control, they came to us to make sure their efforts were monitored closely. With many consultants in the field, and with a client-base stretching across a large number of different countries, business related expenses were in-check and on-or-under budget, thanks to our solutions.

PMs don’t have the benefit of a crystal ball when scoping projects. So don’t run when scope creep closes in—view our latest demo to discover how you can banish it – or at least mitigate the very worst cases – before your clients have any reason at all to be spooked.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects Release v5.8.5 with JIRA Integration phase 2]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/2016-06-29/keyedin-projects-release-v5-8-5-with-jira-integration-phase-2 We are delighted to announce the latest release of KeyedIn Projects Version 5.8.5. This upgrade is an addition to the JIRA Integration released in 5.8.3. KeyedIn Projects can now be used as the initial entry point for your project work and selected work items can exported into JIRA, to be picked up by the development team. Progress updates and work logs can then be synchronized back into KeyedIn Projects to give project managers, executives and stakeholders a complete view of project progress. This use case can be used with agile and waterfall projects, or projects that are a combination of both.

Release Highlights:

  • Phase 2 JIRA Integration
  • Minor bug fixes

The upgrade will be available July 6th. If you would like to discuss the best way to take advantage of JIRA Integration or any other improved features then please contact the KeyedIn Excellence Consulting Team. All existing SaaS clients will be updated automatically.

Please note – The new version will be released to KeyedInProjects.net on July 7th.]]>
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[The Top Five Basics for Managing Agile PPM]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-15-2016/the-top-five-basics-for-managing-agile-ppm market forecast for 2016 to 2024. The reason that I am not covering their report in detail is because after reading it, I was mostly overcome with a sense of déjà vu. They also wouldn’t send it to me without a sales call included in the deal, so don’t say I didn’t warn you not to click!

Back to business: We all know the PPM landscape is changing—and Keyed In is changing with it -- with new releases of our award-winning, highly-reviewed software. This report, however, focused on what the software markets seem to need instead on what I think every PPM needs: A firm handle on the basics of solid PPM. As agile project management (PM) and IT-based, fail-first PM strategies abound, these basics often get lost in the shuffle. Keeping these key areas in mind will help PPMs supply not just functional enterprise-wide PM—but PM that delivers both foundational and innovative benefits.

As I was writing this post, I found the agenda for Gartner’s upcoming PPM and IT Governance Summit next month. The way that they structured the Summit and the tracks they chose to include further solidified my view that getting back to the basics will serve us all well as we navigate the brave new world of agile PPM.

1) Managing demand in line with current/changing resources. Project portfolio managers and their directors agree—nothing matters more than keeping a firm grip on the reins of project demand. This gets tougher as processes get more iterative and as project sponsors fade away when faced with too much change, too quickly. Or with a woeful lack of metrics to measure success.

We have found that aligning metrics for resource usage and scoring them against current and proposed demand helps focus everyone’s attention on what needs to get done, first. Even if you are working on a set of “transformational” projects, aligning their demand profiles against your resources should always be the first step. And, if you have the right tools, you can embed a ratio that works for your resources/demand and warns you when you are in or approaching the yellow state.

2) Becoming a people-first project office. Turnaround time for most projects in an agile portfolio is getting shorter. That’s why a high-functioning PPMO must deliver a change management dimension to nearly every project phase. As detail-oriented project scientists, many first-level project managers might concentrate solely on deliverables and their deadlines. However, as a PPM, it’s your job to get them the tools they need to manage the changes that their project brings. From user groups to beta testing, how will people react? To avoid risk, we need to plan for these outcomes across the entire enterprise.

3) Great governance comes first, followed by rigorous resource management planning, solid reporting and, of course, using the right PPM tools. One of the tracks at the Gartner Summit calls these elements, “mechanics” and promises to examine why “what worked in the highly centralized structure of the past 20 years is now beginning to morph as technology moves more deeply into product lines and business units”. Getting governance right becomes increasingly important to an enterprise PPMO whose tendrils reach deep into an organization’s functions. Everyone can go faster if you install the proper guardrails.

4) Decision support at all levels. From product launches to process re-engineering, IT implementation to internal transformation, as well as delivering services and solutions to customers, organizations must have the right data to make decisions about resource management; monitor granular progress; and quantify success in a business-relevant manner. Decision support at only a few levels won’t work.

Many organizations fall down in their project management approach by either investing in an operational tool, which supports everyday delivery and execution but provides limited reporting capability, or by focusing on the strategic platform that provides a powerful executive dashboard but places significant additional burden on the project team to gather data for better decisions. Most companies at a fairly mature level of project management can benefit from a tool that provides both for better control of the strategic direction of the entire portfolio—right down to the implementation level.

5) Strategy-led portfolio managers gain the respect of company leadership by developing clusters of projects that meet business goals effectively—and they can prove it. If you don’t have a firm grasp on what your company’s strategic needs are; if your business development officers aren’t your best friends already; having the right tool can help get you there.

Such a tool includes reporting functions that measure top-line deliverables so you can talk intelligently about your company’s short- and long-term strategic goals as they apply to the projects on deck—and the projects most likely to come. They empower you as a business partner who knows how to measure strategic impetus across many projects and apply solid resource management to get it all done. You can also gain a firm grasp on long-term demand issues that are specific to your company, avoiding the potential they have to derail your entire portfolio.

For more about resource demand planning in the digital age, download our latest eBook Resource Demand Planning in a Digital Age- A Streamlined and Effective Approach. For more about PPM best practices, take the first of our three PPM Master Classes, Empowering the Business Through PPM.]]>
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Three Project Management Lessons Learned from the London Crossrail Project]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/three-project-management-lessons-learned-from-the-london-crossrail-project I just read an interesting article about London’s Crossrail project which connects London’s west, east and centre via a 118-kilometre light rail system. You know the one, you’ve been stuck behind lorries for years due to the endless construction—and it’s only 70 percent done. The good news is that the project is on time and on budget.

The Crossrail Technical Information Manager Malcolm Taylor recently weighed in on why they’re doing so well and I’m going to weigh in on the “why of the why” based on what we’ve done for IT PMs just like Malcolm.

1. Start with the End in Mind

“If you start with the end in mind, know what it is you need to collect and then collect it, you can be sure that you have got the right data at the right time,” he said.

Me: Malcolm’s main resource asset is information because he’s the enterprise portfolio manager for Crossrail’s myriad, interconnected projects. He talks about how this information must be managed starting with the end in mind. He stresses the need to understand the type of information you need at each stage. The right PMO tool can take care of this in the agile or directive PM modes by managing the appropriate information on a demand continuum that includes each lifecycle resource – before the project even begins. Appropriate reporting tools then feed into your projects’ and your portfolio’s resource assets—and ensure spot-on allocation across multi-disciplinary roles and among cross-functional sponsors.

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2. Efficient Technology is Crucial

Malcolm: “The need to adopt efficient technologies in terms of data collection and along with that (sic) to give appropriate recognition of the people side of the technology. Whereas the second half of the 20th century in terms of data collection and information gathering was all about using folders and personal computers, the modern way is all about databases, and it is imperative to use more modern tools so that this can be done as efficiently as possible,” Taylor said.

Me: Old PMO tools did not include what most organizations need: Both a utilitarian tool for simple projects as well as a tool that handles enterprise-transformation projects and can grow with the maturity of the PMO.  

They were not designed for people who are actually on the ground, running the project along with those responsible for keeping a database of what was happening when.

Project leaders and teams today possess attitudes that mirror the attributes of their PMO tool: They’re about making each project user comfortable with the tool--  they’re practical people with vision—but vision that can be translated into a spreadsheet, if need be.

They are useful to the organization, collaborative, their decisions are not siloed or self-serving to their particular function. And their new platforms have several built-in macros that run on the back end and create paths for future decision-making. The hallmark of these modern tools (and ours) is to never forget who is using, not using, their database.

Imagine how many people from different walks of life and with different skills had to report in to the Crossrail project. That’s why we develop personas for each potential user in the industries we serve and those with the most need for PMO software that can be used with promptness right out of the box.

3. Measure Twice, Build Railway Once!

The article discussed other best practices used in the Crossrail PMO. They fostered collaboration among multidisciplinary teams by establishing a “single version of the truth.” They also stressed the importance of pre-construction planning and scoping to the current on-time, on-budget success.

Our tools at KeyedIn Projects are all about empowering disparate teams with a single version of the truth we’ve built from solid scoping functionality. Wherever you happen to be in your PM maturity journey, even if you’ve got a mix of adaptive and predictive projects – or even adaptive or predictive moments in your projects -- you can get there from here. For more information, please download our new eBook Big Change-Navigating the Directive and Adaptive PPM Dilemma. ]]>
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Calculating the Return from your Project Portfolio Management Investment]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/calculating-the-return-from-your-project-portfolio-management-investment Whether implementing a Project Portfolio Management tool across IT, Professional Services or your PMO the investment can be significant. The great news is the benefits and payback can happen fast.

In our experience there are two key areas to focus on:

  1. Return on Investment (ROI)
  2. Return on Opportunity (ROO)

Let’s take a look at ROI. - ROI is the tangible cost savings or increases in revenue/profitability directly attributed to the deployment of the software. In most cases this results from a reduction in admin or reporting times. This also can be driven by enabling people and processes to be more effective.

One key benefit of Project Portfolio Management software is a single version of the truth, derived through greater visibility and control over people, projects, financials, deliverables, and benefits. Automation of these key processes helps deliver time savings through improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Common project and program management activities, streamlined by PPM software include:

  • Reduce Project Status Reporting
  • Simplified Assigning and Maintaining Timelines for Task Based Staffing, Planning, & Control
  • Limited Manually Searching Via Word of Mouth
  • Easy Change Management
  • Efficient Expense and Time Management

Cloud-based PPM software not only helps project and program management, but much of the focus is in increasing the productivity of delivery staff by streamlining heavy administrative tasks.

Some examples of these tasks where PPM software enables efficiency are:

  • Automated Weekly Progress and Assignment Meetings scheduled
  • Accurate Time Recording
  • Real-Time Milestone Achievement Reporting
  • Easy Prioritization/Reprioritization of Work Schedules

Now let’s look at ROO. – ROO is often what many people forget when calculating return. The ROO is the time saved through streamlining processes and allows for greater focus on additional benefits that can be achieve in the following categories:

People, Process Improvement & Productivity

  • Allocate the right people to the right projects
  • Reduce repetition through project alignment
  • Develop consistent approach

Profitability

  • Embark on strategically aligned projects
  • Improve quality data and decision-making

Performance

  • Promote good practice and consistency
  • Improve data accuracy
  • Manage pro-actively not re-actively

Partner Satisfaction

  • Increase customer confidence and satisfaction by greater accuracy in deliverable
  • Manage vendors more efficiently enabling predictability in planning and partnering

Power of Information

  • Increase accuracy of management information enabling and supporting better decision-making
  • Drive accountability, improve confidence in data
  • Encourage openness, visibility and communication of decisions

The combination of both the ROI and the ROO are what should be considered when calculating the total return from your project portfolio management investment. You may ask, well how do I determine the financial savings from these qualitative returns? We have an answer for you.

Download our PPM ROI Calculator – based on real world examples – to get your best estimate total return based on your number of project managers and project delivery personnel.

For more information on the PPM ROI Calculator and other SaaS PPM resources, visit our Resource Library.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Three Requirements for Effective Resource Demand Planning in a Digital Age]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/three-requirements-for-effective-resource-demand-planning-in-a-digital-age In a recent article in the Computer Business Review, survey respondents in the UK said that lack of understanding of agile practices by senior management is the biggest hurdle to overcome when adopting agile PM among IT organizations.

In the same piece, the author cites a Software Advice survey which “found that 48% of project managers surveyed use agile software primarily for projects not related to software development; 90% of respondents say workflow tracking improves efficiency more than any other agile functionality.”

In talking to both IT- and non-IT clients, we have found that workflow tracking might indeed mean improved efficiency—but the main differentiator in successful agile PM is resource demand planning. In addition, communications and change management programs for project sponsors that include complete visibility and a clearly-marked resource allocation paths work extraordinarily well in educating these executives on the need for agile PM and its potential impact to the bottom line.

We might all agree: To navigate digital innovations in IT or in non-digital businesses, you need effective, iterative PM practices to move your investments forward. In an “all businesses are IT businesses” environment, agile PM must rule the day. Yet how do you best manage resource demand in these non-traditional portfolios? You can download our “Ideas in Action” white paper, Driving Smarter Resourcing for more. But for now, concentrate on these top three PM tools’ characteristics to ensure you are well-equipped to educate and execute on agile PM.

1) Automated change handling

Agile PM is characterized by changing direction and scope on a dime. Once you have the appropriate tool to manage these projects, no unpleasant surprises and more flexibility ensue.

2) Visibility into all aspects of resource deployment

One of our clients, a professional services company, wanted to create more visibility in its portfolio, especially in regard to resource allocation. In agile PM, complete visibility is paramount—otherwise, iterative goals can’t be monitored appropriately. These “mini-milestones” are sometimes the only way IT PMs and PMOs can gauge the current success of their agile projects. When you have ten or twelve such projects constantly moving to pull resources, visibility will become an imperative. For more on this topic, download our eBook, Resource Demand Planning in a Digital Age.

3) A long-term resource demand planning strategy supported by a centralized system

Suppose that you have a clear picture of the workflow required for each agile project in your portfolio. Further, you might possess the resources to see all of these projects through to completion. However, our experience has shown that if you don’t have a cohesive view of the relationships between the projects and how they support your overall resource demand planning strategy—and by extension, your business goals—you will never have the power to move from strictly waterfall-based behaviors. Our clients are crestfallen when they report: Waterfall-based behaviors won’t work anymore in an increasingly agile environment. A centralized system is the only way they have found to support a holistic view of resource demand; forge a way to manage competing and contrasting workflows; and, finally, obtain a complete picture of the inherent business value and opportunities for innovation in your portfolio. Without these, your agile projects will flounder and your resources will always be stretched thin—or possibly, break down.

To learn more about Resource Demand Planning in a Digital Age, download our eBook – which also discusses how to get your senior management on board with the specific challenges of agile PM in the digital age.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.8.4 including bug fixes and small enhancements to existing features.]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojectshttp://roadmap.keyedin.com/portal/04-02-2016/keyedin-projects-5-8-4-including-bug-fixes-and-small-enhancements-to-existing-features/ Highlights

Ability to complete a Deliverable early
Ability to exclude overtime when restricting the amount of hours that be logged by a resource on a given day
Please be aware that the 5.8.4 will be available on February 4th 2016. If you have any questions regarding the release, please contact the KeyedIn Excellence Consulting Team. All existing SaaS clients will be updated automatically. A User Guide will be available to download via the customer knowledgebase on the day of the release.

Please note – The new version will be released to KeyedInProjects.net on February 5th 2016.]]>
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.8.3 now integrates with JIRA and is designed to work with projects that require research and development!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/12-02-2015/keyedin-projects-5-8-3 KeyedIn Projects 5.8.3 now integrates with JIRA and is designed to work with projects that require research and development. The overall project plan is managed in KeyedIn Projects but the development phase is executed outside of KeyedIn Projects using an agile tool such as JIRA. The integration provides the ability to import sprints and stories into your task plans in KeyedIn Projects. The story progress is automatically updated giving greater visibility to project managers and key stakeholders.

Key Features:

  • Previous sprints and the current active sprint will be imported as summary tasks
  • Stories will be imported as child tasks
  • The imported sprints and stories can be moved into the appropriate position in your project plan
  • The % complete against each story will be updated based on the configured status category mappings. Typically to do stories will be set to 0% complete and completed stories set to 100%.
  • Only sprints and stories that have changed since the last synch will be updated

The JIRA Configuration and User Guide are available on request.

Please note – All new features are opt-in. If you have any queries about this release, please ask the KeyedIn Consulting team for assistance. If you are an existing KeyedIn Projects customer, further information and release documentation will be available via the knowledgebase.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[New Mobile Project Management Capabilities in KeyedIn Projects Mobile v2.3]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/11-17-2015/new-mobile-project-management-capabilities-in-keyedin-projects-mobile-v2-3 We are delighted to announce the latest release of the KeyedIn Projects Mobile App.

The new version of the app sees the introduction of a new screen called Projects that allows project managers to:

  • View the status of their projects
  • Approve timesheets on their projects
  • Approve expenses on their projects


This screen will be enhanced over the next few months with the introduction of project collaboration, task progress updates and the ability to download the latest project status reports. Watch this space!

Download the KeyedIn Projects Mobile App today via Apple's iOS App Store or Android's Google Play.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Key Reasons Why You Need a PMO]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-key-reasons-why-you-need-a-pmo Ever wondered what it takes to build a great project organization? Well a PMO is a great place to start, helping you to standardize processes and drive up project success rates.

In this article we pull on over 20 years’ experience of delivering project, program and portfolio management solutions to PMOs at various levels of PPM maturity to identify the key reasons why you need a PMO – or why you need to improve the maturity of your existing PMO.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you need a PMO.

1. Limited Visibility into Project Performance

Limited visibility into projects and resources is one of the leading causes of project failures. Centralizing all of your project and resource management in a central function, whether at the departmental or organizational level lets you easily address key questions, such as:

  • What work is being performed by who, and when?
  • How are specific projects aligned with corporate priorities?
  • How is the Return on Investment for specific projects calculated?

2. You have limited resources and capacity planning is an issue

Most organizations experience resource capability planning issues, which is greatly compounded when projects are managed in isolation. A PMO helps to significantly reduce these issues by centralizing the selection and prioritization of projects - using Project Portfolio Management techniques and tools to select the right projects at the right time based on resource and financial constraints.

3. There is no consistent methodology for project delivery

Inconsistencies in the way projects are managed make it extremely difficult to report on status and progress. With the advent of cloud-based project and portfolio management solutions, a standard toolset to manage projects, programs and portfolios is now within the reach of most organizations. Even with the most basic project management solution you can standardize the way your project managers plan projects, request resource and report on status and progress.

4. There is a lack of ownership and/or accountability

Ownership and accountability are key to project success, and an area where tools such as project portfolio management software really come into play. Project portfolio management tools provide the framework for you to ensure all projects have clear ownership and there is accountability to the business. From simply defining what resource and expenditure is required to deliver the project, through to outlining the key deliverables and benefits, PPM tools help you build a business case for each project to be used in selection and prioritization. A top down approach to PPM greatly simplifies this approach.

5. Projects often come in late or over budget and fail to meet the objectives

It would be a bit short sighted to simply say a PMO will eliminate late or over budget projects, but a PMO equipped with the right tools and the right processes will certainly limit project failures through extending the planning horizon, ensuring project selection and prioritization are in line with resource and financial constraints, and as we saw earlier, by providing greater visibility and control over the entire project lifecycle you will be able to react faster to issues as they happen make more informed decisions on corrective actions.

It goes without saying that great PMOs need great tools. You can find out more about the benefits and uses of PPM and the PMO in our recent whitepaper and webinar

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects eZine Edition 2: Learn about Mobile Project Management and our recent enhancements to the KeyedIn Mobile App!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/10-12-2015/keyedin-projects-ezine-edition-2-learn-about-mobile-project-management-and-our-recent-enhancements-to-the-keyedin-mobile-app We are delighted to bring you of the second edition of 'KeyedUp' the KeyedIn Projects Customer eZine.  In this edition, we take a look back at the release of KeyedIn Projects v5.8.2 and preview our all new Industry focused webinar series. The Features in Focus section of this edition will discuss how Mobile Project Management and our recent enhancements to the KeyedIn Mobile App .

You will also find new case studies from Abellio Greater Anglia and CDG in the Customers In Focus section includes case studies as they share their experiences succesfully implementing KeyedIn Projects within their organizations. Click below to access KeyedUp Edition 2 now!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.8.2 – Check out our enhancements to Demand and Supply, Assignment Planning and Project Lifecycle!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/09-22-2015/keyedin-projects-5-8-2 Demand and Supply Improvements

Bulk Supply changes. A number of features have been added to make it easier to handle multiple Supply changes. Project Supply for multiple Resources can be moved forwards or backwards – useful when projects are delayed or brought forward. The ability to bulk delete Supply is also available to quickly release Resources from projects that have been stopped early, or where someone has left the organisation.
Individual, selected or all displayed Resources can be included and the changes can apply across a single or multiple Projects as the button is available on the Projects-Resource and Capacity-Resource Plan Dashboards.

Confirmed and Provisional Demand. In complex project environments where you are working to a given planning horizon, or a specific date relating to financial approval, Demand can now be designated Provisional or Confirmed. When Demand is Confirmed, a date can be selected to show when Resources can be confidently Supplied up to. The Demand confirmed until date allows Resource Managers to refine their decision making regarding Supply. The Capacity graph shows the total Demand and the split between Provisional and Confirmed Demand. This provides Resource Managers with increased visibility and means better strategic resourcing decisions.

Auto Generate Supply when Forecasting Demand. This allows users to forecast a Resource’s demand and automatically supply them in one operation – useful where Planners are also Resource Managers.
Customers interested in this functionality should contact the KeyedIn Consulting team for assistance with designing a suitable process and permissions configuration.

Project Planning Improvements.

Assignment Planning Improvements. Assignment planning from the Tasks dashboard has been improved with the ability to enter a Resource’s Name utilizing “auto-complete” to dynamically match the entry.

Improved Assignment Profiling. Improved Assignment profiling is now available. In addition to the existing Flatten and Usage options, it is now possible to insert a value or Frontload over a specific period.
The new Insert option can take into account a Resource’s availability after other Assignments – which helps avoid over-allocation.
Frontloading will always take into account other Assignments.

Recurring Tasks and Assignments. With this release you can plan Recurrent Tasks and Assignments. This can be used for the quick set-up of regular repeating events like team meetings.
Simply set-up the Task (including Assignments), select it using the Task picker, and then click on the Recurrence tool icon.
Set the start, frequency and end date for the recurring copies before clicking OK and confirming the dialog.

Project Lifecycle Improvements

Start Date for Lifecycle Changes The date a Lifecycle Stage changes can now be recorded. This defaults to Today, but can be changed to be in the past or future as appropriate.

Items marked with an *are non-opt in.

The upgrade will be available October 6th. If you would like to discuss the best way to take advantage of these improved features then please contact the KeyedIn Excellence Consulting Team. All existing SaaS clients will be updated automatically.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[New Release of KeyedIn® Projects Mobile App Adds Visibility and Time-Saving Options that Simplify Project and Portfolio Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/08-13-2015/new-release-of-keyedin-projects-mobile-app-adds-visibility-and-time-saving-options-that-simplify-project-and-portfolio-management

New Release of KeyedIn® Projects Mobile App Adds Visibility and Time-Saving Options that Simplify Project and Portfolio Management

Now users can input information off-line from any Android or iOS device

Minneapolis, MN (August 13, 2015) — KeyedIn® Solutions, an innovator in aPaaS and SaaS-based business solutions, today released an updated version of KeyedIn® Projects Mobile. The mobile application is a companion to the company’s highly acclaimed KeyedIn Projects Cloud-based software that simplifies complex project and program management for professional services organizations, project management offices (PMOs) and businesses of all types and sizes around the world.

KeyedIn Projects Mobile provides both management and project contributors with heightened transparency and flexibility. Through the Mobile app, managers can access project status, drill-down into analytics to make instant, informed decisions and quickly review and approve expenses. Project contributors gain the flexibility of entering their time while on the go and the ease of submitting expenses the moment they are incurred. Highlights include the ability to:

  • Enter and approve project time and expense information
  • Photograph receipts and submit them as expenses
  • Select from a menu of widgets to view project and program status
  • Access and drill-down into project analytics
  • Leverage offline capabilities for entering time and expenses and reviewing time critical analytics

KeyedIn® Projects software has gained a loyal following based on its strategy-led and execution-driven approach to project management that provides value across the organization. “As an extension to KeyedIn Projects, KeyedIn Projects Mobile demonstrates our commitment to provide customers with increasing and on-going value,” notes KeyedIn CEO and Co-Founder, Lauri Klaus. “Mobile promotes time-saving work management capabilities that we believe will impact project margins positively.” KeyedIn has a customer loyalty rating of greater than 96%, demonstrating the company’s commitment to delivering consistent customer value.

Regarding the trend towards increasingly complex projects, Kevin Hurley, EVP of Technology at KeyedIn, comments, “Our customers find KeyedIn Projects ideally suited to manage a range of project environments - from simple projects with multiple assets to highly complex projects - including projects that have a lot of moving pieces that require great detail and global projects that need to account for multiple currencies. We designed our software to be both comprehensive to satisfy multiple roles, and highly usable so that people actually enjoy interacting with the software.” KeyedIn Projects Mobile gives businesses added convenience and more options for staying connected using their own, or company-provided devices.

KeyedIn Projects in the App Store

KIP Mobile App 

KeyedIn Projects provides a complete Cloud-based Project Portfolio Management solution that enables companies to achieve their strategic goals with unrivaled visibility. KeyedIn® Projects customers receive KeyedIn Projects Mobile as part of their SaaS agreement. KeyedIn Projects Mobile is available in the Apple Store and Google Play for both iOS and Android devices.

A free trial of KeyedIn Projects software is available at http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 ways project management software can enhance project control and optimize resource usage]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-ways-project-management-software-can-enhance-project-control-and-optimize-resource-usage During a recent consultation session we had the opportunity to ask one of our customers how KeyedIn’s project management software had helped their business gain more control over their projects and how it has helped optimize their resource usage.

Our customer is an enterprise resource planning systems developer and integrator with a wealth of experience in manufacturing operations. Before implementing KeyedIn Projects they managed their projects using a mixture of MS project for scheduling, Excel for reporting and Dropbox for submissions and collaboration and finally QuickBooks for accounting and billing. Like many expanding organizations they were finding that they were rapidly outgrowing their Project Portfolio Management capabilities and that these systems weren’t giving them real-time visibility.

They identified that they could use KeyedIn Projects to not only enhance their own project management but also enable their clients to manage key aspects of theirs. Here are five ways in which they felt the software enhanced project control and optimized their resource usage:

  1. Improved data and reporting – Metrics can be created to capture date on utilization, project statistics, budget tracking and comparison, culminating with profitability reporting by item and task type.
  2. Enhanced visibility – Real-time information is available on resource assignments and availabilities with scheduling tools to optimize resources by their skillsets.
  3. Ability to manage supply and demand pipeline and workflow control – This eliminates redundancies and errors occurring with manual, multi-platform project reporting processes.
  4. Increased knowledge sharing – The software facilitates collaboration with the firm’s staff and its clients ensuring they can communicate amongst themselves.
  5. Capability to create a virtual help desk – This provides staff with a landing resource with unique logins for project task detail communication and managed time entry.

To find out more about how we helped this leading company, you can download the case study here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Six ways to achieve growth through Professional Service Automation]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/six-ways-to-achieve-growth-through-professional-service-automation A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of bumping into one of our customers at a project management workshop. It gave us a perfect opportunity to discuss how they were planning to support growth through Professional Service Automation (PSA). Our customer is a leading consultancy supporting premier firms in aerospace, defence, space, intelligence and government services but fortunately we didn’t have to sign any official secrets papers after our discussion.

Prior to implementing KeyedIn Projects our customer recalled they began their search for Professional Service Automation with a focus on automated time and expense tracking a few years ago as their growth had already started to outpace their infrastructure.

They explained that they identified the need and advantages of process standardization using PSA and that they chose KeyedIn Projects because the system was configurable to their current and projected needs. They soon realised that it was going to have a larger impact on their business than just improving their time and expense tracking and that using KeyedIn projects could help drive growth. 

From just our very brief conversation we established six simple ways PSA was helping them achieve growth:

  1. The ability to optimize resource allocation – At times of increasing workloads their resources can become stretched, so having a clear view can identify issues quickly and resolve them before they become problems.
  2. Visibility of all previous and current reports – This fine-tunes the decision making process ensuring knowledge sharing and learning from previous mistakes.
  3. More accurate data and standardised Reporting – This again aids their decision making and makes key information easier to review.
  4. Having focused profit and cost analysis per project – Visibility of such information establishes criteria for business opportunities improving business development and gives them a greater appreciation of the true costs of resources applied to a project.
  5. Real time visibility – Enables management to plan and forecast through detailed reporting available at any time.
  6. Visibility of active and archived project documentation – This supports the company’s ability to provide best-practice client services

To find out more about how we helped this leading consultancy, you can download the Case Study here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Learn how to take the complexity out of project management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/07-23-2015/learn-how-to-take-the-complexity-out-of-project-management Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[See how KeyedIn Projects delivers real-time information to drive decision-making]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/07-22-2015/see-how-keyedin-projects-delivers-real-time-information-to-drive-decision-making Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.8.1 follows the major release of version 5.8 and offers a number of improvements to existing features!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/07-15-2015/keyedin-projects-5-8-1 KeyedIn Projects Version 5.8.1 follows our major release of version 5.8 and offers a number of improvements to existing features, including:

  • Capability Improvements
  • Forecast Improvements
  • Home Screen Improvements
  • Billing Improvements
  • iCalendar Improvements
  • 3 Step Planning Improvements
  • Timesheet Improvements
  • Security Improvements
  • Task Assignment Improvements
  • Reporting Improvements
  • Task Planning\Deliverable Improvements

If you would like to discuss the best way to take advantage of the new features then please contact the KeyedIn Excellence Consulting Team. All existing SaaS clients will be updated automatically.

*Please note – The new version will be released to KeyedInProjects.net on July 16 th

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Learn how to standardize your project management process with KeyedIn Projects]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/07-07-2015/learn-how-to-standardize-your-project-management-process-with-keyedin-projects Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[See how a more comprehensive view of project statuses and progress can increase process control]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/07-06-2015/see-how-a-more-comprehensive-view-of-project-statuses-and-progress-can-increase-process-control Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[The Importance of keeping your project management software and growth in sync]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/the-importance-of-keeping-your-project-management-software-and-growth-in-sync The use of Project Management Software in the workplace has never been greater and the benefits that come with it are there for everyone to see. There is absolutely no doubt that advances in such software have improved efficiency, streamlined processes, enhanced communication and been one of the main drivers for growth in a variety of companies. The main issue nowadays is not whether project management systems should be used to support growth but more so which solution would be best suited to your business.

Choosing the right piece of software to implement or finding the correct equipment to improve your business is never easy and takes a lot of research. Once you have found the tool that meets your criteria, it is almost as important to make sure that the solution is not only suited to the size of your company but is flexible enough to grow with your business. This is because you could easily find yourself running into problems or held back by a system that isn’t easy to upgrade or one that is too advanced for what you currently need.

We caught up with one of our customers recently, a French Software publisher and they emphasised the importance of keeping their project management systems in sync with their business growth. They stated that the main reasons for implementing KeyedIn Projects were that the software was highly flexible, meaning they could start slowly using only a few of the functions initially and gradually add more functionality when they were ready and that it could accommodate their rapidly expanding team due to the ease of setting up new users. This meant that the adoption process was easy, users weren’t confused by the new system, they could take control of how the new technology grew with their business and as a result the company has become more competitive.

To find out more about how we work with this French Software Publisher, download the free Case Study here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Find out how Project Portfolio Management can increase operational efficiency and drive growth]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/find-out-how-project-portfolio-management-can-increase-operational-efficiency-and-drive-growth Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[5 key tools to manage your business and projects more effectively]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-key-tools-to-manage-your-business-and-projects-more-effectively Recently we caught up with one of our customers, a leading economic research and strategy consultancy to discuss what tools within KeyedIn Projects enabled them to maximise efficiency and target performance improvements.

In the past the consultancy found that it was over reliant on financial records to measure the success of its projects. They found it extremely difficult to analyse both team and business productively, monthly turnover and the effectiveness of any performance improving initiatives.

Although complex spreadsheets gave the company valuable management information, our customer recalled the frustrations of various error messages and the loss of time having to update them.

To solve these problems the consultancy decided to implement our supremely flexible and multi-functional system in 2013. Our customer stated that five key tools have been fundamental with managing their projects and business more effectively.

  • The ability to calculate fixed fee and variable rates
  • Being able to easily record time and expense against a project
  • The simplicity of project planning, monitoring and forecasting
  • Ability to analyse information at departmental and business level
  • The flexibility when creating and changing reports

These tools were able to address the big issues the consultancy needed to resolve and has led to improved productivity across the whole business.

To find out more about how we helped this leading consultancy, you can download the Case Study here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 key benefits of streamlining your project management processes]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-key-benefits-of-streamlining-your-project-management-processes At our recent annual user conference in London, we had the pleasure of going for dinner with one of our customers from the transportation industry. Usually, a wait of almost an hour for main courses would be highly frustrating; especially on an empty stomach, but on this occasion it gave us a great opportunity to understand how cloud-based project management software had helped their business.

In the past the company had no generic project management software in place and they were finding their existing systems and internal processes too cumbersome and time consuming. After shortlisting various project management solutions, they decided to implement KeyedIn Projects to streamline their internal processes. They found the solution was not only easy to use but also easy to rollout due to the flexible nature.

Since its implementation the customer explained that the five key benefits of streamlining their project management processes were:

  • A clearer view of the business through the capability to monitor all projects within a single solution
  • Improved time and cost efficiency
  • A greater ability to identify any risks and troubleshoot them before they develop
  • Better decision making as they can view all key information in one place and in real time
  • Increased employee collaboration across departments

To find out more about how we work with this transportation giant, download the free Case Study here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[A Quick Fire Guide to Project Portfolio Management Business Benefits]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/a-quick-fire-guide-to-project-portfolio-management-business-benefits Project Portfolio Management provides a structured environment for deciding which projects, programs and initiatives to fund, to sustain and to eliminate. From optimizing your investment in important change programs, through to ensuring you are running the right projects and programs at the right time - Project Portfolio Management will bring sanity to project and resource chaos.

With Project Portfolio Management you can maximize the contribution of projects to the overall welfare and success of the enterprise, leading to significant business benefits for business leaders, executives and the organization as a whole.

For business leaders and executives this means that:

  • Projects should contribute to a positive cash flow for the enterprise;
  • Projects must effectively utilize the organization’s resources;
  • Projects must help position the organization for future success and growth.

For the business, the PPM process enables users to organize a series of projects into integrated portfolios. As part of this process the business is able to produce reports based on the various project objectives, costs, resources and risks. This will assist the business in making key financial and business decisions. PPM is a dynamic process whereby projects are regularly evaluated, prioritized and selected, based on the goal of obtaining the greatest possible value from the organizations limited resources.

PPM enables the organization to:

  • Meet financial and business governance milestone costs effectively;
  • Bring new products to market in line with business strategy only when resource capability and budget restrictions allow;
  • Implement outsourcing and off shoring initiatives with real time visibility of operational time, cost and resource information across business units;
  • Track and optimize lights-on-activity to aid business growth and efficiency drives;
  • Understand resource utilization and profitability allowing better alignment of resources, more dynamic workforce management and reductions in contractor costs;
  • Reduce reporting timescales at executive and board level allowing faster reactions to market and competitive changes and more accurate decision making;
  • Get early warning of any potential problems meeting program and project milestones;
  • Make it easy for different stakeholders to access project information relevant to their strategic interests;
  • Calculate the financial impact of cancelling a poor performing project;
  • Switch priorities based on organizational needs and redeploy staff quickly;
  • Have a standard methodology for starting and managing projects and making them accountable to the business;
  • Reduce program and project overruns and costs;
  • Reduce program and project duplication and effort;
  • Track costs, revenues and margins for each project in the portfolio;
  • Learn from past projects;
  • Account for cost of time spent on projects;
  • Reduce the risk of losing money on projects;
  • Identify risks at the outset and their impact on the business;
  • Understand how changes to one project will affect other projects;
  • Identify projects that are not contributing to objectives;
  • Reduce the risk of skills shortage at critical times;
  • Track delivery against key milestones;

If you would like to learn more about how PPM can help your business, explore our free online PPM Master Class – you can download part 1 here.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Finding the Right Project Management Solution for your Project Management Maturity]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/finding-the-right-project-management-solution-for-your-project-management-maturity When you decide to progressively develop your project management approach, methodology, strategy and decision-making processes, decisions should be formed by a number of factors, with the main focus being what are you aiming to achieve for the business.

This process is known as project management maturity and involves a detailed assessment to see where you can either develop your company, improve operational procedures, optimise your processes or transform your business altogether.

In our experience, there are six factors that should influence this decision:

  1. Current project management maturity
  2. Desired project management maturity
  3. Investment level (or your budget)
  4. Implementation complexity
  5. Business objectives
  6. Desired benefits

Once you understand your goal, our Project Management Approach Heat Map will help you understand the potential solutions available to your business. The solutions are ranked according to complexity and business objectives, with Microsoft Office considered as the most simple way to help develop some very basic project management templates, through to Organisational Change Management as the most complex method for an enterprise-wide transformation.

The benefits of each approach will depend on the business objective you laid out initially:

In the early stages as you develop your project management processes, you will see:

  • Increased project visibility
  • Standardised planning

As project management involvement increases in the day-to-day operations of the business, you will see:

  • Standardised project management processes
  • Improved collaboration
  • Improved resource utilisation

As a result of the project management's increasing influence, there will be a need to optimize your tools and processes, here you will see:

  • Improved project selection
  • Increased efficiency with resource capability planning
  • Increased effectiveness with project financial management
  • Standardized project status reporting

Finally, as your requirements become more transformational, you will see benefits at the business level, including:

  • Reduced costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Proactive project and resource management
  • Improved process management

Your project management maturity will play a major role in deciding which solution is right for your business. To help you decide, we have used a five-point rating system whereby:

  1. There are no formal PM processes in place
  2. You are looking to standardize Project, Program and Portfolio Management activities
  3. Formal PM processes in place, but tools are needed to help standardization, or to consolidate multiple systems
  4. Standard tools are in place, but you have additional more complex requirements, such as billing and integration
  5. You have complex project management needs, operating at a detailed work/task level

Explore the heat map now, or to find out how KeyedIn Projects can help you find the right size, right fit solution for your business, click here .

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Benefits and Uses of PPM and the PMO]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-26-2015/benefits-and-uses-of-ppm-and-the-pmo Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[10 Project Portfolio Management Implementation tips based on real world experience]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/10-project-portfolio-management-implementation-tips-based-on-real-world-experience There are many different approaches to implementing project portfolio management and professional service automation solutions.  All with varying degrees of success.  In this post we offer 10 real world tips to get you started on the route to a successful implementation. Based on 20 years of experience and lessons shared by the KeyedIn Excellence implmentation team, here are our 10 tips.

#1 Get a sponsor that cares

Someone who will use the system themselves and set a good example….and also break through internal politics to address the laggards and luddites that will always be there!

#2 Prototype to get it right

People need to touch, feel and experience the solution to really understand what it means!  With a SaaS business model, a free trial can help get this process started early.

#3 Don’t automate something you don’t understand

Building sophisticated Integrations, Workflows and Reports in the early stages is wasted time. Instead wait until you understand how things are really going to work through experience of live running.

#4 Make it easy to get right first time

Ensure the user experience is simple and slick, rather than having to put lots of effort in later with training and quality assurance checks for errors

#5 You start from where you are, not where you like to think you are

Honestly assess your organization’s maturity and aim the solution at a reasonable level above that – rather than trying to implement everything at once. You will just leave people behind otherwise.

#6 Use the solution to record agreements and support the work, rather than try to automate everything in workflow

Heavy workflow just encourages people to find creative ways around updating the system. You will not replace interactions and discussion outside the system….so just make them visible to everyone.

#7 Run the project…like a proper project

Don’t assume this is “Business As Usual” it’s not. The people change side is probably more important as you are often dealing with Project Managers who are not used to being told what to do by someone else.

#8 Good is good enough

Perfection is very expensive and time consuming, so focus on getting the critical, important things working well enough first. Often those “bells and whistles” were never needed anyway.

#9 Focus on the actual Implementation part of the project most

A difficult project can be made into a success by an excellent implementation – but the converse applies too! Invest in training, communications and floor-walking/contact at live to make sure it lands as expected.

#10 Multi-skilled Implementation Consultants

Ideally find one that can work End to End, reducing hand-offs, misunderstanding and providing instant responses. That’s what we do!

Find out how a KeyedIn Projects implementation today could mean immediate benefits for you tomorrow. To learn more about how to transform your PMO, click here.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Essential Features for Successful Project Portfolio Management Configuration]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/essential-features-for-successful-project-portfolio-management-configuration For many individuals the term SaaS equals a lack of configuration, which is not always the case. SaaS Project and Portfolio Management software is known for providing quick implementations and easy to use functionality to instantly improve overall project management efficiency. With this type of solution, you can reduce your time manually tracking projects and allocate more time executing those projects. Those benefits are expected of any project portfolio management solution, but what about configurability?

Configurability allows companies to dynamically configure and customize their project processes to fit their unique business needs. When looking for a project portfolio management system, configurability must be a priority for optimal efficiency and user adoption.

So when you are researching vendors, consider this checklist of functionality, to ensure you evaluate truely a configurable project management solution:

  • Create unlimited custom fields – Not only should you be able to create common formats such as text, numeric, keyword lists, but in many scenarios you also need the flexibility to create more complex calculated fields, measures, and SQL lookups.
  • Create configurable dashboards – Personally create your own analytics dashboards and widgets to ensure all project stakeholders have real time information critical to their role in project delivery.
  • Fully multi-currency enabled – Track costs and expenditures in multiple currencies quickly and easily with a single click.
  • Multi-Lingual with pre-configured languages – Having a multi-lingual solution is important for global growth of any company, so multi-lingual capabilities straight “out-of-the-box” ready to use is key.
  • Configure your own project lifecycle – Easily configurable project lifecycles allow users to follow a pre-defined path, when initiating, planning, executing, and managing projects.
  • Configure and track your own KPIs – Create your own measures and executive dashboards to ensure visibility of KPIs is in real time.
  • Easily form action views – Action views allow users to track opportunities, feature requests or helpdesk tickets and can be configured for new functionality.
  • Build out your individual business processes – Create unique individual business processes by simply defining the data, steps and approval stages.

If a solution doesn’t include this checklist of configuration, it won’t be specifically designed to fit your unique business needs without additional cost. Why wait to improve project management when a configured project portfolio management software can positively impact project completion and profitability by eliminating unnecessary resource and project processes.

Start managing your project portfolios with configurability, and see the difference configuration can have on your organization.

For more information on configuration in the Cloud, click here.

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<![CDATA[Best Practices to Manage Project Portfolios]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/best-practices-to-manage-project-portfolios The success of an organization can depend highly on its ability to manage the portfolio of projects effectively and ensure business goals and objectives are met on time and on budget. The importance of managing project portfolios should not be taken lightly.

Here are a few best practices to help manage project portfolios:

  • Select and prioritize the right projects – Not every project has the same urgency as another. It is important to recognize the hierarchy of project completion based on organizational goals and be able to facilitate the higher priority projects first followed by those not as high on the list.
  • Forecast the cost of delivering the project portfolio – Since profitability is key for a successful organization, it is important to track the costs of project portfolios on all levels and monitor them accordingly. You must have the visibility to track a project and determine if the project should be cancelled based on the costs exceeding the benefits of completing it.
  • Provide real time status reporting for executives – Executives are often the ones making the business decisions and it is important for them to have real-time visibility of project statuses in order to make the best decisions for the organization. These status reports can eliminate many risks involved with non-communicated project issues.
  • Initiate project governance for consistent processes – Ensure individuals and the business are held accountable for missed deadlines and wrongfully executed projects. By standardizing the project process, reporting and status of projects remains consistent across the entire organization, making it easier to track the outcome of projects resulting in greater efficiency overall
  • Achieve a complete view of all projects – It is important for organizations to have a single version of the truth when it comes to project status. This eliminates questions and helps individuals prioritize and support the projects that need attention.

Start managing your project portfolios with these practices, and see the difference in efficiency and profitability. For more information on managing project portfolios, click here.

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<![CDATA[Businesses 'must embrace new technologies' to make remote project management a success]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/businesses-must-embrace-new-technologies-to-make-remote-project-management-a-success A recent survey from KeyedIn Projects has highlighted the need for companies to not only be proactive when it comes to remote working, but open to new technologies and applications.

The benefits of remote working are varied and well-known, yet many companies still fail to take full advantage of the practice. Although this style of working can lead to a more flexible - and even happier - workforce, there is potential for things to go wrong. This is especially the case when businesses do not give employers all the tools needed to work efficiently away from the office.

Companies must therefore be up-to-speed with the latest applications serving to make remote working a more effective and reliable approach. Indeed, a  global survey from KeyedIn Projects has shown that remote working would be more commonplace if employees were provided with all the technologies they need to do their jobs properly. More than one-third (35 per cent) said they would be more likely to take their work out of the office if they felt confident they had all the necessary tools at their disposal.

There is certainly scope for more businesses to jump on the remote working bandwagon - just ten per cent work remotely every day, ten per cent do so frequently and 28 per cent sometimes - but it seems improvements must be made before this can take place. Almost one-fifth (19 per cent) of those who work from home believe doing so makes them less efficient at their job, and just shy of one-tenth (nine per cent) find it difficult to connect with applications when working remotely. A further four per cent claimed it is 'very difficult' to connect at home.

The rise in prominence of smartphones and tablets in the work sphere is likely to have a huge impact on remote working in the future. The ease of access these devices afford is significant, so being able to perform work duties on them - even tasks as simple as checking emails - can bring considerable benefits. However, the study revealed that more than half of those questioned (56 per cent) find the applications they use in their day-to-day work are not optimised for mobiles and tablets.

Improving this should therefore be a priority. Remote working can help companies ease the inflexibilities that constrain them and their staff, yet it is fruitless to adopt the approach and not then give it the best possible chance of succeeding. By embracing the latest tools, organisations can ensure remote working becomes easier, more efficient and, ultimately, more rewarding.

One such product is KeyedIn Projects, a fully-integrated suite of project and portfolio managemnet applications from KeyedIn Solutions. The system is Cloud-based, meaning it is ideally suited for remote working and free of any accessibility difficulties associated with this form of working. Project management in particular stands to benefit from more flexible working, given the high organisation and cohesion it requires. Applications to not only improve, but simplify, the two, should therefore be welcomed.

Find out how to take project management to the cloud and suppport the ever growing trend of bring your own device to work (BYOD) with KeyedIn Projects.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[SaaS isn’t a Secret Anymore]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/saas-isnt-a-secret-anymore It’s no secret that software applications improve the management of business processes. The important task of keeping track of critical projects from start to finish is no longer optional. Without it, your organization will inevitably waste time and resources resulting in lost revenue. The question organizations find themselves asking today is not whether they need a software application to manage their portfolio of projects, but whether the solution will be on-premise or SaaS (Software as a Service) delivered?

This question shouldn’t be a hard decision once individuals take a look at what makes a SaaS solution different. With on-premise solutions, companies are forced to pay significantly more upfront to install the solution. Upgrades of the most recent additions to the software with an on-premise solution often cost extra, which forces companies to continue using out-dated systems to manage projects. On-premise solutions limit the reliability of accuracy for users because there isn’t one up-to-date real version of the truth. With a SaaS solution, these issues can be avoided. Today, the advantage of a SaaS solution over an on-premise solution isn’t a secret anymore.

Below are some major benefits of a SaaS solution:

  • Affordable, subscription based
  • Access anywhere, anytime
  • Easy and fast implementation
  • Frequent Automated Upgrades
  • No hardware needed – use on any device
  • Easy to use – higher user acceptance

These benefits are only the beginning of what makes SaaS the right choice for organizations looking to optimize project portfolio management. SaaS empowers company’s to make the right decisions at the right time with the most up to date information and achieve or exceed organizational goals and objectives. With a SaaS solution, companies are able to make the most of their time, money, and resources.
The secret of SaaS no longer exists, and it’s time to look at how a SaaS solution can improve your business management processes. For more information on SaaS project portfolio management, click here.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn® Projects Cloud-Based Software Further Simplifies Complex Project Portfolio Management with New Release]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-23-2015/keyedin-projects-cloud-based-software-further-simplifies-complex-project-portfolio-management-with-new-release Version 5.8 Responds to Demand for Added Oversight, Process Automation and Reporting through an Enhanced Web Interface

Minneapolis, MN (June, 23 2015) — KeyedIn® Solutions, an innovator in aPaaS and SaaS-based business solutions, today announced a significant upgrade to its highly regarded KeyedIn® Projects software. The new release, version 5.8, builds on the software’s 15-year history of perfecting project and program management solutions for professional services organizations, project management offices (PMOs) and businesses of all types and sizes around the world.

KeyedIn® Projects software has gained a loyal following based on its strategy-led and execution-driven approach to project management that provides value across the organization. The intuitive and customizable web user interface generates quick adoption while successive, client-driven enhancements deliver ongoing value. These capabilities and more have helped to secure a customer retention rate of 96%. With version 5.8, KeyedIn Projects software offers updates to further simplify information access and oversight of resources and deliverables. Highlights include:

Reporting, information access and visibility

  • The software’s integrated Report Writer includes additional filtering options to view data in new ways and offers the ability to schedule and email reports automatically.
  • Users can drill-down into dashboard widgets for quick problem-solving and to gain greater detail on factors impacting project status. More options to print, export or generate to PDF, enables greater control through visibility.
  • The Gantt task plan editor now provides sophisticated reporting options to allow tailoring of output to a wide range of stakeholders, from team members to senior management.
  • Security control is further enhanced with the introduction of single sign-on integration and additional authentication protocols including Active Directory.

Oversight of project resources and deliverables

  • The new Deliverables tab simplifies the process of entering, tracking and highlighting key project deliverables and dependencies, providing easy visibility across projects, programs and portfolios.
  • The Strategic Resourcing process has been revolutionized to provide simple project and organization-focused filtering, one-screen reallocation and the ability to budget with specific resources using their true costs.

This latest version of KeyedIn Projects software provides added layers of usability to further empower users and ease the management of complex projects. “As a leader in Cloud-based project management software, our customers expect – and deserve – the best we have to offer,” said Lauri Klaus, CEO and Co-Founder of KeyedIn. “This release represents hundreds of hours of due diligence, design and development effort to ensure we are delivering the utmost value to our customers.”

In addition to multiple new features, version 5.8 of KeyedIn Projects software offers additional, devolved administration functions, added browser compatibility and enhanced Quickbooks integration capabilities. Kevin Hurley, EVP of Technology at KeyedIn, sums up the new release stating, “By staying ahead of the technology curve and intently listening to our users around the world, KeyedIn was able to make a great product even better.”

KeyedIn Projects provides a complete Project Portfolio Management solution that enables companies to successfully achieve their strategic goals from unrivalled visibility.

A free trial of the software is available at http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/.

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<![CDATA[Best Practices to Manage Resource Capacity Planning]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/best-practices-to-manage-resource-capacity-planning When resources aren’t utilized effectively for maximum project execution, a company can face losses in time and money just to get things done. Effectively managing resources can change an organization’s ability to be profitable.

Here are a few best practice tips to help you manage resource capacity planning more effectively:

  • Streamline Resource Demand Planning – Different projects call for different levels of resource demand, and it is crucial for executives to have the visibility to make changes when they see fit. Without being able to see project resources in real-time, valuable time and money could be lost.
  • Optimize Resource Allocation – When resource allocation is optimized, the right people are working on the right projects, avoiding incomplete or late projects. It allows mangers to strategically assign resources for efficient project completion.
  • Real-time view of resource utilization levels – Project managers are empowered with dashboards that give real-time status updates of projects and resource allocation to visually track the need for project or resource changes based on time and budget constraints.
  • Drive team collaboration – One solution to centralize all project information is important for team collaboration and communication. The solution makes for easy sharing of project related tasks and status reports for the ultimate collaboration station.

Start managing your resources with these practices, and see the difference in efficiency and profitability. For more information on managing resource capacity planning, click here.

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<![CDATA[Learn how to manage project resources to deliver exceptional project returns]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-22-2015/learn-how-to-manage-project-resources-to-deliver-exceptional-project-returns Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Coordinate your PPM and PMO efforts for business impact]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-19-2015/coordinate-your-ppm-and-pmo-efforts-for-business-impact Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Learn how to deliver rapid project initiation and ensure project governance and standardization]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-17-2015/learn-how-to-deliver-rapid-project-initiation-and-ensure-project-governance-and-standardization Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Mobile Project Management made easier with KeyedIn Projects Mobile v2.0! Access and gather critical project information via smartphones or tablets!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/06-17-2015/keyedin-projects-mobile-v2-0 KeyedIn Projects Mobile App v2.0 enables users of the KeyedIn Projects SaaS system to access and gather critical project information via smartphones or tablets. Ideal for people working on the move, the app enables timesheets and expenses to be entered offline, via Wi-Fi or GSM when it’s convenient for you, not when you get your laptop connected.

The app can also help with your task assignments, providing a plan of your upcoming workload with handy links to related contacts via telephone or email as well as directions to the customer site through Maps. Security is inherited from your KeyedIn Projects SaaS application, so you just need your standard credentials to use the app.

Some of the key features in this release:

  • Offline Capability – Enter your timesheets and expenses without being connected to the internet.
  • Integrated Security – use the same credentials as your KeyedIn Projects site and the same security layer is applied to the mobile app.
  • Timesheet Maintenance – view historic timesheets and enter new timesheets against authorized projects, tasks and assignments.
  • Timesheet Submission Approvals – Review and approve timesheet submissions
  • Expense Submissions – view historic submissions and enter expense items against authorized projects and expense types, along with attached receipt images. Build and create expense submissions and monitor payment status.
  • Expense Submission Approvals – Review and approved expense submissions
  • Task Assignments – view current task assignments that have been assigned to you.
  • Contacts – view your KeyedIn Projects clients and contacts to integrate with the mobile’s telephone, email and GPS capabilities.
  • Analytics – View Analytics on your mobile device and drill through capabilities as well as determine the analytics to view at the touch of a finger!

Download the KeyedIn Projects Mobile App today via Apple's iOS App Store or Android's Google Play

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<![CDATA[Discover how visibility transforms strategic resource management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-16-2015/discover-how-visibility-transforms-strategic-resource-management Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Find out how to simplify resource demand planning]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-15-2015/find-out-how-to-simplify-resource-demand-planning Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Check out this Project Portfolio Management Product Tour]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-09-2015/check-out-this-project-portfolio-management-product-tour Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Find out how to simplify your project process for your team]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-04-2015/find-out-how-to-simplify-your-project-process-for-your-team Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Find out how the Head of Program Management can successfully deliver programs rapidly and with greater profits]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-02-2015/find-out-how-the-head-of-program-management-can-successfully-deliver-programs-rapidly-and-with-greater-profits Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Learn how to select and prioritize projects based on organizational initiatives and objectives]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-01-2015/learn-how-to-select-and-prioritize-projects-based-on-organizational-initiatives-and-objectives Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Learn how the Head of PMO can ensure projects stay on track]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-28-2015/learn-how-the-head-of-pmo-can-ensure-projects-stay-on-track Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Learn how to address the key issues of implementation, deployment, and management of Project Portfolio Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-27-2015/learn-how-to-address-the-key-issues-of-implementation-deployment-and-management-of-project-portfolio-management Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Ensure service delivery remains in sync with evolving customer demands]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-26-2015/ensure-service-delivery-remains-in-sync-with-evolving-customer-demands Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Learn how your Head of Service Delivery can impact your revenue and profitability]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-21-2015/learn-how-your-head-of-service-delivery-can-impact-your-revenue-and-profitability Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Learn how to improve project status reporting]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-20-2015/learn-how-to-improve-project-status-reporting Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Learn how Project Managers can have visibility of real-time project statuses]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-19-2015/learn-how-project-managers-can-have-visibility-of-real-time-project-statuses Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Find out what makes a SaaS solution’s security top notch]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-18-2015/find-out-what-makes-a-saas-solutions-security-top-notch Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight 2015 - User Group Event]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-15-2015/keyedin-spotlight-2015-customer-presentations The KeyedIn Spotlight User Conference took place at the London Hilton on Park Lane on March 18th 2015. The event saw attendance from a great mix of customers and partners with presentations from Alliance Boots, easyJet, Aditro, TBR, Abellio and CDG. The event also featured a preview of KeyedIn Projects 5.8.

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<![CDATA[Learn how the Head of Resource Management can keep tabs on the demand for resources in real-time]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-15-2015/learn-how-the-head-of-resource-management-can-keep-tabs-on-the-demand-for-resources-in-real-time Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects eZine Edition 1: Learn about our enhancements to Scheduled Reporting and take a look back at KeyedIn Spotlight 2015!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/05-14-2015/keyedin-focus-ezine We are delighted to inform you of the very first edition of "KeyedUp", the all new KeyedIn Projects customer eZine. The eZine will be published quarterly within the dedicated customer portal area on the KeyedIn Projects website. The purpose of our all new eZine is to keep you up to date with the latest company news and events, and to help you maximize the value of KeyedIn Projects by focusing on new features within the software and directing you to useful resources and articles.

In this edition, we take a look back at KeyedIn Spotlight, the annual KeyedIn Projects User Conference and the exciting release of KeyedIn Projects Version 5.8. The Features in Focus section will give you a closer look at some of the enhancements around scheduled reporting lanched in V5.8 and the Customers In Focus section includes case studies from Trends Business Research, Jalios and Aditro as they discuss their experiences succesfully implementing KeyedIn Projects within their organizations. Click below to access KeyedUp Edition 1 now!

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<![CDATA[Learn how to bring new levels of visibility and control to Project, Program and Portfolio Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-14-2015/learn-how-to-bring-new-levels-of-visibility-and-control-to-project-program-and-portfolio-management Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Understanding the Importance of Hyper Efficient Project Management for Coping with Changes in Customer Demands]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/understanding-the-importance-of-hyper-efficient-project-management-for-coping-with-changes-in-customer-demands The fundamental pillars of tight project management are the same for any size of business, from the small and medium enterprise, up to the larger corporate.

The first pillar is the core skill set that you take to market – the talents and expertise that your fee-earners bring, the developers that help bring your products to market and add value for your clients. That’s your main competence; the experience you offer and the way you do things that offer insights to your clients and deliver great products. Your competitive advantage if you like.

The other pillar is the entire support structure you wrap around the delivery of these core products and services. This is the engine that powers the machine. It’s where billing is taken care of, costs are taken into account, schedules updated, timelines enforced, resources managed and allocated. This is the engine room where everything has to be firing on all cylinders at all times to make sure your business makes a profit…make sure your products and services are delivered on time…make sure that everything that can be put in place to support on-time, on-budget delivery, is put in place. It’s also where project control ensures the tight management of resources and gives you the ability to see everything at a glance – project status, who is where doing what. This overview is critical in managing change.

This is where every little detail counts and the ability to cope with change every time it impacts your company’s actions is absolutely central to increasing client satisfaction, increasing your own profitability and driving quality product delivery.

So, we’re talking about that ‘pillar of support’…managing projects so hyper efficiently that nothing gets missed or overlooked. Not letting any details slip through. I know this almost makes it sound like project management is just a preventative function because I’ve just been talking about stopping things from happening.

Well, in a way it is; that’s the essence of good project management, a tool to reduce risk, improve planning, ensure the efficient use of resource and support informed decision making.

Winning Project Managers build in parameters to cope with change so that when it does happen it doesn’t control you, throw plans off course, timings off schedule and maybe even throwing profit out the window…you control it.

When you control change, and show clients how your organization can respond effectively and still attain excellence in product and service delivery…then you go beyond client expectations. You validate your company’s expertise even further. You demonstrate that you practice the best principles of project management but you do them better than most.

You Deliver the best…better – leading product and service delivery through rigorous and stringent project management practices and frameworks.

Any Project Manager adopting such approaches needs visibility of exactly what’s going on, in real-time. You need to feel confidently in control by being able to survey the complete project landscape both at an individual project level – to make sure it’s progressing as it should be, hitting the milestones it should be hitting, and making the profit it should be making – and across all inflight projects at any one point in time. You need to be in a position to allocate resources as and when necessary to respond to and to pre-empt change. That means visibility into status against every stage of the project lifecycle – right down to how individual consultants and developers are spending their time, how tasks and deliverables are progressing, and what their next expected and required actions or inputs are.

Individual members of staff can’t control all this. Apart from the complexity of it, there would be enormous man-hour requirements and you could even end up in a bizarre situation where the costs of running the project support chip away at the profitability of the project itself. What’s the answer?

Project Portfolio Management can help you respond to changes in customer demand effectively and in a controlled fashion that dovetails with your financial and resource constraints so that there’s no upheaval, no panic, no scrabbling round trying to resolve resourcing issues.

When customers change their minds, amend the brief, request new features, expect more or expect it faster, or add new locations to the scope…or even just ask you to make an urgent status update…you’ve got the choice of two responses. Choice one is to say no. It’s not a choice because that’s how you lose business. So, choice two is to do your level best to respond.

This is where hyper-efficient project management practices are pivotal in driving the competitive advantage by making you stand out above your peers, but also doing it in a controlled fashion that makes sure that the unexpected has been built into contingency plans from the start…you know how to allocate additional or replacement resources quickly, because you know where they are and whether they can be released from their current commitment…you know how to accelerate the project, you know how to make that deliverable tomorrow without any adverse knock-on effect to your existing schedule or to the company’s profitability.

When demands evolve, you need to take action. You also need to ensure that your customers, and your own team, understand the consequences on delivery costs and deadlines.

Project Portfolio Management gives you the project automation tools to do just that, providing full visibility of budgets and schedules and enabling you to assess fully the impact of any proposed changes. That means you can manage expectations more closely and so drive satisfaction.

If you would like to find out more about how Project Portfolio Management can provide the real-time visibility that helps assess the impact of proposed changes on planned delivery and resource usage then read our latest Ideas in Action Paper, Coping with Changes in Customer Demand.

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<![CDATA[Directors: What are PMs saying behind your back?]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/directors-what-are-pms-saying-behind-your-back At KeyedIn Projects, we regularly hear hostility towards senior managers and the roles they should play in projects. Some project managers are quite vocal about how useless they find their C-Suite and would want them to stay clear altogether.

However, we understand that projects need executive support and don’t want to waste your and our time listing off unnecessary frustrations. Instead, we want to get our hands dirty and find out what project managers require from their senior team to improve their relationship, and, therefore, the business in the long run.

We gave project managers and experts in the field the chance to air their gripes about senior management, asking “What do you need from the C-Suite to make your job better and more productive?”. From the responses, four main areas of improvement were identified, including a lack of support and knowledge, unfair timescales and not sticking to the scope. We’ve decided to delve deeper into these gripes.

“We don’t get the support that we need.”

Although the project sponsor is ultimately accountable for the way a project turns out, as well as meeting business objectives, it falls down to the project manager to make sure that the work is complete. However, some project managers feel like they aren’t getting the support they need from senior management as, according to Annette Williams, “by the time we get involved, the contracts are signed and completion dates have already been agreed”, which “immediately submerges us into the pressure tank with impossible deadlines and not enough resources”.

The Lazy Project Manager’s Peter Taylor points out a potential reason by saying that “we are in the age of the ‘accidental project sponsor’” where project managers are “crying out for a competent professional skilled project sponsor” but “there are few such key resources inside organisations, which puts project success at risk”.

“If we say a time, we mean that time.”

 

Elizabeth Harrin from PM 4 Girls voices the frustrations that project managers feel when they are given a fixed date to work towards:

“I don’t care who you had lunch with, or what their golf handicap is: I want to be able to plan my project with the help of my team and then tell you when we can deliver. If directors need things done quickly, we can work with the team and the stakeholders to look at ways to crash the schedule, reduce the scope or phase the work, ensuring tasks are completed with early deliverables. We’d hope that we were considered to be trusted member of the management team and when we say it will take six weeks, that’s because it will.”

She goes on to say that project managers have “creative ways to deal with the pressures of tight delivery timescales and, if it’s a real emergency, magic can be worked to pull something out of the bag. Although it costs, in terms of relationships with colleagues and stress, so it shouldn’t be the way project managers always work.”

“Project sponsors need to know about projects.”

Many of the frustrations aired by project managers pointed towards a lack of knowledge amongst the senior management team about projects and their actual responsibilities. Mike Clayton asks “when are our bosses going to learn about projects and what their responsibilities really are?”.

He adds: “In truth, very few of my clients commission training for project sponsors and directors, often believing falsely, either there isn’t much for them to know, or there is, but they already know it, or maybe they don’t know it but there isn’t the time or budget to do it - and even if we did, they probably wouldn’t come.

“The organisations that do commission training for project sponsors, as well as for project managers, really do start seeing returns on investments in terms of budget, schedule and quality of project delivery.”

“Stick to the scope”

The final key area voiced by project managers is that the C-Suite doesn’t stick to scopes set out at the start of a project when budget, resources and time have been scheduled in and agreed.

Susanne Madsen from susannemadsen.co.uk explains that executives aren’t aware of why a large proportion of projects fail because “there is a lack of strategic alignment between the project’s deliverable and the organisation’s objectives, as well as a lack of buy-in and engagement from project sponsors”.

She goes on to say: “Shockingly, PMI’s Pulse report shows that despite it being a top driver of project success, fewer than two in three projects have actively engaged sponsors - that’s alarming! Imagine how the situation might improve if project sponsors and executives took their responsibilities seriously. And how we could increase the success rate of projects if executives started getting trained or mentored in what it means to be a project sponsor and actively showed up and supported the project - that would be nothing short of revolutionary.”

So there you have it, that’s what your project managers have been saying behind your back. We hope it helps you to improve your working relationship with project managers, after all, it will certainly benefit your business if you’re working towards projects with the same focus.

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<![CDATA[Learn how to take your PMO to the next level of PPM Maturity]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-06-2015/learn-how-to-take-your-pmo-to-the-next-level-of-ppm-maturity Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Free PPM Master Class]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-06-2015/free-ppm-master-class Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000 <![CDATA[The Impact of Technology on Project Management: Pre-1950s to the Modern Age]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/the-impact-of-technology-on-project-management-pre-1950s-to-the-modern-age Project management (PM) dates back as far as there has been a need to achieve things. Although the process of completing a task hasn’t always been referred to as PM, and for the most part was merely regarded as a group of activities that needed to be completed, the foundations were still the same; work that was constrained by time, resources and finances.

The earliest known use of a PM system was the building of the pyramids in Ancient Egypt - although the manner in which this project was ran would be a little more than questionable in this decade. Project management as we know it today began to reveal itself during the industrial revolution, when businesses and industries began to expand rapidly and automation was introduced into sectors.

The Pre-1950s

Pre 1950s

Image Source: Wikipedia

During and after the world wars, activities were beginning to be completed on a larger scale, meaning there was more need for budget, supply and labour management. The evolution of technology allowed for more effective project scheduling, as automobiles meant increased mobility and allocation of resources, while improvements to the telecommunication system meant it was quicker and easier for different people working on the same project to communicate.

Perhaps the most significant developments in project management are the invention of the Gantt chart in the 1910s, which illustrated the start and finish times of elements of a project, and the introduction of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) - a chart which displayed the relationship between critical tasks of a project.

Notable projects of this time period include the construction of the Hoover Dam from 1931 to 1936, which included the employment of an estimated 5,000 workers, and the Manhattan Project, which was a research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs during World War II and involved 125,000 workers, cost nearly $2 billion.


The 1950s and 1960s

50s-60s

Image Source: Wikipedia

There was significant advancement in technology over these two decades as the Apollo mission, one of man’s biggest projects to date, was launched with the objective of sending man to the moon, and the first automatic plain-paper copier was invented by Xerox in 1959.

Furthermore, between 1956 and 1958, several core project management tools were introduced, including the critical path method (CPM) and the program evaluation and review technique (PERT).

The CPM was developed in the late 1950s by Morgan R. Walker of DuPont and James E. Kelley Jnr. of Remington Rand. The algorithm, which schedules a set of project activities, can be adapted to any type of project, including construction, aerospace, defence, software development, product development and engineering.

PERT was developed during the Polaris missile mission by an operations research team, and is a decision-making tool for meeting objectives on time. The tool takes into consideration three factors (time, resources and technical performance specifications) when making decisions to find the fastest way to achieve end-objectives.

The 1970s

70s

Image Source: Wikipedia

This decade saw a rise in computer technology. Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and the size of computers was reduced from mainframe to mini-computer, making them more affordable for medium-sized companies, allowing them to update their business technology.

This advancement also resulted in the emergence of several PM software companies, including Artemis and Oracle in 1977, and Scitor Corporation in 1979.

Additionally, material requirements planning, or MRP, was introduced to manage manufacturing processes through three objectives:

  • Ensure materials are available for production
  • Maintain lowest possible levels of materials
  • Plan manufacturing, delivery and purchasing activities

The 1980s and Early 1990s

after 80s

Image Source: Wikipedia

This period saw a dramatic shift in project management, from assignment to profession, as the growing interest in the science and art of its systems and processes was expanded on, and industry best practices were developed and refined.

Developments in the information management sector, including the introduction of personal computers (PCs) and networking facilities, resulted in low-cost computers with high efficiency being available to a wider audience. This meant companies of all sizes could afford to use computers to manage and control complex project schedules.

There was a number of groundbreaking projects carried out during the 15-year period. The Channel Tunnel involved the collusion of English and French governments, financial institutions and construction companies, meaning differences in language and metrics had to be scrutinised. The catastrophe involving the Challenger space shuttle focused attention on risk management, group dynamics and quality management.


Late 1990s and 2000s

Focus during this time was on the internet and the influence it had on how businesses carried out their work. The new fast, interactive and customisable medium allows customers to browse, purchase and track products and services online, resulting in companies becoming more productive, efficient and focused on what the client wants.

What’s more, the connectivity of the internet means that data can be automatically uploaded and shared, granting access to anyone, anywhere so they can:

  • Input a task’s most recent status;
  • Offer updates on the project’s progress;
  • Communicate any delays or advances.

A major project undertaken was the Year 2000 project, or, as it’s more commonly referred to, the millenium bug. This project referred to the worry about the functionality of computers at 12am on January 1st, 2000, which went on to become a global phenomenon. The problem was that even if it was resolved at one company, immunity wasn’t guaranteed, as a breakdown in the supply chain could still affect the whole operation.

The solution was to set up a virtual project office over the internet, which allowed organisations to monitor and communicate millenium bug efforts, develop a risk management plan and deliver uninterrupted coordination at the turn of the century. The crisis was averted, but not without a valuable lesson on the importance of risk management in a company.
Now
Project managers used to be regarded as task-oriented personnel with not a great deal of knowledge on business or strategic matters, and were brought on board after the planning stages had been completed. Nowadays, what was once seen as just a means of organisation has become a vital commodity, as capturing best practices is now a necessity of any business.

Today’s project managers are much more involved in business decisions, including:

  • Establishing project objectives at a technical and business level
  • Developing a strategy that connects the project and company objectives
  • Selecting and prioritising management portfolio projects
  • Deciding on the organisation’s offer

What was once seen as a method of organisation has evolved into a valuable part of an organisation, as those in project management roles are today seen as managers and strategic thinkers, rather than administrators.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.8 – Check out this major release with over 50 feature enhancements!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/04-28-2015/keyedin-projects-v5-8-check-out-this-major-release-with-over-50-feature-enhancements Our most exciting release to date, KeyedIn Projects v5.8 includes:

  • Auto scheduling and auto emailing of reports
  • Single sign-on
  • Drill down on widgets with image and PDF output options
  • Individual widget configurations now available at different levels in the project hierarchy
  • Re-engineered strategic resourcing interface including the option to edit supply in-line
  • Forecasting using named resources as well as roles
  • New project deliverables tab with more graphical user interface
  • Major report writer improvements including "OR" filters
  • Report preview now available during custom report creation
  • Enhanced task Gantt printing
  • Editable grids on resource and project administration
  • De-centralised administration support allowing projects to be added into your own security group
  • Safari and IE 11 support
  • XLXS output for Excel
  • Multi-currency QuickBooks integration

With over 50 new features, some highlights include:

Single Sign-on

Sign in to your active directory or other identity providers such as Salesforce and then access KeyedIn Projects without entering a user id or password. Supports IDP-initiated SSO or SP-initiated SSO using SAML v2.0.

Schedule Reports

Automatically generate and email reports to your users with the new scheduled reports feature. Simply select the report you want to email, pick the recipients and schedule when you want the report to run. Weekly, monthly and daily reports can all be setup. You can even configure the subject and body of the email. The reports are attached to the email in PDF, Excel or XML format.

Analytics and Reporting

Get greater visibility of your data by building chart widgets with up to 2 levels of drilldown. Export chart widgets to PDF and various image formats to support PowerPoint presentations. Project Analytics is now available throughout the hierarchy and you can now have a different configuration for each hierarchy level. Filtering capabilities have been improved with the introduction of OR filters.

Deliverables

Manage your key project milestones on the new project deliverables view. Easily update data using the new editable grid and view your deliverables on the new Gantt view that can be printed or exported to PDF.

Task Planning

Significant improvements have been to the Task Gantt print and export capability with the ability to print to different pages sizes, selecting the columns to print and also outputting to PDF. Task custom fields can now be edited on the Task grid as well as the ability to make bulk changes to task dates.

Demand, Supply and Capability

Named resources can now be demanded on forecasts to provide a more accurate prediction of costs. Particularly useful when planning Business as Usual\Overhead type projects and on projects where the project manager knows who will be doing the work. Numerous improvements to the Capability/Supply process including the ability to filter by project on the Capability dashboard and the inline editing of supply on the Project and Capability dashboards.

Support for Internet Explorer 11 and Safari

Internet Explorer 11 and Safari are now fully supported.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Solutions and KPMG Poland]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/02-16-2015/keyedin-solutions-and-kpmg-poland KeyedIn® Solutions and KPMG [Poland] have teamed to identify opportunities for the company’s project management suite, KeyedIn Projects.  KPMG [Poland] both uses SaaS-based KeyedIn Projects to manage its projects and programs - and introduces the system as a solution for its clients. KeyedIn Projects is a strategy-led and execution-driven Cloud-based project management system with solutions for project management offices (PMO) and professional service organizations (PSO).

Learn more about KeyedIn Projects Partners.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Are Project Management (PM) Qualifications Worth Getting?]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/are-project-management-pm-qualifications-worth-getting Project management training has gained huge traction of late, as organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on managers to oversee their projects, ensuring they are completed quickly and efficiently, and within budget. But are qualifications enough for such a role, or does experience in dealing with the pressures and strains of the job outweigh academic success?

There are three main project management bodies that offer qualifications to project managers. These are:

Association for Project Management (APM)

The APM is a professional body, based in the UK, that has over 20,000 individual and 500 corporate members situated throughout Europe. Training and examinations are aimed at project managers from all sectors of industry, and are delivered through APM Accredited Training Providers. Qualifications available include:

  • APM Introductory Certificate, which requires no experience and is suitable for project team members, new project managers, project office staff, project coordinators and project planners
  • APMP, which is relevant to junior project managers, work package managers and project office managers with two to three years of project experience required
  • APM Practitioner Qualification (PQ), which is for project managers with a minimum of three years’ experience of managing non-complex projects
  • Registered Project Professional, which is suitable for senior project managers that have over five years of experience managing complex projects

APMG-International

APMG-International is administered by the UK’s Cabinet Office, who are the owners of the PRINCE2Ⓡ (Projects in Controlled Environments) and MSP TM (Managing Successful Programmers) methods of project management. Training and examination is run through APMG-International Accredited Training Organisations.

The PRINCE2Ⓡ qualification is split into two levels:

  • Foundation, which is suitable for project team members, new project managers, project office staff, project coordinators, project planners and does not necessarily require experience.
  • Practitioner, which requires a minimum of two years experience dealing with projects and is suitable for junior project managers, work package managers and project office managers.

The MSP TM qualification is suitable for programme managers and directors.

Project Management Institute (PMI)

The PMI, based in the USA, is recognised as the largest association for project management professionals. Unlike the other two associations, training and examinations are separately delivered; training is provided by PMI Registered Education Providers, while examinations are conducted through different approved assessment centres. PMI qualifications include:

  • CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) has the same relevance as the APM Introductory Certificate and the PRINCE2Ⓡ Foundation
  • PMP (Certified Project Management Professional) is suitable to the same criteria as the APMP and the PRINCE2Ⓡ Practitioner
  • PgMP (Certified Programme Management Professional) is relevant for programme managers and directors

Benefits of achieving a qualification

There are many ways a PM qualification can benefit individuals and organisations. For an individual looking for project management work, certification improves their employability as the widely-recognised qualification provides them with the knowledge, skills and tools to implement projects or programmes successfully.

Both prospective and employed project managers will display to their employer the desire to learn, as well as commitment to the role, which can result in the individual getting the position they’ve applied for, or if they’re already in a position, their reputation in the company improving. In addition, the PRINCE2Ⓡ or MSP TM qualification might be necessary for those wanting to work in the public sector.

A workplace can reap the benefits of a qualification by having an employee - who perhaps has gaps in their skills - learn the theoretical side of project management and return with an understanding of best-practice techniques that can help improve the day-to-day running of projects and programmes. This in turn will see resources used better, which saves costs and increases customer satisfaction, reputation and morale.

In addition, allowing an employee to gain a qualification will demonstrate that the business supports their personal and career development planning, resulting in increased commitment to, and appreciation of, the company.

Is Experience more Valuable than Qualifications?

A qualification may be a good way for an individual to display to employers that they have knowledge on the skills, tools and techniques needed to effectively manage projects or programmes. However, it may only help individuals get an interview for a position as the most important factor employers consider is experience, as they want someone who can handle the delivery of projects consistently.

Commenting on a question posted on Quora by KeyedIn Projects, Project Manager Tamara Wiens shares her opinion:

“As a PM with almost 20 years’ experience, and having PMP and PRINCE2Ⓡ certifications, I believe that experience is a greater factor in a PM’s ability to successfully deliver projects. As much as the passing of a certification exam can demonstrate that you know the answers expected by the examiner, it’s a far cry from being able to say ‘been there, done that’, and leveraging your experience of what you did right, and wrong, the last time that you encountered this situation.”

As much as experience may be seen as an advantage over PM qualifications, there is also a problem with over qualification when it comes employers hiring staff. Tarana Sultan, who responded to a survey posted by KeyedIn on project management, sees this as being due to employees who have only experience being “concerned with working with a person who is more qualified than they are…[and] not [being] open to learning by doing”.

In summary, the worth of a qualification is enhanced if it’s the primary factor an individual has to show that they are competent at project management, rather than if they only have experience. Tamara Wiens says:

“In the case of someone who has the absolute minimum experience required to get a certification, the certification itself may be more important - in that situation, the PM can’t rely on all of the other things that they have seen and done in their career, and is better equipped by relying on their knowledge of best practices and ideal principles and methods for resolving the challenges they face.”

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn® Solutions Selected as a 2014 Red Herring Top 100 Global Company]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/12-11-2014/keyedin-solutions-selected-as-a-2014-red-herring-top-100-global-company Prestigious List Recognizes Vision, Drive and Innovation that Define World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurial Ventures

Minneapolis, MN (December 11, 2014) — KeyedIn® Solutions, an innovator in SaaSand aPaaS-based business solutions, today announced that it was selected as a 2014 Red Herring Top 100 Global company, a list that recognizes leading private companies from North America, Europe and Asia for innovation and technologies across their respective industries.

The Red Herring Top 100 Global list has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising new companies and entrepreneurs. Red Herring editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Salesforce.com, YouTube and eBay would change the way we live and work.

“Choosing the companies with the strongest potential was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across the globe to the top 100 winners. We believe KeyedIn Solutions embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. KeyedIn Solutions should be proud of its accomplishment.”

“We’re excited about our inclusion in the Red Herring Top 100 Global list and congratulate our team, which makes our success possible,” said Lauri Klaus, CEO of KeyedIn Solutions. “At KeyedIn, we’re focused on driving business results for our clients through innovative Cloud-based business solutions. This honor is a validation of that business model – when our clients succeed, we succeed.”

The Red Herring editorial staff evaluated the companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, management quality,
strategy and market penetration. This assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track record and standing of startups relative to their peers, allowing Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models from around the world.

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<![CDATA[KeyedIn® Solutions and CDG Team Up to Provide Cloud-Based, Integrated Project and Resource Management Solutions]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/12-11-2014/keyedin-solutions-and-cdg-team-up-to-provide-cloud-based-integrated-project-and-resource-management-solutions CDG to Offer KeyedIn Products and Services to UK Customers

Minneapolis, MN (December 11, 2014) — KeyedIn® Solutions, an innovator in aPaaS and SaaS-based business solutions, and CDG, a leading digital integrator that helps global brands improve agility, today announced a new partnership that will expand CDG’s solutions portfolio and offer customers a broader range of project and resource management options. The partnership will enable the companies to work together to deliver open source software solutions that reduce risks, increase transparency and improve operations.

As a global digital integrator, CDG works with some of the world’s best-known brands to integrate digital capabilities and improve agility, transforming companies by providing custom solutions that improve their competitive position. Given CDG’s core value proposition, the partnership with KeyedIn Solutions is a natural fit.

“The partnership will allow us to provide Cloud-based, fully integrated project and resource management solutions that meet the specific needs of the specialized market verticals we serve,” said Chris Patton, Marketing Director at CDG. “We use KeyedIn Solutions software internally, so we know first-hand how it can help businesses operate more efficiently and effectively. We are delighted to add KeyedIn Projects to our growing technology portfolio.” “CDG and KeyedIn share the same commitment to improving customer capabilities and achieving aggressive growth, so this partnership is a big win for customers and for our companies,” said Jamie Taylor, Director of Strategic Alliances for KeyedIn Solutions. “CDG recognized the need for quality SaaS-based project management technology within its key customer verticals. We’re excited to work with the CDG team to provide a ‘technology wrapper’for their excellent digital and consultancy services.”

To learn more about innovative business management software solutions from KeyedIn, please go to www.keyedin.com. Find out more about how CDG helps transform large public and private sector enterprises into digitally enabled, agile, ultra-competitive businesses at www.groupcdg.com.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Managing Project Deliverables, Benefits and Outcomes]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/11-27-2014/keyedin-spotlight-managing-project-deliverables-benefits-and-outcomes Webinar Learn how to define and manage project deliverables, manage and track project benefits, ensure on time and on budget project delivery, Simplifying status reporting and stakeholder communication.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[What happens when you don’t implement PPM?]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/what-happens-when-you-dont-implement-ppm Project portfolio management, or PPM, is an integral aspect to delivering projects effectively. Unfortunately, counter-productive tools are sometimes put in place, or PPM is completely overlooked, as implementing it can often lead to difficulty in showing tangible returns.

A project can succeed without PPM, however, multiple projects could often be completed more quickly and to a higher standard if PPM is implemented, thus making the business as a whole more productive and efficient. It also has the ability to drive better decisions as it allows improved visibility and control over your projects, which is particularly useful as your business grows.

We have created an infographic displaying what the potential consequences are if PPM is not implemented and the impact it can have on your organisation.

The full eBook on why PPM and PMOs fail can be downloaded here .

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[What makes PMs unique?]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/what-makes-pms-unique At KeyedIn Projects, we know how hard project managers work to ensure the best possible end result for each and every project. However, we’re not sure that colleagues in other offices and departments know the skills and qualities required to be a PM.

We wanted to paint a picture of the skills and experience that are required to be a PM, along with the things they have to deal with that other professions don’t, so we went straight to the heart of the matter and asked those in the know, the PMs themselves. Here’s what some of them had to say when we asked what makes PMs unique...


 “You always have two plans to leave the office on a Friday. The first is you will be out of the door by 4pm and the second is to phone your partner at 3pm to say you will be late, or not back until Sunday morning, or see you next Friday.

“Why?

“If anything is going to blow up, it always waits until 2pm on a Friday. And that is how you tell a PM from mere mortals.”


“I have noticed that in quite a short space of time, as a PM you can become the go-to person for tricky 50/50 decisions and controversial subjects. Also, I think the responsibility to generate the team is generally the domain of the PM.”


 


“You can add and subtract one less from any number real fast. 
“You try to arrange your trips through the supermarket aisles according to a critical path. 
“When driving, you try to figure out what you can do during the total float at traffic lights. 
“The term “drag cost” means something other than a Judy Garland outfit.”


 “Change is a way of life, the only constant is the process framework. Thank goodness for the work of PMI to build at least that standard. The PM life is not for the thin skinned or self doubters.”


 


 “A PM is a communication hub, more than any other roles in business, starting from inception through agreeing the scope, then through the planning phase through the stakeholders, and finally executing the approved plan and communicating status, exceptions and proposed actions.

“Poor communications might fit other roles, but will never make it through project management.”


 “The heart of a PM is to put process around ambiguity and define steps to get things done.”


 


 “Good PMs are born and not made … You can train someone in the necessary disciplines for project roles, but there will always be gaps.”


It is safe to say that PMs play an integral role at businesses in a wide variety of sectors, and are called upon to fulfill a number of roles at any given time. From critical problem solving, to seeing projects through from beginning to end, it seems most PMs would argue that this profession is not as simple as a regular 9 to 5. The professionals we questioned live and breathe project management, and it is that dedication that sets them apart from the rest.

Tweet @KeyedInProjects with your suggestions on what makes a PM unique!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Project Initiation, Governance and Life Cycle Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/10-30-2014/keyedin-spotlight-project-initiation-governance-and-life-cycle-management Join KeyedIn Solutions for 'Project Initiation, Governance and Lifecycle Management', the next installment of our KeyedIn Spotlight Webinar Series. Using KeyedIn Projects as a demonstration platform, this free recording will benefit existing users of the system and will also benefit potential users. 

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[6 Key Characters to create the Ultimate PMO]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/6-key-characters-to-create-the-ultimate-pmo In our new series, in which we will be investigating what constitutes the ideal PMO, Margaret Meloni from PM Student talks us through the different characters in the ideal PMO and what skills/qualities they offer. Margaret also looks at how they interact with each other and play upon each other’s strengths.

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<![CDATA[On Time and On Budget Project Delivery – What You Need to Know]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/on-time-and-on-budget-project-delivery-undefined-what-you-need-to-know In the services sector, success starts with on-time, on-budget project delivery – and that happens more easily when sales, service delivery, and finance are all on the same page. However, this is easier said than done and, as with most functions in modern organizations, the answer lies in a combination of people, processes and technology. 

To explore the important topic of project delivery, KeyedIn is teaming with our partner, Intacct, the leading cloud accounting software provider, to present a free webinar titled: On Time and On Budget?  Is it Really Possible? The webinar will be held Tuesday, September 16th at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET. You can register here .

In this concise session, we’ll untangle the complexities and show you how you can:

  • Increase billable utilization by getting the right resources on the right projects at the right time
  • Automate customer billing for accuracy, speed, and completeness
  • Improve margins through real-time project visibility
  • Maximize cash flow and minimize revenue leakage
  • Improve on-time, on-budget project delivery, keep pace with shifting client demands, and prevent project overruns.

The overall idea of the event is to show how to get a completely integrated, best-in-class workforce-management and accounting solution that gives you the single, real-time view of operations and finance.

Even if you are not sure you can attend, please register anyway because we will send you a link to the archive version. I look forward to seeing you online on the 16 th

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Ways Project Team Collaboration can Drive Innovation]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-ways-project-team-collaboration-can-drive-innovation Innovation in project management is becomming more and more essential. Waiting for new ideas, single flashes of inspiration and 'Eureka' moments from the same individuals simply isn't enough. Innovation can be driven by ensuring team collaboration and giving the whole project team access to core project information. The team can then use this as the context for developing innovative solutions or for applying knowledge from previous projects effectively. This results in more effective project delivery. Below are five ways you can ensure continuious collaboration, to help manage knowledge and drive innovation.

1. Keep all project communications and documents in one place

There should be a central project workspace where all documents and communications can be stored for ready reference by any member of the team. Document management capabilities with version control and communication history meansthat vital information doesn’t get lost in mailboxes.

2. Ensure the entire team are kept up to date with project status

Enhance collaboration by making sure every member of the team understands the project status, and is singing from the same hymn sheet. Make it simple to update every aspect of project plans when a particular workstream changes, not only creating a sense of working together but actively supporting individual team members to manage their workload.

3. Easily draw on previous experience for project planning and service delivery

Pull information from your existing knowledge base to estimate and plan accurately or to draw on successful solutions from previous projects. Organizational knowledge should no longer just be locked in the minds of the experts.

4. Share knowledge as it is generated – and instil a learning culture

Utilise a central project workspace, as soon as new approaches are used and documented, they should be made available to the team. That means the solution found in one location can be applied in another, without requiring team members to travel. The same workspace can be used to facilitate ongoing collaboration, encouraging team members to share any lessons learned.

5. Cope with change

Managing change effectively is essential to successful team working. By using a centralised project management solution, you can ensure that where changes are agreed, plans are updated and team members informed – so they can adapt accordingly.

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<![CDATA[Are you managing project performance for profit?]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/are-you-managing-project-performance-for-profit So far, so good. Your plans are approved and offer clear margins; all you have to do now is deliver the full scope of work, on time and on budget.

Of course, it’s never that simple. In fact, just 77% of professional services projects are delivered on time. And as deadlines slip, so invariably costs mount, eating away at your profit. It’s bad enough when you know this is happening. It’s worse still if it comes as an unwelcome surprise – because then it’s often too late to salvage.

The truth is that the only way to ensure profitability of a project is through rigorous, ongoing performance monitoring: tracking not only whether key stages are met
on time, but gaining a granular insight into the progress of every task.

By having that deeper visibility, professional services project managers can assure themselves – and those to whom they report – that they’re on track. And just as importantly, they can adjust if they’re not.

Here are some key aspects of a performance management approach that helps secure profitability:

  • You have a near real-time view of actual project costs incurred
  • You can set thresholds and receive alerts when key stages are reached – or missed
  • You can integrate effectively with finance systems
  • You can easily meet reporting requirements and view information in different formats
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<![CDATA[4 Simple Tips for exceeding customer expectation through improved project management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/4-simple-tips-for-exceeding-customer-expectation-through-improved-project-management

As a project management organisation you never ever want to be lagging behind your clients’ demands. You never want them really to be chasing you for tasks that are overdue, updates you haven’t yet supplied or to be really brutal -- promises you haven’t kept.

What you actually want is to deliver better than promised or – to put it another way – to be perceived as delivering better than promised.

Here are four simple tips for exeeding customer expectations:

1. Tight Coordination 

So you need very tight coordination within your company across all the people and all the elements involved in each project stage, from internal resources to bought-in specialist services, from one-off inputs to sequential deliverables supplied by others each of which depends on completion of a previous stage. Project management software gives you coordination capabilities that link everything together and show you what has to happen at each stage before each subsequent stage starts, who’s behind on delivering what, who needs chasing, what needs expediting.

2. Synergy

It creates synergies by giving you the visibility you need to run certain tasks in parallel across projects – for example you might be pulling in research to assist on one project that can equally well serve the needs of another project. When situations like this arise, flagged up through project collaboration and knowledge sharing, it puts you ahead of schedule since you can deliver faster by leveraging insights across the whole company -- what you need is already there, stored in a central knowledge base accessible by all.

3. Insight

Harness expereience as needed

4. Progress

Make every project goal a  high-profile landmark

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Tips for Improving Project and Task Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-tips-for-improving-project-and-task-management At KeyedIn Projects we always recommend that PMOs take a top down approach to project, program and portfolio management - focusing on the people, deliverables and money required to deliver your projects, as well as the benefits they will deliver. By taking this simple approach, you can fast track your way towards an active PMO and provide greater business value and alignment in the short term.

However, we also understand that as the PMO matures there will be a need to also standardize project management practices and tools - to provide consistency in all aspects of project delivery.

Here are 5 tips to help improve the management and tracking of projects and tasks.

#1 - Improve Task Planning - To achieve this, in the most mature PMOs, Project Managers need more granular tools to help plan, manage and report on their projects. For example, Project Managers will need to create detailed task plans to improve the accuracy of forecasting, resource planning and overal project delivery. With solutions like KeyedIn Projects, this can be carried out directly in the tool, or for organizations with a history of using MS Project, project plans can be imported or exported to and from Microsoft Project.

#2 - View Deliverables and resource allocations - having visibility into the status of key project deliverables and the status of your resource demand is essential for ensuring you have the capability to deliver your selected projects and that they are being delivered on time and to budget.

#3 - Capture Risks and Plan your Actions - ensuring you track and report on risk and associated mitigation plan items will help reduce issues and drive more on-time projects

#4 - Effectively Manage Cost - visibility into the overal project financials as well as specific cost items will help identify any potential overuns and ensure the on-budget delivery of projects

#5 - Project and Program Status Reporting - Benefit from fully configurable status reports enabling your organization to define what status information is to be captured and then standardize status reporting for all

Watch this short video to see how KeyedIn Projects addresses these four tips, helping you improve the management of your projects and tasks to drive a step change in the quality of your project delivery.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[The 2 fundamental principles of tight project management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/08-08-2014/the-2-fundamental-principles-of-tight-project-management The guiding principles of tight project management are the same for any size of company, from the small and medium enterprise, up to the larger corporate. These principles depend on frameworks that can support better business performance for every type of service delivery. Any professional services organisation – whether it’s legal services, IT consultancy, change management, creative services, energy consultancy – whatever sector you work in, has two fundamental pillars to its operation…

The first pillar is the core skill that you take to market – the talents and expertise your fee-earners bring, to add value for your clients. That’s your main competence; the experience you offer and the way you do things that offer insights to your clients and the way they do things. Your competitive advantage if you like.

The other pillar of the operation is the entire support structure you wrap around the delivery of these core services. This is the engine that powers the machine. It’s where billing is taken care of, costs are taken into account, schedules updated, timelines enforced, resources managed and allocated. This is the engine room where everything has to be firing on all cylinders at all times to make sure your business makes a profit…make sure it doesn’t miss costs in the billing process…make sure that everything that can be put in place to support fee earners, is put in place. It’s also where project control ensures tight management of resources and people and gives you the ability to see everything at a glance – project status, who is where doing what. This overview is critical in managing change.

This is where every little detail counts and the ability to cope with change every time it impacts your company’s actions is absolutely central to increasing client satisfaction and increasing your own profitability.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[6 Key Questions to Answer during the Resource Capacity Planning Process]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/6-key-questions-to-answer-during-the-resource-capacity-planning-process In our recent webinar, Navaigating the Resource Capability Planning Minefield we explored the many nuances of resource management. Focusing on how organizations can better prepare for and deliver effective resource capability planning.

No matter what level of resource management maturity your organization is currently at, you will surely face many issues when building an effective resource capacity planning cycle, for example:

  • Shifting priorities. The goal of your PMO and PPM strategy is to serve the needs of the organization, not the other way around. The ability to adapt quickly to shitting priorities is a key indicator that separates PMOs that have high value from those that are considered to be business obstacles.
  • Personnel turnover can hurt you, particularly when you are dealing in areas of specialized expertise.
  • Changing budgets are fairly common and need to be dealt with. Your ability to deliver on-time will gain you support when budgets are allocated.
  • There is nothing that can hurt your ability to deliver as a lack of executive support. One of our webinars in this series talked about what you need to do to quantify the business value of your PMO and its lessons are equally important when you are managing resources.
  • Our final gotcha is this issue of non-integrated systems. This is also true when different projects are implemented with their own processes and methodologies.

For these reasons it is important that you answer several questions as early as you can in the resource capacity planning cycle:

  1. What are the strategic goals of the business? Make sure you have buy in from the executive level.
  2. What are the biggest priorities: Short term? Long term? Are there signs that these priorities will be shifting in the near future?
  3. What are your available resources? And do you have a centralized repository of resources?
  4. Which projects lack critical skill sets?
  5. Is the project roadmap sustainable? It is best to figure this out early so that you have the necessary resources to allocate when necessary.
  6. How do you measure objectives versus results? The ability to measure and report on results is another area that separates really good PMOs from those that don’t get the recognition they deserve.

The more questions you can answer, and the earlier you can answer them in the capacity planning cycle - the faster your resource management maturity will progress and the greater value your projects will deliver to the business.

Find out more information with "Navigating the Resource Capability Minefield" in webinar or whitepaper form.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Reasons why PPM Strategies and PMO Initiatives Fail]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/reasons-why-ppm-strategies-and-pmo-initiatives-fail In our recent eBook: Why PPM and PMOs Fail: Best Practices in Coordinating and Optimizing your PPM and PMO Strategy to Deliver an Active PMO - we explored the many reason why PPM strategies and PMO initiatives fail.

The main consequences of a failed PPM Strategy or a PMO initiative, is losing control over your ability to impact the business in a positive way. For example:

  • Projects go from Green to Red with no warning
  • As projects get towards the end they are suddenly far behind
  • Knock-on impacts from other projects are not understood across the portfolio
  • Projects could have been stopped months earlier

While the leaders of the PMO have some culpability in these issues, in terms of failure to perform and communicate, there is also no doubt that some of the problems come from issues that are organizational in nature. For example:

  • Information reported is not accurate
  • PMO leaders are too dependent on what you are told
  • Projects are started without a clear understanding of all dependencies
  • The projects should have never started

To resolve these issues PMO leaders need to kick the tyres and challenge what they see by providing continuous active, advice, guidance and assurance. They need to properly initiate change so that projects go wrong at the start rather than at the end – before any significant investment has been made. To gain this control, your PMO needs visibility and control over 4 key elements people, money, deliverables and benefits – that’s where PPM comes into play.

Without it your PMO will be passive and re-active

ARE YOU A REACTIVE/PASSIVE PMO?

  • Is your PMO predominantly administration focused?
  • Are you highly dependent on what you are told?
  • Do you mainly collate and present information
  • Are you continually dealing with an out of date picture of project status and progress?

If the answer is Yes to any of these questions, it’s time to act now.

Following are seven criteria that define an outstanding PMO. If your PMO meets all these criteria, it is no doubt adding great value to the business and there will be no perceived gap between the interests of the company and the PMO.

7 CHARACTERISTICS OF A BEST IN CLASS PMO:

  1. Has well-defined and achievable objectives
  2. Delivers responsibility, governance, and oversight
  3. Viewed as supporting the business and IT strategy
  4. Utilizes established methodologies and framework for project management
  5. Able to measure and prove the realization of benefits (business value)
  6. Has outward focus on business needs, not inward focus on processes
  7. Practices good relationship management, from executive sponsorship to project management.

The bottom line is that in order to separate a best-in-class and fully mature PMO from the rest of the pack you not only require great information, such as best practices, but you also need great technology. Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is the enabling technology - enabling you to make btter project deicisions.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[How effectively are you planning for profit?]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/how-effectively-are-you-planning-for-profit Planning. Of course you do it. What professional services company doesn’t?

Confirm the scope, schedule tasks, identify required resources: it’s all part of the process.

But there, precisely, is the problem. Far too often, project planning in professional services is nothing more than a part of the process; a box to be ticked; a mundane administrative task that bears little resemblance to what actually gets delivered, when and by whom.

Maybe it’s over-zealousness: a desire to impress clients and help win the bid. Maybe it’s over-confidence: a belief that you can (or should be able to) deliver far faster than you typically do.

Whatever the reason, project planning in professional services too often overlooks the reality of prior experience and present and future workload.

So put down your A2 sheets and colored pens for a moment, and remember the point of planning. It’s not so you can say you’ve planned: it’s to guide delivery and secure profit.

But if you’re planning for profit, it needs very quickly to return to the real world.

Here, clients will be fickle. Resources will be finite. And there will be hitches along the way. You can’t foresee all of these, but you can build in realistic contingency at each stage.

In professional services, the biggest hazard to delivery is availability of resources: your people. Put simply, if key staff are booked to work on other projects, they won’t be able to work on yours – and your ideal timelines and schedules will become irrelevant.

So smart planning involves checking the pipeline: not only being aware of current projects, but also future commitments for the business. It involves checking other plans, to see who your colleagues are planning to use, where and when – then building your plan around those. That goes for the sales team too.

Above all, planning is not a one-off activity. It needs to take place throughout the project lifecycle – with plans being reviewed and adapted where necessary.

Learning from the past

Once upon a time, someone in your business decided how long a specific task – a document audit, say – should take. Since then, every time anyone has planned a project involving a document audit, chances are they’ve applied the timelines allocated long, long ago. And with increasing frequency, those timelines have been exceeded.

Sound familiar?

If so, here’s an alternative approach that can transform the accuracy and effectiveness of your planning. Look at how long tasks actually take to perform. Review previous projects and discover that instead of 5 days, a document audit typically takes 8.

Armed with that knowledge, you can plan accordingly – allocating the right amount of time to the task, and ensuring that other tasks that are dependent on the audit being complete aren’t scheduled too early.

This of course may mean that your total estimated costs will rise. But this is the first step to profitability; making sure that you give clients accurate estimates for the work required, based on realistic plans.

The lesson here is clear: if you plan properly, taking account of forthcoming workload and experience gained on previous projects, you can calculate costs and timings more accurately.

That in turn means you can make more informed decisions about the cost estimate and delivery dates you give to your clients – and you are far, far better positioned for profitability from the outset.

So what professional services organizations need is a way to gather all that information and apply it within their planning.

Five ways to make sure your plans are poised for successful, profitable project delivery:

  • Plans are based on templates and timings that reflect your organization’s processes and experience
  • Plans take account of existing and future projects
  • Plans include realistic contingencies
  • Plans are working documents, updated as projects develop
  • Plans are available to staff across the business – from service delivery to sales, finance to HR

Learn more about how to effectively plan for profit by downloading our  free ebook ' The Five P's of Profitable Projects and Programs in Professional Services '.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Best Practices]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/07-10-2014/keyedin-spotlight-best-practices Join Clayton Tagg, Solution Evangelist at KeyedIn Solutions for Best Practices, the next installment of our KeyedIn Spotlight Webinar Series. Throughout this series we will be providing insight and advice on how to utilize various features of KeyedIn Projects to improve business performance.

Using KeyedIn Projects as the demonstration platform, this free recorded webinar will benefit existing users as well as potential users.

Key topics covered during the webinar will include:

  • Top-down Strategic Planning
  • Rapid Project Initiation
  • Resource and Expenditure Planning
  • Portfolio Optimization
  • Delivery Management

We look forward to helping you expand your knowledge of how KeyedIn Projects can help drive improved business performance.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Quick Wins for Driving Increased Employee Utilization with Effective Project Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-quick-wins-for-driving-increased-employee-utilization-with-effective-project-management Having the ability to allocate resources more effectively to every project and respond rapidly to changes in workload are key to maximizing employee utilization and increasing your billable hours without increasing headcount.

In this article we explore 5 quick wins for increasing employee utilization through effective project management

#1. Plan around existing commitments and previous experience
Effective resource utilization starts with effective  project planning, this enables project managers to draw on two vital knowledge streams when building teams and schedules: detailed knowledge about exactly who is committed to what jobs and when, and detailed knowledge about previous projects. Together, these mean projects are based on realistic expectations and timelines: you don’t just avoid double-bookings, you can also factor in insights like the fact that all previous projects for a certain client have over-run – so you can assume that anyone engaged on that client is unlikely to be available on time. You can then either find an alternative resource, plan around the delay or identify who best to approach regarding reallocation.

#2. Monitor employee utilization and project costs
People costs are often the single largest part of project costs. Even if you don’t bill by the hour, your budgets will be based on assumptions of how long people will take to complete a job. Effective project management makes it simple to keep track of exactly how much time each individual has spent on your project. Time recording capabilities – so the right data is entered – and at-a-glance budget management functionality, enables project managers to spot whether particular teams, tasks or individuals are above or below budget.

#3. Keep the whole team updated on project progress
Project plans change all the time, for all manner of reasons, from client requests to late responses to unexpected problems. But when you’re fighting fires, there’s no time to think about how this might affect other parts of the team . That needn’t be the case. An effective project management tool ensures all project documentation and plans are linked – for example, moving a stage deadline in the core project plan – and all related plans are updated. With better visibility Teams can see changes in their own calendars, and make plans accordingly.

#4. Take an organization-wide view to redeploying staff
In every organization, there are certain skills in short supply. So if a specialist in a particular field has some free time, then there is likely to be a rush to redeploy him or her. Project Management not only gives you the capabilities to reallocate staff quickly, it also helps you do so intelligently. Instead of simply putting them on the free market, resource managers can select the most strategically important project, the one that most needs an injection of expert knowledge, or simply the one that is easiest to access in terms of geography. In other words, resources are used to best effect by the organization as a whole, not by individual project managers feeling the pressure.

#5. Drive employee satisfaction
Under-utilized staff aren’t just an opportunity missed in financial terms. Bored, frustrated and demotivated, they’re also a drain on your organization in many other ways. Good project management helps you minimize this risk, by ensuring no member of the team is left too long on the bench. And for organizations where reward is directly linked to billable time, that’s even more important.

You can find out more on how effective project management drives improved utilization by exploring how KeyedIn Projects helps organizations better manage people, projects, costs and deliverables. Click here to read more.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Sharing Project Data With Customers: Letting Go of Your Fear, Saving Time and Building Trust]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/sharing-project-data-with-customers-letting-go-of-your-fear-saving-time-and-building-trust Reporting project metrics to clients and partners is a continual frustration for project-driven organizations. Discussions often arise around the best way to produce reports and share them with customers, both internal and external. Creating and emailing periodic reports has been the standard method, but there is a major pitfall to this approach: You’re creating overhead by taking the time to repackage project data for the client. And by the time you’ve created and sent off all the reports, the information is no longer relevant in the context of real-time reportage.

There is also the hazard of misreporting (if certain data is rekeyed, for example), which can create more confusion when immediacy and clarity are what is required to maintain stakeholder confidence during project execution.

The answer for all this is to let your customer or partner access relevant data directly within your project portfolio management (PPM) tool , giving them a real-time dashboard that lets them see project progress and challenges from select metrics.

If the idea of giving a customer direct access to your PPM system makes you apprehensive, you’re not alone. There are limits to how transparent we want to be. But if that shared information can be carefully selected, you’ve not only saved your team time in generating and sharing reports, you’ve suddenly created more credibility with your client and made them a more effective partner for project delivery. At the end of the day, everybody is on the project team, and the better the shared intelligence, the better the execution.

Can We Do That?

There are two things that hold organizations back from more fruitful partner/client collaboration through shared project data: force of habit (and a bit of fear) and ignorance about the solutions available and how they can enable an organization to easily share select project information.

One of the most counterproductive mantras in a company’s culture is, “We have always done it this way.” Some of this is driven by lack of knowledge about how well tools can empower productive sharing. Nowadays it is quite simple to let partners or clients see real-time masters of project data, rather than out-of-date stuff from a report run the week before.

There are real costs to this time lag: your external or internal project partners might miss the chance to raise a valuable concern in the event of slippage against milestones. On the other side of the coin, they might be raising the alarm about something you’ve already addressed. An out-of-date picture of the process can create unnecessary anxiety and undercut confidence—a critical intangible in all your project relationships. Showing that you can share this information creates a stronger basis for collaboration and problem solving, even if it makes you feel a bit uneasy about taking the leap.

In the end, you’ll be sharing the same kind of information you would in a report, just with more real-time relevance and without the lag time of extracting, packaging and disseminating that information.

Giving your customer select access to project data doesn’t mean making them privy to every wrinkle in a 1000-line task plan. The goal is to succinctly apprise, not overwhelm. There are usually a handful of deliverable points that make sense to share: overall status against budget and schedule being foremost. These may include certain shared risks, so that both sides—remember, you’re all on the project team—can evaluate and address potential hazards to delivery in real time.

This way, you’re acting as a true partner and functioning as an extension of the client organization—sharing their goals and their challenges. This creates partnerships that yield opportunities far beyond the single project.

Building the Power to Share into the Solution—Affordably

Once you’ve determined that it is quite easy to let your clients/partners safely access the relevant portions of the project, a second question often arises: “Won’t this cost us?”

Many solutions license by number of users; KeyedIn Projects approaches this in a different way, licensing through managed resources. This means you can have as many users as you need across your department, other departments and on the customer/partner side without having to worry about running afoul of your license agreement or incurring extra cost for additional seats.

Scared to share? More companies are embracing tools that let them accomplish just that—and saving valuable time spent on sharing reports while earning higher levels of trust with key clients. Find out more by taking a tour of KeyedIn Projects’ features .

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Taming the Project Elephant, One View at a Time]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/taming-the-project-elephant-one-view-at-a-time In Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 classic Rashomon, several characters provide a highly dramatized example of the old “blind men and an elephant” parable: they each deliver contradicting (and self-serving) accounts of the same central narrative.

This is great grist for cinema buffs’ discussions; it’s considerably less fun in real life, where a shared, real-time understanding of the facts are needed to pick and execute projects that align with strategy, utilize resources better, increase profits and build strong customer/partner relationships.

In a project-driven organization, there must be a single view of the beast available to all. It’s okay for project execution methods to vary, but everybody needs a centralized picture of the metrics. For organizations with multiple, overlapping projects and large, distributed teams, having all project data available via a centrally shared tool creates the basis for top-to-bottom project excellence.

Execution-level and PMO (program/project management office) staff can gain an immediate understanding of how much employees were spending while working on individual projects. Higher up the strategy chain, PPM (project portfolio management), leaders can synthesize performance metrics from individual projects to gain a better understanding of project capitalization rates—driving better top-down decisions in the future.

Returning to elephant analogies, there may be times when a view of the whole beast is more than what is required. To put a twist on the business adage that gives encouragement to people facing large and daunting undertakings: How do you eat an elephant? One view at a time!

It’s fine if we all look at the “elephant” from separate perspectives—zooming in is required to execute our specialized roles. But there can be no doubt about the nature and dimensions of the beast if those granular, role-based views are to be meaningful at all. A centralized view is necessary to make sure that all data is accurately recorded and kept in one location.

KeyedIn Projects gives every layer of a project-driven organization comprehensive visibility of every project detail, from a single, usable interface. From execution to executive level, a wide range of customizable dashboards help monitor project, program and portfolio risk and resource usage, providing a true view of current commitments, chargeability and more. Find out more about KeyedIn Projects.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Work Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-05-2014/keyedin-spotlight-work-management Join KeyedIn Solutions for 'Work Management', the next installment of our KeyedIn Spotlight Webinar Series. Using KeyedIn Projects as a demonstration platform, this free recording will benefit existing users of the system and will also benefit potential users. The key topics covered will be Team Member Visibility, Collaboration, Time and Expense Capture and Mobile Working. 

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Financial Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/05-08-2014/keyedin-spotlight-financial-management Join Clayton Tagg, Solution Evangelist at KeyedIn Solutions for Financial Management, the next installment of our KeyedIn Spotlight Webinar Series.Throughout this series we will be providing insight and advice on how to utilize various features of KeyedIn Projects to improve business performance.

Using KeyedIn Projects as the demonstration platform, this free webinar will benefit existing users as well as potential users.

Key topics covered during the webinar will include:

  • Managing Forecasts
  • Financial Visibility
  • Financial Reporting

We look forward to helping you expand your knowledge of how KeyedIn Projects can help drive business performance.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Program Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/04-10-2014/keyedin-spotlight-program-management Join Clayton Tagg, Solution Evangelist at KeyedIn Solutions for Program Management, the next installment of our KeyedIn Spotlight Webinar Series. Throughout this series we will be providing insight and advice on how to utilize various features of KeyedIn Projects to improve business performance.

Using KeyedIn Projects as the demonstration platform, this free webinar will benefit existing users as well as potential users.

Key topics covered during the webinar will include:

  • Status Visibility
  • Financial Management
  • Resource Management
  • Deliverables Management

We look forward to helping you expand your knowledge of how KeyedIn Projects can help drive business performance.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.7 – See how we have made it easier for project managers to update risks, issues and communications on their projects!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/2014-03-27/keyedin-projects-5-7 In the 5.7 release we have made it easier for project managers to update risks, issues and communications on their projects with the introduction of Editable Grids. The Scenario Modelling functionality has been improved with the ability to model different groups of projects and combine them into a master scenario. The new Project Lifecycle feature will allow you to create your own lifecycles and define rules on how a project progresses through the lifecycle.

Track the business benefits of your projects and programmes with the introduction of the Benefits Management feature. Get greater visibility of your project task plans with the new Gantt Summary View. Publish your key task milestones to the business using the Deliverable Creation Wizard. A whole host of other improvements have also been delivered.

New Editable Grids

Easily edit your project risks, issues and actions using the new editable grid on the Project tab.

New Benefits Management Functionality

Track the business benefits of your projects and programmes with the introduction of the Benefits Management module. Enter your planned and actual benefits and analyse using reports and dashboard widgets.

New Project Lifecycle Functionality

Create your own project lifecycles and define custom rules on how a project progresses through the lifecycle.

Scenario Modelling and Forecasting Improvements

Scenario Modelling has been improved with the ability to create subset scenarios for different groups of projects and then combine into an overall scenario.

Improved Notifications and Permissions

  • Notify me when a New Post is made against a Project I am assigned to
  • Notify me when a New Post is made against a Project that I am a Project Manager on
  • Notify me when a New Post is directed to me.
  • Notify me when someone comments on my Posts
  • Notify me when a Deliverable is completed on a Project where I am an Interested Resource
  • Notify me when a Task Milestone is completed on a Project where I am an Interested Resource
  • Notify me when a Deliverable is rescheduled on a Project where I am an Interested Resource
  • Ability to set a publish level against Actions
  • Ability to data load Actions
  • Resource and Project permissions on Actions

Expense Entry Improvements

  • New Reimbursable flag
  • Enter an Expense Payment Exchange Rate in Multi-Currency mode
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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Project Portfolio Management Tools: Focus on Your Business Issues, Not Bells and Whistles]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/project-portfolio-management-tools-focus-on-your-business-issues-not-bells-and-whistles In our more than 20 years of experience with helping companies drive successful projects, we have seen many organizational change and project initiatives become mired in the selection stage as teams become too focused on the features of prospective project/portfolio management tools—and not focused enough on their team’s challenges.

It’s a familiar process: An organization wants a tool to help them re-engineer the way they evaluate and manage projects across the company, so they submit an RFP with requirements, which draws responses from many potential vendors. After this, the company must wade through the sea of responses and create a short list of vendors for further discussion. Of course, every vendor on the short list says, “Yes, of course we can deliver this functionality.” After all this, is the company really any closer to selecting the right tool?

The answer is no, unless they are working with a vendor who, in addition to promising bells and whistles, also lifts the conversation out of sheer functionality and speaks to the core business issues that drove the need for change in the first place. These challenges, not functionality, should be the guideposts for the discussion. What problem are you trying to solve?

Thinking should be centered on making sure that your true business drivers are going to be addressed by the solution, which happens to involve features and functions. It’s not just about the tool; it’s about the right tool and the yin/yang of people and processes.  (Tool and processes work together to address business issues and drivers—you can’t do it with just one or the other.) There is a subtle trap in letting the RFP process change the way you do business and fit the requirements of a software tool, rather than the other way around. True business process management does not come from a bunch of requirements.

Many strategists with whom we work find it refreshing when we drill into the true business drivers behind the search for a project management solution. Having discovered the pain points and helped to prioritize them, we can advise on a phased implementation approach, rather than the “big bang” rollouts that mark too many change initiatives.

This is not to devalue the “bells and whistles” - those features are important, especially to execution-level team members who want to work more efficiently without having their world turned upside down by a feature-bloated solution with a daunting learning curve. But features should not be the sole driver. And as is the case with many a company that is looking to bring in projects more profitably and on time, what is needed as much as robust features is a partner who can help make sense of both the what and the why of project-related initiatives.

KeyedIn Solutions offers a comprehensive range of pre and post-sales consulting  services to ensure each customer enjoys the maximum return on their KeyedIn Projects investment. Click here to find out more about how to receive a cost effective, “best of breed” solution, delivered on time—and on strategy.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Major Benefits of Adopting an Effective Project Portfolio Management and PMO Initiative]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-major-benefits-of-adopting-an-effective-project-portfolio-management-and-pmo-initiative In this post we explore the five major types of benefits to be gained by adopting an effective Project Portfolio Management/PMO strategy. These include:

  1. Fostering an environment where collaborative decision making is easier and more fruitful.
  2. Minimizing the risks to individual projects in terms of business impact.
  3. Making sure that your human resources are maximized for control and efficiency.
  4. Proving the value of the PMO to important stakeholders – in terms that are important to them.
  5. Making sure that success not only happens today, but is more likely with future project initiatives.

Now let’s explore each of these benefits in greater detail.

#1 Better Decision Making

Our first bucket of PMO benefits concerns its ability to drive better business decisions. To make good decisions you need good data and that’s why visibility is so crucial, both from a strategic, top-down perspective and from a tactical bottoms-up perspective. When you have a good handle on past project metrics, it makes it much easier to predict future factors like resource utilization. And when you have a good handle on what is happening in your current project portfolio, you can find out which projects are not contributing to corporate objectives. As part of the project portfolio management team, it’s better for you to discover this than hear about if from the line of business managers or even worse, from the executive suite. In the area of resource utilization, a good PMO strategy will help you understand how what you change on one project impacts the delivery of other projects. It will also help you re-prioritize and re-allocate as necessary. And finally, a good PMO strategy, backed up by solid technology, will allow you to model multiple scenarios to make sure the projects you add will contribute to corporate objectives and not bog down other projects.

#2 Minimize Risk

PMO Benefits Bucket two is the ability to avoid or reduce your exposure to risks. If you attended the first webinar in our PMO series, titled the Disturbing Reality of Todays PMO , you have heard about the many ways that the PMO can be considered a detriment to the organization and this is not a pleasant place to be. There are several categories of risks, including financial, governance, resource utilization, and misdirected efforts. On the financial side, good PMO policies will help you to calculate the benefits vs. cost of cancelling a poor performing project, as well as identify projects that are not contributing to corporate objectives. The sooner you identify these wayward projects, the sooner you reduce your risks. As for reducing governance risk, the goal is to build an accountability framework that ensures that the right level of compliance is followed through every project lifecycle.

#3 Maximize Resources

The third great benefit of a PMO is the ability to maximize your resources. The greater degree of visibility we mentioned earlier, both on the macro and micro level, makes it possible for you to gain the type of control over your projects that is not possible in a non-PMO environment. A centralized approach also allows you to reduce your project costs, primarily though the reduction or elimination of duplicate effort. Since human resources are by far the greatest cost of implementing projects, this can be a substantial benefit. Nothing increases the frustration and cost of a project more than skills shortages, especially during peak demand periods. With a good capacity planning tool you can see your overall and specific project demand and redeploy your resources accordingly. With a resources database you will be able to quickly find the right resource for each project, keep skills profiles up to date, and then manage resource demand, allocations and capability.

#4 Prove the Value to Stakeholders

If there is one factor that separates the super successful PMO from the rest, it is the ability to prove its value to the stakeholders. By stakeholders, I mean anyone who has a vested interest in the PMO or individual projects. This group includes line-of-business managers, project managers, financial analysts and the executive team. Remember that is not only the actual value of what you are doing and what you accomplish, but the perception of value, that counts. And when you are able to achieve the reality and perception of a well-oiled and functional PMO, lots of benefits accrue. You can greatly expand both external and internal morale and reduce the time it takes to produce executive and board-level reports. An effective PMO and PPM strategy also allows relevant stakeholders to have access to the project status and results data they need, without bogging them down with sorting through reams of data that is irrelevant and confusing. The net result of this greater degree of transparency is that stakeholders gain a much greater comfort level and appreciation for what you are doing both in terms of project execution and results.

#5 Enable Repeatable Success

We mentioned how important it is to prove the value of the PMO to all stakeholders. One of the best ways to do this is to demonstrate how the PMO creates an environment that leads to repeatable and predictable project success. While not discounting the skills of the PMO leadership, the essence of an effective PMO is providing a process framework and technology infrastructure that allows you to continuously meet your business objectives. Repeatable success is gained by establishing best practices and proven project management methodologies and enforcing their use throughout the organization. You need to be able to leverage the processes and lessons learned from previous projects and capturing this information in the project repository. This allows you to not only use past data, but also real-time data to continually improve your project operations and results. In this way, you will be seen as a proactive, not reactive organization. Finally, you need to ensure that you have a single version of the truth to enforce consistency in evaluating past projects and guiding the prioritization and execution of future projects.


Free Ondemand Webinar: The Benefits and Uses of PPM and the PMO

Understanding the best strategies for implementing and maintaining your PMO The Benefits and Uses of PPM and the PMO.


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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.6 – See the simplified Security Model with the introduction of new permission types for project managers and line managers!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/03-09-2014/keyedin-projects-5-6 In the 5.6 release we have simplified the Security Model with the introduction of new permission types for project managers and line managers. The Task Planning functionality has been extended with several new features including the ability to Plan in Hours. The report writer capabilities have been improved with the introduction of Combination Reports, which allow you to combine multiple reports into a single output. The Home Screen has been enhanced with the ability to sort and group your current work list. A whole host of other improvements have also been delivered.

Combination Reports

Combine multiple reports into a single output with the introduction of the Combination Report feature. This will allow you to create a single report that includes data from different areas of the system as well as combining chart and data reports into one output.

Security Model Simplification

KeyedIn Projects 5.6 will include new login permission types for project managers and line managers that will speed up and simplify the administration of the system. For example, when a project is assigned a project manager, the project manager will automatically get access to the project.

Task Planning Improvements

The following features will be available on the Project Tasks tab in 5.6:

  • Plan your tasks and assignments in hours
  • Copy a range of tasks from another project
  • Copy and paste tasks
  • Find and replace a resource or role on a task plan

Timesheet Improvements and Notifications

  • Ability to submit multiple timesheet submissions in a week
  • Filter by line manager on the timesheet submission search screen
  • Ability to enter a cost code on timesheet direct entry
  • Copy from previous week will copy all timesheet lines
  • Ability to save new timesheet lines without any hours entered 
  • Notify users with missing timesheets in the previous week
  • Notify users who have not entered their expected hours in the previous week

Home Screen Improvements

The Home screen delivered in version 5.5 has been further enhanced to include the ability to group and sort your current work list. You will be able to arrange your current work by due date, project or simply display as a flat list. The ability to sort by start or finish date will also be available. When adding time against a task assignment, the project will be automatically added to your restriction list. All completed work will now appear on the new Completed Work tab.

Billing Improvements

KeyedIn Projects 5.6 will include the following enhancements to the billing module:

  • Automatically assign a contract line to a timesheet based on the contract’s routing type when saving timesheets
  • Display the contract line description and unit rate on the timesheet search screen
  • Ability to show the timesheet and expense supporting sheets in tabular format
  • Ability to show unit rate and total charge on the timesheet supporting sheets

Russian Language Pack

KeyedIn Projects 5.6 includes improvements to the Russian language pack.

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<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Resource Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/2014-05-03/keyedin-spotlight-resource-management Join Clayton Tagg , Solution Evangelist at KeyedIn Solutions for Resource Management, the next installment of our KeyedIn Spotlight Webinar Series. Throughout this series we will be providing insight and advice on how to utilize various features of KeyedIn Projects to improve business performance.

Using KeyedIn Projects as the demonstration platform, this free webinar will benefit existing users as well as potential users.

Key topics covered during the webinar will include:

  • Task level planning and resource demand
  • Resource Scheduling
  • Resource Optimization
  • Billing & Invoicing

We look forward to helping you expand your knowledge of how KeyedIn Projects can help drive improved business performance.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Project Portfolio Management - PMI “Pulse of the Profession” Survey]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/project-portfolio-management-pmi-pulse-of-the-profession-survey When the Project Management Institute (PMI) released their “Pulse of the Profession: The High Cost of Low Performance” survey for 2014, I was fascinated by the study’s insights and heartened to see the many places where it validated the KeyedIn Projects “gospel” of effective project portfolio management.

We have driven the point home again and again: the primary driver for project portfolio management is to help a company improve its performance by selecting and executing projects that link to strategy. The struggle to achieve this is highlighted in the new PMI report. As PMI CEO Mark A. Langley notes in his preface, “Though executives know what they should be doing – 88 percent say that strategy implementation is important to their organizations – 61 percent acknowledge that their firms often struggle to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and its day-to-day implementation.”

The study finds, among many other things, is that companies who report a disconnect between projects and organizational strategy reported that nearly half (44%) of their strategic projects were unsuccessful. We noted with particular interest one of the primary reasons cited: the C-suite was “missing in action.”

Executive buy-in and stewardship of PPM is one of the foundational ingredients for project portfolio-driven success. Leadership’s insistence that project-strategy alignment begins with them and radiates downward through the culture is, to a large part, what determines whether or not a company sees the revenue, resource and competitive advantage benefits that accrue from a PPM strategy that is correctly conceived and executed.

The survey touches on a number of fascinating factors that impact success:

  • Modest continued growth of the global economy means that more new projects (and revisiting of shelved projects) will go forward.
  • Leading companies will increase the number of touch points where customers will help inform organizational strategy; in fact, more customers will come to expect it.
  • The correlation of better talent management to better project performance.
  • Process maturity’s impact on success over time.

To execute their 2014 survey, the PMI gathered feedback and insights from more than 2,500 project management leaders and practitioners across the globe. We highly recommend project leaders check it out when considering ways to architect an organization-wide approach to projects. You can download and read the entire report here.

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<![CDATA[Factors Driving Project Management Within An Enterprise Environment]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/factors-driving-project-management-within-an-enterprise-environment

Businesses are continually confronted with the challenge of tying together disparate processes and locations, multiple disciplines, technologies and departments as well as managing non-finite resources and budgets. Businesses no longer manage their projects as static or isolated linear entities but as complex interdependencies. The factors driving project management within an enterprise environment involve the multifaceted collaborations of the business’s ability to successfully execute the key project components seamlessly and as a natural extension of the business rather than as separate, alien entities. These typically include:

  • Managing the supply of non-finite resources, roles and responsibilities both internal and external to the business
  • Communicating project information such as budgets, milestones and resource capability through layers of management and across multiple physical locations
  • Managing and controlling the flow of project documentation ranging from contractor quotes to risk mitigation, project charters and so on
  • Developing multiple processes that bring project information to those occupying the relevant roles and responsibilities
  • Building business cases, outlining project objectives and specifying project scope
  • Establishing criteria for assessing ROI and measuring the compliance of the completed project with its original objectives
  • Communicating strategic objectives to all stakeholders with an interest in the project
  • Defining the relationships between all internal and external resource groups
  • Managing the flow of information between all internal and external resource groups
  • Managing the flow of information between all project stakeholders
  • Managing project approval and direction at each appropriate level within the business
  • Agreeing specifications, milestones and governance criteria for project deliverables
  • Outlining the assignment of project roles and responsibilities at both the strategic and operational levels
  • Publishing project plans that span all project stages from project initiation and development through to delivery
  • Adopting a process of distilling upstream and downstream project status and progress reporting
  • Implementing a best practice knowledge base centre such as a Program Management Office (PMO)
  • Addressing risk management and the resolution of issues that arise during a project
  • Defining a standard for quality review of the key governance documents and of the project deliverables
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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Quick Guide to Selecting the Right Projects using Project Portfolio Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/quick-guide-to-selecting-the-right-projects-using-project-portfolio-management One of the most important deliverables of a Project Portfolio Manager is to maximize the mix of projects to drive the highest possible corporate value.

Generally, projects will fall into four buckets:

  • Fill activities that have low reward but also demand little effort. These are worth doing only if you have project execution people on the bench and need something to keep them occupied.
  • Projects that require lots of effort but produce little reward. The best thing you can do is identify these early and eliminate them from the portfolio. Unfortunately, some of these can fall into the “pet projects” category which can lead to a reluctance to remove them from the portfolio. 
  • Major projects that require much effort but produce large rewards. Examples of this type of project are a product launch or implementing a major software application. You need to manage these projects carefully to make sure the business results justify the time and financial expense. 
  • The last category is our favorite – quick win projects that require relatively low effort but still reap big rewards. An example of this would be launching an existing product into a parallel marketplace. Quick Win projects make everyone look good so identify them quickly and launch them aggressively.

If you would like to find out more on how to select and prioritize projects, our previous post, 4 Step Guide to Simplifying your Portfolio Definition Processs will help you define criteria required to select the rigtht projects.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Mobile Project Management - Checklist of 6 Key Features]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/mobile-project-management-checklist-of-6-key-features As anywhere access flourishes from consumer consumption to business, mobile’s trend is increasing in velocity, and the convenience of speed is propelling it.

It’s making its much-needed mark on project management, with project management software vendors providing mobile apps, as well as tablet and phone access to extend usability and reach to everyone, everywhere.

Synchronized with the user’s system, today’s project management apps enable users to gather and access critical project information, assist with resource task assignments, plan upcoming workload with links to project contacts, while entering timesheets and expenses on the move.

Security is inherited from the host site, with standard user credentials enabling usage of the app. All relevant and authorized projects, assignments, clients, activities and expense types are collected and organized in real time.

Below is a checklist of the key features required for successful mobile project management:

  • Task Assignments – view currently assigned tasks by resource
  • Project Contacts – access clients and contacts with full integration with the mobile’s telephone, email and GPS capabilities
  • Timesheet Maintenance – manage historic timesheets and enter new ones against authorized projects, tasks and assignments
  • Expense Maintenance – review historic claims and enter expense items against projects and expense types, along with attached receipt images, build and submit claims and monitor payment status
  • Automated Synchronization – incorporate projects, activities and expense reporting in real-time
  • Integrated Security – use the same credentials as when accessing the main Cloud-based PPM system

Users report the project management app’s timesaving convenience as their utilization driver – it enables them to chronicle easily forgotten details as they happen. Project team members benefit from current, real-time status updating. Project management appreciates their team’s interconnectivity.

For further details on how mobile project management can benefit your team - watch this short video.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[The core components of IT Portfolio Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/the-core-components-of-it-portfolio-management IT portfolio management emphasises a strategic focus on goals such as revenue growth, cost reduction, regulatory mandate and business continuity rather than just typical operational objectives such as project cost, timescales and deliverables. IT portfolio management requires input from across the organization, including finance managers, executive management, and business groups, as well as IT managers.

With IT portfolio management,  project planning is viewed as a fundamentally top-down initiative and external stakeholders are required to take part in the decision making process. IT portfolio management moves away from the project-centric, bottom-up approach, forces everyone to accept responsibility for critical systems, and designed to prevent a single stakeholder, for example IT, being blamed for poor decisions.

The key driver for IT portfolio management is to gain visibility of all the business demands being placed on IT and elevating performance through the effective use of resources, people, funding, assets and processes – in order to maximize business value.

Below is a check list of four key components required for successful IT Portfolio Management

#1 Build a registry: Portfolio management begins with gathering a detailed registry of all the projects in the company, ideally in a single database, including name, length, estimated cost, business objective, ROI, and business benefits.

#2 Identify strategic objectives: This involves a business compiling a list of projects during the annual planning cycle and supporting them with business cases that show estimated costs, ROI, business benefit and risk assessment and so on. One of the core criteria on which projects get funded is how closely a project meets the company’s strategic objectives for the upcoming year.

#3 Prioritize and categorize: The prioritization process allows the business to fund the projects that most closely align with your company’s strategic objectives. The business then attaches valuation criteria to rank projects in terms of their importance.

#4 Manage and review the portfolio: The portfolio has to be actively managed and monitored. Many businesses use a centralized Program Management Office (PMO) to get financial work progress updates from project leaders. This information goes into a database and is reported to executives via a Project Portfolio Management Team (PPMT), giving the project inventory and its status. Typically businesses use a RAG method - Red (Help!), Amber (caution), or green (good) – to identify project status. 

You can find out more on how to simplify key components of your IT Portfolio Management here

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[4 Step Guide to Simplifing your Portfolio Definition Process]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/4-step-guide-to-simplifing-your-portfolio-definition-process The portfolio definition process is where you define the terms, scope, catergorization and scoring of your portfolio and gain agreement on your basic portfolio model.

Here a 4 steps that will help you simplify this process.

Step 1:  When defining the portfolio mix, it’s important to gain early agreement on the scope of organizational coverage:

  • Groups, units, divisions, departments
  • Functional area and teams
  • Product/service types

Step 2: You also need to know the scope of work included within the portfolio:

  • Tactical projects
  • Administrative projects
  • Strategic projects
  • Innovation projects
  • Future vision projects

Step 3: You should define the project categorization scheme. Is it:

  • Mandatory
  • Strategic
  • Business support
  • Experimental
  • Infrastructure
  • Maintenance
  • Cross organizational

Step 4: Define the portfolio’s key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Net present value
  • Productivity Index
  • Earned value analysis value added
  • IRR Internal rate of return
  • Cost/ benefit analysis

You can learn more about selecting and prioritizing projects in this short video.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Project Reporting and Analytics – See It, Show It, Stew It, Stow It]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/project-reporting-and-analytics-undefined-see-it-show-it-stew-it-stow-it Project management’s ultimate objective is focused on completion and delivery. That makes sense, as it’s outcomes that matter most. From the project success standpoint, there’s opportunity to optimize resource and financial management, advantaging current and planned projects.

To make this happen, clear visibility into resource capability, project status and financial performance, in a standardized format is an absolute necessity. Cloud-based project portfolio management (PPM) software will facilitate this, incorporating all resources utilized per project, as well standardized project status reporting, deliverables and forecasting.

But with all this useful information’s collected – now for the optimization:

See It – Real-time visibility is vital to PPM. A single, centralized repository of all collected project information across an organization creates the reporting hub.

Show It – As-it-happens reporting available through permission-based dashboards to the project resource team, project and program management, and those in the executive suite. Each reporting level is enabled for drill down to each component below, providing transparency beneficial to all involved in each capacity.

Stew It – Strategy time: the project portfolio management team can analyze and allocate resources where and when needed. Financial management can monitor planned versus actual, per project’s impact in context of the entire portfolio. Senior management is in the know for pan-organizational planning.

Stow It – Often an equally valuable component of accurate project reporting and analytics are the blueprints they provide. Having archived details of past projects offers opportunity to replicate successes (while avoid failures). Many organizations lack depth in this ability, compounding ongoing competitive disadvantages. Fix this problem with Cloud-based project portfolio management software, and all project components line-up for the business’s benefit.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[With PSA Alls A-OK]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/with-psa-alls-a-ok Perhaps no other business category is more hindered or rewarded by its people than professional services. They’re people businesses – from securing the work to final delivery and billing , it’s human beings handling the heavy lifting.

Other sectors are afforded benefits of increasing automation. It’s part blessing, with the balance cursed, and has been trending since the industrial revolution. For service organizations, tools for prospecting, research, creation and delivery have benefitted by automation. And it’s people at the wheel guiding strategy and the ultimate success of each.

Professional services automation (PSA) is the most enabling of the available tools , allowing organizations to align their firm’s goals, resources (people) and deliverables. The automation is facilitated via a Cloud-based program providing what’s most elusive – control. The key is thorough visibility of each project in the portfolio, enabling:

  • Maximized risk management, both with the company’s objectives and with each project
  • Optimized use of in-house and contracted talent, consistently deployed most strategically maximizing productivity and profitability
  • Centralized, concentrated financial management of each project of each client, ultimately benefiting the firm

Back to visibility: with PSA a business can plan project selection and align needed resources based on open access to people’s capabilities and availabilities. Over (or under) utilization risks are abated.

It starts with real-time tracking of all current and upcoming project commitments per client. With calendar views, staff and contractor commitments and availability are visible for organization-wide optimization.

Tracking each staffer’s billable hours keeps financials focused per project. The firm’s staff know where they are versus client estimates and company P&L goals, as does management, who can reallocate where needed to manifest consistent profitability.

Not all mechanicals are beneficial to humans. Thankfully for professional service organizations, PSA is decidedly people promoting, for profitable service delivery.

Watch this short 3 minute video to find out more.

For further information on the features and functionality in KeyedIn Projects - take a look at our features tour.

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<![CDATA[10 Typical Project Management Challenges Faced By Businesses]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/10-typical-project-management-challenges-faced-by-businesses One of the most common issues facing companies today is that they concentrate their management efforts on executing individual projects, but fail to understand the impact of these on the wider business. The result is a sub-optimal performance and lower returns for the business as a whole. The typical challenges facing business today when managing projects include:

  1. Misalignment between projects and their business objectives: The purpose of a project is to advance one or more business objectives. Most projects start out closely aligned with these objectives, but gaps inevitably appear. Projects drift and business objectives change and evolve. Without redirection, projects and deliverables end up failing to meet expectations.
  2. Late or delayed projects: Late projects wreak havoc, delaying the time at which a company can start reaping business benefits, thwarting precise payback period calculations and disrupting the long term return on investment.
  3. Dependency conflicts: Most projects are interrelated, sharing people, equipment, resources and deliverables. These dependencies mean that a single project delay has a significant ripple effect on related projects, disrupting schedules, causing resource conflicts and even triggering expensive contingencies, in order to minimise risks.
  4. Execution difficulties: Problematic execution wastes resources, time and opportunities, diverts management attention and hinders project delivery.
  5. Overlapping and redundant projects: Overlapping projects are responsible for major inefficiencies and wasted budgets, time and resources. At their worst, they undermine each other’s progress and potential benefits. Redundant and duplicative projects are also unprofitable, increasing costs, prolonging schedules and diverting resources from more deserving projects.
  6. Resource conflicts: Companies rarely have sufficient resources to staff all projects concurrently. As such, projects compete against each other for resources, and people are often assigned to several projects at the same time. Those with special expertise of scarce skills may be in high demand, causing bottlenecks.
  7. Unrealised business value: A project is a means to an end. Ultimately, every project generates deliverables that the company uses to derive business value. When those deliverables arrive late or are incomplete, the business loses opportunities – whether to earn revenues, acquire customers or perhaps fix a problem.
  8. Diffused decision making: Many executives are unable to obtain the right information at the right time to effectively understand the present position of the business in order to communicate unwelcome surprises and/or communicate potential opportunities before the competition.
  9. No accountability: Failure to continuously monitor and communicate project milestones in real time, and budget performance, dilutes project accountability and responsibility.
  10. Fragmentation: Fragmented planning and resource processes and tolls lead to an inability to systematically communicate and fine tune multiple project scenarios, resulting in regular unforeseen slippages and problems.

Read more of our project management resources here, or find out how KeyedIn Projects can help you standardise & streamline your project management processes here

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Project Portfolio Management - a quick definition]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/project-portfolio-management-a-quick-definition Throughout this blog you will hear us refer to project portfolio management on many occasions.  For those of you new to the term or those researching it's suitability to your business - here is a quick definition from our recent webinar How PM, PPM and the PMO Work Together that we think sums up PPM quite nicely. 

Project Portfolio Management is not only about ‘doing projects right’; it is about ‘doing the right projects’. But this is more than simply individual project selection, its about the entire mix of the business’s portfolio of projects.

PPM is also concerned with creating a balance within this mix.
- Covers short, medium and long-term projects
- Covers low risk and high risk projects

Remember that there is a fine balance between the actual detailed management of the projects themselves and the portfolio perspective required to inform the business of their impact.

PPM allows you to gain visibility into failing projects before its too late and to make mid-course corrections on under-performing projects. It also helps you make subjective and rational ‘go/kill/hold/fix’ decisions – and eliminate those pet projects with perceived rather than actual value.

Above all, PPM is about maximizing the contribution of projects to the overall welfare and success of the business.


Free Ondemand Webinar: How Project Management, Project Portfolio Management and the PMO Work Together

Learn how to ensure visibility, governance, productivity and control in our free ondemand webinar -  How PM, PPM, and PMO Work Together .

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<![CDATA[5 Methods for Improving Strategic Resource Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-methods-for-improving-strategic-resource-management All too often strategic resource management is regarded as an activity for larger corporates delivering hundreds of projects with thousands of resources. However, there is a place for Strategic Resource Management in any size of business, especially those looking to bring innovative products to market, or deliver projects or services with a profitable outcome.

In this post we look at 5 ways that professional services organizations can embrace strategic resource management to improve service deliver and focus on delivering the most profitable portfolio of projects.

#1 See who’s working where, when

A single, central tool for managing resources across every project and every team is essential. It allows anyone within the business to see who is scheduled to work on what projects, where – and how long they are committed to them. Having the same information available to all your users is the essential foundation of more strategic resource management.

#2 Plan around existing commitments

With a single central repository of future commitments, it becomes far easier to plan around those commitments. You can see when specific resources will be available, and either build your schedule to accommodate the current workload, find an alternative resource or identify who best to approach regarding reallocation. Professional Services Automation tools, simplify the scheduling and resource planning process further by helping you learn from past projects: if team A habitually completes a week after schedule, then you can build appropriate contingency in.

#3 Cope with change

By taking a more strategic view of change requests, you can assess the resource impact of agreeing to a scope change – not only on your project, but across the entire portfolio. Then the business can judge whether to accept or even prioritize the change, or reject it, based on clear evidence of the likely costs and benefits.

#4 Pick projects you can deliver

Avoid pitching for – and winning – problem projects through more effective resource analysis. By reviewing existing commitments before you invest time and effort into bidding, you can weed out the projects which will put extra strain on already over-stretched resources. Instead, you can focus your efforts on improving the pipeline for teams that have gaps that are likely to be available.

#5 Match your workforce to your workload

Workforce planning typically rests on gut instinct and budgetary constraints. Through strategic resource management, you can identify precisely what resources you will need over the coming months – whether to ensure you meet existing commitments or to give you the capacity to respond to new opportunities. You can pinpoint where there are shortfalls, where it will be critical to retain talent, and where it may be possible to build up skills over the longer term. That can then inform decisions about recruitment, retention and development.

Many orgainzations try and fail at strategic resource management, mainly because initial efforts utilize MS Excel or Home Grown solutions which are prone to error. There are alternatives though, like KeyedIn Projects, which incorporates traditional PSA software with a top down approach to resource capability planning.

Why not take a free 15 day trial to see how simple strategic resource planning can really be.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[The 5 Most Important Business Benefits of a Successful PMO]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/the-5-most-important-business-benefits-of-a-successful-pmo For any Program Management Office, it is extremely important that you are able to show how your PMO delivers tangible and meaningful business benefits.

Here are five of the most important:

  • Align the portfolio of projects with an eye toward future strategy
  • Deliver programs on-time, within budget and according to scope
  • Understand the linkages and dependencies between various projects in the portfolio
  • Improve communication within the program team among all stakeholders
  • Increase the awareness of the value of the PMO and PPM process

To achieve this you not only need good people, good processes, but also supporting technology . Yes the people, processes and technology message has been pushed by software vendors for years - but in an environment where poor project selection or even failure could have a catestrophic effect on the business involved, its still amazing to see how many PMOs are trying to manage project selection, prioritization, resource capability planning and deliverables via error prone spreadhseets.

Now could be the right time for a change?  Watch our free ondemand webinar - How PM, PPM and PMO Work Together for more information on proving the business benefits of your PMO.


Free Ondemand Webinar: How Project Management, Project Portfolio Management and the PMO Work Together

Learn how to ensure visibility, governance, productivity and control in our free ondemand webinar -  How PM, PPM, and PMO Work Together .

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Resource, Cost, Deliverables and Benefits – 4 Key Factors affecting the successful deployment of PPM]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/resource-cost-deliverables-and-benefits-undefined-4-key-factors-affecting-the-successful-deployment-of-ppm We’ve talked a lot about the dangers of an underperforming PMO and then covered in more detail the characteristics of a strong PMO. But to make this happen, you not only need great information, such as best practices, but also technology – most commonly a software solution that is designed to create business value.

Preferably, you want a solution that encapsulates project management , program management and portfolio management to ensure you have an end to end solution.

Equally important is to use a system that enables both a top down strategic led approach and bottom-up execution led approach. A far better concept than buying individual solutions for each discipline.

Or so you may think!  As we discussed in our earlier post on the Challenges and Barriers to PPM Adoption this should be the long term objective.  It will be a mammoth task to establish a standardized system for project, program and portfolio management all in one “big bang” deployment.  In fact, many of the failed implementations of competitive solutions which have adopted this approach, have resulted in customer success stories for KeyedIn Projects. 

So why do we advocate a top down strategy led approach?

Strategy Focused Design to PPM

The above diagram provides a closer look at our business strategy-led approach.

After decades of working with organizations to help them achieve their desired outcomes, we believe we’ve made an important discovery.  By providing the PMO and executive team with a pragmatic, information focused solution that manages resources, costs, delivery and benefits; we are able to step into the chaos and quickly start to deliver clarity and visibility.  By focusing only on what the team needs to know to make decisions, we are able to implement and start to add value in a very short timeframe.

Planning is based around breaking down the project into elements – defining deliverables and ensuring all planning, measurement and control is focused on delivering results and not merely effort.  Effort doesn’t count – results do!

Of course we still have the tools, time and expense systems, project planning tools and resource allocation available – but we encourage our clients to use these as and when they need them, rather than making them the central point around which everything else revolves.

We believe that this approach guarantees successful deployment of a PPM solution in such a way that users are more likely to adopt the tools, and therefore drive additional value, without the “stick” associated with some competitive offerings.

Unique Value Proposition

As I mentioned before – KeyedIn Projects focuses on driving business results. That means that our system provides an executive view (or oversight) into the organization’s project or program portfolio – tying projects and programs to overall corporate objectives and strategies, but also giving leaders a way to monitor and measure accountabilities.

And while many competitive offerings have adjusted their existing applications for the web, we re-wrote our project management solutions for SaaS deployment. They are true, native and multi-tenant SaaS-based applications.  We took our decades of project management domain experience and combined it with the unique technical requirements of SaaS to ensure performance, usability and scalability.

We built a product for you that is easy to use and fast to implement – all at a fraction of the cost of on-premise systems.

And we’ve done so for small businesses with a handful of projects to global enterprises with thousands.  More importantly, we have done so by delivering functionality that makes it efficient and fast for everyone.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Taking the Element of Chance out of Project Profitability: Five Factors to Watch]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/taking-the-element-of-chance-out-of-project-profitability-five-factors-to-watch Project profitability can be won or lost at the execution level. Here are five critical control points that project managers should have front-of-mind when looking for ways to improve on project delivery and, ultimately, their companies’ fiscal health.

1. Master the details

The more details that project managers can efficiently marshall—task status, staff time allocated vs spent, line-by-line projected and actual costs—the more empowered they are to deliver to the bottom line. Up-to-the minute information is vital to spotting project resource or scheduling problems before they become problems—having access to reports only daily or weekly won’t cut it.

2. Provide a single source of the truth

From the portfolio and program level to the trenches, entire organizations benefit from accessing up-to-date project information. Individual players can better manage their own priorities, and those seeking the strategic view can spot the warning signs before the next bump in the road. Role-specific views are valuable only when they tie into centralized information for each project or program. This saves a tremendous amount of time in reconciling varying reports and accounts. And time is money.

3. Be alert to what’s important

Up-to-the-minute project data means you can customize the alerts you receive according to what’s important to you and your team—helping you navigate the most immediate threats to delivery and profitability. For example, knowing when a resource threshold has been crossed will help you respond instantly and effectively.

4. Watch expenditures and respond with authority

It’s absolutely critical to know where project costs are against budget and initial estimates. Knowing exactly what you’ve spent—and what you expect to spend—allows you to quickly calculate the impact of unforeseeable changes. Changes in scope and timeline can be absorbed or added to the project bill, while seeing when tasks are completed early can increase your margins.

5. Eliminate unwelcome billing surprises

No client likes to make expected payments through the project, then be hit with a large end-of-project invoice that reflects changes in scope throughout the life of the engagement. Presenting a client with accurate, up-to-the-minute billing eliminates nasty surprises that can turn into costly disputes and damaged relationships. This transparency helps project professionals better manage client expectations, providing an accurate picture of what’s been spent—and why.

For additional information on how to cope with changes in customer demands, why not visit our professional services overview , designed specifically to offer Professional Service organisations tips and triacks on how to improve service delivery.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Project Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/02-06-2014/keyedin-spotlight-project-management Join KeyedIn Solutions for Project Management, the next instalment of our KeyedIn Spotlight Webinar series. Throughout this series we will be providing insight and advice on how to utilize various features of KeyedIn Projects to improve business performance.

Using KeyedIn Projects as the demonstration platform, this free recorded webinar will benefit existing users as well as potential users.

Key topics covered during the webinar will include:

  • Project creation
  • Managing the project schedule
  • Changes, Risks and Issues
  • Financial Management
  • Status Reporting

We look forward to helping you expand your knowledge of how KeyedIn Projects can help drive business performance.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[20 Great Ways Project Portfolio Management can Benefit your Business]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/20-great-ways-project-portfolio-management-can-benefit-your-business

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) can be used to maximize the contribution of projects to the overall welfare and success of the business. PPM enables businesses to organize a series of projects into an integrated portfolio, as part of this process projects can be regularly evaluated, prioritized and selected based on objectives, costs, resources and risks to ensure the business achieves the goal of obtaining the maximum potential value from their limited resources.

Project Portfolio Management can provide a business with many benefits including:

  1. Meet Financial and Business Governance Milestones Cost Effectively
  2. Bring new products to market in line with strategy and within budget and resource restrictions
  3. Implement Outsourcing and Off-Shoring initiatives with real time performance visibility
  4. Track and optimize lights on activity to aid business growth
  5. Improve resource alignment and reduce contractor costs
  6. Reduce reporting timescales at executive and board level
  7. Get early warning of any potential problems in meeting program and project deliverables
  8. Enable stakeholders to access project status information relevant to their strategic interests
  9. Analyze the financial impact of cancelling a poor performing project
  10. Switch Priorities and redeploy resources quickly
  11. Implement a standard project lifecycle methodology and make projects accountable to the business
  12. Reduce program and project overruns and costs
  13. Reduce program and project duplication and effort
  14. Reduce the risk of skills shortages at critical times
  15. Identify projects that are not contributing to objectives
  16. Calculate the financial impact of cancelling a poor performing project
  17. Understand how changes to one project affect the delivery of others
  18. Track costs, revenues and margins for each project in the portfolio
  19. Learn from Past projects
  20. Identify Risks at the outset and their impact on the business
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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Building an Effective Communication Strategy for Your PMO (Program/Project Management Office)]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/building-an-effective-communication-strategy-for-your-pmo-program-project-management-office Technology is sometimes only as good as the principles that govern its application. Any one who has ever had to suffer through excessive use of the “reply all” email function at their organization immediately understands that deciding what to communicate to whom, at what level of detail and at which point in the process can be a puzzle for the PMO. It helps to have an overarching communication strategy running with clear deliverables and focused messaging.

When it comes to breaking down the messaging for the relevant audiences, it’s often worthwhile to look at some of the more traditional strategic management tools. As an example, the balanced scorecard was originally designed to look at performance management and strategy implementation. The communication elements of these tools are as relevant for project delivery as they are for generating buy-in to changes in strategy.

The balanced scorecard segments a strategy into what it means for key groups within the business, traditionally from an investor, financial, process and people development perspective. At KeyedIn Solutions, we broaden this out into a seven-step model which breaks down objectives into deliverables—following this process, you can also break down project objectives into relevant, easily understood, and focused communications.

The language used is also important. Different audiences need the information expressed in different ways. The seven-step process allows you to define the message, the language and the nuances for communicating the vision and reasons to the wider business.

This ensures better buy-in from the outset because people understand why the project is worthwhile; you get to share the goals and values that your project will deliver. By ensuring that everyone understands the rules of the game, you get the opportunity to cheerlead the wider business into positively supporting and encouraging the project team to deliver something recognized by the organization as valuable. .

Alongside the continual reinforcement of why the business is doing this, you need to constantly inform the project community of any improvements, delivery successes and issues which have been resolved. This is all about transparency—building trust and buy-in to the project, as well as driving the continual improvement of project management processes.

To do this you need to have a very clear understanding of the status of all of the key project deliverables. You will need to demonstrate that you are utilizing the resources allocated to the project effectively and that the impact on the business is within the tolerances agreed at the outset. You also need to show that your cash burn is in line with achieved deliveries and that the overall quality of what has been delivered is as expected.

All of this builds to a compelling and positive communication strategy, tailored to the relevant audiences and providing all with the clarity, comfort and visibility they need to stay engaged and confident.

 

Learn more about how effective communication brings more value to all your projects. Download our free Communication – A Key Driver for Project Success white paper to see how your organization can improve project communication and team collaboration.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[7 Key Factors Driving Successful Project Management in Professional Service Delivery]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/7-key-factors-driving-successful-project-management-in-professional-service-delivery Efficient service delivery is based on getting the project management engine as finely tuned as possible so that it runs smoothly.  This is what we are referring to as the seven key drivers of successful project management.

These factors are critical in ensuring you’re preforming at your peak – delivering to your clients in line with the highest standards of executional excellence.

7 Key Factors Driving Project Management Success

These seven key factors maximize your company’s core capabilities through….

Underpinning Effective Service Delivery by keeping your service delivery in synchronization with customer demands – helping you to better cope with change.

Driving improved Project Performance by standardizing the way projects are managed and reported on, through a standard set of processes and tools.

Managing Resources more Strategically by providing the visibility needed to make smarter resourcing decisions - focusing on the long term demand for resource and your resource capability rather than solely focusing on short term resource utilization. For example, how you look at individual workloads to marry them against long term engagements, your pipeline and  business objectives. Making sure that you maximize chargeability, minimize downtime and make sure you make the correct recruitment or training decisions.

Improving Knowledge Management and Innovation is a great platform of opportunity for professional services organizations across the board. The more you can disseminate the knowledge and experience you have within the company, across the company, the more your whole organization continues to raise its standards of excellence. There are solutions that can make this happen as a matter of course. You can’t just depend on colleagues to give up time to pass on all their own insights but at the same time there are enormous economies of scale to be gained if you can benchmark approaches to similar projects and not have to start from scratch every time.

Assuring Project Profitability. Improved reporting…keeping track of financials – logging expenses early, regular reviews of costs, are all key aspects of delivering profitable projects. Attention to detail makes a big differences in this area and it’s not something that should be left unstructured. There was a 2012 study which revealed how gross project margins in excess of 60% are possible when every single cost is captured and billed and when resources are systematically managed. The study also showed how project yields can drop to single digits, or go negative when apparently unimportant aspects of project management are allowed to slip.

Enabling Flexible Resourcing. Do you really make the best use of staff time, all the time? The most successful professional services organizations are those with the most billable time per capita.

Better Project Cost Control is an area that arches over all other project management elements and dictates how you deploy your resources, what business you can realistically plan for, and basically the financial sense it makes for you to be involved with certain clients on certain projects.

To implement these key drivers might involve you making one or two adjustments in the way you do things –we’re not talking about any major overhaul in management procedures, or systems, or major new technology investment, or anything that might challenge your current culture – we’re talking about a series of interlocking efficiencies that are not just easy to implement but also make the way you run your projects easier too.


Ondemand Webinar - Better Business Performance for PSOs

If you would like to see how leading professional service organizations are improving the repeatability, efficiency and quality of professional services delivery why not watch our Free Ondemand Webinar - Better Business Performance for PSOs .

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Why Control, Insight & Visibility are key to avoiding the Service Delivery Execution Gap]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/why-control-insight-visibility-are-key-to-avoiding-the-service-delivery-execution-gap On paper, managing Resources, Projects and Billing all sounds relatively simple.

So why do so many organizations struggle.

Well in reality many organizations create an Execution Gap where there are silos of information all over the place. They’re closed off from each other. Often they simply run in isolation only cross-communicating when it seems critical to the business – like year ends or when there is a major client dispute.

What many organizations fail to appreciate is that constant communication and information sharing is always critical to the business .

These different pockets of data,  use numerous different formats and media to capture and share information, so there’s no simple way to see the entire projects picture without spending money on consultants or additional resource to make sense of the information.

For sure it doesn’t have to be that way. At KeyedIn Solutions we take a more pragmatic approach to this everyday problem.

The pragmatic approach is to automate what could otherwise involve manual processes, lots of staff and lots of time. It’s to make cost-effective what could otherwise be very costly.

Professional services automation software, or PSA tools, improve project planning, delivery and management – the tools that let us underpin effective service delivery, standardize project management practices and drive out more strategic resourcing – what we referred to in our earlier post on the 7 Key Factors Driving Project Success .

PSA tools help you drive utilization and productivity whilst reducing risk, increasing client satisfaction, and driving project performance and profit.

Delivered via the cloud. These tools are web-based and very are easy to use. In fact they’re as easy to use as a consumer app on a mobile. They don’t need any installing, and staff don’t require long training sessions to be able to use them. They’re just ready to go as and when needed. Deployment is almost instantaneous, and because the tools are a cloud-based service, using them reduces CapEx.

In a nutshell, professional services automation software is a cost-effective route through to greater efficiencies; an accessible approach to maximizing the skills that already exist in your company, to ensure you run at peak performance levels all the time.

So if we think back to our “Execution Gap”.  What KeyedIn Projects does is it enables Professional services organisations to wrestle back control. What I mean by that is that they no longer have to survey a vast array of inputs.

Professional services automation solutions increase the visibility into every project you might have on your books. Plus projects you have in the pipeline.  Through a fully integrated suite of business applications that help improve every aspect of project delivery.

Through cloud based connectors KeyedIn Projects also connects easily with existing systems, and gives you the control and insight to make sure resources are used strategically, risks are addressed, and costs managed tightly throughout.

It enables you to draw all information into a single version of the truth.

A key aspect of this, is the integration to the back office finance system. For professional services this provides a unique opportunity to ensure that Finance and Services leadership are on the same page at all times for optimal decision making and timely billing.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[How to achieve Greater Client Satifisfaction and Profitability through Improved Project Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/how-to-achieve-greater-client-satifisfaction-and-profitability-through-improved-project-management In our recent webinar Better Business performance for Professional Services – How to Increase profitability and Client Satisfaction through efficient project management, we explored how efficient project management doesn’t have to involve major new technology investment. By using the cloud, professional services organizations can access best in class software over the web. The important thing to bear in mind is how cost-effective this can be.

Software drives efficient processes for every aspect of project planning and service delivery. PSA Software supports professional services organizations at every stage of project and program management. It gives managers control and visibility. It simplifies everyday admin for project teams and it also helps the organization as a whole learn and develop. 

This diagram illustrates the role of technology in providing control and visibility over the 7 key factors that drive PSO success.

  • Underpinning effective service delivery
  • Driving project performance
  • Managing resources more strategically
  • Improving knowledge management and innovation
  • Ensuring project profitability
  • Optimising employee utilization
  • Reducing Project Administration Costs

We’re focussing on taking the complexity out of managing projects. By definition, as a professional services company, you deal in complex issues but you certainly don’t have to be immersed in them within your own business. You can’t afford to be.

Being on top of things -- means coping with change as it comes your way and still maintaining a forward momentum.

It means synchronizing your actions so that they’re in line with client expectations every step of the way; or, ideally, a step or two ahead of them.

It means raising your project standards by leveraging previous experience; not re-inventing the wheel every time and also certainly not taking shortcuts but benchmarking elements of project management that are repeatable, proven and transferable from one project to the next.

Teamwork plays a significant role as well, making sure that knowledge and expertise is shared to the benefit of everyone in the organization and the benefit of client outcomes and your own organization’s profitability. Don’t forget, there are ways these sort of actions can be driven by software that take out the hassle and just drive continuous improvement across the company.

We looked at project profitability and maximizing it by making sure nothing is ever missed. The devil’s in the detail and it’s up to you to capture every detail so that your potential profit doesn’t simply vanish into additional costs.

Employee utilization makes sure you put the right people in the right place to do the right job. As we said, the most effective professional services organiations are those with the most billable time per capita. So, it’s enormously valuable to you if you spend a little time in investigating procedural frameworks that enable you to plan effectively.

Finally, improving project cost control through the use of project automation tools like KeyedIn Projects makes sure every cost is visible and every billable item or action is billed. Meaning you end up delivering better value to your clients and, more importantly, to your own bottom line. 

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[3 Key Challenges facing Professional Services in achieving effective service delivery]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/3-key-challenges-facing-professional-services-in-achieving-effective-service-delivery In an ideal world it would be sufficient to market your professional excellence, be paid a fair price for the input you make, and grow your company.

Unfortunately there are hundreds of other factors and pressures that make the world less than ideal. This is more than ever the case in an economic climate where nobody can be sure what the future holds. No organization can feel ultimately secure that the business base it has built and benefits from today will still be in place tomorrow.

For this reason it is vital that PSOs have complete control over the three key challenges you face all the time. The key considerations when it comes to delivering winning project performance every time.

3 Key Challenges facing PSOs

Resource Management

Effectively managing resources can be a less than exact science. You have to keep everyone busy otherwise you're effectively losing money through your investment in the resource. You have to match the right resource to the right opportunity and at the same time manage and balance costs.

For this reason you need complete visibility and control over your resource pool and their work commitments.  Why not watch our short 2 minute video on how to effectively manage resource demand, capability and project allocations to find out more.

Project Management

From the Project Management point of view one of the biggest challenges is keeping customers in the loop and that means having a really up close and personal understanding of Project Progress at all times. This can be a really thorny area. If there are areas of the project that are taking maybe too long, or others where the scope has changed and the Project Manager hasn’t been notified, these sort of things can lead to a breakdown in communications. They can create misunderstandings which are easily avoided through effective project management protocols and systems. Managing deliverables closely requires process. The thing is in the world of professional services delivery, every skill, every talent, has to be run along certain tracks if it’s going to be profitable.  If you would like to explore how you can improve project management in a services environment, watch our short 3 minute video on effective project management .

Billing

Of course profitable project delivery puts a focus on Billings; making sure everything gets billed; and also ensuring accuracy.

It comes back to keeping clients in the loop. As long as they know precisely what the agreed deliverables are, how you bill them and when, what’s included and what isn’t, there shouldn’t be any surprises. This sort of transparency drives trust in the relationship.

Read more about how KeyedIn Projects can help you as a head of service delivery

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Visibility - The Key to Successful Program Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/visibility-the-key-to-successful-program-management When managing programs, everything’s in the details. Well, if they’re visible…

Having real-time visibility of all activities within a program from a single, consolidated view, encompassing every task, status, cost and deliverable is key. From this vantage comes empowerment: the ability to track risks, benefits and overall progress across inter-connected projects, with the capability of rapidly drilling down any of these areas to identify potential.

Accumulating these details is often the tricky part. Many resources, most often people, their capabilities and availabilities, are difficult to accurately assess. The usual culprit is multi-source reporting: a myriad of manually delivered, activity-laden spreadsheets, timesheets, disconnected notes. Or worse – functionally obsolete software programs that deliver data in a similar discombobulated mess. Either way, it’s impossible to see and act upon the information. It’s also an ongoing, frustrating time and money drain on the PM and the organization as a whole.

Thankfully, there are options out of the disorganization. Look to the Cloud: Software as a Service (SaaS) has become the standard for automated, as-it-happens project participant connection. Its efficiency advantage over premises-based programs is its management, which is maintained and updated constantly by the software provider, rather than being the onus of the user organization’s IT staff. A Cloud-based system can enable standardization of program information submission and detailed viewership, from resource optimization to executive reporting. This is vital – creating a common platform for all information collection and dissemination, for everyone involved in the program’s usage and benefit.

In addition to organizing day-to-day implementation details, SaaS simplifies strategic planning capabilities by archiving information from current and previous projects, providing searchable databases. This is of immense value, as nothing saved is lost, available for ongoing program planning and forecasting . Gone is the hassle and waste of inaccurate recreations; successes become replications.

Watch this 2 minute video to see for yourself just how easy it is to manage programs with KeyedIn Projects

The details are there – they just have to be seen…

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[PSOs Embrace the Possibilities of the New Project Management System]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/psos-embrace-the-possibilities-of-the-new-project-management-system Professional service organizations (PSOs) live and die on a project basis. In these organizations, those responsible for the health of multiple projects are the most used to staring into the heart of the storm. You’re helping the teams below you execute better and the leaders above and around you assess how well projects are delivering against strategy and budget.

You’re expected to deliver on critical questions. Who is working on the project? Can I cope with the workload? Is my team overutilized or underutilized? In the old days, getting a one-view answer to these important questions meant lots and lots of emails asking for status on various milestones and resources. Or long weekly calls wherein project leaders gave reports for the program manager to compile and digest.

In the time spent gathering all this data, problem factors, such as an understaffed project that endangers delivery, could get even worse—akin to commissioning a painting of a situation when multiple snapshots throughout the day and week were what was needed.

Project professionals at many levels tried for years to cobble together their own tracking systems from spreadsheets, project software, Sharepoint, and the aforementioned communication drills with execution-level staff. Tracking the work became a time-consuming endeavor unto itself.

Now online project management software offers these beleaguered folks the “single view of the truth” that lets them easily see the rocks in the stream—taking the complexity out of managing complex and lengthy projects. Being able to accurately forecast revenue and resource demands with teams of 10 or even 20 people are one-click propositions. Getting all the information without having to rely on emails trickling in from across the consulting team means the ability to plan effectively, manage and even automate financials, optimize the use of resources and manage risk.

From the portfolio, program and project level, PSOs can now fulfill the promise of project performance and profitability. The old, cobbled-together chaos of past project management systems is over. And few will miss it.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[A Quick Comparison of Top Down/Bottom Up Approaches to Project Portfolio Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/a-quick-comparison-of-top-down-bottom-up-approaches-to-project-portfolio-management It begins with objectives – what marketplace opportunities exist for an organization’s capitalization. It moves forward with project implementation – realization of the monetization.

It’s the in-between’s that bare the complication. Project selection aligned with business strategy, detailed cost/benefit forecasting and risk analysis. And the daily details entailed with project resource allocation and proactive management.

Visibility accommodating both strategy to project (top-down) and project to strategy (bottom-up) is a necessity today. Also, all involved need standardization of reporting, collaborating and assessing aspects of projects they’re associated. Cloud-based automated project portfolio management (PPM) is the most productive facilitator of this, enabling a real-time environment where all is captured and communicated via permission-based access scaled to a user organization’s preference.

Top-down, having an overview of all projects on one dashboard provides confirmation activities commence and continue according to strategy. This ongoing view of each portfolio project enables informed decisions to be made regarding prioritization, go or no-go stage decisions, when and if to reallocate resources across the portfolio. It provides a rich understanding of potential consequences (good ones and otherwise) of every change in scope, with drill down capabilities through each project as beneficial.

Bottom-up facilitates standardized notification and reporting processes for resource use with project management, ensuring capability and availability as necessary. This is where the Cloud-enabled collaboration happens – those on a project team are able to document and share aspects they’re working on, keeping everyone in the know. People realizing their contribution’s fit within the project help keep all informed, motivated and empowered. Project managers and executives are kept aware of progress, as well as potential pitfalls, both beneficial to planning.

Whichever of the two views an organization tends to lean, it’s functionally useful to have a SaaS facilitator enabling both. All the PPM tools needed are there, to plan, allocate and view, from strategy through to success.

Read more about the Top Down vs. Bottom Up approaches here.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Simple Ways to Improve Employee Utilization and Productivity]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-simple-ways-to-improve-employee-utilization-and-productivity Learn how to analyze team productivity to improve your organizations effectiveness and efficiency in 5 simple steps.

So your busy, business is booming, but yet you still think you can get more out of your team.  All too often companies strive to improve productivity and utilization without truly understanding the current state of play.  In this article we discuss some simple ways in which you can analyze the performance of your team to help drive productivity.

Track your Current Productivity and Utilization
It’s an age old phrase but, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. This is too true of employee productivity and utilization where many variables govern how productive or how well utilized an employee is.  Let’s take the example of a small business delivering products and services.  What’s more productive, an employee who works 8 hours a day on internal product development or service delivery, or a similar employee who works 10 hours per day but spends 3 hours on administration, breaks and socializing – on face value, our 8 hour a day employee looks the most productive but we have no idea from hours alone how this impacts the goals and objectives of the business or compares to what the employee was planned to do.

Let’s take the example of a consultant, effective utilization isn't just about working loads of hours, it’s about how many of those hours are chargeable and billable, but again, if the consultant is missing deliverables and the customer has low satisfaction, then actually how productive are they.  Over the years I have worked with many sales people who work less hours and achieve target, simply, because they are better planners and make more effective use of their time. So there are many factors that impact productivity and utilization, however, firstly, and most importantly you will need a grasp of how your employees are currently spending their time, timesheet software will provide a good starting point here allowing you to track employee hours against projects and activities.  This is a very simplified argument though, as most employees will have different skill sets, knowledge and experience which obviously mean that there is likely to be different levels of productivity.  However, the data provided by your timesheet software will be invaluable in providing you with an understanding of how your employees are currently spending their time, and what proportion is spent on productive activities.  

Analyze, Analyze, Analyze
So you've implemented some form of timesheet management software, but how can you analyze the data.  This is where the variables that your timesheet system tracks are important; categorizing your projects will enable you to assess the importance to the business of the work your employees carry out.  For a services business, this may be as simply as chargeable and non-chargeable projects.  For an internal IT Department, more complex variables such as portfolio metrics may be required, examples of these metrics may include business improvement, enter new markets, research and development and improve efficiency, and all will have varying benefit to the business.

Defining the status of the different activities performed by your employees will also provide an additional level of analysis; again, categorizing activities as chargeable/non chargeable or productive/nonproductive will provide a good understanding of the quality of work your employees are undertaking and how this impacts the delivery of your projects and services.  In more advanced businesses, analyzing data across departments, roles and skill sets may highlight issues with the structure of your business or identify areas for improvement such as training requirements. Whatever metrics you choose to analyze time by, it is important to maintain an open view point, as other factors such as the effectiveness of your planning, the status of your projects and the performance of your managers may all contribute to the productivity and utilization of employees.  

Improve your Planning  
With your timesheet system implemented, you now have a good understanding of what work your employees have performed and how that translates into Productivity and Utilization.  However, what this information doesn’t tell us is how this compares to what work employees were planned to do.  There’s no point stressing that an employee is only 10% utilized on chargeable work if that was what was planned in the first place or if that’s all that your current contracts dictate. One way of looking at this is if you don’t have a plan, your utilization and productivity figures really do not represent the status of the business, your current workload and the effectiveness of your managers.

A number of tools are available such as project planning software and resource scheduling software which will enable you to schedule your employees on tasks, assignments and/or deliverables, most importantly they provide management with useful information on the planned utilization and productivity of employees. You can then use this information to analyze Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) such as planned utilization vs. actual utilization, planned deliverables vs. completed deliverables.  These figures will provide a far more accurate picture of how your employees are performing rather than just looking at actual utilization.  What’s more, planning and scheduling will also help you balance your resources, identify poorly utilized resources upfront as well as identify future skills shortages and training requirements which will all have a positive effect on future productivity and utilization.  

Manage Customer Expectations  
Having been involved in many timesheet software and project management software implementations one of the most common traps that many organizations fall into prior to implementing a tool or formalizing a project management process is that not enough attention is placed on managing the customer’s expectations prior to delivering the project.  For example, Sales Representatives are eager to sell, or may not have the experience to provide realistic estimates or timeframes. Project Managers have not highlighted the risks, deliverables and acceptance criteria associated with the project.  All this leads to an overall reduction in the productivity of your employees during project delivery, for example, Account Managers constantly dealing with customer issues rather than up-selling, Project Workers firefighting project issues rather than focusing on the core deliverables. For this reason it is important that you implement some form of project management process in your business that fully encapsulates your entire product or service delivery process from initial enquiry through to supplier management and project delivery.

By ensuring that everybody involved in the product and service delivery process has a clear understanding of the scope, risks, deliverables and acceptance criteria associated with your projects there is likely to be less project issues, less slippage and fewer budget overruns. Leave your resources in all areas to focus on more productive work. Many project management software tools are available to help you implement a simple clear project management process.  

Create a Productive Working Environment  
This doesn’t mean getting a nice fish tank or branding everything to death in your office (although aesthetics and brand are still key depending on your type of business!).  It’s about creating a productive working environment where employees can share ideas, tap into each other’s knowledge and limit the impact of any absent resource.  This is where some form of project and team collaboration is important, as it is commonly recognized that working together can accomplish more.  By providing your project team members with a platform where they can work in synergy, share ideas and share knowledge; and where each individual team members contribution is focused on a common goal, your business will quickly benefit from greater innovation, better problem solving and greater efficiency in project delivery. The result: increased productivity and utilization.  

5 Steps to Improve Employee Utilization and Productivity   In summary, there are 5 simple steps to how your business can improve employee utilization and productivity including:  

  1. Implement some form of time recording – “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”, by capturing timesheets you can understand your current utilization and productivity
  2. Define Appropriate Variables – if you sell services you will want to measure chargeable utilization, ensure you define variables that enable you to measure utilization and productivity that is applicable to your business.
  3. Improve your planning – improving your resource deployment upfront should not only improve your future resource productivity and utilization, it will also give you a more realistic view of the health of the organization by comparing planned versus actual.
  4. Manage Customer Expectations – communicate to your entire team the importance of managing the customer’s expectation from initial enquiry all the way through to project delivery.  In the long run you will have more happy customers resulting in your employees having to perform less un-productive tasks.
  5. Encourage Collaboration – boost your productivity by creating an environment where your team members can easily share knowledge, ideas and lessons learned.  This will not only improve individual productivity it will help improve project standards and service delivery.

Find out more tips on improving employee utilization in our article "5 Quick Wins for Driving Increased Employee Utilization with Effective Project Management", or find out how KeyedIn Projects can help you to achieve this with the resources on our employee utilization page here

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[4 Secrets of how Top Performing PSOs Cope with Changes in Customer Demand]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/4-secrets-of-how-top-performing-psos-cope-with-changes-in-customer-demand Professional services projects rarely run smoothly. Things happen: external events change client priorities; tasks overrun; a key member of the project team gets sick.

The true test of your mettle is how you deal with these obstacles, so that your service delivery remains in synch with customer demands – no matter which has evolved or why.

For many professional services this means technology is key. Something that is supported by many research reports that indicate that best-in-class organizations are over twice as likely as all others to have access to project management software.

So how are these top performing organizations using software to their advantage.

Professional Services Automation software is a fully integrated suite of business applications designed to support professional services organizations at every stage of project and program management. Delivered via SaaS, it gives managers the control they need of their own projects, and of the wider project portfolio, and simplifies everyday admin for project teams.

With Professional Services Automation software PSOs are far better positioned to cope with changes in customer demand.  Here are 4 secrets of the top performing organizations:

#1 The best prepare for change, with improved project scoping and planning

Most PSA solutions include intuitive project planning tools that enables you to build, review and amend initial plans collaboratively and in the context of other projects already operating within your organization. Including features such as interactive Gantt charts, easy-to-use task creation, visualization for critical paths and a range of templates to help increase consistency in planning. Crucially, these systems link to your resource and skills databases, so you can make realistic decisions about when key people will be available. The result: your initial plans are more comprehensive and accurate

#2 The best spot potential issues with comprehensive visibility of every detail

Once a project has started, PSA Software ensures you can see exactly what’s happening at a micro level: who is working on what tasks, where, and when they’ll be finished. That means that as soon as there is the slightest delay, you’re aware – and can take action as required: applying contingencies, informing colleagues or clients, reallocating resources if necessary.

#3 Top performing PSOs assess the impact of change and manage customer expectations

When clients request additional tasks or scope changes, Professional Service Automation Tools help you to quickly establish what the impact would be on costs and timelines of your project – and what the wider business impact would be. For example, if the request would mean taking resource from a different project, how feasible is that, and is the business willing to adjust? You can also draw on a shared database of previous projects and documentation to see how similar changes were managed in the past. That means you can make a more informed decision about whether or not to facilitate the change – and give your client an accurate estimate for the additional work. Delivery and demand, synchronized once more.

#4 Leaders keep their teams connected

When changes do occur, with PSA Software you can keep everybody connected, collaborative features ensure the latest feedback, issues or change requests are distributed to all team members across the business in real time. There’s no risk of people working with out-of-date schedules or scope documents, and management reporting is far simpler.


Ondemand Webinar - Better Business Performance for PSOs

If you would like to see how leading professional service organizations are improving the repeatability, efficiency and quality of professional services delivery why not watch our Free Ondemand Webinar - Better Business Performance for PSOs .

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[When It’s Time for Technology In Project Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/when-its-time-for-technology-in-project-management Learn how improved visibility and control over your projects and resources can help improve business efficiency and effectiveness.

Successful project management is not just a case of adopting best practices; technology too is a crucial enabler. The majority of PM top performers use project scheduling and project portfolio management technology. That means when a delay occurs, no matter how minor it seems, no matter what the cause, every stage in the schedule is updated and project managers remain in complete control. Any knock-on effects are clearly seen early, and so can be minimised and managed. Resources can be redirected and contingencies will be applied.

Role of Technology in Effective Project Management

This point is so crucial that Aberdeen Group commented about it in a recent paper on Project Management in Professional Services: “Best-in-class companies are twice as likely as all others to have the ability to see project milestones and schedule status in real time.”

In addition to visibility this means too that where changes are a result of a new client demand, managers can give a far more informed answer of the cost and scheduling consequences.  Service delivery and customer expectations are kept tightly locked and synchronised.

None of this means that a project will run smoothly: professional services is no place for fairy tales. But it does mean that when changes happen, you are ready for them – so you are more likely to deliver on-time and on-budget, even when costs and deadlines have changed. It doesn't guarantee you’ll live happily ever after, but it will put a smile on the face of both your client and even the board of directors.  And please remember that the best time to think about using technology to streamline the process is before you are knee deep in the challenges.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[The 'Top Down' vs 'Bottom Up' Approach to the Program Management Office]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/the-top-down-vs-bottom-up-approach-to-the-program-management-office Our 20 years of implementing PMO solutions in large organizations has shown us the need for a more practical, pragmatic approach to the PMO that gives companies a better chance for success when new practices are put into place. One of the key roles of the PMO is to ensure that teams stay focused on business outcomes—always with an eye to the strategic guideposts that answer the “Why?” of a project.

Unfortunately, many programs become bogged down or take on a life of their own when middle and lower layers (execution-level) become mired in the complexity of the project tools. On its face, the execution-led (or “bottom up”) approach makes wonderful sense, but it carries with it a dangerous assumption: that everyone will use the system consistently and that they will update it in a timely manner. Experience has shown us that few organizations ever achieve this level of compliance and virtually none of them can sustain this approach.

Top Down Approach to Program Management

Managers and project teams revert to using technology that they are most comfortable with, resulting in chaos. As the PMO attempts to capture and distill activity for leadership, a huge reporting overhead is created. Threats to delivery aren’t spotted in time. Additional resources and expenses are incurred to get things back on track.

The Top-Down Approach

Part of the problem can be traced to highly complex and expensive project management solutions that ultimately fail to deliver, creating some of the pitfalls outlined above. This is why we encourage our clients to employ a top-down approach that puts in place only those solutions that make sense and which are easy to implement. In short, put the focus on business outcomes first, with technology as the enabler of progress and a means to identify troublesome issues that jeopardize PMO and organizational success:

  • Focus on the business objectives and desired outcomes of a project & program delivery solution
  • Specify the information you require to manage your business and avoid the practice of managers volunteering ad hoc and unstructured information
  • Avoid taking on unnecessary and impossible challenges –the most obvious one is that we need to recognize that different managers have different styles and it is folly to try to compel each manager to manage their projects in the same way.

If you are ready to free your program management practice of unrealistic execution schemes that put more emphasis on the tools than the outcome, KeyedIn Projects offers you a way to easily deploy the right tools and framework for reducing chaos, improving project delivery, morale, customer relationships and profit. Learn more here.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Common Project Portfolio Management Adoption Hurdles and How to Avoid Them]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-common-project-portfolio-management-adoption-hurdles-and-how-to-avoid-them Explore the 5 most common Project Portfolio Management Adoption Hurdles and How to Avoid Them

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software is designed to provide clarity and accountability to your entire project management and project delivery process. The Project Portfolio Management implementation itself will bring about change and just like any other change management project, it will likely be met with some degree of resistance. What’s more, with the unrivalled level of transparency and exposure that PPM will bring to the people, projects and processes within the business, there will naturally be a degree of skepticism and fear felt among the senior management team. There will be many challenges and hurdles to overcome when implementing PPM, here are some of the typical barriers faced:

1. The Dreaded Company Culture & In House Politics
Company culture and in house politics will be one of the main barriers to adoption. Resistance to Project Portfolio Management is likely and will not be fully understood by all involved, therefore you will need to constantly educate staff regarding the benefits and value of PPM. Appointing a Project Portfolio Management ’evangelist’ will assist with this task.

2. A Failure to Tackle Resistance
Management failing to identify and tackle resistant individuals early on in the process is a mistake. Do not assume that individuals will improve their performance once the new product is introduced. If your company has a low level of project and program management maturity, you may need to engage with external experts, or look to outsource your PMO function.

3. A Lack of Senior Management “Buy In”
Senior management ‘buy in’ to the purpose, benefits and value PPM will bring to the business is vital to the adoption process. In order to achieve this, consensus must be reached amongst management on the criteria for selecting, authorizing and approving projects. This will reduce the number of pet projects in play, ensure senior management understand the benefits and deliverables of each project, and help provide a consistent repeatable system for delivering projects and services.

4. Disruption and Change
PPM adoption will inevitably cause a degree of disruption; any disagreements over the pace of introduction will only cause further problems. The tool selection process along with the support and investment needed for a successful PPM implementation will present major challenges for the business to overcome. To overcome this, avoid taking the big bang approach, an execution led approach, with thousands of tasks is highly complex and very difficult to achieve in an acceptable time frame. Take a strategic led approach, focus on the business objectives and implement a top down approach, where all project stakeholders can clearly see each projects deliverables, and the impact on the organizations resource capability and finances.

5. Big Brother is watching you
The business may need to collect timesheet data in order to gain the full picture on what employees are working on and how this impacts the delivery of the project portfolio. Staff may view the adoption of timesheet technology as the ‘Big Brother Syndrome ‘and may feel as if they are being watched. It is therefore important that you are educating staff about the real benefits such as increased productivity and utilization, as well as timesheet data being key to analyzing project progress and portfolio health.

Whenever you implement a major change program, there will always be barriers to adoption. Find out more with our free PPM Master Class, or find out how KeyedIn Projects can help you improve your PPM here.

 

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[3 Key Benefits to Project Stakeholders of Effective Task Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/3-key-benefits-to-project-stakeholders-of-effective-task-management Your strategy’s set. The program has the green light. Project planning’s in early discussion. Now comes perhaps the ultimate challenge – formulating a time and budget focused plan, successfully allocating resources and proactively managing each project through to successful completion.

How resources are allocated and monitored per task often predicates success (or the other extreme). One feature vital to having an advantageous outcome is visibility – benefitting project managers and the resources involved, as well as senior management reporting. 

Too often, manual processes are utilized, encompassing spreadsheets, pieced-together toolkits and similar means that don’t allow for full awareness of project task status and fiscal information, resulting in far less knowledge-sharing and collaboration amongst those involved. That proves problematic: causing unawareness of project status and an inability to monitor risks.

For most, adopting a single project management platform will help address this visibility need for all project stakeholders, by providing a consolidated view of all project, task and resource information. These three stakeholder audiences in particular:

1. Project Managers – The evolutionary flow of projects provides obstacle and opportunity. It’s beneficial to have consistency of each project’s planning process, with as-it’s-happening detail of tasks and the resources involved. Easy upload and monitoring of these moving parts provides an opportunistic view of actual resource utilization related to need, status documentation and financial updates. Allowing resource allocations to be optimized to facilitate on time and on budget delivery. Meaning, staying on top of project progress, performance and status has never been easier.

2. Resources – Awareness of activities and status amongst all working the project is undervalued. If there was real-time team notification of who’s-where-with-what, a smoother flow would be experienced by all involved. Project task information uploaded, viewed and collaborated, all within a single system, would end (or largely ebb) frustrating and costly information silos plaguing project success. All involved are fully engaged and aware of status and hourly allocations, able to provide their expertise in ways impossible to fully realize with manual processes (the dreaded spreadsheet circus). Team is back in teamwork.

3. Senior Management – Reporting templates and customization ability providing project overview, with drill-down capability as deep as one wishes to delve, is needed by these folks. Whether they’re in product/service development, product management, finance, accounting or the C-suite, they’ll all benefit by having convenient, real-time access to the project information they value most for ongoing strategic planning, organizational growth and profit.

Find out more about how you can effectively manage projects and tasks with a free features tour of KeyedIn Projects. Alternatively, read more about task management in our article "5 Tips for Improving Project and Task Management"

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[15 Great Ways Project Management Can Help Your Growing Business]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/15-great-ways-project-management-can-help-your-growing-business Learn how improved visibility and control over your projects and resources can help improve business efficiency and effectiveness.

If your business delivers products or services, as your business grows your will certainly need some way of managing projects. Many SME’s are simply scared of the term “Project Management” or end up implementing a host of non-connected, counter-productive tools. In this article we look at 15 great ways in which Project Management Software can help your growing business.

1. Improve the Project Estimation Process
Many factors influence the final outcome of a project, with upfront planning and estimation two of the most crucial determinants to long term project success. Yet many businesses fail to carry out any form of estimation or place very little importance on the benefits it provides to the business, its individuals, its project managers, its executives and to the satisfaction of its customers. Project Estimation provides a consistent method of estimating your project resourcing levels and expenditure throughout the business. By implementing a simple form of Project Estimation you can easily understand a projects impact on resource capability and its impact financially on your operating budgets. Project Estimation also helps standardize the way your sales team and project managers interact with your customers and quote for work, this results in an overall positive impact on productivity, customer satisfaction and the number of projects which you deliver on time and to budget/

2. Gain a better understanding of your true Resource Capability
Resource Capability Planning is one of the key success factors for any business which delivers projects or services. With Resource Capability Planning your business has the power to analyze the impact of delivering projects and services on resource capability in real time, enabling you to better manage customer expectations, improve overall business productivity, exceed customer service level agreements and reduce costs. Although you may be small, resource capability planning is vital to any business and provides a clear a consistent visual representation of your “book of work” and how it will be delivered, it also provides an essential tool for planning your growth.

3. Ensure you select and prioritize the right projects
Project prioritization is beneficial to any organization independent of shape, size of focus, as it enables you to prioritize project related work against each other to define a sensible, optimized order of work. In fact it is an essential process for any growing business, as making use of your scarcest resources to maximize benefit while removing project failures is without doubt a huge challenge and one which can provide the greatest benefit. Project Selection and prioritization will enable you to quickly and easily assess the potential return of your project investments versus the resource and expenditure demands and potential risk.

4. Plan Projects in a clear and consistent manner
To guarantee the successful delivery of any project, a period of planning is required before the project commences. Project Planning provides a simple, easy method to help your business effectively plan the tasks, activities, roles, responsibilities and deliverables required by each project. By planning projects in a clear and consistent method, Project Planning helps avoid the disappointment of failed and overdue projects by reducing risk and providing exact timings and decisions points which help ensure projects are delivered on-time and to budget.

5. Optimize your resource usage
Resource Scheduling provides an essential component for establishing the feasibility of your project plans and for setting realistic customer expectations. By scheduling resources before projects commence, your project managers will be able to assess the flexibility they have over the use of specific resources, align tasks and work packages with resource availability, and where resources are unavailable and delays are not an option, project managers can consider alternative approaches, tradeoffs or the re-prioritization of work. For businesses with less structured or more volatile resourcing requirements, resource scheduling provides the ability to optimize resource utilization levels and increase revenue by providing the ability to quickly assign best fit available resources based on skills, experience and location, to efficiently fulfill resource requests and to manage out resource conflicts.

6. Gain real time visibility in the status of deliverables
Effectively managing project deliverables is important for any organization, independent of size or focus, in fact, this is especially important for small or growing businesses with less mature project management processes where there is no formal process of defining business cases or the benefits associated with each project. Deliverables are different to project milestones in that they represent the quantifiable goods or services produced as the result of a project. Whether tangible or intangible, by managing your project deliverables executives will gain real time visibility into the status of each deliverable and a clear overview of how the business will profit or benefit from each project.

7. Improve Budgeting/Cost Control
For many businesses the prospect of generating a project budget is daunting, especially if little project management experience exists. However, the project budget is an essential tool for measuring the performance and progress of any project. This is where project management software excels, enabling you to create project budgets directly from project plans or from your project estimates. In addition project management software will ensure you can monitor budget, versus actual versus planned to ensure you have an accurate picture of your current budget and future financial projections in real time.

8. Improve Product and Service Delivery
Every business requires an effective toolkit to successfully manage the delivery of the products or services they deliver. Project management software provides your project managers with the tools required to lead their team and to implement an effective strategy to bring your products to fruition. Your clients will benefit in the knowledge that their input has a direct effect on the project delivery process and your workers will benefit from having a clear understanding of their stake in the project and their role in its delivery. The beauty of managing projects in a fully integrated solution is its flexibility; if you discover a smarter direction, project management tools provide you with the flexibility to take it.

9. Encourage and Facilitate Team Collaboration
Throughout humanity, people have historically recognized that working together can accomplish more. However, many businesses ignore this fact and continually allow individuals to pursue their own objectives which are loosely tied to project or organizational objectives. Project Collaboration software eliminates this, by providing your business with an ideal platform to encourage your project team members to work in synergy and share knowledge throughout the project management process. With each team member making an individual contribution towards a common goal your business will quickly benefit from greater innovation, better problem solving, greater efficiency in project delivery and a reduction in the cost and impact of absent resources.

10. Minimize Project Risk and Reduce Project Failures
Most project management tools provide your business with the ability to manage risk in a pro-active manner. Long gone are the days of consolidating spreadsheets or numerous emails to gain an accurate overall picture of project risk. By centrally managing risks, your business has real time visibility into the status of risks at every stage in the project management process, what’s more, a series of mitigating actions can be implemented to manage out risk and limit its impact on the quality and final delivery of your projects. By managing risk at every stage of the projects lifecycle, from initial enquiry through to final delivery you will ensure many happy customers by delivering more projects on time and to budget, every time.

 11. Gain a real time picture of Project Progress
Accurately tracking project progress is not only a huge challenge for many businesses, it is essential for ensuring the successful delivery of any project. Project management software will provide any business with a standard and repeatable method of capturing project progress and reporting status. From your end users updating the percent complete of their tasks, through to project managers carrying out a full project review and submitting a fully auditable project status report, project management software provides a simple toolkit to ensure all project stakeholders have a clear, consistent, real time view of project progress and status.

12. Measure Productivity, Project Progress and Utilization
Keeping track of your employee timesheets and expenses and updating project progress is an essential part of delivering products and services. Timesheet software provides your business with an effective solution to fully automate the capture, submission and approval of time and expenses, to update project progress in a consistent manner, to improve project cost control and to measure, monitor and analyze the productivity and utilization of resources. By capturing your time and expenses your business is able to improve cash flow and revenue recognition by fully automating your project time billing process.

13. Improve Customer Response Rates and Satisfaction
Project management software enables your business to response to customer issues and queries in a more timely, productive and effective manner, increasing customer satisfaction and forging your relationship as a valued supplier. What’s more, your employees will work in a far more structured manner, saving time and ensuring each customer receives the level of care your SLA’s demand. Quite simply, by improving your Issue Management, your business will benefit from an increased volume of happy customers, which directly affects your bottom line in the form of increased profits for your business.

14. Improve Cash flow and Reduce Billing Errors
Many project management solutions offer the functionality to fully automate the billing of your products and services. With time billing software you can easily improve cash flow, maximize revenue and reduce billing errors. Billing functionality should enable you to automate the most basic billing types such as time and materials, as well as easily implement more complex billing requirements such as fixed price, milestone, capped and repeat billing.

 15. Improve Reporting and Analytics
Far too often businesses without a basic project management solution struggle to produce management reports and end up using excel “which is highly prone to errors” as their main source of management information. As a growing business project management software will provide you with vital management information in real time such as project costs, progress, status and profitability, resource utilization and productivity, budget performance and customer satisfaction.

 Whatever stage your business is in its evolution, we hope you find this article useful and provides you with the inspiraton to implement or upgrade your own project management system.

Click here to watch our "ideas in action" video "Raising Project Standards".

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Building a High Performing PSO - Technology Best Practices]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/building-a-high-performing-pso-technology-best-practices Professional services automation (PSA) software is designed specifically for the professional services industry. PSA solutions help organizations unravel the complexities and inefficiencies associated with managing multiple projects, and help streamline essential business processes. It has been well documented that the world’s leading PSO’s utilise professional service automation software to complete projects faster, build stronger customer alliances and increase revenue opportunities.

In this post we explore how PSA solutions assist professional services organizations in benefiting from automating basic business functions including customer relationship management (CRM), project management, resource scheduling, time and expense capture through to billing, invoicing, and document management − and how, with careful integration, PSO’s can build a seamless process from bid to bill.

Improving Customer Relationships and Retention

It is a well-known fact that it costs more for a business to gain a new customer than it does to retain one. PSOs need an efficient and secure method of managing and accessing valuable customer information. Advanced PSA solutions will include the most beneficial CRM features that will allow you to organize all client and contact information in a central place and enable you to track sales enquiries, manage sales proposals, log daily communications, and integrate with leading CRM applications.

Optimising Chargeable Revenue and Project Profitability

Tracking all billable time and expenditure is essential for effective project profitability. By adopting automated timesheet entry, timesheets can be entered and approved quickly and easily, reducing errors, speeding up billing cycles, leading to improved cash flow. With automated expense capture, PSOs can simplify the expense submission, approval and payment process, dramatically reducing the overhead associated with processing expense claims, enabling you to recoup more by accurately passing expense costs on to your clients. Furthermore, by implementing tighter expense management control you will gain real time visibility into all company expenditure and ensure your employees are compliant with your expenses policy.

Improving Cash Flow

Professional services organizations have a unique set of challenges when it comes to managing the invoicing process. PSA solutions are designed to remove the complexity of traditional billing and invoicing systems by simplifying the process, eliminating any wasted effort and avoiding damage to client relationships due to errors. Advanced PSA solutions will effectively manage all of your billing and invoicing requirements and include features that will enable you to set up client contracts and customize billing cycles so you can maximize billing opportunities. In fact PSA solutions are evolving to support the challenges of the modern PSO including outcome based and deliverables based billing, fixed price projects, capped billing and service productization.

Optimising Resource Usage across Service Delivery

Professional services organizations work within complex multi project environments. PSA solutions are designed to effectively manage all of your projects − large or small. Project planning will allow you to quickly create project plans, from a simple task list to a full work breakdown structure and will provide a clear, consistent method of planning and tracking project progress.

One of the key benefits of implementing a PSA solution is the ability to integrate resource scheduling with strategic resource planning, enabling you to better manage your most valuable assets − your talent. From annual service planning to short term engagements, this will provide complete visibility and control over your entire resource pool, helping you to boost productivity levels and reduce costs. With real time access to utilization analysis, you can better understand resource capacity levels; and identify skills shortages and training requirements.

Encouraging Knowledge Sharing and Innovation

PSA solutions will enable you to work better as a team and help to shape the future of your organization with functionality that supports a more collaborative working environment. Advanced PSA solutions will empower your team by providing central, shared access to all project related documentation including reports, specifications and templates; helping you to improve efficiency levels and communication. They will also allow for the capturing of suggestions, customer feedback and lessons learned so you can leverage new ideas, better serve your customers and improve project delivery.

The SaaS Factor

SaaS is quickly becoming the implementation option of choice – as the benefits are hard to ignore. One of the core features of deploying a SaaS PSA solution is the collaborative, 100% web based service. SaaS vendors host the software and data centrally so you no longer have the worry or expense of having the correct technical infrastructure in place or the in-house expertise to keep it maintained. Accessibility issues are a thing of the past as your in-house systems are replaced with a 24 x 7 service that can be accessed anywhere in the world over a standard web browser. SaaS software itself is designed to be easily adopted, is scalable and will require minimal effort to roll out.

In Summary

It’s hard to ignore the fact that the top performing PSO’s have adopted Professional Services Automation technology to optimize key aspects of professional services delivery, helping to reduce waste, improve processes, drive governance, improve customer retention levels and provide a competitive edge.

For a time, professional services automation software was out of the reach of many new, growing or small to medium sized PSOs − as the cost of the enabling technology − was inhibitive. With the SaaS delivery model − PSA solutions are now in the reach of most if not all PSOs, offering significant ROI.

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<![CDATA[Understanding the Importance of Effective Project Management on Project Profitability]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/understanding-the-importance-of-effective-project-management-on-project-profitability In our previous post we explored the 7 Key Factors Driving Project Success if Professional Services. In a highly competitive environment such as Professional Services, every aspect of efficient project management impacts every other aspect of the business.

Every aspect also drives continuous improvement; which is the ‘holy grail’ for any professional services company. It applies whatever field you’re in, from marketing to consulting, technology, telecoms, public sector, private sector, creative, healthcare, even internal IT services…the goals are the same or similar – to increase client satisfaction and drive profitability.

However, these goals are less and less easy to attain. It’s a competitive market out there, no matter what field you operate in. Meaning you have to be better than the competition. You have to make a difference by being different. And that is very much a team effort.

All companies’ margins are squeezed and all companies are up against really tough challenges. As a professional service organization you have to stand out to drive the real competitive advantage. You have to make a difference by being different.

Project Profitability through Effective Project Management

The good news is more and more businesses are relying on the expertise of PSOs to help them analyse and solve their own challenges or to manage change. Meaning the business and opportunities are out there.  However, the main problem for many PSOs is that revenue and profitability aren’t growing as fast. Customer budgets are shrinking; new contractual approaches like outcome-based engagements are becoming more popular. That places more risk on you. When project requirements change, as they inevitably do, your margins are hit – and a delay in one project has knock-on consequences for others.

And in many cases - while business development keeps chasing new and bigger deals, your vital talent is already spread too thinly, putting teams under massive pressure and increasing risks even further.

So, back to your fee earners. They might think that the nuts and bolts of project management are just housekeeping tasks.

Of course they appreciate the importance of profitability but they tend to regard that as a function of the big flourish, the big idea, the major account win; you know, the sort of ‘headline-grabbing’ stuff.

But imagine your PSO is a Formula One driver. He might be the one who gets to shake the champagne bottle at the end of the race, but he’s also the one who appreciates the value of a tip-top team of mechanics and an engine where every part functioned exactly as it was supposed to…at its best, every time. It’s not just the driver who makes a difference.

This is true of your PSO – every team member has a part to play in effective project management and profitable service delivery.

So ask yourself this question? Do you have the processes and tools in place for hyper efficient project management, ensuring everybody is contributing to project profitability.

If the answer is no, or you are looking for improvements, then we recommend watching our recent webinar on Better Business Performance for Professional Services

Ondemand Webinar - Better Business Performance for PSOs

If you would like to see how leading professional service organizations are improving the repeatability, efficiency and quality of professional services delivery why not watch our Free Ondemand Webinar - Better Business Performance for PSOs .

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Managing Project Resources – Optimization to Harmonization]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/managing-project-resources-undefined-optimization-to-harmonization In project management (PM), people, equipment, facilities, funding, or anything else capable of definition are required for the completion of activities. However, the lack of these necessary resources can be a constraint on the completion of project activity.

People resources, with their capabilities and availabilities, are often trickiest to manage. Their scheduling and optimization is vital to successful project management. Since the people providing their skills are increasingly in short-supply, creating optimized, flexible scheduling is necessity.

Two realities compound the commotion:

1. Virtual project teams – by creating a network of virtual workers, organizations can assemble teams of experts who can effectively resolve a particular project's challenges. Sounds great, but managing teams of professionals who rarely (if ever) meet in person poses numerous problems for Project Managers.

2. The multiple project dilemma – chances of multiple project failures. Resource non-availability is often the main reason for failures in multiple project environments. People are unsure of their deliverables. Confusion breeds inactivity.

One answer will do: a Cloud-based project management system provides collaboration capabilities to the disconnected virtual folks, while providing standardized procedures for access to and submission of all related documentation. Personnel and project visibility is achieved – everyone’s always together in a single (virtual) room that’s much easier to manage.

Those wresting resources among competing projects need to provide their people with clarity. Through Cloud-based automation, each team member’s project allocation is mapped and assigned to the fraction of an hour, recorded on a permission-based viewable calendar for resource optimization. One person can play on multiple teams; they’re content and motivated fully realizing their responsibilities, while PM’s all the better for it.

 Give the people harmony, and there will be the peace.

 

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[The Case for the Program/Project Management Office]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/the-case-for-the-program-project-management-office It's a team effort.

In a recent conversation with a group of battle hardened PMs our attention focused on the coordination of change activities within the enterprise and how this might be better managed. They were also commenting on the need to provide data to their executives without major rework.

Truth is that systems and technology are now able to monitor and measure so many data points that it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. We need a dose of good forestry management and sound judgment. Some judicial pruning will help to prioritize and rank the importance of indicators throughout the enterprise. In effect, we need a top down approach to coordinating this enterprise wide effort.

The ultra-competitive business world we find ourselves in today favors the lean and responsive organizations that understand change is way of life. Multiple cross-departmental projects are almost always in some state of flux. With decisions needed to be made on which ones should be completed and in what priority. A weak link in that mesh undermines the whole enterprise. There has never been a time when it is more important to take a coordinated approach. The enterprise stands stronger if we all succeed.

It makes sense in so many ways. I mean, you wouldn't expect your favorite sports team to be a success on the playing field if there was no serious coordination between the offense and defense. There needs to be a common understanding of the strategy as well as the changes that need to happen if the opposition forces a change of tactics. Communication between the players needs to concise and precise.

The term PMO (Program/Project Management Office) has been given to this coordination activity. The PMO is able to provide clarity of vision, create links between the project teams, establish common standards in methods and reporting, create a shared knowledge base and foster a collaborative environment. In doing so it will also create a more dynamic and responsive team who is better able to react to the inevitable laws of unintended consequence while delivering to the goals of the business.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Webinar - Best Practices to Rev Up your PPM and PMO Performance]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/01-15-2014/webinar-best-practices-to-rev-up-your-ppm-and-pmo-performance Whether you are just embarking on the PPM and PMO path or have an existing PMO and PPM strategy that needs improvement, this 45-minute recorded webinar will be time wisely invested.

Here are just a few of the actionable insights you'll get from our experts:

  • Best Practices in Resource Management - How to Optimise the Team
  • Best Practices in Operations and Metrics - How to Create Efficient Processes
  • Best Practices in Automation - How to Deploy Effective Technology
  • A Best Practices Example - How One Company is Doing it Right

We'll not only cover the biggest challenges in PMO/PPM, we'll give you practical solutions that can transform your existing PMO or make sure you get your new PMO off to a good start. Every strategy and tactic comes directly from successful practitioners, including a leading international company that increased the performance of their PMO in a major way. Our goal is to give you plenty of actionable information you can start using immediately to pick better projects and generate more profit from your whole project portfolio.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Improving the Repeatability, Efficiency and Quality of Professional Services Delivery]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/improving-the-repeatability-efficiency-and-quality-of-professional-services-delivery Whether it is accounting, advertising, marketing, design, planning, IT services, management consultancy or legal services, for professional services organizations (PSOs) large or small, the success rate of delivering customized services to clients, on time, on budget, on a project by project basis, will depend on how well you can effectively balance client needs and expectations, retain a skilled and motivated workforce and generate profits.

Recent economic pressures and increased competition have placed many demands on PSOs and with pressure to improve profitability levels, many have been forced to lower operating costs and look for cost effective ways of retaining clients and gaining new business. The good news is − we are in recovery and the future for professional services market looks positive, but we are not completely out of the woods and there has never been a better time to ensure your business is ‘response ready’ and can cope with greater demand and future growth.

In this post we look at some of the new emerging approaches professional service organisations are taking to improve the repeatability, efficiency and quality of professional services delivery.

The Program Management Office

Projects form the staple diet of all professional services organizations; it is therefore important to ensure that they don’t run late, suffer from resource bottlenecks or allow costs to get out of control. One answer to this problem is to set up a program management office (PMO). The focus of a PMO is to act as a central ‘hub’ for all project related information. From a strategic perspective its role is to assist in selecting and prioritizing projects.

On a day to day basis, the PMO will monitor the performance of projects, track their associated budgets and ensure resourcing requirements can be fulfilled across the business. The PMO also fulfils a guidance and supportive role to the business to aid successful project delivery on issues such as project governance, best practice and training.

Organizations with established PMO’s report they directly contribute to performance improvements, including increased productivity levels, projects delivered under budget and an increase in resource capacity.

We have an number of resources available in our blog to help you set up and establish a PMO, you can read more here.

Service Productization

In response to the increasing sophistication of client demands many professional services organizations have been forced to adapt. ‘Service productization’ takes the traditional professional services business model and turns it on its head by removing the complexity and unpredictability of time and materials billing and delivers a measurable, more tangible method of selling and deploying professional services.

This orientation towards ‘product like’ services will enable professional services organizations to adopt more structure to their service offerings, such as the breakdown of services into manageable chunks, determining the tasks, deliverables and required skills. This will remove the guesswork out of forecasting future resource costs and will maximize chargeable revenue. Moreover, by providing an accurate picture of what is to be delivered on a project−by−project basis it will be easier for professional services organizations to track the progress and performance of projects and improve future service offerings. Above all, service productization will offer clients a level of transparency that was not possible before, providing clarity on what is being purchased and how much it will cost; essentially making professional services much easier to buy.

Promoting an Innovation Culture

Unlike software or technology organizations that rely on the creativity of individuals to help develop the next ‘big thing’, professional services may take a much more subtle approach to idea generation, but this is still important if the business is to remain competitive and deliver new and improved service offerings. Encouraging employees to collaborate and share their knowledge is a good place to start.

The trouble is the exchange of ideas is often done informally, casually discussed in corridors or at the water cooler.  Without the right processes and tools in place these ideas are rarely documented and put to good use. Gathering and analysing customer feedback will probably be the most lucrative source of idea generation and will yield a wealth of additional business benefits such as helping to spot process inefficiencies and improving customer satisfaction levels.

The key to capitalising on all these ideas is to ensure you are developing a collaborative framework. In other words, you have the systems in place to ensure that this valuable intelligence from customers and employees is captured, documented and followed up.

You can find out more on how a platform for knowledge sharing thoughout a project nurtures innovation in our ideas in action guide, Continuous Collaboration.

Embracing New Technologies

Successful professional services firms are embracing new technologies and cloud computing. The internet provides access to a wide range of web based technologies and virtual services without the worry of having the IT infrastructure, ongoing maintenance concerns or large upfront capital investment. Cloud−based or SaaS−based systems allow for the alignment of financial, project, resource and client based data enabling a truly automated and collaborative way of working that was not previously possible, putting less strain on your business and allowing you to focus on doing what you do best.

The rules of communication have changed − they are no longer restricted to the traditional 9−5 office hours. The internet provides your resources, clients and suppliers with the ability to communicate and collaborate via blogs, new media channels and forums at any time and from anywhere; providing you with a wealth of new touch points to reach out to your customers and increase awareness. The benefits of moving to the cloud are hard to ignore, in fact research tells us that PSOs who have moved to the cloud have seen a positive impact on their bottom line, and have experienced growth and improved levels of customer service.

In Summary professional services organizations work within complex project environments, balancing challenging resourcing requirements and managing complex customer needs. Finding new and improved ways of working can be a struggle. However, the most successful services providers are adapting − they are making IT investments in software tools that will minimize the impact of economic pressures by optimizing key aspects of the business operations, helping to reduce waste, improve customer retention levels and provide a competitive edge.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Key Benefits of Optimizing Your Resource Management Process]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-key-benefits-of-optimizing-your-resource-management-process Learn how successful businesses are improving efficiency and productivity through retaining talent and optimizing their resource management process.

Successful businesses are finding ways to improve profitability levels, streamline costs and eliminating waste. Considering that for many organizations employee’s themselves represent a significant cost to the business, it comes as no surprise that many have used staff redundancies and lay-offs as their primary cost cutting strategy during these challenging economic times.

However, business success even in difficult times is heavily dependent on the contributions made from staff members; letting go of important skills, experience and expertise may bring short term relief, but will this loss have an adverse effect on the future performance of the business? The answer is probably yes. Perhaps there should be more focus on tightening up internal resource management processes with a view to improving overall productivity levels.

One solution to this problem is to implement a resource management solution.  The right resource management solution will help eliminate common problems associated with poor resource planning, such as a lack of visibility of who is doing what, a lack of understanding of the talent available within the organization, numerous resourcing conflicts, increased project risk, or an under or over utilization of staff.

By standardizing your resource management processes, you can improve visibility and control, which in turn can lead to significant benefits for any business.  And because, for most Professional Service Organizations (PSO), your talent represents your greatest cost but largest revenue source, the benefits are sure to affect your bottom line.

The key benefits should include:

Increased revenue – Resource Management Solutions will help you easily assess how well utilized your entire resource pool is on a daily, weekly or monthly basis,  helping to ensure your most valuable resources are used to maximum effect, and your workload is balanced to avoid sustained periods of time on the bench.

Conflict resolution – Resource conflicts can have a significant effect on revenue, at worst an unresolved resource conflict may result in an immediate missed revenue opportunity, along with a negative future impact through reduced customer satisfaction. With Resource Management Software, whenever resources are double booked, or a project plan has been rescheduled you can easily spot any conflicts and quickly resolve them.  By storing the details of your resources skills, experience and knowledge, you can quickly and efficiently identify a qualified replacement.

Improve project delivery – Improving project delivery will help reduce costs and increase margins. Research shows that organizations who have implemented a PMO have significantly reduced costs, and for Professional Services Organization, it is a common feature of the highest performers.  Resource Management Solutions enable resources to be allocated to work based on a number of specific criteria such as their availability, skills and location so you will always be sure you have the right person allocated to the right job.

In fact, by improving your resource management process you will be able to identify skills shortages and training requirements, helping to alleviate any future resourcing conflicts and there negative effects. What’ s more, Resource Management Software enables your organization to gain real time visibility into resource capability and your capacity to deliver future projects, enabling you to better manage customer expectations, whilst minimizing any adverse effects on customer satisfaction and future revenue opportunities.

Reduce administration costs – No doubts if you are utilizing a homegrown or spreadsheet based resource management system it will be prone to errors and cumbersome to use. In fact it is probably only reviewed once a week, or worse, once a month – meaning you are likely to be suffering from many of the issues we have discussed in this post! With a central, up to date view of your entire resource pool you will reduce the administration costs associated with maintaining these out of date systems. What’s more you can improve revenue, maximize fee earning potential and nurture customer relationships.  Only integrated resource management software provides this visibility, control and opportunity.



Ondemand Webinar: Navigating the Resource Capability Planning Minefield

Learn how to develop an effective Resource Management Strategy that drives Business Success - Watch our Navigating the Resource Capability Minefield webinar or download the whitepaper here.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Building an Effective Project Risk Management Scoring Matrix]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/building-an-effective-project-risk-management-scoring-matrix Learn how to build and structure an effective Project Risk Management Scoring Matrix around your own organizations risk scoring criteria

When implementing Project Management solutions I am often in discussion with project teams and managers on how best to control and identify risks within the projects at various levels.  Commonly we have reliable methods to control scheduling and communications but don’t manage the project in relation to key objectives and associated risks. Using a Risk Score Matrix can easily and quickly highlight discussion points for the Project Review Board.

Defining Measures of Risk
There are many ways within project risk management that we can measure risk. Most commonly, this can be a simple metric to highlight the risk and could be input by the Project Manager.  In addition it can be considered as a combination of factors.  For example, the illustration below shows how a risk can be evaluated based on its impact (consequence) and its probability (likelihood).

Setting up the Project Risk Score Matrix
The scoring can be based on multiple levels and doesn’t have to be measured to 5 levels – 3 may suffice for most organizations.

Project Risk Scores Explained
However you score risk, the same principle applies.

  • What is the likelihood of the risk occurring?
  • What is the consequence of the risk occurring?

Give each element a score and you can indicate the risk measure.

Project Risk Management Benefits
Throughout my experience, there are a number of benefits that are easily realized by businesses through project risk management coupled with an effective Risk Scoring Matrix.  Most commonly these include:

  • Greater probability of achieving organizational objectives
  • Provide a transparent and uniform process for the management of risk
  • The information is recorded and audited
  • Quick and effective means of formally recording risks
  • Demonstrates your organization’s ability to manage risk

You can find out more on how KeyedIn Projects can help you to create your own Project Risk Scoring Matrix here, or watch our video about improving risk management., or watch our video about improving risk management.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Effective Ways to Improve Project Performance through Standardized Processes]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/5-effective-ways-to-improve-project-performance-through-standardized-processes The Professional Services Maturity® Benchmark Report, an annual study of over 800 PSOs by SPI Research Ltd, provides substantial evidence that KPIs including sales pipeline, billable utilization and meeting margin targets increase with greater use of a standardized methodology.

Of course, this will come as no surprise to most: these are exactly the kind of benefits that consultants will cite when they make the case for process improvement.

So given this knowledge, why are so many professional services businesses still so resistant to standardisation?

In this post we explore some of the process and tools top performing service organisations are using to standardize vital project management and administrative processes, which in turn leads to improved project performance.

Where does your organisation sit in the Standardization league table?

#1 Standardized project planning

Raising the standards from the start with consistent planning tools and project templates ensures that a standard set of tasks are created for each project, giving you the confidence that all the important issues and details are covered. This also saves time for project managers, makes planning more consistent and faster, and means that teams are briefed consistently – so they understand exactly what’s required of them from day one. What’s more, it leads to more accurate and consistent cost estimation too, which naturally increases your likelihood of delivering on budget.

#2 Standardized time and expense logging

Most organisations record time via some form of system, spread sheet or app.  But have you ever taken time to stop and really understand the benefits this brings to the organisation or to assess whether you are maximising the use of this data. Where the leaders excel is in their use of technology, they put in place the exact timesheet entry process required to meet their business needs. Whether this be the logging of time in hours and minutes, hours decimal, days or in percentages, importing timesheet data from previous weeks to ensure repeated tasks are recorded in a single click, or even offering different views for different users based on their role or function.  What this means is that project teams have no excuse not to use it as it is incredibly intuitive – this ensures project managers get the up-to-date visibility they need of project progress and the business can react accordingly.

#3 Standardized risk management

One simple way to mitigate risk is to have a tried and tested process for identifying and managing them – this is another way the top performers stand out.  Through the use of technology leaders can register specific risks within project templates, so whenever that type of project comes in, those risks are already highlighted and can be managed from the initial engagement.  This ensures no stone is left un-turned and you have the greatest chance of project success from day one.

#4 Standardize contract management and billing

It sounds counter-intuitive, but when the pressure is on to deliver, billing can easily be overlooked. Invoicing correctly and on-time is essential to achieving the highest levels of project profitability. To achieve this the top performing PSOs utilise Professional Service Automation software where Billing alerts can be built into the project plan from the start – for retainers and repeat contracts as well as individual project deliverables – and these systems allow you to use multiple contract lines so you can track every detail transparently. The result: significantly reduced billing errors and timely invoicing – which in turn improves cash-flow and drives profitability.

#5 Standardize project status reporting

All too often when we first engage with a client we ask them to provide examples of their project status reporting, at which point we are usually greeted with numerous different spread sheets, in different formats which are almost impossible to consolidate at a senior management level, making it very difficult for the business to make strategic project decisions.  This is where the top performers differ, every aspect of status reporting is standardized. Project managers are required to submit reports on a regular schedule and in a clear and consistent manner – PSA software is key to achieving this. With this technology in place, project status reports are provided in a consistent manner without exception, with this information Project boards/executive teams are able to compare project progress, and so make vital decisions about reallocating resource across the portfolio.

If you would like to find out more about how Professional Services Automation software can help you raise project standards through standardized processes, why not sign up for a 15 day trial of KeyedIn Projects to see just how easy standardization is to achieve, or read more about our PSA offering here.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Executive Visibility]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/01-10-2014/keyedin-spotlight-executive-visibility Join KeyedIn Solutions for 'Executive Visibility', the next instalment of our KeyedIn Spotlight Webinar Series. Using KeyedIn Projects as a demonstration platform, this free recording will benefit existing users of the system and will also benefit potential users. The key topics covered will be Analytic Dashboards, Status Reporting, Financial Reporting, Capability Management, Deliverables Management and Executive Dashboards.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[4 Reasons Why Professional Services Fail To Use Resources Strategically]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/4-reasons-why-professional-services-fail-to-use-resources-strategically Customers come to you because of the calibre and reputation of your people. You deliver through the advice and skills of your people. And to stay ahead of the competition, you need to keep attracting and developing the right people.

So given this universal truth, why are professional services businesses routinely so poor at managing their people strategically? Not in terms of rewarding or incentivising them, but making best use of their human resources, across multiple projects, to drive on-time, on-budget delivery and secure client satisfaction.

In our experience there are 4 Key Reasons for this:

  1. A continual battle to get the right resources
  2. Poor planning practices meaning many clashes and resource conflicts
  3. Lack of centralized information on resources, skills and allocations
  4. Poor visibility into the long term allocation of resources

Put in more simple terms, time after time, professional services projects are delayed because key resources – key people – aren’t available when they’re supposed to be.  Or more accurately, they’re not available when the project plan said they should be... regardless of the fact that they’re actually doing exactly what another project plan requires of them.

The result? An unedifying squabble between project managers – and more importantly, a project hitting the rocks because of a lack of visibility and communication that goes back as far as the initial planning stage. With luck, a whole lot of cajoling and a big budget for late-night pizzas for the team, you might get it back on track. A significant proportion won’t.

The smarter approach, of course, would be take account of existing and scheduled workload when planning projects. If you knew that the specialist you want for your job in Manchester will be in Minneapolis for a month, then you could make sure you avoid clashes – whether by adapting your project plan to include his input later, or by using alternative resource. If he’s the man your client insists on dealing with, then they have to fit around him.

It sounds perfectly logical, but in practice, it rarely happens – and not, we should underline, because project managers don’t appreciate the problem.

Instead, it’s because very few organizations give project managers the visibility they need about what else is happening in the business. Without a centralized system, you’re reduced to having to check multiple diaries and ask countless individuals about their workload. It’s simply not practical: the best you can do is build your schedule around a few key people and hope the others fall into place.

But a centralized system combining project management and resource planning has other benefits too. For example, the best project management systems facilitate change handling, automatically updating project documentation if a change is made. That means that project managers can be certain they’re working with the latest information when planning a project – rather than a document created six months previously.

What’s more, requested changes can be evaluated within the context of the entire project portfolio: when a specialist is asked to stay on site longer, the impact of

that on other projects can be foreseen – and the business can make intelligent decisions about priorities.

This same organization-wide visibility can feed into project selection. If you can see that a specific team is already booked to work on a series of projects, then it may not be appropriate to bid for new jobs that will require their involvement.

Alternatively, you could see this as the catalyst for highly targeted recruitment, or a longer term people development strategy – building up a cadre of talent with the specific skills that are most in demand.

A better balance of people and projects. A smarter long-term people strategy. Fewer conflicts between project managers. And fewer delays in delivery. All of this is possible, once you have true visibility into your resources, their skills and their workloads. So if your goal is to be more strategic in your resource management, the first thing you need is a platform that gives you that visibility.

Find out more, download our free guide, Driving Smarter Resourcing or visit our features tour to see a quick 2 minute video on how KeyedIn Projects can help you manage resources more strategically.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[7 Characteristics of a Best in Class Program Management Office (PMO)]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/7-characteristics-of-a-best-in-class-program-management-office-pmo So just how do you separate a best in class, fully mature PMO from the rest of the pack?   Here is a checklist of 7 specific criteria you can use to benchmark your organization.

  1. Well-defined and achievable objectives
  2. Delivers responsibility, governance and oversight
  3. Viewed as supporting the business and IT strategy
  4. Established methodologies and framework for project management
  5. Able to measure and prove the realization of benefits (business value)
  6. Outward focus on business needs, not inward focus on processes
  7. Practices good relationship management, from executive sponsorship to project management

If your PMO meets all these criteria, it is no doubt adding great value to the business and there is no perceived gap between the interests of the company and the PMO.

Find out more in our whitepaper "The Disturbing Reality of Today's PMO" 

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Understanding the Consequences of Not Implementing Project Portfolio Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/understanding-the-consequences-of-not-implementing-project-portfolio-management In a recent article “ Why PMOs Fail: 5 Shocking PMO Statistics ” we explored some of the key statistics behind PMO failure, illustrating why many organizations that fail to implement PPM rarely satisfy the expectations of the business.

In this article we take this discussion further by looking in more depth at the consequences faced by organizations that do not implement Project Portfolio Management.

Consequences of not implementing PPM

For example, the diagram above provides a great visual of the immediate impact and poor end result of no project portfolio management.

The main consequence of this is losing control of your ability to impact the business in a positive way.  For example:

  • Reluctance to kill projects
  • Indecisive GO/Kill/Hold/Fix Decisions
  • Poor project selection framework
  • Wrong mix of projects
  • Poor strategic alignment

This is a stark contrast to the many benefits of implementing PPM, for example, organizations with Project Portfolio Management in place have a standard methodology for starting and managing projects and making them more accountable to the business.  This is further simplified through the use of project portfolio management software .

Businesses with PPM are more empowered, with control over project Go/Kill/Hold/Fix decisions.  This ensures there is a repeatable process for prioritizing, selecting and executing projects as well as providing early warning of any potential problems in achieving program and project milestones.

PPM and its enabling technology make it easier for different stakeholders to access project information relevant to their strategic interests. Providing a better understanding of resource utilisation in order to ensure that the right resources are deployed on the right projects at the right time.

PPM also drives reduced project reporting timescales at the executive and board level, allowing executives to make more accurate decisions based on real-time information.  This enables the business to react much faster to changes in market conditions and the competitive landscape, as well as switch priorities based on organizational needs and redeploy resources accordingly.

Read more about what happens when you don't implement PPM.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Why PMOs Fail: 5 Shocking PMO Statistics]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/why-pmos-fail-5-shocking-pmo-statistics In a recent webinar on the Disturbing Reality of Today’s PMOs we explored some of the most shocking statistics and reasons why Program Management Offices fail.

As you can see from the quotes below, there is much to be concerned about as you set up your PMO and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) strategy.

  • 50% of project management offices close within 3 years (Association for Project Mgmt)
  • Since 2008, the correlated PMO implementation failure rate is over 50% (Gartner Project Manager 2014)
  • Only a third of all projects were successfully completed on time and on budget over the past year (Standish Group’s CHAOS report)
  • 68% of stakeholders perceive their PMOs to be bureaucratic     (2013 Gartner PPM Summit)
  • Only 40% of projects met schedule, budget and quality goals (IBM Change Management Survey of 1500 execs)

One of the overriding issues fueling these poor stats is the fact that in many organizations, there is a wide gap between what the PMO is doing and what the business expects. 

This misalignment has serious consequences for both the PMO and the business.  As pointed out by the first two bullets, the failure rate is very high with about half of all PMOs closed within 3 years or considered implementation failure.

And as Gartner points out, backed up by many other industry statistics, there is not a lot of good news when it comes to how the PMO and Project teams are considered by the rest of the organization.  An amazing 68% of stakeholders perceive their PMOs to be bureaucratic and only 40% of projects met their goals when it comes to schedule, budget and quality.

For many, this misalignment is caused through a lack of adequate tools, as well as the 4 fundamental pillars that drive program success – resources, money, deliverables and benefits.

PPM and the PMO go hand in glove with PPM offering a number of primary functions to the organization, including:

  • Portfolio Tracking (Performance Monitoring)
  • Portfolio Governance and Oversight
  • Portfolio Planning including Resource Allocation
  • Portfolio Selection and Prioritization
  • Portfolio Process Management

All of these functions are crucial to the PMO demonstrating its value to the business, and as our statistics show there can be significant consequences of not Implementing PPM.

It’s not all bad news however, a significant minority of PMO’s are maturing in a way that adds great value to their businesses. In our article 7 Characteristics of a Best in Class PMO we talk about what these best in class PMOs do from a strategic and tactical viewpoint to separate themselves from the rest. With the right knowledge and an effective game plan, and the right toolset your PPM and PMO strategy can make a huge difference. 

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[How Project and Portfolio Management Drives Better Executive Decisions on the Corporate Battlefield]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/how-project-and-portfolio-management-drives-better-executive-decisions-on-the-corporate-battlefield There is a gripping scene in director Randall Wallace’s 2002 We Were Soldiers, which dramatizes the 1965 Battle for Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. Lt. Colonel Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson) is a riveting portrait leader who can make tough decisions under extreme duress. In this telling scene, his unit is being overrun by a much larger North Vietnamese force. The battle raging just a few yards around him, Moore intently stands for a few precious seconds, bullets flying around him, while he makes a quick assessment of his unit’s ability to hold its position.

We hope that none of your leadership decisions feel as stressful as Moore’s were during that harrowing battle. Just the same, your company’s ability to compete depends largely on executives’ ability to get the visibility they need to drive better decisions in the clutch.

This is the key leadership benefit of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tools: the methodology of project selection that ensures alignment with business strategy. Like Col. Moore, you may only have limited time to assess the health and viability of your company’s projects before having to make critical decisions.

That’s where KeyedIn Projects’ PPM features come in. Special projects and reports tabs for executives provide a real-time high-level view of project performance, resulting in the ability to make better decisions when it matters.

You can quickly access a project-by-project view and all relevant KPIs. Another click delivers project progress reports. Key data is collected and assembled in an instant. There are 100 pre-configured reports to choose from, or the report feature can be easily configured to provide just the key data you want. Access can easily be limited to the handful of key decision makers that you select, giving executives a powerful go-tool tool for strategic project management when decisions have consequences and time is at a premium. Follow the link to find out more about how KeyedIn Project’s project and portfolio management functionality empowers executives to drive better project selection and performance at the enterprise level.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Program Management Office: Better Resource Utilisation for the real world]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/program-management-office-better-resource-utilisation-for-the-real-world As technology rapidly improves, forecasting becomes less of an art and more of a science. This has a real bearing on the realm of the program management office, whose ideal role is to interpret data from multiple projects and quickly make actionable sense of it for decision makers at the strategic level. When several large projects (and teams) are involved, the aggregate effect of bad resource forecasts has expensive implications for the project-driven organization.

Being able to quickly spot critical moments across the project port where the gap between resource demand and actual resources is less than optimal means better resource utilization, more projects completed on time, and more profit.

The program or project management office (PMO) has an imperative to quickly make sense of resource usage across many active projects. Many project management tools exist—from far-flung systems of spreadsheets to robust project management software. The former invites chaos. The latter is numerous, but often overcrowded with features that distract from the main goals of deploying the best resources to the highest earning projects, getting immediate actionable views of resource utilization.

Quick and effective visibility into the entire resource pool enables you to:

• Easily see which roles and qualifications are associated with your available team, thereby enabling you to quickly allocate work to the correct set of hands. This means less time wasted with assignments that put the wrong person on the job.

•    Quickly categorize and group resources according to your company’s strategy and the tasks at hand. In other words, your software should work the way your company does rather than altering your workflow to fit the technology.
•    Account for variances in work patterns, geography, and cost/charge rates based on grade, role and client.
•    Quickly gauge how changing demands on your team resources will impact your ability to deliver.

Put us to the test

If you are looking to keep full control over your resources to ensure the right people and assets are assigned to the right projects across your portfolio, KeyedIn Projects can help. Our software pulls everything together into one centralized location so you can focus on using that information to increase business performance. So put our resource management software tools to the test: sign up for a free, no-obligation 15-day trial.


Ondemand Webinar: Navigating the Resource Capability Planning Minefield

Learn how to develop an effective Resource Management Strategy that drives Business Success in this free ondemand webinar - Navigating the Resource Capability Minefield.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Why the PMO Must Use Communication to Reduce the Impact of Change]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/why-the-pmo-must-use-communication-to-reduce-the-impact-of-change If data is the lifeblood of the PMO, communicating that data to keep project and program stakeholders engaged and confident is the body through which that lifeblood travels. Good communication ensures continual buy-in from the wider organization, keeps the board up to speed and on your side, minimizes noise and ensures people have relevant, up-to-date information about what is really going on. This is where effective communication really pays off in more effective project delivery.

When conditions change and new information comes to light, it is impossible to please all of the people all of the time. At every stage in a project lifecycle you will have people at different stages of the acceptance curve.

The challenge is that while the second half of the curve is all about providing solid direction and supporting the team on their acceptance, the first half, the fall into helplessness, requires strong and clear communication. With different members of the team passing along the curve at different rates (and starting at different times) communication is key throughout the entire lifecycle of the project. This is all about visibility – making sure everyone can see what’s happening and understands why.

People need communication – they need to know why they are doing something, what the benefits will be to them and how we are doing in terms of delivery. They need to hear, on a regular basis, where the project is up to and you need them to see and understand every win, every successful deliverable and every completed step along the way.

Where communication is poor or sporadic, it is human nature to fill the void with conjecture, rumor and opinion. This is what we call “noise” on a project. The challenge here is that often senior management will make decisions based as much on volume as content. Where communication on a project is poor and noise is allowed to build up and amplify, even with projects that are actually delivering perfectly well, executives have been known to swap out project managers or even cancel projects because the general noise level got too loud.

In order to avoid noise buildup, you need to constantly reinforce why the changes are necessary; demonstrate delivery against the plan; prove the value in the changes; show the future benefits the business will receive by going through the pain now. Most importantly you need to constantly re-paint the vision, adding detail and perspective as the picture evolves.
Where you have issues, face them openly, address any impact on the business case and then restate the cost, effort and benefit analysis so that it is clear that in spite of the expected challenges, this is something worthwhile, something vital for the future success of the business.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[How Program Management Solutions Stop Work Hoarding, Improve Delivery]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/how-program-management-solutions-stop-work-hoarding-improve-delivery Hoarding work—particularly for companies in the services sector—is part of the nature of the corporate animal. In organizations where a team is evaluated on numbers of billable hours, nobody wants to give that work up, even if it’s in the best interest of the company. Having the information that helps program-level professionals realign resources and overcome territorial thinking means less downtime, faster project delivery, and more profit.

You can’t get back that week where your West Coast team was underutilized because their counterparts on the East Coast were overbooked and didn’t want to say so. The East Coast team’s actions are totally understandable. They want to stay busy and justify their importance to the organization.

Resource usage across the entirety of the corporate organism isn’t their concern. This is why a program-level project office, divorced from the turf concerns of departmental or regional teams, is so important.

Having a collective view of all your resources is the first step to maximizing those resources. In the past, program-level project people were reliant on cobbled-together solutions that involved lots of emails, phone calls, and trying to reconcile a composite view from multiple solutions (Sharepoint and Microsoft Project, for example). This could be a second career unto itself.

Now tracking project resource pitfalls from any number of interconnected projects is a one-view proposition. This means less time spent tracking down the critical data and more time making better decisions—like how to better allocate a project to Team B when Team A won’t be able to start it for six weeks. You’re the conductor of both high- and low-level project data that gives you the vision and authority to put the work where it can be done best. This includes seeing individual cost impact, for example, assigning a lower-level team member for a project that doesn’t require senior-level billing time. You’ve opened the door to cost savings, better margins and quicker delivery times.

You’ll also have a clearer picture of revenue one month out, two months out and even farther. While the East Coast team from our earlier hypothetical scenario may feel their turf is threatened, your clients will appreciate the faster delivery as idle or underutilized team members are put to good use. Because after all, better project performance across an organization means better relationships and more profit. That’s something that anybody would like to share.


Free Ondemand Webinar: How Project Management, Project Portfolio Management and the PMO Work Together

Learn to ensure visibility, governance, productivity and control in our free ondemand webinar - How PM, PPM, and PMO Work Together.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[When Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Goals are Clear, Critical Decisions Get Easier]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/when-project-portfolio-management-ppm-goals-are-clear-critical-decisions-get-easier Project Portfolio Management’s (PPM) high-level promise is providing a clear line of sight from the C-suite all the way to the project execution level, hopefully ensuring that a company’s strategy is being supported by choosing the right projects and managing that portfolio of projects correctly. 

With the right tools, management can watch budgetary, resource and delivery KPIs at the desirable level. Without having to drill down into the level of detail required by an individual project manager, a the C-suite can quickly tell if projects are delivering on goal.

The first and foremost imperative of PPM practitioners is to select projects that hew to the overall business strategy. Complementary to this, tracking profitability, optimal resource usage, scope and delivery can give leadership a clear, real-time view into how the current project portfolio is impacting the organization’s health. Learning to keep tabs on the proper indicators, at the proper level, ideally enables leadership to continually pick better projects and help position the company for future success.

Clear Goals + Clear View of Projects = Ability to Act Decisively

With a goal in view, project portfolio management tools tell management when those goals are in danger of not being met. Having ensured that a project is on-strategy, the right tool can now alert decision-makers when projects start to stray. Sometimes the cause of drift may even be a change in company strategy. In either case, executives can see and act quickly to bring the project portfolio back on track.

Serious problems can occur if leadership misses the moment of decision: unprofitable projects continue to drag along, pulling resources in their wake, burning out staff and frustrating valuable customers. Stepping in to terminate non-strategic time-wasters and shift resources to projects that could or are delivering against goals exemplifies the kind of agile course correction that is now possible. Leadership can see the project portfolio develop in accurate snapshots instead of waiting for bad news to filter up through the organization—by which time it may be too late to recover.

If you would like to learn more about gaining more visibility into portfolio management so your team can select and prioritize the right projects within your organization, KeyedInProjects can help. By supporting and enhancing your portfolio management, we can help you can start driving improved business performance. Follow the link for a free, no-obligation 15-day trial, or read more of our PPM articles.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Why a Project/Program Management Office? Because Your Customers Will Love You, That's Why]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/why-a-project-program-management-office-because-your-customers-will-love-you-thats-why When making the case for implementation of a project/program management office (PMO) that provides better reporting, standardizes processes that were once willy-nilly, and boost project profitability overall, it’s perfectly natural to lead with the internal benefits. Resources are used more efficiently. Projects are chosen with strategy and impact on business performance in mind. But in the end, why do we really want to hard-wire the project governance process? Who are we really doing all this for? Let’s consider the customer-centric side argument for your PMO.

This is no way suggesting that you shouldn’t consider all aspects of ROI, but merely to highlight that the customer-side benefits are truly compelling in and of themselves. By helping your organization develop project governance standards that enable repeatable successes, better resource usage and more projects coming in on time, you’re a lap ahead in creating a customer (and even partner) satisfaction powerhouse.

Three Customer Satisfaction Benefits of the Well-Run PMO

  • Better project delivery means higher customer satisfaction and confidence Running projects with a high-performing PMO means more projects come in on time, on budget and with their objectives achieved. There’s no better argument for repeat business than being the company that consistently does what they say they can do, does it when they agree to have it done, and hits the budget marks.
  • Higher customer trust and support means better collaboration and more predictable results Consistently executing better project delivery and earning customer trust creates a virtuous cycle of collaborative harmony. With your team delivering like a well-oiled machine, your customers learn depend on your rhythm, gain confidence from your credibility, and become more responsive to your requests. This, in turn, creates even more project success.
  • Improve performance and confidence of vendors and third parties Because your PMO has improved your reporting standards and tactical project management, vendors and third parties know where they stand and share your perspective of the project landscape. This means less confusion, less milestones missed, and less panic. Panic is contagious. But by the same token, so is confidence. These intangibles shouldn’t be undervalued with vendors whose performance is critical to the project overall.
  • While a good PMO excels at creating the reporting standards that make your company a font of trusted project information, one of the biggest benefits can’t be quantified: The likelihood that your client-side contact will spread the word with his or her colleagues and superiors about how well you ran the project. The numbers are good, but building confidence and reputation around your name makes your participation in the next project more of a foregone conclusion and less a matter of argument and analysis. At the end of the day, happy customers equal recurring profit. That alone is enough to justify a PMO.
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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Spotlight - Resource Demand Management]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/12-13-2013/keyedin-spotlight-resource-demand-management Using KeyedIn Projects as the demonstration platform, this On demand Webinar explores innovative ways to improve pipeline and scenario modelling, capacity management and resource demand and supply management.

We look forward to helping you expand your knowledge of how KeyedIn Projects can help drive improved business performance.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[What Separates Top PMO Practitioners from the Failures?]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/what-separates-top-pmo-practitioners-from-the-failures Our colleague Karen Adame recently delivered an insightful webinar highlighting the discouraging lack of success that many companies have encountered when attempting to implement a program/project management office (PMO).

Among the findings cited: a mere 40% of PMOs were perceived as hitting their goals and 50% of PMOs are shuttered by their organizations within three years.

Ideally, the PMO creates the standards for repeatable project success, tying together execution-level staff (project management) and leadership to enable good project portfolio management (PPM) in turn. The PMO’s governance and oversight helps keep project execution tied to company goals—and provides measurable demonstration of its worth.

This mark, as noted above, is missed on many occasions. Among the factors: poorly defined goals, lack of executive buy-in and advocacy, inability to demonstrate positive impact on the business, and under-resourcing of PMO initiatives.

 The lack of actionable, trustworthy information from PMO staff and PMOs becoming too embroiled in execution-level project work are two more common torpedoes through the hull.

Top-performing companies have successfully tuned the PMO approach to deliver on what the company expects from them. Adame looks at the credibility and performance gap around PMOs, the maturity models that can correctly frame their consideration, and how companies are making them work in “The Disturbing Reality of Today’s PMO.” This ondemand webinar, should prove highly valuable to the project-minded leader whose company has an underperforming PMO or is still considering whether or not to launch one.

Ultimately, it’s about correctly positioning the PMO for success and being able to prove its business value according to the terms of its creation. Many companies miss this mark, and in turn, miss a valuable opportunity to make their projects more profitable across their organization.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Identifying the Internal Challenges and Barriers to Project Portfolio Management Adoption]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/identifying-the-internal-challenges-and-barriers-to-project-portfolio-management-adoption So you have done the research, evaluated appropriate PPM software, now it’s time to begin planning the implementation. Right?

Well that’s the approach many take.  However in our recent webinar the Disturbing Reality of Todays PMO we highlighted some of the key statistics on why PMOs fail.  So let’s turn our attention to why things can be so difficult. 

What are the biggest challenges when it comes to implementing Project Portfolio Management Software or adopting a PMO initiative?

Based on over 20 years of implementing Project Portfolio Management Solutions, here are the 10 key challenges and barriers to PPM adoption faced by most organizations.

1. Internal Politics and Culture

Internal politics and culture are by far the biggest barriers to adoption.  PPM by its very nature will demand change within the business, and with change comes resistance – from both above and below.

2. Appropriate Sponsorship

You will need to become an ‘evangelist’ for Project Portfolio Management, with an ‘executive sponsored guardian angel’.  Ensure executives have a complete understanding of benefits and how PPM affects them personally. Executive Summaries are a great way to achieve this along with developing a PPM Business Case.

3. Project Management Maturity

Organizational project management maturity will play a key role. The more mature the organizations project management capability, the more ready will the business be to adopt PPM.

4. Management Commitment

Top management commitment to and an understanding of the purpose and value add of the PMO is critical.

5. A Common Approach

Resistance from program and project teams to the adoption, of a common approach to managing projects, reporting progress and constructing business cases.  Many will have developed their own methods and processes for managing projects and will shun any attempts to standardize processes.

6. Pet Projects

The unwillingness of business managers to see their ‘pet projects’ shifted in priority is also a barrier.  This will be a symptom of never having a global view of projects and there alignment to business objectives.  In our experiences, we have seen cases of up to 80% of projects that have been stopped due to no business case or lack of business owner.

7. Pace of Adoption

Avoiding the big bang deployment could not be truer for PPM.  We advocate starting with the 4 key pillars of business success - resources, money, deliverables and benefits.  Disagreement on the pace of adoption is a challenge.  However, our advice is to minimize the impact on business-as-usual activities – start at the strategic level and filter down to the management of individual projects as maturity and adoption dictate.

8. Financial Investment

The willingness of the organization to support the financial investment potentially needed for implementing a PPM software tool-set will always be a challenge, as will securing the resource to support it.  This is where SaaS Project Portfolio Management Software provides advantages over on-premise solutions.  With SaaS you can de-risk the implementation by assessing key features prior to purchase via a free trial or proof of benefit.

9. Human Nature

It is simply human nature, that people will blame the tools and processes to hide their own lack of knowledge and understanding.  Ensuring your organization is well organized and you have the framework in place to help you successfully deploy PPM is imperative.  Our PPM Master Class series provides all the information you need to achieve this.

10. Avoid the Big Brother Syndrome

Timesheet and financial information is invaluable as a method of collecting baseline information. However, it is essential to manage the ‘Big Brother Syndrome” by clearly communicating the reasons for its use to all involved in project delivery.

Find out more about how KeyedIn Projects can help you to improve your project portfolio management.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Webinar: How Project Management, the PMO and PPM Work Together]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/12-04-2013/webinar-how-project-management-the-pmo-and-ppm-work-together Join KeyedIn Solutions is hosting an important online event: “How Project Management (PM), Project Portfolio Management (PPM), and the Project Management Office (PMO) Work Together: Ensuring Visibility, Productivity, Governance and Control.”

Your 45-minute investment in this recording will yield actionable insights into:

  • Defining the different roles of PPM and the PMO
  • How these important disciplines work together
  • Key deliverables of PM, PPM, and PMO
  • Importance of both a strategic and tactical approach

This recording will be helpful to you if you are looking to synchronize your tactical and strategic project management efforts for best results. Our expert speakers will show you how to get the most value from your projects through an enterprise PMO model. You will also learn the six proven best practices for aligning your PMO, PPM and PM initiatives. As always, our goal is to provide you with actionable information you can start using immediately to optimize your efforts and make your projects more profitable.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Crystal-Clear Reporting Enables Your PMO to Deliver Value]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/article/crystal-clear-reporting-enables-your-pmo-to-deliver-value The bigger your enterprise, the more critical it is that project data gathering and reporting provide actionable information. In the case of the PMO (project/program management office), this reporting means a better enterprise view of resource usage, a cycle of improvement on project processes, the ability to intervene at the right time for struggling projects, and greater likelihood that the program is held to the desired budget and scope parameters. 

Effective reporting—the intel from the field that gets distilled into cogent parcels for the right internal audience—is the lifeblood of a PMO. While individual project managers can use project management tools to manage their teams and deliverables on the execution level, the PMO must be able to see all this activity at a level once removed and make sense of it in other terms. The PMO can be many wonderful things, but one thing it isn’t is a redundant project management organ that becomes embroiled in too much day-to-day execution.

Let’s take a project-driven organization with employees across the globe and external projects ranging from short- to mid- to long-term. A PMO in this organization needs a consolidated reporting tool that provides a “single version of the truth” and is not dependent on spreadsheets, check-in calls, and emails to perform program-tracking functions. The organization is counting on the PMO to provide a level of company-wide visibility that didn’t exist before. By this token, a PMO initiative may only be as good as the tools behind it.

With centralized access to data, the company’s PMO can standardize reporting and processes organization-wide—a central element of the successful PMO’s charter—and provide compelling and clear views of important performance metrics such as status, budget and resource demand. This company’s delivery management team will also be able to quickly scan individual projects and decide which ones are floundering and require intervention. Being alert to individual project problems with an eye to aggregate project performance—and tying it to strategic execution—is the PMO’s charge and, more and more, a necessity for project-driven companies with far-flung teams who have disparate project sizes and durations.

Board-level reporting becomes more effective, empowering leadership to select better projects and make accurate forecasts for the health of the company. A good PMO-enablement tool should be able to provide multiple users the right level of granularity for the view they need; in the PMOs case, neatly bundling up important metrics on gross profits; project, resource and status; “demand vs. actual” reports, and resource utilization views.

With properly centralized data, the PMO can meet its promise of value by delivering reports that help leadership align projects with company strategy, deliver projects in scope and on time, and convey the interdependencies that impact both the program’s overall health and your company’s profitability.

If you are looking to increase business control over the programs you’re delivering, KeyedInProjects can help. By supporting and enhancing your program management, it can and does drive improved business performance. So put our program management software to the test: sign up for a free, no-obligation 15-day trial.


Free Ondemand Webinar: The Disturbing Reality about Todays PMO

Learn more on how to avoid the consequences of an ineffective PPM and PMO strategy in our free ondemand webinar - The Disturbing Reality about Todays PMO.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.5 – See the all new Home Screen that allows you to report progress and log time against your task assignments.]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/11-12-2013/keyedin-projects-5-5 The 5.5 release introduces the new Home Screen that allows you to report progress and log time against your task assignments. The new Keep Me Logged In feature will allow users to access KeyedIn Projects without entering their user id and password. The Scheduling functionality has been improved with the introduction of a new Capability Graph tab, which allows you to compare resource capability against requested work in a graphical format. The Task Planning functionality has been extended to allow you to Compare Project Plan Versions. The report writer now allows you to create Cumulative Reports. And a host of other improvements have been delivered.

Keep Me Logged In

Users can now opt to stay logged in to KeyedIn Projects, which means they won’t need to enter their user id and password when accessing the system.

Home Tab

KeyedIn Projects 5.5 includes a new Home screen, which will allow users to report progress and log time on their task assignments and also view their notifications.

Notification Improvements

KeyedIn Projects 5.5 includes the ability to force users to receive email notifications rather than the current approach of letting users choose the email notifications they want to receive.

Reporting Improvements

The ability to create cumulative reports in the KeyedIn Projects report writer will be included in KeyedIn Projects 5.5.

Billing Improvements

KeyedIn Projects 5.5 includes the following enhancements to the billing module:

  • Ability to categorize your invoices with the introduction of the new Invoice Type field
  • Invoice Template Enhancements
  • Screen Labels for Invoice, Purchase Order, Credit Notes
  • Ability to filter by Client custom fields on the Contract and Invoice Search screens
  • Ability to select invoices to print on the Invoice Search screen
  • Ability to select invoices to issue on the Invoice Search screen
  • The Invoice Notes field has been moved from the Account Details tab to the General tab on the Add Invoice screen

API Improvements

.Net Framework Upgrade

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Webinar: The Benefits and Uses of PPM and the PMO]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/10-30-2013/webinar-the-benefits-and-uses-of-ppm-and-the-pmo Join KeyedIn Solutions for this important online event titled the Benefits and Uses of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and the Project Management Office (PMO).

In 45 fast-paced minutes, we are going to cover the answers to these key questions:

  • Who should own the PMO?
  • How do you get started?
  • How can the PMO generate revenue and not just be a cost?
  • What makes project teams and PMO staff get excited about their jobs?
  • What are the major benefits of a PMO to the organization?

You will find this recording informative whether you are thinking about implementing a PMO or already have one in place. You will hear the best strategies for overcoming the PMO start-up challenges, as well as maintaining it to consistently showcase its productivity and value to the organization. You will also learn how to set realistic goals for your PMO and measure the quantifiable benefits.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.4 – See how this release gives you improved scheduling functionality and a clearer view of your projects!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/10-03-2013/keyedin-projects-5-4 The 5.4 release introduces the new Project Document Repository that allows you to see all your project documents in one place. The new Proxy Login feature allows a user to see KeyedIn Projects from another user’s point of view. The Scheduling functionality has been improved to allow users to view schedules for a specific department and roles. The Delivery management functionality has been extended to allow a deliverable to be re-baselined. And a host of other usability improvements have been delivered.

Project Document Repository

The new Project Document Repository will allow users to see all documents related to a Project in a single place. The repository is available on a new “Documents” tab on the main Project application tab. Any documents entered against tasks, risks, issues and project related action views will be displayed in a single view. Users can download documents and drill into the associated data.

Proxy Login

Users can now use KeyedIn Projects from another user’s point of view. This will help system administrators troubleshoot problems reported by users and also allow a user to assume system responsibilities for another user who is on leave.

Intacct Integration

KeyedIn Projects now integrates with Intacct using our new integration platform.

Scheduling Improvements

Ability to filter data on the Scheduling application tab by department and role. Paged results on the main Scheduling application tab. Ability to see up to 13 weeks of schedules on the gantt and daily views

Delivery Management Improvements

Ability to restrict deliverable publish levels. Filter by project manager and template project on the Deliverable Search. Rename slippage fields to “movement” on the Project Deliverables tab. Ability to restore a completed or dropped deliverable. Ability to re-baseline a deliverable.

Demand Forecasting Improvements

Ability to flag a Department as available for demand forecasting. Only departments flagged as available will appear for selection on a demand line.
Ensure the correct department\role combination are selected on a demand line.

Timesheet Improvements

  • Ability to edit submitted timesheets
  • Timesheet custom fields can now be set to mandatory
  • Prevent users from submitting weekly timesheets if they have not entered their expected hours
  • Force users to enter notes against a timesheet entry
  • Auto-populate project restrictions when creating timesheets based on project assignments

Notifications

New notification for when a resource is assigned to a to do action.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Webinar: Navigating the Resource Capability Planning Minefield]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/09-18-2013/webinar-navigating-the-resource-capability-planning-minefield Learn how to overcome the challenges of resource capacity planning and catapult your PMO to the next level.

This free recording specifically addresses how to take a more organized and strategic approach to resource capability planning - and how this can help your organization to align strategies and tactics with best-in-class resource management.

Specific topics include:

  • Essential Points About Resource Capacity Planning
  • The PMO Imperative
  • How to Move Up the Capacity Planning Maturity Scale
  • A Proven and Balanced Approach to Resource
  • Capacity Planning

Please join KeyedIn Solutions and PMO expert Karen Adame as she shares actionable information on how to improve your resource capacity planning productivity and enhance your value to the organization.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Webinar: The Disturbing Reality of Today's PMO]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/08-21-2013/webinar-the-disturbing-reality-of-todays-pmo From the C-suite to the individual department, stakeholders are demanding greater accountability in the way projects are selected, managed and delivered. But there can be a wide gap between what the PMO is doing and what the business expects. This misalignment has serious consequences for both the PMO and the business. In this 35-minute online presentation, expert Karen Adame will share some shocking industry statistics about the state of today's PMO.

She will then explore the key challenges PMOs face such as:

  • Proving the business and financial value of Project Portfolio Management (PPM)
  • Being viewed as a business enabler - and never a business impediment

PMOs that prove business value survive, thrive and become an important asset to the modern organisation. This webinar will explore the proven paths to PMO success, how to communicate the value of the PMO, and help you understand the metrics and KPIs that are critical to PMO success and PPM adoption.

Watch this On Demand Webinar Here!

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<![CDATA[Intacct and KeyedIn® Solutions Announce New Partnership]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/08-12-2013/intacct-and-keyedin-solutions-announce-new-partnership Integrated solution helps mid-market companies optimize the financial and operational aspects of services projects

San Jose, CA and Minneapolis, MN — August 12, 2013 — Intacct and KeyedIn® Solutions today announced a new partnership to deliver an integrated solution to address the needs of professional services and project-based businesses.

Under this new agreement, the companies will integrate the cloud-based project management software that KeyedIn builds with Intacct’s cloud financial management and accounting software, including Intacct Project Accounting. This combination of two best-in-class systems will enable companies to optimize both the financial and operational aspects of the entire services delivery lifecycle.

The deal represents a significant step for KeyedIn, as it is the first time it has partnered with an accounting and financial management software provider. Intacct’s financial acumen will complement the operational and process expertise that KeyedIn offers – giving customers increased visibility encompassing both business management and finance to ensure the smooth running of their business.

Lauri Klaus, CEO of KeyedIn, said: “We are delighted to be announcing a partnership with Intacct, recognized as a leader in cloud-based financial management software. Both the product range and service ethos of Intacct chime perfectly with the approach of KeyedIn, creating great synergy and a tremendously flexible offering that will enable businesses to grow and prosper.”

“KeyedIn is leading the way in bringing cloud-based project management solutions to businesses of all sizes and this new partnership fits well with our strategy of enabling our customers to easily extend their Intacct system with other complementary business applications,” said Robert Reid, CEO of Intacct. “The integration of these two systems will help joint customers streamline processes, reduce manual data re-entry, and improve visibility across both financial and operational aspects of their business. This is all about ensuring that Finance and Services leadership are on the same page at all times for optimal decision making.”

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<![CDATA[How Will We Make this Work? Critical Factors for PPM Success]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-28-2013/how-will-we-make-this-work-critical-factors-for-ppm-success The key challenges and barriers to adopting Project Portfolio Management Project Portfolio Management by its very nature will demand change within the business, and with change comes resistance—both from above and below. Management commitment to and an understanding of the purpose and value of project portfolio Management is critical.

PPM is not to be delegated to lower ranks, nor is it the sole responsibility of the PPM vendor. You should look to educate as you implement. There are many potential hurdles to face, including internal politics and culture, and the unwillingness of managers to let go of their pet projects for a grander scheme. Departments may resist uniform practice. The list goes on.

However, a company aiming for more strategic management of projects through PPM can keep a few best practice issues front of mind to optimize the chances for success. These are the Who, Why, What, How and When factors.

Who: engaging the right people

  • Senior management and executive buy-in is absolutely critical
  • Create awareness, provide support, build consensus and motivate stakeholders at all levels

Why: identifying the pain and calculating the ROI

  • Sell PPM’s benefits
  • Conducting a health check will help build a Return on Investment (ROI) model
  • Give ownership to project stakeholders and executive sponsors

What: selecting the right tools

  • Consider how the tools integrate with the rest of the business from both a
  • •cultural and technical view point
  • Avoid a ‘rip-and-replace’ tool-set
  • Opt for configuration instead of customisation

How: testing the tools and processes

  • Sell PPM’s benefits via a Health check and Proof of Benefit
  • Make PPM a tactical sell and scale accordingly
  • Be sure to communicate the Return on Investment and Return on Opportunity (ROO)

When: avoiding a ‘big bang’ deployment

Opt for a phased, incremental implementation where the business can solve problems on a domain-by-domain level, giving yourself time to understand the change management issues. Avoid the bottom up trap. Execution led PPM implementations are extremely complex and extremely prone to failure. By adopting a strategy led approach you can reduce complexity and deliver instant benefits.

PPM has huge potential for bringing strategic coherence and better financial performance to enterprise-level project planning, selection and management. But like any change, too much of a shock to the system can eclipse the benefits far before they manifest. The Who, Why, What, How and When are a good place to start when asking the question, “How do we make this work?”

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<![CDATA[KeyedIn™ Solutions and KPMG sign three year deal]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-27-2013/keyedin-solutions-and-kpmg-sign-three-year-deal Access to KeyedIn™ Projects will provide KPMG with a leading technology solution that is at the heart of its approach to helping clients with complex change

London, England — 27 June 2013 — KeyedIn™ Solutions - which delivers Cloud-based project portfolio management software - has signed a three year deal with professional services firm KPMG in the UK.

The deal will see KeyedIn Solutions support KPMG’s delivery capability with KeyedIn™ Projects, the suite of business applications designed to take the complexity out of managing large scale change programmes and business transformation.

This arrangement enables the UK firm to embed KeyedIn Projects directly within its business processes, helping KPMG’s Advisory teams to resolve client issues. The deal will help KPMG teams with setting up and running change programmes; widening KPMG’s offering in the marketplace.

Jamie Taylor, Director of Strategic Alliances for KeyedIn™ Solutions, said: “This deal means that KeyedIn Solutions, as a fast-growing business, will be able to align itself with one of the world’s largest and most visible global business brands.”

“In addition, this agreement will allow KeyedIn Solutions and KPMG to work together to jointly solve client issues related to the management and delivery of complex change.KeyedIn Projects software will aim to benefit clients greatly by delivering control and visibility over resources, help streamline workflow processes, increase operational efficiency and achieve cost savings that lead to a significant improvement in the bottom line.”

Tom Brady, Director and KeyedIn Relationship Manager, KPMG in the UK, said: “We believe that combining the KeyedIn software platform with our people, knowledge and expertise creates a compelling proposition for how to deliver complex change.”

“Our programme onshore/offshore deployment model provides the ability to provide a high quality but scalable service to our clients. Following a critical analysis of the marketplace we chose KeyedIn to be our provider in a key area of growth for KPMG in the UK.”

“Our selection was based on market leading capability and credentials as well as our aligned ethos of removing complexity from projects and programmes,” concluded KPMG’s Brady.

The KeyedIn portfolio of products has taken the company from launch to more than 30,000 users and 14 global offices. Its focus on Cloud/SaaS solutions has gained rapid acceptance within the mid-sized business market because they don't require either upfront capital investment or on-premise IT support.

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<![CDATA[KeyedIn™ Solutions looking to make major inroads into Russian market with CROC partnership deal]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-13-2013/keyedin-solutions-looking-to-make-major-inroads-into-russian-market-with-croc-partnership-deal Cloud project management solution provider agrees partnership with Russia’s largest IT integrator with turnover of over $1bn

Moscow, Russia — June 13 2013 — KeyedIn™ Solutions is now in a position to make significant inroads into the Russian Professional Services Organization market having agreed a partnership that will see CROC - the largest Russian IT integrator with turnover over $1bn - promote KeyedIn™ Projects in what is one of the world’s largest and most
powerful economies.

KeyedIn™ Projects is a fully integrated suite of business applications designed to take the complexity out of managing complex projects. Connecting easily with an organization’s existing systems, KeyedIn Projects gives project, program and portfolio managers the control and insight they need throughout the entire project lifecycle. It ensures resources are used strategically, risks addressed, and costs managed tightly – together driving project performance and profitability.

CROC cooperates with major Russian and international organizations in various industries, implements several thousand projects each year and is a solution provider for 79 of Russia’s Top 100 businesses (according to ‘Expert 400, 2012’ ranking by Expert Rating Agency).

The partnership with CROC will give KeyedIn™ Solutions not only a strategic entrance into the Russian market but also – given the competence of CROC - an ideal partner to take with it to a burgeoning Russian Professional Services Organization market. CROC, meanwhile, will be able to promote a cost-effective 100% Cloud solution that offers all the benefits of PSA software within a broader, customizable solution that supports team collaboration and executive reporting to program and portfolio managers.

Stefan Westelius, Vice President Sales for KeyedIn Solutions, said: “CROC is an ideal partner to take into what is a growing Russian Professional Services market - with a 6.5% market share, CROC is the number one IT services provider in Russia and among the top IT services companies in Russia by IT services revenue.”

“But this is very much a mutually beneficial partnership. CROC recognizes that KeyedIn™ Projects is one of the best-in-class SaaS for project management, ideal for the Russian Professional Services market and we are both really enthused at the prospect of gaining real traction with project, program and portfolio managers in the sector.”

The KeyedIn portfolio of products has taken the company from launch to more than 30,000 users and 14 global offices. Its focus on Cloud/SaaS solutions has gained rapid acceptance within the mid-sized business market because they don't require either upfront capital investment or on-premise IT support. Analysts predict that over the next three years, SaaS will grow nearly five times faster than the traditional software installations sector. CROC has operated in the Russian IT market since 1992.

According to the IDC report “Competitive Profiles and Analysis of Leading IT Services Players in Russia, 2012”, CROC has ranked first in the systems integration market (with a 17.1% market share) and leads the Russian IT services market. With a 6.5% market share, 5001 American Blvd West, Suite 1010 | Minneapolis, MN 55437 | p 952.835.1041 866.662.6820 | www.keyedin.com

CROC is the number one IT services provider in Russia (among the top IT services companies in Russia by IT services revenue). CROC is one of Russia’s top 100 private companies (Forbes ranking of 200 Largest Private Companies in Russia, 2012), the third largest consulting company in Russia according to Expert Rating Agency (2013) and one of the five largest IT companies in Russia (RIA Rating, Digit.ru 2013; Expert Rating Agency 2013). CROC’s revenue amounted to $1.086 billion in 2012.

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<![CDATA[KeyedIn™ Solutions announces major enhancements to KeyedIn Projects with launch of v5.3]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/06-10-2013/keyedin-solutions-announces-major-enhancements-to-keyedin-projects-with-launch-of-v5-3 Extensive new reporting features allow project managers to combine widgets in one Dashboard to gain visibility of all data across project

Minneapolis, Minn. — June 10, 2013 —KeyedIn™ Solutions, the fast-growing software business specializing in Cloud-based enterprise applications, has announced a new release of its globally-acclaimed Cloud-based project management suite, KeyedIn™ Projects.

A key new feature of KeyedIn Projects 5.3 is the Analytics Dashboard, an extension of existing comprehensive reporting functionality. The Analytics Dashboard is a powerful tool, allowing users to create components (called widgets) with various data, such as Project Health, Billings, and Resource Utilization and combine them into a single window or Dashboard. Dashboards are user-definable and data can be analyzed by drilling into the source directly from the Dashboard. Widgets can be data-oriented or graphical.

Other features include enhancements to Task Planning, Scheduling, Scenario Modeling, Billing and Resource Capabilities. Such is the commitment of KeyedIn to research and deliver what its customer base needs and wants. Many of the enhancements are a result of extensive liaison with existing customers and user groups but the new features will also naturally improve the user experience for all existing as well as future customers.

“KeyedIn Projects 5.3 provides an unparalleled platform for core project management processes. With these new extensive reporting features at their disposal, project managers will easily be able to access and analyze data across the entire project to ensure it runs smoothly and that its objectives can be achieved”, says Karen Adame, Chief Product Officer at KeyedIn Solutions.

Karen continues, “Connecting easily with an organization’s existing systems, KeyedIn Projects gives project, program and portfolio managers the control and insight they need throughout the entire project lifecycle. It ensures resources are used strategically, risks addressed, and costs managed tightly for the ultimate aim of ensuring the best possible project performance and, of course, profitability.”

Leveraging the latest trends and technology, such as the game-changing social collaboration tools released in 5.2, which are designed to keep team discussions within the project environment rather than in personal email systems or on insecure social networks, and the Analytics Dashboard released in 5.3, is proof that KeyedIn Solutions recognizes the fact that products cannot afford to stand still.

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<![CDATA[KeyedIn Projects v5.3 – Learn how this release allows you to get better visibility of your data!]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/portal/06-05-2013/keyedin-projects-v5-3-learn-how-this-release-allows-you-to-get-better-visibility-of-your-data The 5.3 release introduces the new Analytics dashboards that allow you to get better visibility of your data. The new dashboards leverage the existing functionality of the KeyedIn Projects report writer, allowing you to create your own widgets in a graphical or tabular format. They are fully configurable and allow you to have a different configuration for each group of users. The scenario functionality has been extended to allow you to compare different scenarios. Billing has been improved by enabling you to automatically allocate your timesheets to contract lines based on task and activity. And a host of usability improvements have been delivered.

Analytics Dashboard

New Analytics dashboards are available in 5.3 which leverage the functionality of the KeyedIn Projects report writer. 

Dashboard highlights:

  • Fully configurable
  • Can run standalone on the new Analytics tab
  • Can run embedded in the Project tab
  • Create your own graphical widgets using the KeyedIn Projects report writer
  • Create your own data widgets using the KeyedIn Projects report writer
  • Uses a new charting tool with an improved look and feel
  • Create different dashboard configurations based on the type of user
  • Change the layout
  • Open a widget in a separate window for printing
  • Drag and drop your widgets to change the layout
  • Auto-Refresh – Widgets can be set to automatically update hourly\daily\weekly\monthly
  • Manual Refresh
  • Drill through capability into other areas of the system

Task Planning Improvements

The ability to attach multiple documents to a task is available in 5.3, thus negating the need to create custom fields. A new attachments tab has been added to the Task Edit screen, where a user can add multiple document attachments.

Scenario Modelling Improvements

A new Comparison view has been added to the Scenario tab, which provides the ability to compare two scenarios and view the differences between them in terms of effort and cost. Differences can be viewed graphically or in data mode.

Ability to show a Scenario totals section on the Scenario Portfolio tab is now available in 5.3. You can include any numeric Project or Forecast custom fields in this section.

KeyedIn Projects 5.3 now includes the ability to include the New Projects and Current Portfolio sub-tabs when printing the dashboard. A new print option has been added to each tab where the user can select whether to include them in the print.

Billing Improvements

Speed up the billing process by linking tasks and activities to contract lines on a project. Approved timesheets entered against the task\activity will be automatically allocated to the contract line when an invoice is created. You can now specify a routing type against a contact to identify how timesheets will be allocated to contract lines.

Resource Capability Improvements

In KeyedIn Projects 5.3 you can now drill into the capability\ demand\ allocated figures to see the detail behind them. 5.3 has enhanced multi-lingual reporting capability and it is now possible to enter a display name in different languages against each field on a report.

Compatibility

KeyedIn Project 5.3 includes support for Internet Explorer 10.
Support has been withdrawn for Internet Explorer 6 and 7.

KeyedIn Projects 5.3 will run on the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10
  • Firefox 3.5 and above
  • Google Chrome
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<![CDATA[KeyedIn: Professional services organizations face one of world’s greatest balancing acts]]> http://www.keyedin.com/keyedinprojects/news/04-11-2013/keyedin-professional-services-organizations-face-one-of-worlds-greatest-balancing-acts Managing six key areas is path to business success

Minneapolis, Minn. — 11 April 2013 — Running a Professional Services Organisation (PSO) is one of the world‘s greatest balancing acts, according to KeyedIn™ Solutions, the cloud-based solutions company. Whether it specializes in accounting, advertising, marketing, planning, IT services, management consultancy or legal services, every PSO faces the same challenges: balancing client needs and expectations, retaining a skilled and motivated workforce, and generating profits.

KeyedIn has answered the need by creating a set of tools specifically focused on Professional Services Organizations to help them manage projects and programs more knowledgeably, efficiently and profitably – with an ongoing improvement in client satisfaction.

Through its Resource Hub, launched last month, KeyedIn has focused on six key areas that are influenced by effective project management: service delivery, project performance, strategic resource management, knowledge management and innovation, project profitability, and effective employee utilization.

Ian Needs of KeyedIn says: ―Projects seem to be incredibly complex but in reality, if you can get the main part of the puzzle right, all the other pieces fall into place. Effective project management makes all these areas work whereas poor project management impacts negatively on every aspect of the business.

The KeyedIn Resource Hub provides a complete knowledge base of information on each aspect of PSO management: free downloadable Ideas in Action‘ papers, up-to-the-minute blogs, expert webinars, best practice sharing, demos, and free trials of the latest software.

As part of the development of its KeyedIn™ Projects – Professional Services Automation platform, KeyedIn has brought social media-style collaboration into the corporate environment and is now the cloud product of choice for a range of global organizations. By including less formal information flows and communications paths, PSOs have an extra layer of efficiency that enables them to use one channel to collaborate in real time.

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