When project management software is mentioned, PMs immediately think of a scheduling, budget or resource management tool, managing particular project aspects and promising to deliver projects on time and budget. We know too well that it not the software alone, but your skills and expertise that deliver projects. This is where pm box is different.
At odds with due process
Project managers keep their focus mostly on communicating, evaluating situations and making decisions, which can lead to giving due processes lower priority. Similarly, working within more structured project environments makes it very easy to overlook some of its principles. We all know how easy it is to get lost in the process and yet, recovering a project from seemingly small operational or management oversights consumes valuable time, adding frustration and increasing project risk.
Due process as a productivity tool: Welcome to pm box
As a platform, pm box is designed to standardise the project management process and ensure adherence to prescribed methodology in an effortless and intuitive way. It turns due process into a PM productivity tool and makes adoption of best practices easy, requiring no additional effort and eliminating the monotony behind “following the rules“. pm box is the only software product that integrates the PMBOK® guide with the world’s leading collaboration platform Microsoft® SharePoint© Online (Office 365).
pm box features essential to a PM:
- Project Workbench gives you, the project manager a very simple and easy to use interface to carry out project activities in accordance with the PMBOK guide and automatically identifies and notifies you of any consequences and follow up actions behind project activities.
- pm box interacts with SharePoint in the in the background and takes care of project documentation “logistics”, so you don’t have to think about using the correct document template, document file naming conventions or their save location
- pm box helps you navigate around your project repositories by providing convenient ways to access document libraries across projects and bring all your project registers located in SharePoint into one place.
- All SharePoint project sites, automatically provisioned by pm box, are standardised and equipped with a core set of project collaboration tools including a scheduler, calendar, project registers and document libraries, which link the right information with the right audience.
The PMBOK® rubberstamp
pm box is your interactive PMBOK advisor that works along your side. For each action you take on the project, the Project Workbench will automatically suggest subsequent actions and add them to your to-do list. For example, if you create a Change Request, pm box will suggest reviewing your budget, schedule and other co-dependencies.
Since consequential actions can build up quickly, every to-do item contains a clear explanation why it is there and what triggered it allowing you to better understand and make an informed decision on your next activity. You can take an advantage of the Project Workbench “consequential action reminders” to increase the robustness of your management approach.
The Workbench does not impose any constraints on the project manager. Just like PMBOK, the Project Workbench is your guide, not a strict set of unbreakable rules. pm box is not rigid in its delivery because of the innate understanding that decisions made in project management are based on (your) expert judgement, not because they have been generically prescribed by a process or a software tool.
If an action (or its consequence) is not applicable to your project, you can instruct pm box to stop raising it. pm box “learns” these adjustments on the go and your project actions start to flow logically, very quickly. The PMO can subsequently convert adjusted projects into “blueprints” for cloning future working projects with similar project management requirements, so you won’t have to make the same adjustments in your next project.
Efficiently running multiple concurrent projects
Project Workbench allows quick and easy switching between concurrent projects by instantly presenting summarised and up-to-date information on the newly selected project. Overall, pm box makes working on multiple projects much easier through clarity of information and easy-to-use interface. Now you can pick up where you left off with ease.
Keeping everyone up to date
To keep the business abreast of project developments, you can post “Twitter-like” short project notes and status updates more frequently replacing lengthy, irregular emails. Your project registers (issue, risk and change) along with your written updates will be visible to the business and the PMO via the project dashboard, allowing reported information and status changes to be easily digested and actioned without delay.
Project documentation “logistics”
Project administration can be tedious, not to mention procedures for document storage, updating metadata or communicating the documentation update.
With pm box, a single click on a project activity in your Project Workbench will create or open a document; or take you to the relevant information instantly, saving you from navigating through SharePoint.
This means no more deliberation on which document template to use, where to find it or naming convention to use. It is all set up for you. When you need to create your next project document, simply click on the action and pm box will automatically:
- Use the correct document template, as set by the PMO
- Fill in document metadata
- Use metadata to populate basic document information, so you don’t need to do this repeatedly
- Use a correct file name, according to a predefined file naming convention (including appending incremental counters in document names where necessary)
- Save the file to the correct SharePoint document library, in a correct location
- Set correct user access rights
Issue, risk and change registers are automatically retrieved from SharePoint and presented on the Project Workbench for ease of access, continuous monitoring and control.
Collaboration with your team in SharePoint®
SharePoint sites created by pm box are designed with project teams in mind. Each team member has a personalised view with their recent documentation clearly displayed and up to date. Users may also subscribe to automatic notifications for relevant project information updates, such as project change register or their team document library.
All project sites are geared up with a simple Issue management system that send email reminders about issues assigned to each team member and assist you with the tracking.
Apart from providing a core set of project tools with each project site, pm box leverages off SharePoint’s seamless integration with Microsoft Office, allowing you and your team to use familiar tools and maintain high productivity levels without a steep learning curve.
Once project teams are familiar with the standard project site structure and layout, navigating other project sites becomes second nature for everyone.