If your current construction project is in disarray, perhaps due to logistical problems in delivering crucial materials, or maybe because your workers are way behind schedule, I guess it’s because you didn’t use the latest project management techniques and tools, like the primavera p6 programme! A tool is supporting a project manager, but if it’s a burden then there’s something not working properly. So, in order to use the right tools for your project, you and your team need to have a clear idea of the needs that the software must meet. Here’s how to carefully choose your project management software.
Define Your Company or Project Team’s Needs
Before you finally decide to get Oracle’s primavera p6 program, which is actually hailed as one of the best project management software ever, you and your company (or project team) will of course first need to define your company or team’s needs (and where your current software is failing).
It’s imperative to create or compose a list of features that need to be present in your project management software. Like, do you require customization? Do you require access-granting options? Are reporting tools a must-have item for you? Or, does the software need to support various types of projects?
Another crucial point is to check if the solution is compatible with the current workflow methodology. In fact, this could be an opportune time to check up on the current system or software you’re using and fully evaluate the actual operations.
Gain a Better Understanding of the Project Management Life Cycle
Projects, especially the ones that are construction-related, can sometimes (or even oftentimes) be intricate and complex, and hard to follow. It’s because there are different areas working on different tasks all at the same time, which could eventually lead to subtasks and deliverables that are overlapping.
You need to always keep in mind that a project is a network of activity, and it includes different and defined phases or stages. In fact, the life cycle of a project encompasses 5 stages, which are Conception, Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Monitoring.
During the initiation phase, a project manager defines the project at a broad level, beginning with a business case, and researching as well as evaluating if the proposal is attractive or feasible and if it’s doable with the current resources at hand.
If there needs to be a feasibility study, then it would certainly be done at this stage. A critical input for this stage would be the data that’s collected by a project management system during previously completed endeavors.
With this information and a little experience, it is very much possible to calculate the proposal’s profitability or feasibility, without the need to have a degree in business intelligence.
In addition, the ability to check up on the project team’s availability, or if there are many simultaneous projects, is extremely convenient. And, during this time, the project’s stakeholders will also be providing their input.
And, if the project proposal is approved, then a project initiation document is created, where the purpose, stakeholders, business requirements, and resources needed by the project are defined. The good thing is that software like the primavera p6 program has tools and templates for this very purpose.
The planning stage or phase involves outlining a clear path of tasks for the stakeholders to follow. During this time, project teams define the objectives of their group, and a great methodology for goal setting is to adhere to the SMART principle.
The SMART principle actually stands for these goals: Specific (who will perform each task or subtask must be clear), Measurable (everyone needs to stick to the same level of quality and success), Attainable (choose the main goals and steps towards conquering it), Realistic (the scope of work needs to be feasible for all parties involved) and Timely (set a time-lapse for the completion of these objectives).
The planning stage also includes generating a baseline for measuring the performance, using its cost, the key deliverable schedule, and a realistic scope of work. The responsibilities, roles, and work breakdown schedule also need to be clearly stated at this point.
During the execution stage, the completion of deliverables is a key task. This stage begins with the assignment of responsibilities and tasks and moves to status reports, meetings, performance updates, and development as a whole. The project manager directs and oversees the execution of the project and lays down a tracking system too.
During the monitoring stage, the project team will need to ensure the correct development of deliverables, and performance and to confirm the progression of the project is according to plan.
Here, the project manager uses KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators to measure the project’s overall performance. These KPIs usually involve the project objectives or goals, making sure that the work is on schedule and is not over the budget.
This stage could also involve the quality control of deliverables, and another important KPI is the supervision of changes in the project, the problems that were faced, and are being faced, how they were solved and how quickly they were taken care of. The sudden changes in scope are closely evaluated and monitored as they may derail overall project performance.
The good thing today is that there is project management software that is designed to address all the concerns and challenges that are faced by project managers, and that includes the primavera p6 program.
The primavera p6 program is actually the de facto standard to schedule and control complicated projects and programs, thanks to its very robust scheduling engine. The software also allows multiple planning engineers and project managers to effectively collaborate in a single centralized database.
The core functionalities of the primavera p6 program include structuring of project scope (WBS), developing project schedules, resources loading and enterprise resource management, progress monitoring and control, earned value management as a project cost controls technique, collaboration through the Team Member application, timesheets and reporting (BI Publisher).