'e-project management has made the project manager's life easy'
Today, we are in e-time. The computer has brought speed
and accuracy to project management, making big and long-schedule projects easy
to handle. B.P. Nansi met Rajnil Pangekar, Assistant Manager - IT,
TCE Consulting Engineers Ltd, to find out more about
What is e-Project Management?
The project management process has moved from the drawing board to the
application-based software and now to a web-based technology. As the cost of the
technologies has significantly dropped, the availability of both, the internet
and the intranet bandwidths, have raised the use of more sophisticated
algorithms with complex software. These are used by project team members who are
geographically spread across outside of an office.
e-Project Management has made the project manager's life easy. It is a formal
approach to planning and implementing a project in a systematic way. This
technique helps the project team to competently handle a project. It also
results in great improvement in the performance and productivity of the project
How is project planning managed under e-PM?
That is one area where e-PM is very handy. The software gives you PERT, Bar
Chart, Milestones and activities to be done month-wise, week-wise and daily, and
even hour-wise. It makes planning easier since one sees the central desk with
the project list attached to that user, schedules, risks, tasks and status
What are the data that the manager has to input?
Project activities, durations and relationships. For the calendar, you define
the start date. If you want to know the project cost, or spending, give costs.
Projects details, project resources with their roles, and tasks for resources
are some of the input data.
What else can you know from e-PM?
Project statistics and all data about the project as well as time duration,
resources and kinds of resources, what you need on what day, finance progress,
funds needed etc.
What software is available?
MS projects and Primavera are two well-known products. Other ERP software like
SAP can also be used. Also, since desktop PC-based, user-friendly software is
available, they are useful for smaller projects, say, with about 100 activities.
For project reports, the manger needs 'project cost estimate'. What is
available under e-PM?
After the discipline manager inputs the 'Head', cost, rate of interest and other
parameters, the PM will get the estimate. But more than that, the PM can do the
financial analysis and get results like IRR, yearly profit, NPV, breakeven point
What else can be done?
Create common vision for user groups, roles and rights sets. Train key users and
get response of some users. Construct the pecking order of reporting and means
to control the way it works. Create the project lifecycle in the system. e-PM
must be integrated with other applications to avoid duplication. One demo site
or testing environment must be created other than production environment to test
the new development before rolling to production. This system is for users,
hence it must be created with users' ease in mind, otherwise it will add up to
extra work for the users.
What about project documents?
We make all drawings on computer; even issue them to the contractors and sites
through e-mail. BOQ is worked out on computer; the site can control the
inventory on the computer. e-PM integrated with a document tracking system will
be of great help. It gives complete information of the state and status of
It is important for any company to have a well-organised database to prevent
confusion when a particular document needed for an important meeting with a
client. The document tracking system provides a company and its employees a
simplified working environment so that they can provide data immediately and
reduce, if not eliminate, the mad scramble to locate lost files, unfound
letters, old reports etc.
Any message for our readers?
Yes. 'Go Global' is the same as 'Go e-Project Management'. Work on the table,
but go net.
[May 19-25, 2008]