#AmazingPM, Events, News, PPM, project management

Innovative-e: Going places. Come with us!

We’ve been going a lot of places and doing a lot of things in the last few months!

you are here pinJune 6, 2018, Everywhere
We were a Silver Sponsor at the Project Virtual Conference, a one-of-a-kind  24-hour virtual conference (free to attend!) focused on Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online. Supported by the Microsoft Project Community, this conference was designed to help attendees best use Microsoft PPM tools to address their business problems and derive maximum business value.
June 12-14, National Harbor, Maryland
We explored the theme, “Pioneer, Partner, Build Bridges” at the annual Gartner PPM Summit in National Harbor, Maryland. One of our customers presented showing how we helped his organization implement Microsoft PPM tools to transform his PMO. Check out our short video recap of the whole amazing event!
you are here pinJuly 10-14, Washington, DC
We joined hundreds of Microsoft partners at Microsoft Inspire to see innovations Microsoft had planned for partners (that’s us!) and the customers those partners serve (that’s you!). These new technologies and enhancements to the products and services you already know and love are designed to help organizations achieve transformation, realize value, and stay on the cutting edge in a modern business environment that often changes with breakneck speed.
August 16 and September 19, Everywhere
We presented “Rapid and Sustainable PM: 3 Steps to Success” to highlight our proven 3-step process to achieving #AmazingPM with a
solid foundation, team empowerment, and a focus on adoption and
growth. Did you miss it? Watch the webinar on demand!
you are here pinSeptember 2018, Innovative-e HQ
We achieved another Silver competency with Microsoft. We currently have the following Microsoft competencies:
  • Gold, Project & Portfolio Management
  • Gold, Collaboration & Content
  • Gold, Application Development
  • Silver, Small & Midmarket Cloud Solutions
  • Silver, Cloud Productivity
These competencies mean we have achieved and exceeded Microsoft’s standards as partner providers of these products and services to customers like you, ensuring that you are getting the best products, serviced by a highly qualified provider.
September 12-14, Las Vegas, Nevada
We headed to Las Vegas for the Digital Transformation Academy conference with Microsoft. Digital Transformation is a hot topic these days. Do you know what to do with it? We do. Email us for more info!
you are here pinSeptember 24-28, Orlando, FL
We attended Microsoft Ignite virtually (living in the future with work-anywhere capability is so great!) The theme of this year’s event was, “Creating a more secure, intelligent and connected enterprise.” Check out this roundup with all the key announcements and news from Ignite.
October 2-3, Boston, Massachusetts
We were in Boston to present our customer’s success story at a Microsoft PPM Summit. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Health and Human Services strategized innovation and implemented PPM technology to achieve change. We showed how transformation can be approached with three simple steps to ultimately deliver value continuously and position our customers for success through people, process, and (future) technology growth. Have a look at the case study here.
October 16-18, Redmond, Washington
We joined the Microsoft Project Partner Summit on the Microsoft campus to learn how to best help customers with exciting new Microsoft Project enhancements and to discover more about Digital Transformation and how to best leverage the power of Microsoft PPM to the advantage of our customers.
mike and matt tribalnet 2018
you are here pinNovember 5-8, Las Vegas, Nevada
We were at Booth 6 at TribalNet showing conference attendees how we have helped tribal nations achieve more by empowering organizations to overcome common project management challenges, leveraging solutions from Microsoft PPM and edison365projects.
We have helped tribal nations for whom large gaming CAPEX projects are critical pieces of their governments’ revenue to help sustain and grow their tribes. Read our case study to learn how Innovative-e and Microsoft PPM continuously deliver #AmazingPM to enhance the overall quality of life for a Tribal Nation.

Where to next?

November 28, New York City
January 9, Atlanta, Georgia
February 5, Washington, D.C.
 
Free all-day summits to learn how Microsoft PPM enables Digital Transformation. Where do things stand now? What’s the future of the journey? Each of these three one-day conferences will show you how to implement Microsoft PPM and select premium add-ons to get a handle on your reporting and resource management, how to migrate to Microsoft Project smoothly, and how edison365 can help drive Digital Transformation for overall #AmazingPM. Watch this space for more details soon!
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#AmazingPM, PPM, project management

Checklist: How to Determine When to Hire a Vendor

Build-a-PC-checklist-featured-imageAre you thinking of putting in a piece of technology to support your business?  Does the technology look easy enough to install without professional help, with only you and your internal team to get it done?  Answer these two questions then when choosing whether to hire a vendor or not:

  1. Do you have time?
  2. Which choice is cheaper?

“Do you have time?” literally asks if you can wait for the results you want from the new technology.  There is a learning curve with new technology.  Not everything goes perfectly.  Ask yourself honestly not if you have the skills to implement the new tech but rather if you have the time to figure something out when you get stuck and if you can indulge in the luxury of time spent waiting to benefit from using the new technology while figuring out the install.

“Do you have time?” also wonders if you (or your team) literally have nothing else to do, if you have plenty of “spare” time.  Avoid asking people to multi-task, especially if one of the tasks is important (e.g. implementing new technology).  If you ask busy people to put in new tech as a new chore for their day job, they will likely take shortcuts while missing small details with big impact during the long term.

By the way, “Do you have time?” can also reference the full duration of the implementation.  What happens if your business-mission workloads increase and your previously idle people are now needed to get “real” work done?  Does the new technology implementation get shelved?

Assuming your answer to “Do you have time?” is yes, next ask, “Which choice (DIY or hire a vendor) is cheaper?” by looking at costs comprehensively.  As long as your internal salaries are lower than vendor services rates, if your only variable for cost is NPV cash flow dollars, the answer will always be Do It Yourself unless you are truly honest with the magnitude of the learning curve your team faces.  Remember – vendors have already faced the learning curve.

Looking at current out-of-pocket dollars usually ignores both tangible and intangible future out-of-pocket costs (cash flow dollars) as well as opportunity costs (benefits lost by investing on DIY efforts instead).  Here is a brief listing of some costs and benefits you may want to consider for DIY:

  • Direct labor + benefits of implementation team
  • Allowance for break/fix mistakes from learning (risk budget)
  • Emotions of workforce with new technology implementation (some people will love doing this work beyond their job description, others may be stressed and hate the whole thing)
  • Benefits gained from increased internal expertise with the new technology
  • Risks from staff turnover using new skills
  • Benefits foregone from resource cost investment (what good things did you give up or not get because you asked people to do this instead of other things?)
  • The value of having someone external to the team accountable for the new technology performance
#AmazingPM, PPM, project management, Reports

Recipe for creating an effective report

report1Why do you use reports?

Most people use reports in business to learn something about something in the business. Project management reports, if designed properly, inform the reader well enough to decide if action need be taken regarding the report subject. Reports are communication devices cum learning aids meant for wide audiences in the control process. Anything associated with learning can benefit from instructional design techniques, so use instructional design approaches to building reports and see report quality improve.

Three instructional design tools are particularly useful for designing reports: Bloom’s taxonomy, learning outcomes, and the ADDIE model.

Start with Bloom’s taxonomy when designing new reports because the information hierarchy it calls out informs the report writer on the type of data and detail required to accomplish the appropriate level of cognition. A status report that supports a reader’s ability to recall, understand, or apply the data holds fewer cognitive demands and can be supported by a smaller data set than a forecast that asks people to analyze, evaluate, or create thinking. Bloom’s taxonomy provides a mechanism where the verbs associated with the desired level of cognition can be incorporated into the learning outcomes.

“Validate the level of performance of UAT results by listing test scripts attempted, test scripts passed, reason for failure and frequency count of reasons.”

This is an example of a learning outcome with the highest order of Bloom’s taxonomy (validating something requires an evaluative level of cognition). Learning outcomes define the knowledge, skills, or abilities a learner is meant to achieve from a given lesson or instructional material. Learning outcomes are typically comprised of objectives. Drafters of objectives are typically advised to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Use the verbs from Bloom’s taxonomy to guide the wording of the specificity of the learning outcomes.

Next, use the ADDIE model to accomplish the learning outcomes with the reports. Analyze the data needed for the audience looking to act on the report. Design not only the data outlay but also source collection methods. Develop and implement the report by publishing to the intended audience. Evaluate the report through routine feedback on its usefulness to complete the full ADDIE cycle and make changes as they make sense.

In other words, when looking to create a new report, follow this recipe:

  1. List your report-reader’s cognitive-level learning outcome(s) for the report (e.g. “Be able to speculate on the root cause of product bugs”) based upon using Bloom’s taxonomy to be specific.
  2. Follow ADDIE to discover then leverage the data needed to achieve the intended report outcomes.
  3. Get feedback on what works. Fix what needs fixing. Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

#AmazingPM, Events, PPM

Know Before You Go – Gartner PPM Summit Preparation

The Gartner PPM Summit is coming up next week, and anyone attending will want to prepare in advance to take full advantage of the show.

trade-showMost people attending Gartner are investing resources researching which Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solution and/or vendors they want to work with for their enterprise project management. Vendors have paid handsomely for the right to present their wares just as Conference attendees have also paid well for the right to go shopping. All attendees make these investments with no apologies that everyone attending is looking to do some business. Make the most of your investment as an attendee by taking advantage of the following methods to prepare for the conference.

  1. Know what you don’t know and want to learn – there are four tracks at the Gartner show (a. Pioneer, b. Partner, c. Build, & d. Transform) that will focus on a. “New” (methods, PPM approaches, metrics), b. culture/change management, c. optimization and alignment, and d. governance and tools. Understand which of these tracks you don’t understand and write down what questions you have on them before attending any sessions.
  2. Understand which primary technology stack(s) you want to consider – there are seventeen product manufacturers (congratulations to Planview for top marks two years in a row!) and you will not be able to take them all in during the show. Prioritize your time to get to the booths of the vendors who support the technology you might buy so you can meet them in person. (Remember, Innovative-e supports Microsoft primarily, we integrate with other technologies, and we will be in booth 213!)
  3. Prepare advance questions to assess vendor ability to understand the PPM vision for your business – ask your prospective vendors how they approach understanding the value of your system to you.
  4. Prepare advance questions to assess vendor ability to execute the PPM vision for your business – ask your prospective vendors how they approach delivery and quality. (Remember, delivery is all about meeting constraints and quality is all about consistency!)
  5. Prepare advance questions to assess vendor integrity and reliability such as asking them to describe a time when a project failed, and customers didn’t get what they wanted. How did it happen? What did the vendor do to remedy the situation?
  6. Have a tool and an approach to evaluate vendors – use a consistent rating tool by all the members of the evaluating team. Explore different scores with qualitative discussions. Use standardized scoring and a weighting system to evaluate across multiple factors. Innovative-e has an example weighted scoring matrix in an excel file, send a request to eoin.callan@innovative-e.com for a copy if you would like to see how it works.

Innovative-e is incredibly excited and eager for the Gartner PPM Summit and to meet with everyone! We welcome your questions of us and look forward to the chance to help you achieve your goals using #AmazingPM.

See you next week in Booth 213!

 

#AmazingPM, project management

How to build an effective PMIS report – Step One: know your audience

Interest and impact drive PMIS report creation foundation.

The measure of success for a Project Management Information System (PMIS) often comes down to one question: do system reports show correct, timely data for informed business decisions on any given project, program, or portfolio? 

Decisions reflect overt, conscious choices made by accountable individuals who own decision outcome consequences.  Accountable individuals may also be called “business decision makers” (BDMs), or “decision owners,” and may choose to share the decision—making power with a group.  Informed decisions take place when all data relevant to the choices and/or consequences of a given decision are included in the conversation with the decision-maker.  A PMIS report is only as good as the content tells the consumer enough to choose, with confidence, to move forward (or to stop moving forward). 

Building a good PMIS report is as simple as 1-2-3:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Know your content
  3. Know how to design the content for your audience.

The rest of this post will focus on the first step, Know your audience.  The next post will cover point 2, and a subsequent post after that will address how to put it all together in the design. 

power BI graphic

Creating a new report qualifies as a project.  One performs stakeholder analysis early in projects to identify the proper folks for requirements gathering, communication management, risk identification, issue management, etc.  Techniques used for such stakeholder analysis work well for creating new reports; one easy-to-use technique is an Impact-Interest prioritization matrix. 

The first step in the Impact-Interest prioritization matrix for a new report is to name the report and identify the potential questions to be expected from such a report title (e.g. if I am looking to create a “Past expenditures” report showing how money was spent, some questions might include: was past money spent wisely based upon outcomes achieved to date? Do I need to request more funds for future intentions I have? Are there actions to take now to improve current acceptable performance? Do I need to give budget back because I can’t spend the money allocated to my group? Etc.).

These questions identify the people, groups, and other entities (the stakeholders) holding any interest in report content. 

Plot the level of sincere interest (ranging from low to high) for each person, group, or other entity listed above.  Next, very honestly determine, and plot, the level of direct impact felt by or influenced by each stakeholder entity.  Also determine if each stakeholder’s impact or influence holds sway over a) inputs to answering the questions or b) the consequences of the answers (or c) both).  The greatest interest and the greatest impact stakeholder group comprise the core audience to consider when moving to the next step for deciding the most relevant content to include. 

reports table

#AmazingPM, OutageHawk, PPM, solutions

Equipping Yourself with the Right Project Management Tools in Heavy Manufacturing

Do you manage projects in the manufacturing industry? Innovative-e offers an array of #AmazingPM tools to deliver winning projects, realize better ROI on PM portfolio investments, and empower your teams with decisive insight and control over your projects.  Ranging from mass-produced, OOTB Microsoft products to standardized, yet tailored, Innovative-e services and products, our tools answersthe question, “What should you have in YOUR toolbox?”Tools.jpg

Tools in Innovative-e’s Toolbox for the Manufacturing PM

Microsoft PPM

Microsoft PPM provides, on its own, robust project management capabilities to maximize business value. Increase PM performance and project throughput, optimize productivity by increasing resource utilization, and improve enterprise resource management with Microsoft Project with cost-effective features such as:

  • Easy time and task management
  • Robust issue and risk mitigation
  • Intuitive collaboration
  • Wide-spread access from virtually anywhere

Check out our fact sheet about the business value of Microsoft PPM here.

OutageHawk™

Built to leverage the power of Microsoft PPM, OutageHawk™ is an outage planning and performance management tool created especially for PMs in heavy industry. OutageHawk™ enables project managers in pulp and paper manufacturing plants, chemical manufacturers, energy companies and other heavy manufacturing industries to manage non-routine, planned maintenance outages, plant upgrades, and critical repair outages smarter and more efficiently to come in on-schedule and under budget safely, sometimes by millions of dollars.

Manufacturing PMs who use OutageHawk™ will be able to:

  • Make better informed decisions where to apply resources on critical tasks
  • Gain improved visibility on schedule drivers and the lock-out/tag-out status of jobs
  • ​Maximize collaboration by adopting a tool designed to work with teams

Want to know more? Download our two-page brochure about OutageHawk™ here or watch our short video about how to use #AmazingPM on your next outage.

Edison365 Projects

Edison365 Projects (previously known as PS+) is an award-winning add-on for Microsoft Project to empower you and your team with even greater insight and control than comes with standard OOTB PPM. Improve collaboration and manage your entire project from start to finish with an intuitive add-on that extends Microsoft Project’s capabilities to give you:

  • Easy-to-use OOTB apps and aids to increase system adoption and productivity immediately
  • Visibility into portfolio project management performance
  • Management reporting
  • Finance management

With Edison365, you’ll gain insights into your portfolio project management performance, take control of resources and expenditures, make more informed decisions, have critical near-real-time information at your fingertips, maximize your resources, and enable more productive collaboration. All of this in an easy-to-use, intuitive interface!

Read this comparison to see how Edison365 Projects deepens and enhances Microsoft PPM, or watch our recorded webinar, “Accelerate Your PM with Edison365 Projects.”

Customer Success Management Services (CSMS) Subscription

With these PPM tools at your disposal, you want to protect your investment and make the very most of it. Innovative-e’s Customer Success Management Services (CSMS) subscription and Application Management and Ongoing Adoption (AMOA) service product give a solid foundation for your user community and your PPM toolset. We will train you to effectively use, manage, and maintain these tools to achieve your business goals at your desired level of self-sufficiency.

Innovative-e uses our years of expertise and stable of PPM subject matter experts to address your PM pain points and attain your organization’s project management goals using the people, processes, and technology you already have in place.

csm

Use some or all of these tools to maximize productivity, gain better visibility into your portfolio project management, and access up-to-date project performance information to enable informed business decisions. These tools lead to better control over resource management, project scheduling, and portfolio reporting so projects stay on time, on- or under-budget. Each of these tools is designed to help project managers across a number of industries do what they aim to do with their project portfolios and they are especially helpful for PMs on projects in the manufacturing industry.

If you want better ROI and decisive insight from your manufacturing industry project management tools, drop us a line at info@innovative-e.com today!

Uncategorized

Attempting to raise Slow Ride

Now that all the prep work has been done, the simulations ran, and the pumps put in place, it was finally time to raise Slow Ride from her watery grave.

As Mike points out in this video, before we start pumping out water with the pumps we must close all the openings in Slow Ride. The main openings that needed to be closed were the port side window, the rear siding class doors, the front door, and the vent cover on the starboard side. By plugging up those holes, Mike and his team hoped to maximize the outflow of water that the pumps could generate. Between the two pumps they could generate pump out 26,000 gallons of water per hour. To give you an idea of how much water that is, a large swimming pool (22×40) could be pumped out in one hour! But would they raise Slow Ride?

As Mike’s team begins pumping water they hit a snag, a piece of debris has gotten lodged in the pump and is keeping it from working. After shutting the pumps down and removing the debris the pump out continues. It takes hours but as in the simulation the bow raises out of the water first, but the stern is still underwater. This is a crucial moment in the fate of Slow Ride. With the bow out of the water it has less weight than the stern, this puts stress on the structure of the boat. If this continues for an extended period, she could falter and break into two pieces.

Late that night the stern is out of the water and Slow Ride is now floating again. But will she stay afloat through the night, only time would tell. As first light broke there she stood, beaten, battered, and scarred but still afloat. Mike and his team had done it!