We do Project Management for a living…
This post isn’t a sales pitch… Yes, Innovative-e is officially the first partner in the U.S. to offer the PS+ product suite. However, what I’m going to talk about here is why WE love what PS+ does for OUR BUSINESS.
Innovative-e subscribes to the philosophy that we actually use the products that we build solutions upon for our customers. The core tools we use are in the Microsoft stack, most notably SharePoint and Project/Server/Online. What I’ll describe here is a few ways that PS+ makes our usage of Project Online a more efficient and satisfying experience.
Experience and just finding things
Project Online/Server are fantastic tools, but they are built to be completely flexible and customizable. That flexibility often leads to, well, let’s just say less-than-intuitive ways to do many things. Microsoft calls these ‘partner opportunities,’ meaning they leave it to the Microsoft Partner community to address these challenges…
The folks at PS+ took these partner opportunities to heart and solved some challenges that project managers often find annoying and time-consuming. There are dozens of cool things PS+ does, but one of the biggest is vastly improving the user experience.
It is much easier to find information. For example, all of the PS+ Apps are installed into the default Project page by default (this is customizable). Another cool feature is the ability to surface most project information right from the Project page.
And the little things
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference. I know when I am managing projects, it always seems that there’s no time to do those last-minute, right-before-a big-meeting items that can make a big difference. One such item is managing and reporting risks and issues. A great example of this is the Risk to Issue Escalator.
This app addresses the steps to convert a risk to an issue whenever the risk becomes a reality. Before this app, you had to create a new Issue, then copy paste the info from the risk, then go close the risk… This is a great time saver and makes the risk and issues list much more usable (and therefore meaningful)!
Why PS+ makes project management easier for Innovative-e
In the end, PS+ helps Innovative-e be more efficient and effective managing our projects, which as I said before, is our bread and butter. The keys to me are:
- Greatly improved my user experience, which makes it more likely that I will open Project Online and actually DO my updates in a timely manner. Guess what – this is a fundamental aspect of ADOPTION. As I stated in my blog on adoption, it is the most important of all.
- I find access to information much easier. I can navigate to most projects within a couple of clicks. This saves a lot of time, which in turn, can be used to provide more meaningful updates/data entry. At the end of the day, this increases the value of the information in the system.
- I love the time-saving tools like the Risk to Issue Escalator. It’s these ‘little things’ that save time and energy when time and energy are in the shortest supply (e.g.,. before a big project review meeting, under a reporting deadline, etc.). This is the polish that makes me a better project manager and my projects more successful!