The most commonly used project management tools are spreadsheets and Microsoft Project. Whilst these are fine for small groups of resources, or a limited number of projects, they struggle to cope as resource and project numbers increase.
Enterprise project management software, such as Project Server, looks attractive because of its rich functionality, but achieving a successful Project Server implementation is both arduous and expensive. It also requires a number of prerequisites to be in place:
- A sophisticated project management culture.
- Well trained project managers.
- A well established project management process.
This is a level of maturity that most organizations fall somewhat short of. Typically, management of demand and resource allocation is being done by spreadsheets, whilst project managers use Microsoft Project to plan their individual projects.
Implementing Project Server means that Microsoft Project plans become corporate data. For meaningful reporting, all project plans must therefore be consistent, current & complete. So, every project manager must apply detailed plan templates to their projects, and adhere strictly to a comprehensive methodology, such as PRINCE2.
Innate, the viable alternative to Project Server
Where resource management is a key objective, Innate can be an attractive alternative.
- Innate converts resource planning spreadsheets into a robust multi-user system at a fraction of the cost, time and risk associated with implementing Project Server. Innate’s web based spreadsheets hold data centrally in SQL Server or Oracle. Project management functions apply across the entire workload, including operational tasks. Comprehensive reports, including a reports editor, and data access controls enable each user to see just the information that they need.
- The integration with MS Project supports a variety of process steps. For more complex projects, resource and date constraints can first be developed in Innate and then copied into MS Project for top down planning by the project manager.
Example of Innate planning view which highlights resource overloads as individual work estimates are entered
Innate becomes the repository for corporate project and resource data, whilst enabling each project manager to do their detailed planning more independently – reducing the need for a more sophisticated process and for consistency of detailed plans.
Where resource planning at task level is required, detailed Microsoft Project plans can be synchronised with Innate. The resource management software supports both project and resource managers through their resource allocation process.
Innate is quick to implement and easy to use. Typically the total external services cost for implementing Innate will be less than a third of the cost of implementing Project Server, with internal implementation costs being correspondingly lower.
Apart from the external costs and the considerably greater internal client resource commitment required for implementing Project Server, the added complexity and duration increase the risk of the objectives not being met. The shorter the timescales, the lower the risk!
Innate’s Resource Management Software is much simpler in approach.
Follow the link for a White paper that compares the requirements for successfully implementing Innate and Project Server.
For organizations that are struggling with Microsoft Project and spreadsheets, Innate’s Resource Management Software can be the attractive alternative to implementing Project Server.