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A typical schedule for Software Development Projects

This describes the typical schedule and five phases (inception, elaboration, construction, transition, and production) for any software/web development project.

Scheduled your Projects By ProductDossier

Inception – Requirement Gathering

Inception (Initiating) phase is to identify the scope, objectives & requirements. (Client is responsible for the maximum clarity on the brief)

Elaboration – Analysis & Application Design

In elaboration, a skeleton model has developed understanding in-depth requirements from the client & providing clarity on the various application fronts such as User Interface, Database & Application Design. Once you have maximum clarity, you freeze upon the requirements.

Construction – Development

At the end of elaboration phase development takes place. During this, no feedback or new brief is taken from the client, if a client insists for new features, typically schedule and cost are revised if needed.

Transition – Iterations

The application is submitted for review for 1 week and client’s feedback will be incorporated. The Client is requested to make one consolidated list of changes (if any)

Production – Monitoring

The application goes live, a programmer standby to monitor bugs.

It is not necessary to use project management software, but it helps in managing the show effectively or identifying your weaknesses… You can try project management software such as MS project or http://www.productdossier.com.

Note: Timelines sometimes change after elaboration phase.

Our practice needs to ensure

  1. Brief — must be detailed/written and crystal clear / this responsibility lies with the client/business development people
  2. The brief is taken to the tech team for feasibility and design team for development and a rough estimate on timelines is taken from both the teams.
  3. Upon design, development is scheduled along with transition phase, i.e., bug testing/feedback and user acceptance phase has a separate timeline, this has to be again written communication and should be communicated to all (i.e., coder/client/business development manager)
  4. In case there has been incremental in client wish list (may it be small), keep a note on that, and if that is affecting the deadline, revise the deadline and communicate that to a client on immediate note.
  5. Once the development is complete, a testing will be done by the programmer/CS team and client simultaneously / a feedback report will be created within 24 hours to proceed further. This should be as comprehensive as it can be / please do not let your client sleep on this if they don’t have time this will delay / and extend your work.
  6. The feedback is incorporated, and incremental feedback taken max 2 / 3 times and set a period for accepting changes. Also, make a note of the changes asked separately than bugs, so you can justify the time was taken or cost involved.

 

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What is Project Management?

Today we are asking ourselves the age old question what exactly is Project Management?

Project management is more than just time management sheets, project status reports and the occasional rah-rah speech delivered with a slice of pizza before the next all-nighter. Team members shouldn’t accept it, sponsors shouldn’t condone it and the project managers shouldn’t do it. Yet many organisations have come to accept a strange limbo where there is enough perception of value that we keep managing that way even in the face of general frustration about not totally getting what we want from project management.

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Part of the challenge of project management is that a lot of organisations still don’t understand what a project is — not in the generalised sense, but in the specific context of how project management is viewed as a desirable means of delivering particular initiatives in our organisations. When is something a project, and when is it just work that we need to do? Where does operational effort stop and project work start? What are the functions we value of our project managers, and what tools and authority are we providing to support them?

Rather than answer these questions directly and thoroughly, we latch on to new flavours and fads. We embrace a trend like Extreme, Agile or Lean Project as the solution that will finally make everything ‘click.’ These and other frameworks are typically model ideas to describe a way that teams like to work, especially in developing new products. In a certain context, in a certain environment and for certain types of projects, they are probably great. In others, they would fail just as quickly as other approaches.

There is no single, universal way of operating that involves actual, breathing, thinking human beings that will work, in all cases, out of the box. The honest answer to how appropriate and applicable any one technique would be in a given situation will always be prefaced with the words ‘It depends…’

The biggest problem associated with the challenge of making project management work lies in how we have defined project management in the first place, and how we try to practice it. The gold standard, rightly or wrongly, is the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Every other product that PMI produces, and many products and training courses in the wider marketplace, aligns with the framework of knowledge areas and process groups articulated in the PMBOK. While this is not surprising, the struggle comes when organisations try to manage a project using the PMBOK. The PMBOK is a standard, not a process. It is a checklist of considerations, not a step-by-step how-to guide. And while PMI acknowledges its role as a standard, there is a widespread perception that it is something more. There are people who will directly tell you that you can’t manage a project by the PMBOK, but there are just as many others who declare they use the PMBOK to manage their projects or demand that a project must be managed using the PMBOK. The fact that the PMBOK can’t do this — and isn’t designed to do it — falls on deaf ears.

Equally frustrating is those who hold up the PMBOK as the illustration of why project management won’t and can’t work — because it doesn’t define how to manage projects. Anybody picked up the ISO standard recently and tried to figure out how to do quality? You simply cannot get there from here. Standards tell you how to comply with the standard, not how to do great work. As a result, there are just as many bad suppliers certified ISO as there are bad projects managed “by PMBOK.” (And, frankly, just as many good ones.)

Project management, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What makes project management work in any individual organisation is defining what a project is, what project management is, what the project management function is, and how the project manager’s role contributes to delivering value and realising the project results. It doesn’t matter what process or approach you use, or what standard you proclaim to adhere to. Successful project management is the negotiated intersection of the authority we are given, the freedom we take and the educated risks we assume.

The danger in all of this, of course, is the qualifier: “it depends.” The appropriate role for project management in your organisation isn’t something that you can order from a parts catalogue. It isn’t about a book you buy, a manifesto you sign, or a standard you adopt. Successfully introducing and using project management is about the very real, very messy, and very time consuming work of figuring out what works and doesn’t for you. What authority and autonomy works in your culture? What flexibility do you need in delivering projects for your customers? What flexibility or conformity do they need for you? What requirements are imposed by the contracts you work under?

All of these questions, and many more, are what will determine what you call project management, and whether it can actually deliver results. We need to stop taking short cuts by trying to graft other peoples’ solutions onto our situations, and start figuring out how we really want to work with this thing called project management.

Looking For Project Management Software? Visit http://www.productdossier.com/

Guide for Redemption of A Project Manager

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This may sound like a play on words, but consider that in many cases we struggle to make our projects successful and simply can’t. Oh, we know that our projects will do better and be more successful if they follow our proven methodologies, processes, best practices and disciplines. But we do not (or should not) do the actual work on a project, so we cannot claim the success when it’s done. Yes, we motivate the team, deliver on the plan, manage expectations, solve problems, escalate issues, build relationships, stand firm, communicate, control and on and on — but as many of us have learned through difficult and troubling projects, these things executed perfectly still do not guarantee success. We can facilitate a project’s success. We can keep a project from straying into “rough waters.” We can allow a project to succeed. We are enablers of project success. And we can keep it from failing.
The project needs us; we need the project; we are co-dependent. What brings this point to perfect clarity for me is that while others bask in the glory of a successful project, what I feel is a lessening of tension, stress, worry and anxiety. As the stress level recedes, I find myself once again looking around for the next “project fix.”
As an experienced project manager, and as a manager of project managers many times over, I have had my fair share of lessons learned over the years. I have come to realise that not all project managers are created equal. While there are various tools, classes and means to learn the craft of project management, there is a learning-and-growing process that most project managers go through. For those inclined to embark down a project management career path, and those already travelling one, I offer the following guide.
1. Admit we are powerless over the things we cannot control.
One of the early mistakes I have seen, especially for new project managers, is the drive to control every damn thing related to the project. Stephen Covey provides the best guidance for this: you have to clearly understand what you can control, what you can influence and what you have no control over at all. Otherwise, you waste a lot of time and energy, both yours and others.
2. Realise there are higher (and lower) levels of authority.
As project managers learn the basics of managing schedule, cost and quality, they often get carried away with themselves and don’t clearly understand the level of authority within the project matrix. In other words they either overextend themselves in the scope of their decision-making or underexpose themselves to the decisions they should make.
3. Make decisions on behalf of the project.
As project managers get a better sense of their scope of control and level of authority, they embark on what I can only call “gamesmanship.” They take advantage of situations to position themselves, and forget that it’s all about the project.
4. Know your stakeholders.
As project managers learn to work the project towards success, they sometimes lose perspective of those who have a vested interest in the outcome. While it is certainly about the project, the project is the outcome of stakeholder needs and wants. These individuals need to be addressed (and managed) which can is a great challenge. While they may seem unreasonable at times, it is the project manager who must bring reason to the situation.
5. Be entirely honest with yourself.
It is easy to overextend yourself. To be overconfident and feel you can do it all. But as my father once told me, “You can do anything you want in life, you just can’t do everything you want.” Know your limitations and learn how to live with them.
6. Do the next thing right.
Sometimes you can find yourself overwhelmed with challenges that all demand your time and attention. Learn how to focus and shut out the noise. Then pick the next thing that must be done and focus on getting it right. With this you will begin to clear the chaos. Otherwise, if you hurry through and do things poorly, it will come back to eat you alive.
7. Be humble, value others.
There is so much that can be said here, but if you feel that you are the only one that can get things done then I guarantee you will be the only one getting things done. The single most important job of a project manager is to enable others, which also means you are only a very small part of the total work effort. Don’t ever forget it.
8. Learn from your mistakes.
We all make them, and the only real mistake is to not admit it and learn from it. This does not mean you need to advertise or proclaim them to the world. But be realistic about them because you can do more right by fixing a mistake than by trying to hide it from yourself or others.
9. Fix what can be fixed.
Leveraging the previous steps, you can begin to activate higher levels of project management influence by focusing on where you can affect the greatest good. Harness your understanding of what you control and influence, realizing the correct levels for each decision, the true needs and wants, and your own limitations and past errors. You have the ability to influence the project positively. Focus your energy.
10. Look to improve every day.
As you move forward and begin to positively focus your effectiveness, you can also find the opportunity each and every day to change one thing, however small, to makes a difference. Each small change builds on the next small change until you begin to realize an overwhelming sense of ability to accomplish.
11. Look for ways to help others.
As you fix things on your project and improve your own skill set each day, you will find that you have the ability to show others their ability to improve themselves and their projects.
12. Carry forward what you have learned.
This allows a synergy where you learn and exchange with others so that the total building process leads to projects succeeding throughout the organization.
These 12 steps have a progression to them, though you can practice more than one step at a time and in various orders. The point is to build on some fundamentals as you gain experience, knowledge and ultimately (hopefully) wisdom.
To capture the essence of one of my early mentors, “No one would subject themselves to this kind of job if they didn’t truly love being in these positions.” While this 12-step program does not address the technical aspects or specific skills of project management, it does provide a framework in which to survive and thrive.
Learn more about Project Management visit http://www.productdossier.com/

Features Of The Different Types Of Projects

Project management is the coordination of information, tools, ability, and methods to perform the various projects. It needs the proper planning and systematic effort achieve the goal of the particular project. The main objective of the project management is to using the various resources with systematic planning can lead to achieve the goal of the organization.

The project management covers planning and proper management to achieve the goal of the organization. Project management pursues various tasks like preparing the feasibility report, planning, execution, assessment and hold/maintenance.

In simple term the project management is the division of the any company or organisation to utilise various sources from different discipline of the organisation to fulfil the common objective to achieve the predecided scope, quality and in the timeline by managing the cost. Any project has either short term objective or long-term objective. The strategy to achieve the goal of the organisation depends on the predecided objectives.

The project management require management and technical skill. With the co-ordination of the two techniques the require objective will fulfill with restraints and optimise the assign resources. In short project management is a task to managing the resources through proper planning and execution to fullfill the goal.

The function of current management techniques and structure to the carrying out of a project from begin to end, to realize preset aims of scope of the project, quality, time and cost, to the same agreement of persons occupied with the task.

Project Management
The project management covers planning and proper management to achieve the goal of the organization. The main objective of the project management is to using the various resources with systematic planning can lead to achieve the goal of the organization. Project management pursues various tasks like preparing the feasibility report, planning, execution, assessment and hold/maintenance. Every projects either it is management, HRD, or Engineering project need to go through various task. There are different types of projects executed but some characteristics are matches with some features are common. These features are:

Managerial Task:

Managerial task decides the scope of the work. The scope will get change as the project reaches at the different stages.

Construction of the project:

Depends on the scope of the work the construction of the project carried out. The main aim of the construction work is finish the construction work in time to manage the cost factor. It needs proper planning, skilled workforce and timeline to finish the different part of the projects. So in construction the time and cost these two factors are very much important.

Software Development:

Computerization of the new project is the part of the scope of work so once the project design get completed based on the scope than the programmer can start working on the same line. Some time minor alteration comes due to technical aspects change in the construction work.

Plan Design:

The design of the project is really a brainstorming work. It needs special skills to implement properly. It is based on the client’s feedback and scope of work. High quality design can make the task easy for engineers.

Installation:

It is essential to complete the project within the time limit so atomization of the project is very much important for that it needs installation of systems and various types of equipment for smooth process.

Time Management:

In any project time management is crucial. It can save millions of dollar if the project gets finished within the time limit.

Product Development:

In project management task, product development is one of the most crucial tasks. It involved several resources and technology with proper product research as well as market research. More funds are needed in the product development task.

Research & Development:

In many projects particularly in pharmaceuticals Research & development is one of the crucial aspects and said to be a base for the development of the company. It needs lots of funds with proper infrastructure and skilled Man Power.

ProductDossier is leading project management software provider delivering Quote to Cash solutions for our clients, for more information visit http://www.productdossier.com/

5 Major Benefits of Project Management Software System

Project Management Software integrates internal and external management information of any organization that implements it. It embraces several departments of a single organization. For example, it can show the state of accounting, sales and service, manufacturing, and management of the organization in a fraction of second. There are several benefits of Project Management Software. It links all the departments of the organization to a centralized server and computer system. The major benefits of Project Management Software implementation is that, it enables a free flow of information across every part of the organization. There are several software brands in the market, but companies must choose Project Management system according to their needs.

Project management software '

Project Management Software helps in quick decision making, which in turn help organizations to gain better profit margins. Project Management Software is beneficial software which could become a solid operational backbone of the organization. The cost of implementing Project Management is reasonable, since benefits of Project Management Software are substantial.  The major benefits of Project Management Software are mentioned below

  1. It helps in better project planning. Those were days when projects were recorded in lots of play books. Keeping records of them was a hectic task for project managers. Nowadays, any project can run smoothly with the help of right software implementation. Project Management Software provides an opportunity to every organization to run their project not only smoothly but also efficiently.
  2. The benefits of Project Management Software include ease of data access that too with data integrity. It helps authorized personnel to access data of their authorization in a hassle free manner. People would be free to access data of their interest without being dependent on different departments. The benefits of Project Management Software also include data integrity, which ensures entry of correct data in the database.
  3. Reduction in data redundancy is one of the major benefits of Project Management Software. Many organizations have suffered from problems associated with duplicate entry of data. Such fault could hamper entire system. But, an efficient Project Management Software can easily stop storing of duplicate data in the system.
  4. It reduces time consumption. Any effective Project Management Software could complete tasks in half of the time than any manual system would need to complete the very same task. For example, when any customer orders some items, accounts department would easily make invoice and send it to the customer with the help of Project Management Software since every calculation would be automatic.
  5. The competition is huge in the market. Companies with Project Management software could experience ease in sales planning. Project Management software can easily and accurately calculate the overhead costs so that organization could quote more competitive rate without spending much time in calculations.

In conclusion, the benefits are Project Management implementation is innumerable. Every organization which is willing to stay in the market uses Project Management Software to reduce consumption of time for completion of important tasks and, to double their profits. Project Management rise resource planning software increases the productivity of the organization. It promotes more reliable and fast operations that too in a well-coordinated manner. The benefits of Project Management Software provide an opportunity to the organization to stand in ever changing world economy.

Get free demo of our state of the art Project Management Software visit – productdossier.com

Project Management Software Infographic

Project Management software by productdossier

For more information about Project Management Visit – http://www.productdossier.com/

Do Wholesalers Really Need A Project Management Software?

Running a wholesale business, means you are dealing with stock buying and selling on a regular basis. Therefore, the primary aspect for any wholesale business owner is managing inventory.

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Since you are receiving products from suppliers and then selling it to your customers, I’m sure you realize the importance of managing inventory.

There are many ways to manage inventory, however, the most common one among wholesalers is using spreadsheets with various columns to define product name, price, and quantity.  Every time a sale is made business owners need to ensure immediate deduction to maintain accurate Project flow.

Such labour-intensive process needs constant manual monitoring to ensure every transaction is accounted for; however, this method can lead to major pitfall of human errors. Ultimately, the more automation you use in your Product management, the less paperwork you’ll have to deal with.

With the advent of technology, cloud-based Project Management Software solution is already helping many business owners to enhance business operations by allowing them with:

– Centralized access to all your products

Dealing with a single product line or multiple categories, having access to your products from one place will offer clear stock visibility and make management easy.  With an ability to track products across your multiple warehouses, you will eliminate the risks of stock outs and late order fulfilment too.

– Centralized access for all customers

Using multiple accounts/spreadsheets to track and manage your daily sales transactions, I’m sure is confusing and time-taking, both. Having an ability to consolidate all your orders details at one place is making it easy for many business owners to access, as well as, process customer’s orders in a full-proof way.

– Instant access to sales orders details

Another major challenge to wholesalers is not being able to process customer’s orders in time. Receiving your customer’s orders via email, fax, or even messages can lead to a delay in shipping and fulfilment. And, with the increasing risk of details or messages not being delivered in time, can lead to loss of many potential sales orders. Product/Project management software is allowing wholesalers an ability to track sales orders details in real-time.

– Automatic stock updates

Managing multiple orders in a day, it is important that you update stock ins and outs to ensure adequate availability as per requirements. A Project Management Software will help you automate your stock updates in real-time. This way, it becomes easy to track requirements and make informed decisions for your wholesale business.

– Re-order notifications

Re- order

Nothing else can affect a customer more than not being able to receive their purchase orders in time. Processing multiple orders in a day, there are chances of missing out on re-ordering products in time. And, procuring products after the customer has already placed an order can delay fulfilment process and result to a poor customer experience. Project automation does not only update stock levels but also offers a Project lock feature that will alert you to re-order stock. Having an ability to do so you can eliminate ugly scenarios and ensure a smooth stock flow as per requirements.

– Provide self-assistance to choose products

Many wholesale business owners are already gaining a competitive advantage by offering a more personalized shopping experience. Being able to showcase a range of product collection and allow customers to make purchases within the same dashboard is what you should adapt for your wholesale business. Project software is helping many business owners to sync their product offerings at one place, from where you can invite your customers to access and place their orders in real-time.

– Tracking order fulfilment status in real-time

Being in a wholesale business you’ll mostly be fulfilling orders in bulk, therefore ensuring a quick and safe delivery can be a challenge, especially when done manually. Unable to track your customer’s orders status, can lead to unexpected delays and ruin the customer’s experience. Automating your Project management will help you immediately spot delays and take measures to enhance fulfilment.

– Accept multi-currency purchase transactions

As and when your business grows, customers from across the globe will get inquisitive about your brand. This can open greater opportunities for your wholesale business only if you allow them an easy transaction. Not being able to pay in their currency, can create an impression in customer’s mind that your service is not available in their country. Allowing your customers to transit in their own currency will make them feel safe ,who in turn, will stick to your wholesale brand for making future purchases.

What else?

Today, wholesale Projects/Products definitely demands a piece of  Project Management Software rather than using spreadsheets and different accounts for every order that comes in. Although, the need for such software can vary for different business sizes, from the many advantages of a Project management system enforces business owners to follow the best practices and perform daily tasks more productively.