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ensure that people using the software are trained sufficiently. Some leading project management and risk
management software packages are shown in Exhibits 19-3 and 19-4.

Distributed Integrated System
Although there are excellent packages for project management, more often than not the computing
environment is distributed, whereby processing power is split among different levels in a systems
architecture. A distributed computing architecture is client/server. That is, some or all the application
processing may reside at the client, or PC, level, or be shared with a server, or be at a mini- or mainframe
computer level.
A typical scenario is for the project application software to reside on the client; the major processing and data
occur on the server. This architecture offers several advantages. First, users have a user-friendly interface
while simultaneously having access to considerably more power and data than on a PC. Second, hardware and
software cost less since the preliminary work is done at the client level. And third, data can be shared among
multiple users as well as provide uniform data management.
The client/server environment has substantially affected project management as a complementary or
supplementary tool for new technologies such as telecommuting, mobile computing, and groupware.


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Project Management Practitioner's Handbook
by Ralph L. Kleim and Irwin S. Ludin
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814403964 Pub Date: 01/01/98

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Telecommuting
Title

Increasingly, people work on projects via personal computers in their homes. They provide their services and
expertise electronically. Telecommuting reduces the need for office space, plus saves time and commuting
dollars for the individual. It allows people to accomplish more in less time, thanks to fewer interruptions and a
----------- flexible work schedule.
Project Management Methodologies
In some situations, projects can make use of a project management methodology, or PMM. Sometimes the
methodology is developed in-house; other times it is purchased from an outside firm. Whatever its origins, a
PMM offers several advantages. It provides a consistent, standardized approach for managing projects. It
sets the groundwork for compiling data. And it improves communications.
The PMM must be flexible in its application. It must also be documented and accessible, and it should be
supported via training and vendor assistance. Finally, it should present information clearly and concisely.
A PMM does not guarantee success; it takes leadership to get people to use the PMM. And this leadership
should come not from just the project manager but also from senior management. Commitment comes just
as much from the top as it does from the rank and file.
Some PMMs are stand-alone, meaning they™re not part of a much bigger methodology”for example, the
Practical Project Management Methodology (P2M2) by Practical Creative Solutions and KLR Consulting.
Other PMMs are part of a much bigger methodology, such as Productivity Plus (P+) by DMR, which is
oriented toward software development.

There are challenges to telecommuting, and many of them are financial. Telecommuters must have
technological tools, including a personal computer (e.g., laptop or workstation), software (e.g., terminal
emulation), modem, printer, pager, and cellular phone. They also need training and perhaps technical support
to resolve connections problems and answer advanced application quieries. Project managers must ensure that
telecommuters have the current software, from project management to word processing.
There are also potential performance problems. There is corruption and other degradations of data associated
with transferring data across telephone lines. Slow transmission speed can increase costs, requiring
installation of high bandwidth lines.
Exhibit 19-3. Leading project management software packages.

Package Description Contact
Primavera Project Planner A comprehensive planning and control Primavera Systems, Inc.
(copyright) package. It also provides e-mail and Web Two Bala Plaza
publishing functionality. Considered Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-1586
useful for medium to large projects. (610) 667-8600
www.primavera.com
Results Management A suite of project management products, ABT Corporation
of which Project Workbench plays a key 361 Broadway
role. Project Workbench provides an New York, NY 10013-3998
extensive project planning and control (212) 219-8945
system. Considered useful for medium to www.abtcorp.com
large projects.
Microsoft Project for Windows A planning and controlling package that Microsoft Corporation
generates standard and tailorable charts One Microsoft Way
and reports. Microsoft Project for Redmond, WA 98052-6399
Windows works well with other Microsoft (425) 635-7155
products. Considered useful for small to www.msn.com
medium projects.
CA-Superproject A project management package that is Computer Associates
very resource driven and provides International, Inc.
extensive graphics and reporting One Computer Associates Plaza
capabilities. Considered useful for small to Islandia, NY 11788-7000
large projects. (800) 225-5224
www.cai.com
Project Scheduler 7 for A project management package noted for Scitor Corporation
Windows ease of use, resource handling capabilities, 333 Middlefield Road
and managing multiple projects. 2nd floor
Considered useful for small to large Menlo Park, CA 94025
projects. (800) 533-9876
www.scitor.com

Mobile Computing

Like telecommuting, mobile computing is a result of advances in client/ server technology. Project team
members can be on the road and still contribute to deliverables. It gives team members the flexibility to work
at different locations, and enables them to work at a remote location and still provide timely results.
Exhibit 19-4. Leading risk management software packages.

Package Description Contact
Monte Carlo for Primavera Risk analysis software that is used with Primavera Systems, Inc.
Primavera Project Planner. It enables Two Bala Plaza
determining the probabilities for Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-1586
completing a project on schedule and (610) 667-8600
within budget. www.primavera.com
Rank-It Risk assessment software that enables Jerry Fitzgerald and Associates
applying precedence diagramming (not to 506 Barkentine Lane
be confused with precedence network Redwood City, CA 94065-1128
diagramming for schedules) for (415) 591-5676
identifying and ranking threats and //ourworld.compuserve.com/
processes and associated controls. homepages/jerardra
Risk + Risk analysis software to use with Program Management
Microsoft Project for Windows. It enables Solutions, Inc.
applying Monte Carlo simulation to 553 N. Pacific Coast Highway
determine the probability to complete Suite B-177
tasks. Redondo Beach, CA 90278
(805) 898-9571
www.prog-mgmt.com
Total Risk An integrated risk management package Redpoint Software, Inc.
for monitoring and controlling risk by One Cabot Road
creating a “virtual data warehouse.” Suite 190
Hudson, MA 01749
(508) 870-0070
www.rpsi.com



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Project Management Practitioner's Handbook
by Ralph L. Kleim and Irwin S. Ludin
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814403964 Pub Date: 01/01/98

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Of course, there are challenges to mobile computing. The costs can be high. A mobile computing workforce
Title
requires laptops, batteries, printers, software (e.g., applications, communications), CD-ROM attachments,
modems, adapters, docking stations, PCMCIA cards, and drivers.
There are other factors, too: skyrocketing communications costs, additional servers to handle demand,
training, and support to resolve technical problems. And there is the time and money to ensure the data
-----------
security and restrictive access to corporate networks.

Groupware Computing

Thanks to client/server architecture and the movement toward flatter organizational structures, groupware
computing enables the sharing of applications and data. Groupware is often not enterprise-wide; it is used
within a smaller organization, such as a department, work unit, or project. Its software components fall into
one of these categories:
• Electronic mail and messaging over a network
• Information sharing (e.g., document management)
• Personal and group calendaring and scheduling
• Real-time conferencing (e.g., electronic meetings)
• Workflow (e.g., automation of common business functions)
To function in a groupware environment, team members need microcomputers or workstations, servers,
cabling, network devices, and software (which often includes two or more categories). It requires a
commonality of software and data.
Groupware improves the communciation and distribution of information. It capitalizes on trends toward
decentralization of computing, using mid-range and personal computer-based computing. But groupware also
presents its challenges. Like telecommuting and mobile computing, it requires support personnel to resolve
technical difficulties and answer inquiries. There must be a substantial initial investment in hardware and
software, as well as upgrade efforts and training. All this increases project costs and adds to flow time.
Web Technology
The Internet is revolutionary technology that ties organizations and projects together. Many companies apply
Web technology in the form of intranets. The broad, primary difference between the Internet and an intranet
is that the latter uses a firewall, or server, to regulate or screen communications”hence, Internet technology
is used on a smaller, restricted basis.
The technology for using the Internet or an intranet is varied, but they share common requirements:
• Workstation and browser for each user
• Database servers
• Expertise in SQL (structured query language), HTML (hypertext markup language), CGI (common
gateway interface), Java, and a database management system (e.g., relational)
• Operating system at the workstation
• Protocols (such as HTTP, TCP/IP) for communications
Web technology is truly an enabler of projects. It gives people access to information that was once difficult to
obtain. It has tools (browsers, HTML [hypertext markup language], etc.) that are relatively easy to use and
piggyback on an existing communications network and client/server infrastructures. Finally, it furthers
communication through e-mail or conferencing at relatively low cost.
Web Site Design
The enthusiasm for Web technology has hit just about every organization. Even medium-size projects are
building their own Web sites. Quite often, the Web pages of these sites appear cluttered, confusing, and
irrelevant.
To develop a Web page for your project, ensure that it is clear, concise, consistent, relevant, and simple.
Your Web pages should:
• Follow a logical structure rather than appear as a hodgepodge of unrelated data.
• Have text free of spelling and grammatical errors.
• Keep hypertext and navigational links to a minimum and current.
• Use color sparingly to emphasize main points and draw attention.
• Use graphics, audio, and video to support the main focus of the site, not distract.
• Use language that is familiar to everyone; define acronyms and jargon.
• Use plenty of white space to increase readability and minimize bandwidth use.

Many projects establish Web sites. A Web site is what people inside and outside of the project access to send
or obtain information.
A project typically has one Web site for people access, which provides hypertext links to contents throughout
the site and navigational links to other pertinent sites. The information likely to be on a Web site is:
• Cost and time estimates
• Forms
• Lessons learned from previous projects
• Meeting schedules
• Memorandums
• Phone and contact listings
• Procedures
• Reports
• Risk assessment
• Schedules (bar and network)
• Statement of work
• Work breakdown structure
Taming the E-Mail Beast
In the past, it was not uncommon for project managers to find a pile of memorandums on their desks. Unless
they were masters at time management or could read quickly, they found themselves overwhelmed.
Today, the same challenge exists, except the memorandums are in electronic form. With the ease of using
e-mail, in many respects, the volume of memorandums has become worse.
To lessen the e-mail volume, emphasize that team members use “e-mail etiquette,” meaning:
1. Consolidate your messages to the receiver.
2. Ensure that the contents of the message move from major to minor points.
3. Include your name and/or organization on the message.
4. Keep the message to minimum length.
5. Ensure the receiver can print an attached file, if necessary.
6. Use good spelling and grammar.
To reduce the volume of e-mail you receive, you can:
• Distribute a style guide on e-mail and guidelines for everyone on the project.
• Establish a scheme for determining which messages are more important than others (e.g., topic or
person).
• Set aside some time during the day to address messages.
• Store messages for later reference onto a hard drive or floppy disk.



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Project Management Practitioner's Handbook
by Ralph L. Kleim and Irwin S. Ludin
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814403964 Pub Date: 01/01/98

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In addition, the Web site can be the place to broadcast messages, enable access to databases, and distribute
Title
updates to application software.
Despite the advantages of Web technology, it can add to the overall cost of a project. There are several issues
the project manager needs to address.
1. Content management. Setting up a Web site is one thing; keeping it current is another. There must
-----------
be someone on the team to refresh the site to ensure that its content and links stay meaningful.
2. Security. Especially for highly proprietary projects, project managers must restrict access and take
measures to prevent a virus from being downloaded. Firewalls, password protection, and encryption are
some ways, but they can be costly.
3. Support. Unless someone already has expertise in Web-related areas (e.g., HTML, Java), then the
project manager must train someone or hire the necessary support.
4. Infrastructure. The right technological infrastructure must be in place to use Web technology,
including ways to author and deploy documents for the site, hardware with sufficient capacity (e.g.,
sufficient RAM, processing speed), and software for assessing data created by legacy systems.
5. Productive use. With technological power at their fingertips, team members can be tempted to surf
the Internet, which can result in nonproductive time and effort as well as access to unrelated data and
software. Project managers must provide standards and guidelines for using this technology, especially
on highly visible, politically sensitive projects.
6. Sufficient bandwidth. Web technology goes beyond accessing and transferring text. It involves using
static images, audio, video, and data, all of which use bandwidth and challenge the overall capacity of
the supporting network infrastructure. Insufficient bandwidth can result in problems like long response
time at peak periods of usage.
7. Copyright laws. Placing documents on a Web site may be all right if generated internally, but if the
documents have been developed by another organization, issues of fair use and ownership arise.
8. User confidence. Although a key attraction of Web technology is its ease of use, many team
members find themselves gun-shy and may experience longer than usual learning curves. Training can
help resolve this issue.
The project manager needs to define his requirements upfront, look at the existing technological and
knowledge capabilities of his team members, and establish an infrastructure before deciding whether to take
advantage of Web technology.

Videoconferencing
Videoconferencing once could occur only in a large facility equipped with a vast array of electronic gadgetry.
Today, with powerful personal computers and digital networking, videoconferencing takes place on a much
smaller scale. Many projects, especially ones with team members spread over a wide geographical area, are
increasingly using videoconferencing.
Videoconferencing offers many advantages. It encourages collaboration and communication, and encourages
real-time planning rather than relying on passive media like documentation and e-mail. Some major
capabilities of PC-based videoconferencing include:
• Multipoint conferencing and point-to-point conferencing
• Providing system diagnostics
• Setting up address books
• Sharing applications
• Transferring files
• Whiteboarding (e.g., electronic diagramming)
However, several challenges remain. The technology is immature, reflected in often blurry, ghostlike, and
jerky images. The sound often is not synchronized with the image. Other times, there are incompatibilities
between points owing to protocol differences. Sometimes, too, the transmission slows dramatically during
high usage periods, causing competition for bandwidth. Finally, preparing for videoconferencing can be
costly; the start-up costs alone can be up to three to four times the cost of a workstation.
To get started in videoconferencing, project managers should have a fully configured setup at a sending and
receiving site. The technology then includes:
• Additional microcomputers for multiple-site conferences to manage interaction
• Audio board supporting speaking and listening
• Cabling
• Digital camera
• Microcomputer, preferably a Pentium
• Microphone for group interaction; headset for individual interaction
• Modem for phone lines
• Software that provides control settings for audio and video quality; supports standard protocols (e.g.,
H.320 for ISDN [Integrated Services Digital Network] and H.324 for Plain Old Telephone Service
[POTS]); and, sharing applications, transferring data, and white-boarding
• Videoboard

Project Automation: Recognizing the Limitations
A technological tool like a software package can make managing a project easier and the manager more
efficient and effective. However, its use does not guarantee success. Numerous projects have failed although
armed with top-notch software. Perry recognizes that a tool does not lead; nor does it define, plan, organize,
control, or close a project. People like Perry, and not some silver bullet, do that. Perry realizes, however, that
using the right software or other tool”and using it right”helps clear the path to a successful project
outcome, and so he selects such tools carefully.

Questions for Getting Started

1. If looking for a project management software package, did you:
• Define your requirements?
• Determine how you will go about selecting the package?
• Consider value-added issues like vendor support? Training? Warranties?
2. If looking for a risk management software package, did you:
• Define your requirements?
• Determine how you will go about selecting the package?
• Determine the type of risk analysis and assessment approach to take?
• Consider value-added issues like vendor support? Training? Warranties?
3. If you are working in a client/server environment, did you:
• Determine the necessary hardware and software requirements?
• Determine the necessary level of technical support?
• Determine how to deal with issues related to hardware and software performance?
4. If team members are telecommuting, did you:
• Determine the necessary hardware and software requirements?
• Determine the necessary level of technical support?
• Determine how to deal with issues related to hardware and software performance?
5. If team members are using mobile computing, did you:
• Determine the necessary hardware and software requirements?
• Determine the necessary level of technical support?
• Determine how to deal with issues of data backup and recovery? Security? Compatibility of
hardware and software as well as distributing upgrades?
6. If team members are using groupware computing, did you:
• Determine the necessary hardware and software requirements?
• Determine the necessary level of technical support?
• Determine ways to overcome hardware and software compatibility and upgrade problems?
7. If team members are using Web technology, did you:
• Determine the necessary hardware and software requirements?
• Elect to set up a Web site and determine its layout and contents?
• Determine what ways to use Web technology (e.g., broadcast messages, access databases)?
• Determine the necessary level of technical support?
8. If team members are using PC-based videoconferencing, did you:
• Determine the necessary hardware and software requirements?
• Determine the necessary level of technical support?
• Determine the desired uses of the technology (e.g., sharing applications, whiteboarding)?


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