Project management software adds management controls

Project management vendor Virtual Communication Services LLC will soon provide network executives with tools to more accurately manage the performance of internal projects and the people who work on them.

The company is adding resource and performance management tools to Enterprise Virtual Program Management Intranet 3.01 (VPMi). The platform provides tools to manage a company’s individual projects, its portfolio of ongoing projects and to gauge the performance of those projects. With Version 3.01, VCS, which was founded by two former consultants for Ernst&Young, is adding a forecasting tool that lets network executives see the number of projects coming down the pipeline and compare their demands and requirements to the number of people available to work on those projects. The comparison provides details on whether or not a company has the manpower and expertise to staff a project.

The company also is adding performance management capabilities that track such parameters as what is the average time to resolve an issue, how many change requests are outstanding, or the percentage of projects that are off schedule. The tool can create reports on a number of viewpoints including from a specific set of team issues all the way up to executives who desire an overview of all projects.

“The sofware lets us track where our time is going, where our dollars are going,” says Maryellen Kliethermes, supervisor in the developer finance department at Ameren, a utility company in St. Louis. Ameren uses the software to track time, tasks and issues associated with all its IT projects. “The software gives us a lot of detail at many different levels that wasn’t easy to get before. We are able to see projects at each step and get a clear picture of what is going on,” Kliethermes says. She says the company also likes the fact that VPMi comes with source code so she can easily integrate VPMi with other applications, such as Ameren’s time management system.

VCS also has included in VPMi 3.01 a process map that visually shows the lifecycle of a project from beginning to end and allows users to set rules on the routing of projects. “There is a tremendous amount of overhead in administration of projects,” says Nick Matteucci, co-founder of VCS. “Company’s struggle with the chaos of project management.”

VPMi runs on Oracle 7 and later and is priced at US$35,000 for an unlimited number of users.