Task Blog Series #1: Benefits Using Effective Software

I issued ten blogs about project scheduling.  Schedules, for all they do, don’t manage issues and punch list items well.  Whenever you are managing multiple projects with multiple or overlapping subcontractors and clients, I have found that a database-founded task management solution offering comprehensive reporting allows my intuition to find patterns in performance that has let me correct problems before they overwhelm.

I’m Mark Ramsay, P.E., PMP, owner of of Effective Project Solutions LLC.  This is a startup company I founded to make available a tool that has helped me lead industrial projects better.  Because of positive feedback, useful suggestions, and my love of this subject matter, I have put man-years of my project management and software knowledge into developing Program Leader task management software for market.

Anyone can make a list of tasks on a spreadsheet.  But it is harder to glean useful meaning from a list and use your intuition.  Program Leader helps you do this.  It helped me.  How?

  1. Frame of Reference.  Built-in reporting templates will group tasks according to one of the following: project manager, WBS manager, WBS element, resource supervisor, business unit, site, area, tasks added today, and payee.  And obviously by responsible resource, project, and WBS.Working with multiple projects and people inspired these reports.  These are great for planned or unplanned one-on-one conversations.
  2. Metrics.  These reports will report completion slippage, earned value slippage, and estimate to completion for most of the groupings in 1).  These are great for finding performance issues.
  3. Presentation.  Program Leader offers four-part reports organized as: Completed tasks since last review, late, due in two weeks, and all activities.  They are grouped for client, program manager, or everything.  What’s called the A5 leadership model inspired this report, and clients loved it.  And I could keep control of clients during these meetings by leading with this report.
  4. Quality Control.  You want reports to be complete.  All reports check for missing data (for example, a resource without a leader assigned) and allow you to supply it before execution.  I have seen this feature in no other software!
  5. Change Orders.  Program Leader defines a change order process.  The user fills in data as the order progresses.  The orders can be viewed grouped by project payee(s), and resource.
  6. Costs.  Estimated cost can be entered.  Earned value is reported based upon percent completion.
  7. Calendar.  Tasks can be viewed in a calendar format.
  8. Linking tasks.  The user can link tasks in series during entry.  Dates are calculated automatically.
  9. Email Notifications.  Program Leader will construct and send emails with tasks outstanding periodically to everybody identified in the data.

Program Leader downloads from a website onto your computer.  It then launches from your computer.  While seeming archaic, realize that many clients will not allow you onto their WiFi.  So you can present reports on a screen and edit them without an internet connection.

Please go to this link and download a 30-day trial version today.  It will launch with a YouTube video of how to get started.  Norton and Microsoft have approved this software.

The next blog will discuss Gantt chart features.


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