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EPM Streamlines Your Activities

posted April 4th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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This is part three of the Understanding the Value of EPM and EPM Consultants series.

One of the best aspects of Project Server is that it does the grunt work of collaboration and data collection for you. As Project Managers, we spend a lot of our time having meetings, preparing for meetings, reviewing and gathering status, and ensuring our plans are in line with expectations. Project Server allows you to handle the legwork for many of these tasks automatically.

Consider a standard status report that a team member fills out. Typically, these reports contain a list of issues, risks, past and future tasks, and a matrix of how their time was spent. The unfortunate downside of this method of communication is that the list of issues, risks, and tasks often becomes complicated and unwieldy on long projects or ones with more than a few people. Some teams choose to work around this by decreasing the detail provided in the report, but doing this obviously decreases the value of this report.




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EPM is a Business Enabler

posted March 24th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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When developing their software, Microsoft has always made ease of use and installation a priority. Microsoft puts a significant amount of effort into making the User Interfaces in their products efficient, intuitive, and friendly. This holds true for not only their client products, but also for their server products as well. Ease of deployment is one of the primary reasons why I love working with Microsoft products. Less time spent fighting through a difficult product installation means more time for implementing a truly integrated and comprehensive solution.




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Consultants Provide Strategic Vision

posted March 14th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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In today’s modern business environment, most organizations are familiar with the concept of a technology consultant. However, while many organizations tend to use the title consultant and contractor interchangeably, the job of a consultant differs significantly from that of a contractor.

A contractor is typically a specialist in a particular discipline or product, often serving as staff augmentation or hired to perform a specific task. Typically, the job that needs to be done is relatively simple, but the organization lacks the capacity or skill to perform it. Contrast this with consultants, who are typically multidisciplinary generalists who specialize in the creation of one or more types of comprehensive solutions that leverage technology to solve business problems. They may or may not specialize in a particular platform or technology, and they may be very experienced technicians. As such, consultants may perform technical or implementation duties in addition to their other duties. When all is said and done, the true value of a consultant is their ability to “see the forest for the trees”, which is to say that they can view the work as a whole and strategize without getting overly caught up in the details until necessary.




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