Software for project management or software for project administration?

What is it: project administration or project control?

One of the frequent questions during the sale and implementation of Vision and Invantive Estate is: “Our accounting package (like for example Exact Globe or Microsoft Axapta etc.) already has a module for project administration. Why should we still want to use Invantive Vision or Invantive Estate?”

This question is a nice introduction to the two different approaches for dealing with projects:

  • the administration of projects versus
  • the management of projects

Software for project administration

An administrator will (rightly) want to run an administration of projects. An administration like this usually includes a list of projects, the invoices of purchases and sales, and sometimes things like booked hours and purchase and sales orders. A project administration provides a quick overview of what projects are currently ongoing in the organization and what their financial status is according to the accounts.

A project driven company will have established a good basis, but it is and remains a static record of the financial aspects of a project, usually limited to the cost control. For project driven companies projects are not part of cost expenses, but they are a way to generate income. With just a project administration or a cost control it is not possible to steer towards optimal efficiency.

Let alone, that you can deal with the dynamics of a projects organization: one day everyone tries to achieve one goal, the other day that goal is already adjusted and in the end the customer wants you to achieve the original goal after all. This might make you feel frustrated. However, it is the project driven organization that yields better results if they are capable of adapting quickly and professionally to changed circumstances, without heavily compromising the quality of the result. Some people appreciate that dynamic in particular and those people are the ones you will often find in a project driven company.

More results with software for project management

To control this dynamic the software for project management needs to be able to not just process the data from the project administration (or read it from an accounting package, like for example from Exact Globe or KING). In my opinion, good software for project management allows for a good organization on four other matters:

  • Process operational data such as activities, risks and participants.
  • Turnover and income register, even before an order is realized, for example a grant or potentially additional work.
  • Letting processes run off in a controlled yet flexible way, so you can respond to the issues of the day while maintaining control. For example, with flexible workflows and manual intervention where necessary.
  • Processing the data in reports and making them available to the persons concerned in their daily work through for example Microsoft Outlook, browser or mobile.

And all of that as flexible as possible, so that all persons involved in a project receives the information he or she needs. And only specifically that information, since you do not want flexworkers like mister Lopez to bring a plethora of data to your competition.

It is my belief (and now also my experience) that a project driven company with software for project management is capable of assisting its employees in achieving better results. The main advantages are the flexibility and the transparency. Employees and other involved participants work on a lesser amount of repetitive mind numbing activities. And with the software Invantive Vision and Invantive Estate you can achieve this flexibility while maintaining control.