Computerworld - The numbers are frightening. Half of all IT projects fail to meet objectives, and half are delivered over budget, according to Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn. Meanwhile, Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston reports that 30% of IT projects are canceled prior to completion and 90% are delivered late.
Combine these results with the $275 billion spent each year in the U.S. on some 200,000 software development projects, and it becomes evident that effective project managementand the proper tools to track these effortsare vital to keeping these projects within scope.
At Wilmington, Del.-based Du Pont Co., project management software from Tucson, Ariz.-based Automation Centre LLC helped increase the submission rates for project time cards from 50% to 97%.
"We were always dogging engineers to do their time cards," says Ronald F. Carrick, CIO of engineering at Du Pont. "Now, they can use it for invoicing, expense reporting and resource management tied to specific projects."
Installed in January 2000, the software suite is used by engineers on-site. Because Du Pont projects are funded and managed by individual business units, project management software allows Du Pont managers to define the scope of each project, measure the units of work and track hours against project plans.
So far, about 700 engineers at Du Pont use the project management software, while an additional 1,400 to 2,000 contractors posting time cards from all over the world have access to the system.
Previously, Du Pont had built project management software for its Digital Equipment Corp. VAX environment, but it was a terrible application, recalls Carrick.
"People were late with time cards, project accounts were out of kilter, billing for projects submitted over time sometimes weren't valid, and there was no way to look up valid project codes," he says.
Billing accuracy is an important component of project management.
"If I have 2,000 engineers working on a project at a nylon plant, and I miss year-end hours being posted to the project because of an invalid project codeif that's a capital project, that has big tax and profit implications," says Carrick. That "could be the difference in a year's depreciation" on a project's value, he adds.
Profitable Project Tools
Indeed, sound project management includes looking under the hood at the tools used to oversee these efforts. But measuring the returns from these systems isn't always easy.
"It's a little like asking, 'What is the return on investment for your car or your house?' " says Carrick. "One way to look at the return for a necessary function is to evaluate what it would have cost for another system, for example, from SAP or PeopleSoft."
- Troubleshooting Common Issues in VoIP Learn more about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), including common VoIP metrics used, best practices in VoIP management and tips and tricks for...
- IDG Research Survey: Are you Paying Too Much for Your NMS? Feel like you're paying too much for network monitoring? You're not alone. This survey brief summarizes findings from research recently fielded by IDG...
- 2013 Network Management Software (NMS) Buyers Guide This white paper contains an independent comparison study of six different network management solutions and provides guidance on how you can choose the...
- Rightsizing Your Network Performance Management Solution: 4 Case Studies This white paper discusses challenges encountered as organizations search for the most cost-effective network performance management solution.
- Live Webcast 5 Steps to Assuring Quality of Experience In order to align monitoring and management practices with the true demands of the business, IT professionals must expand beyond traditional comfort zones...
- Live Webcast Master the Changing SAP Landscape with Performance Management SAP landscapes are not getting simpler. Gradually, business processes that used to be contained on a single SAP system now involve a range...
- E-Signature RFP Checklist Webcast If your organization is looking to adopt e-signatures, you may be overwhelmed by the number of providers that offer seemingly similar solutions. How...
- Navigating the New Wireless Landscape Thriving in the new wireless landscape View Now>> All Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!