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The Best Project Management Tool

Businesses, large and small, unquestionably juggle numerous projects, plans, tasks and people. The primary purpose of project management tools is to help managers plan, execute and control all aspects of the project management process.

Project Management concepts

Companies rely on project management software to ensure that each tasks in a project are completed on time and within budget; and moreover, we need to balance team members' workload with optimal time management. Because project management tools enhance resource efficiency and ensure project move in the right track, such tools are especially important for project managers involved with large and complex projects.

Not long ago project management software was symbolized by three things: a pencil, a sheet of paper and a method (or framework).

Project Management with pens and paper

However time marches on and technology evolves. Essentially, Project management software tools are employed for project planning, task management, resource allocation and change management as well. Project management software is among the most useful tools that can help us stay competitive in this fast changing world.

Project Management Challenges

When it comes to managing projects, there are many challenges faced by project managers, directors of operations, vice presidents of professional services, chief financial offers, and other project team members.

  • Lack of user participation
  • Missed project deadline and over-budget
  • Mis-alignment between projects and their business objectives
  • Poor communications between IT and the business
  • Project management is considered 'overhead'
  • Lack of adequate tools, or using the wrong tool for the job
  • Get stuck or do not know how to start with a standard process or framework
  • Wasting time looking for project documents, manuals and assets
  • Spending too much time in preparing documentation and deliverables
  • Lack of effective communication means for geographically-dispersed project
Project Management elements

Hurdles in Getting Project Started

  • Hard to get project started and well managed. It involves a lots of upfront investment, trainings and additional resources.
  • Staff do not have the confident or enough maturity to properly kick start business project initiatives.
  • The deliverables of the IT projects didn't align with business goal and objectives.
  • As a result, the proliferation of many different but isolated and ad-hoc initiatives are developed randomly without following any guidelines, standards or procedures.
  • Produce the deliverables required by a standard is often tedious and very time consuming.
  • One-size-fit-all solution, process, tool or software is often not efficient for dealing with different sizes or complexities of projects

Obviously, adoption of a project management tool is crucial for medium and large-sized companies, as without proper tools, an good project plan may turn into a mess. There're many things that have to be performed in a well-organized manner.

Choices of Project Management Tooling in the Market

You will find a multitude of project management software programs available. However what most of them offer are some kind of repository-based tools for form filling supplemented with some diagrams with the deliverables. You may be offered a tree-like folder structure with some instructions for accommodating your deliverables (i.e. words for your documents, excel for form filling and Visio for diagramming), and that doesn't help you much in project management. Now, we need fully automated software to streamline the entire project management process that seamlessly integrated with full stack of software development activities.

How Does Visual Paradigm Help

  • Visual Paradigm's s unique Guide-Through Process provides all the instructions, samples, steps, input references for performing analysis, and incrementally developing, classifying and achieving deliverables automatically in a documentation repository.
  • The Guide-Through Process provides step-by-step path for you to navigate back and forth within each development phase and to traverse around different phases using the process navigator. The progress indicator let you know exactly where you are and what need to be done in the next steps.
  • Follow the well tested project management process (compatible with PMBOK®, PRINCE2 and " target="_blank">ITIL) with easy visual modeling language support, enables stakeholders from different domains (project owner, business analyst, enterprise architect and IT professionals) to collaborate easily and effectively.
  • Follow the auto guide-through process, all the information filled, diagrams drawn and analysis performed will be summarized into nicely formatted deliverables.
  • Project Management Guide-Through include an "Identification" phase to determine a project's complexity for adopting the most suitable process scheme.

Visual Paradigm Guide-Through Process vs JIT Process

Visual Paradigm helps your team to kick-start any size of IT projects with automated guide-through process, with step-by-step instruction, input references and samples. You can develop deliverables incrementally and collaboratively with your team members with our project management platform. It will surely enhance and streamline the entire process with automated task management and notifications with task manager in both desktop and/or over the cloud environment.

Visual Paradigm offers two types of process management product: The Guide-Through Process and the Just-In-Time Process.

  1. Typically, The Guide-through Process target for well-defined and widely used methodologies that people tend to follow it step by step without the needs to customize it.
  2. While Just-in-Time Process aims to be used to automate more dynamic process or framework instead of a methodology, while could be easily adjusted or customized to deal with different nature of problems.

Guide-Through Process for Project Management

Visual Paradigm Guide-Through Process support the automation and management of open standards as methodologies by a sequential series of well-defined phase such as requirement definition, planning, building, testing and deployment in software development. Each of these phases consists of steps and deliverables to finish a particular goal of a project or initiative. Each of the steps is typically consist of model, tools and techniques for facilitating the development of some requirement deliverables. There are various methodologies or open standards that exists today with the efforts of industry professionals and academia, PMBOK end etc.) Visual Paradigm offer fully automated project management product which consists of ideal set features for project management office (PMO) or project managers:

  • Project Management Lifecycle Navigator - Project Management Lifecycle Navigator lets you traverse around development phases easily. Each of these phases incorporate project management best practices and heuristics for your team to follow, and obtain the best result and ROI to fulfil the goals, objectives and strategies of IT projects.
  • Project Management Step-by-Step - Each of the project phase consists of a set of activities, and each activity consists of a set of steps required to perform. Detailed instructions, samples and project management tools required are embedded inside these activities, so that your team can focus on the real work instead of frequently referring back to any standard manual and procedures. Progress indicators are provided to reflect the progress and status of work.
  • Crystal Clear Instructions and Samples - Just-in-time and just-enough instructions and samples are embedded right within the project management activities that you are going to perform, saving your time from searching around the Internet for what it is and what has to be done.
  • Compose Deliverables by Form-Filling - The project management toolset provides out-of-the-box deliverables templates which are associated with the pre-defined work items and forms. Simply perform the analysis and fill-in the forms. The information collected in the form you filled in, will be consolidated incrementally for generating project deliverables.
  • Bunch of Diagrams and Tools Integrated - Besides form filling, the project management toolset also features a set of project management diagrams and tools like Organization Chart, Work Breakdown Structure, BPD, PERT Chart, etc. These tools are seamlessly integrated with the project management lifecycle, enabling you to visualize ideas in forms of diagrams.
  • Four Levels of Process Schemes Determined by Project Complexity - The Identification phase is one of the five development phases in the project management process which is used to determine the complexity of a project. The project management tool provides you with four levels of process schemes (aka. Project Management Scheme), so that you will never be bound by a one-size-fit-all solution.
  • Project Management Lifecycle
    The Project Management Lifecycle. There are five phases in total.
  • TOGAF ADM phase B
    Each of the project phase consists of a set of activities. These are the activities involved in the Identification phase.
  • Guide-through steps by steps
    Each activity consists of a set of steps required to perform.
  • Instructions embedded in step
    There are instructions that teach you how to complete the steps.
  • Guide-through sample
    Besides instructions, you can also get help by reading the samples we provided. Learning is not needed!
  • Project Management form-filling
    Some activities require you to fill-in forms in order to produce deliverable. This screen shows the entering of customer details, in Project Charter.
  • Using Organization Chart
    Some activities require you to draw diagrams. Like this one, it requires drawing an organization chart to representing the organization's reporting structure.
  • Using PERT Chart
    Draw an Enhanced PERT Chart to represent the project schedule and the inter-dependencies of tasks.
  • Using RACI
    Use an RACI chart to represent the responsibilities of different project stakeholders.
  • Using Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in representing work elements and work packages
    Draw a Work Breakdown Structure to represent the structuring of work as well as to derive and obtain a list of work packages.
  • Project Management Repository
    Project Management Repository is where deliverables being archived. While deliverables are automatically archived, you can also put a file into a drawer (in the Architecture Repository) manually.

Just-In-Time Process - PMBOK Template

Just-in-Time Process targets for a dynamic and loose process which provides structure and direction on a preferred way to do something without being too detailed or restrictive. In essence, JIT process can be composed by selecting the appropriate pre-defined / custom Work Items in a just-in-time and just enough manner. It provides a powerful process map that is flexible enough to adopt to changing conditions or to be customized for your company for different project domains.

Project Management with PMBOK Template

Visual Paradigm provides your team an out-of-the box PMBOK template which allows adopt it straight away or customize it as needed. The benefits for such a flexible template includes

  • Follow the one of the most widely used PMBOK process template with pre-defined forms embedded with instructions and samples for your team to kick-start the entire process for incremental and collaborative deliverable development. The PMBOK tool makes project management easy and straight-forward.
  • Get works done in sequence or in parallel flexibly and collaboratively in team. Follow-through the entire project management process step-by-step or skipping, adding or removing some of the PMBOK activities in the Just-in-Time Process at your own choice, for coping with different natures of problems dynamically.
  • The PMBOK tool comes with smart forms embedded with detailed instructions. They let your team kick-start a project easily without worrying what need to be done here and there. The information collected in the forms will be consolidated and summarized in nice formatted, and yet customizable process deliverables.
  • Fill-in the form and mark it completed. The pre-defined deliverable(s) associated with the PMBOK form will be automatically generated and archived in the Documentation Cabinet. Perhaps you can touch-up the Word documents generated for the deliverable(s) or design your own deliverables using the Just-in-Time Doc. Composer
  • Incrementally develop deliverables by completing the forms and work items. Generate deliverables using default deliverables templates or the Just-in-Time Doc. Composer at you own choice. The collaborative work of your team will be automatically classified, versioned, and archived by the PMBOK tool in the Documentation Cabinet.
  • You can easily find hundreds of references in the topic of PMBOK, but that will cost you hours of effort for searching the relevant information to move a step forward! The PMBOK tool provides you with inline, step-by-step guide-through instructions together with samples for each step.
  • Just-in-Time PMBOK template
    The Just-in-Time PMBOK process, with phases as columns, knowledge areas as rows. The works to perform are plot inside the PMBOK process map.
  • Just-in-time, just-enough
    Follow-through the entire process step-by-step or skipping, adding or removing some of the PMBOK activities in just-in-time manner.
  • Just-in-Time form PMBOK filling
    Some work items require you to fill-in different forms. This screen shows the entering of project description in Project Charter (form).
  • Learn and use just-in-time
    There are instructions embedded in forms that teach you how to complete the form.
  • Clear instructions
    Fill the form and mark it completed, the pre-defined deliverable(s) associated with the PMBOK form will be automatically generated.
  • Project Management Repository
    Project Management Repository is where deliverables being archived. While deliverables are automatically archived, you can also put a file into a drawer manually.

Process Customization

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to project management, and that's why project teams wish to define their own processes for enterprise architecture, IT project management, business analysis, project governance, etc. Unfortunately, most of the process management tools in market lack flexibility and failed to support process customization; as a result, you need manage your work manually as they are not supported by automated tools. Not only the team need to transcribe information filled in previously from here to there repetitively, but also make it hard to ensure the consistency of the information among them.

You can either customize the ready-to-use process provided by Visual Paradigm, such as, TOGAF and Project Management, Business Motivation Model templates, or design completely new process by your own using the Authoring Mode of the Guide-through process. Visual Paradigm empowers your team for customizing process framework from minor touch up to the maximum level of customization:

1. Agile Process - Need Flexibility - Just-in-time with custom work item

Process Tailoring with Custom Diagrams and Text

2. Doing it Just-in-Time and Just-Enough with JIT Process Map

Simply Agile - Just-in-Time, Just-Enough

3. Total Custom Process - Design your own methodologies and processes

  • Guide-through Process - Authoring Mode
  • JIT Process - Design your own Template
    Developing Project Management Plan

Visual Paradigm - Your One-Stop-Shop Solution

Turn every software project into a successful one.