Browse Prior Art Database

Integration of GroupWare with Project Management via Facilitated Work Sessions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117524D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 107K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bryden, GD: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Project Management is a difficult and time-consuming task for an individual to handle, yet it is key to successfully completing a project. On any given project, there is typically one individual assigned to project management who must collect and maintain all the relevant information for each task. Tools exist for managing and analyzing task data, but not for collecting this information. The individual who puts together the project plan has to have meetings with all the project team members, either individually or collectively, to identify all the tasks, their dependencies, and effort estimates. The information then has to be entered into some project management software package for tracking and reporting.

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Integration of GroupWare with Project Management via Facilitated
Work Sessions

      Project Management is a difficult and time-consuming task for
an individual to handle, yet it is key to successfully completing a
project.  On any given project, there is typically one individual
assigned to project management who must collect and maintain all the
relevant information for each task.  Tools exist for managing and
analyzing task data, but not for collecting this information.  The
individual who puts together the project plan has to have meetings
with all the project team members, either individually or
collectively, to identify all the tasks, their dependencies, and
effort estimates.  The information then has to be entered into some
project management software package for tracking and reporting.  A
project work plan has to be developed, identifying who is assigned to
each task and when each task is started and completed.  Often
trade-offs are necessary to keep the "critical path" as short as
possible or to balance workload among project team members.  This may
require many iterations and reviews before the final version of the
project plan is complete and agreed to by all.  As a result, the
collection of task-related information and development of the project
plan is a difficult, time-consuming process.

Facilitated work sessions using GroupWare tools were developed in
response to this need.  These facilitated work sessions combine:
  o  Experienced Facilitators
  o  Specialized Tools and Techniques
  o  Structured, Focused Activities
  to allow the participants to quickly organize their ideas, reach
consensus, and make decisions.  In a facilitated work session,
project team members as a group identify all the tasks and group them
under meaningful categories.  For example, for developing a software
application, the categories might be:
  o  Programming Tasks
  o  Documentation Tasks
  o  Marketing Tasks

Specific work items under the "Programming Tasks" category might be:
  o  Design Module A
  o  Code Module A
  o  Test Module A

      Each project team member contributes to this exercise, so that
all project tasks are identified.  After that, the team members break
up into smaller groups to identify specific information about each
task such as:
  o  Start/End Date
  o  Person Responsible/Owner
  o  Estimated Effort
  o  etc.

Another exercise would identify task dependencies.

      Once the necessary information is collected in the Groupware
tools, it can be "bridged" to a project management tool for further
analysis by the team (such as critical path analysis).  The end
result would be the develop...