Integrated project management by kovair


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Integrated project management by kovair

  1. 1. Integrated Project Management by KovairKovair Software, Inc.1533 California Circle,Milpitas, CA 95035408-262-0200 Press
  2. 2. Integrated Project Management by Kovair Document Version History Release Date Reason Version 1.0 (Initial Release) May 18, 2010© Kovair Software Inc. 2010
  3. 3. Integrated Project Management by KovairExecutive SummaryAccording to the PMBOK definition “A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to accomplish aunique product or service with a defined start and end point and specific objectives that, whenattained, signify completion”. By the year 1990 onwards almost every industry started the practice ofproject management to overcome the hurdles of managing – Budget, Tasks, Time, and Resources.Now the question is – What do we mean by Project Management? According to the PMBOKdefinition “Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques appliedto project activities in order to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations from a project.” Ingeneral, it is the lack of efficient methodology or standard that is responsible for failure of a Project,and that is why various methodologies or approaches get evolved starting from traditional approachof Project Management to other disciplines like – Critical Chain Project Management, ExtremeProject Management, Event Chain Methodology, PRINCE2, Process-based Management withdifferent approaches.Kovair Software Inc. comes with a web-based Project Management Solution to meet enterprisegoals with wide array of in-built features like – cost estimation, automated process aligned to thebusiness, managing resources, allocation of tasks to resources, timesheet to capture time details oftask execution, reporting, and management visibility through Dashboard. Kovair ProjectManagement also provides the facility to integrate the solution with third-party or vendor neutralsolutions via its in-built Omnibus (Integration Bus for ITTM). Today, there are several ProjectManagement tools available in the market claiming them as the best software to meet the demandsof Project Managers or Business Heads. Apart from managing Tasks, Time and Resourceseffectively, Kovair also manages various phases that a Project comprises of – Requirements,Change, Test, Defect, Release, and others, and thus becomes a complete suite for the managementof development projects. The objective of this paper is to explain each feature of Kovair ProjectManagement Solution.Three Constraints of Project Management:  Scope or Quality of the Project  Schedule of the Project  Cost per Resource involved in the ProjectChallenge for the management is to define a Project, plan it accordingly to achieve the goal, follow-up the plan and deliver the job/service as per the agreements. The success of a Project mainlydepends upon its planning - how best you can estimate and how efficiently you can follow the plan.When we talk about plan, the first thing that comes to mind is the „Date and Time‟ to start the Projectand to complete it. The second important thing is a set of „Activities‟ or „Tasks‟ carried out byresources to attain all the granular level objectives that sum up to a Project. Finally, it is –„Resources‟ (mainly – human, capital, infrastructure) the tangible medium that directly participate in© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 1
  4. 4. Integrated Project Management by Kovairthe lifecycle of a Project either by accomplishing certain activities or providing support to accomplishthe activities by others.Managing TasksTask Management broadly speaks about allocation of right Task to right resource at the right time. Itis quite easy to manage Tasks and their follow-ups when you are working with limited resources, butas the organization grows with increase in the number of resources, it becomes necessary to go fora tool for managing the Tasks. Task Management is a component of Kovair application that you canhave with all available solutions – Requirements Management, Test Management, IssueManagement, Defect and Risk Management and Project Management.Kovair allows manual and automated Task allocation for different stakeholders. Manual Tasks can becreated by the Managers for their groups to work on them, and record the Time invested. On theother hand, automated Tasks are generated to the resources through Kovair‟s in-built processengine. Administrators can configure different workflows/business processes through Kovair‟s visualdrag-drop designer. Process, in Kovair, is a series of automated activities that facilitates systematicand organized workflow management in a distributed environment. A „Workspace‟ level process is abroad process involving several processes running simultaneously at the entity level. You can design„Linear Process‟ or „Sophisticated Process‟ as per your need. A „Linear Process‟ contains series ofoperational steps and activities. A „Sophisticated Process‟, on the other hand, includes „Conditions‟,„Loops‟ and „Paths‟. The execution of a sophisticated process depends on the satisfaction of the„conditions‟, and the direction of the „Path‟ (Probable/ Else), as defined in the process. Process Flow© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 2
  5. 5. Integrated Project Management by KovairWhich Tasks will be allocated to whom, and when – are defined only once when designing aProcess. On activation, Tasks are automatically generated to the respective owners as per theprogression of workflow, and thereby reduces the risk of manual intervention in Task Management. Item wise Task generated for different resources (owners) through Process Display of Tasks group by Source Item and Activity© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 3
  6. 6. Integrated Project Management by Kovair Display of Task group by OwnerSome value added facilities of Kovair‟s in-built Task Management  Automated and Customized Task-based Process along with the provision to create Tasks manually. Generate multiple Tasks for different resources and/or roles for a particular item of a Project. Project item can be anything like – Requirement, Test Case, Issue, Defect, Service Request, Incident, Problem, Change, and so on. Kovair also allows you to define parallel Tasks for same or different sets of resources. This is considered as a unique feature of Kovair Project Management solution. So you are free to implement and manage multiple Tasks independently and dependently.  Design custom Task Forms with artifacts that you want to expose to resources who will accomplish the Task. Granular level securities can be imposed in the Task Form by restricting users to view or edit sensitive information that are exposed in the Task. Task Form© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 4
  7. 7. Integrated Project Management by Kovair  One-click navigation to the record (Requirement, Test Case, Issue, and others) directly from within the Task Form. Kovair provides the facility to expose the item (for which you are generating Task) as a link on the Task Form. Often resources need further information on the record for which he/she is supposed to accomplish a Task. Such one-click access of record from the Task helps the resource to work independently and reduces spare dialogues among the workgroups.  Impose assignment policies on the resources to accomplish the Task. The policies can be either one of three types – Queued Task, Individual Task, and One Task for All. Queued Tasks assign a Task for multiple resources at a time. The resource who first picks up the Task becomes it owners and responsible to accomplish it. Other resources who had been assigned that Task get relieved from doing the job. Individual Task assigns a Task to a set of resources with a policy that determines when the Task will be granted as „complete‟ considering the number of resources (in terms of count/percentage/condition) participated in accomplishing the Task. Finally, the last Task assignment policy – One Task for All assigns a Task to a set of resources, and all resources are equally responsible to accomplish the Task separately by their own.  Under the integrated setup of Kovair application with other third party tools, you can synchronize the processes to workgroups working on different tool environments. So, keeping that in mind, Kovair provides the facility to expose cross-tool Tasks via Omnibus ESB with Kovair „plug-in‟ or adapter for the tool.  Close association of Task with Timesheet – another component of Kovair application. It allows the resources to record Time against each Task.Managing TimesheetWhen we plan a Project we start with estimated start and end times. As soon as the Project starts,resources get involved in accomplishing the Tasks. But here the question is how a Project Managercan evaluate the health of the Project unless he/she has the record of time spent by resources onaccomplishing the Tasks, and compare them with estimated time? This leads to a growing demandfor Timesheet in Project Management. Timesheet was originally used to determine employee payrollof an organization. Later the Timesheet has been introduced in Project Management to track theactual effort spent by resources to accomplish the Tasks. The Timesheet record provides thebreakdown of actual time spent on the Tasks that are accomplished throughout the lifecycle of aproject.Kovair Project Management solution comes with in-built Timesheet to track time entries against theTask allocated to resources. The resources (registered users of Kovair application working on aProject), gets the facility to enter Time individually from within the application. So, Project Managerscan keep themselves away from the dependency of spreadsheet or any third party Timesheetmanagement tool. Time entries of a resource against a Task escalate automatically to supervisor forapproval or rejection.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 5
  8. 8. Integrated Project Management by Kovair Time Entry against different Task done by a user on a specific daySalient features of Kovair‟s in-built Timesheet Management  All resources involved in a Project get the facility to record their actual effort (time) spent to accomplish each and every Task assigned to them. Moreover, the resources get the facility to enter notes/descriptions to justify their efforts on a regular basis.  If a resource has spent time on any external activity (the Tasks assigned to him/her using any method outside of Kovair application, such as email or verbal instruction), that resource can record time against such activities under „Unspecified Task‟. By doing this, efforts spent by resources during a Project lifecycle become accountable for further analysis.  Timesheet submitted by resources, automatically follow the organizational hierarchy and moves to the supervisors for approval / rejection. If a resource fails to enter the Timesheet entries in time, Kovair reminds that resource about „due‟ and „overdue‟ Timesheet entries by sending automatic email notifications.  Restriction or flexibility can be imposed on accessibility of Timesheet data through Kovair‟s pre-defined user privileges. For example, you can allow a supervisor full control on other resources‟ Timesheet, so that the management can view Timesheet of other resources without leaving their own application interface.  The Project Manager can view information about effort spent on the Project in a number of ways. For example, viewing the Timesheet of individual resources for any specified period of time, or viewing the summary of hours spent in the Project. Kovair provides the facility to create different types of analysis reports for the management to analyze in different ways the actual effort spent by resources involved in a Project.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 6
  9. 9. Integrated Project Management by KovairManaging ResourcesThe success of a Project greatly depends on – planned involvement of Resources, and theiroptimized allocation in the lifecycle of the Project. Planning with Resources is a mammoth task forProject Managers where they have to consider the estimated Budget and Duration of the Project.Whenever a resource gets involved in a Project, the management has to count its cost based on theeffort provided by that Resource in the Project.A real life scenario:Software Projects deal with thousands of requirements, and then these requirements get deployedthrough several releases. Project Manager needs to determine the key ones that are to beimplemented in the first Release. The three primary constraints that are driving this development are– Resource, Time and Items. Some requirements may incur more resources but a shorter time tobuild, while others may require less resources and more time, or vice versa. The Project Manageralso needs to keep in mind his budgetary constraints and the time he has to launch the first releaseand the succeeding ones. In the past, to determine a set of Requirements for a Release, keepingconstraints in mind, the Project Manager had a hard time to work on a set of Word and Excel files toperform lots of calculations and finally come up with the most optimum and acceptable list of items.With Kovair‟s in-built Resource Management, doing such a task is a breeze. Working within all therules and constraints, the system can analyze and organize the final result in meaningful “buckets” interms of Releases, graphs, charts or textual data. The Project Manager can then alter theparameters and give combinations of constraint factors to create multiple “what if” analysis scenariosand arrive at the best possible result.Some possible scenarios are described as follows –Scenario 1: Suppose you have fixed number of Resources and fixed Time. So, number of Itemsbecomes variable. With given number of resources and specific date limits, Kovair then automaticallyallocates the optimized set of Requirement items to a Release.Scenario 2: Suppose you have fixed number Resources and fixed number of Items. So, the Timebecomes variable. With given number of resources and fixed number of items, Kovair thenautomatically calculates the Time within which the Release can be completed.Scenario 3: Suppose you have fixed number of Items and fixed Time. So, the number of Resourcesbecomes variable. With given set of items and specific date limits, Kovair then automaticallycalculates the number of Resources required in implementing the Requirements for Release.Apart from this you can create custom meters to analyze other scenarios as per your need.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 7
  10. 10. Integrated Project Management by KovairSalient features of Kovair‟s in-built Resource Management  Resources are considered in terms of Roles (like – Architect, Designer, Developer, Tester, Build Manager, Project Manager, and so on). While defining the roles in Kovair, application provides the facility to set cost per hour for each role involved in the Project.  System pre-defined meters on Resource Management Analysis are available in Kovair application. However, users are also free to create their own analysis meter by means of customized formulae and operations. System pre-defined meters are – Resource need in terms of number, Estimated Duration, Estimated Cost, Total Effort Hours, and % utilization of Resource. Resource Management – Analysis© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 8
  11. 11. Integrated Project Management by Kovair  Kovair has an in-built Effort Matrix where you can retrieve a set of existing records as per certain filtering criteria, and then specify Role wise Effort for each record of that set. In the matrix, Roles who will involve in the lifecycle of each Record will be displayed vertically, and the retrieved set of records will be displayed horizontally. The Application allows you specify effort in each intersection of row and column. Effort Matrix for a set of Requirements (say, All Open Items)  In the Kovair application, you can set limits against system pre-defined meters. For each meter, as per its definition, separate information (limits) is asked by the system. o Meter – Resource need in terms of number: you can set number of resources required for each Role participating in the Project. It means – number of Architects, number of Developers, number of Testers, number of Test Manager, and so on. o Meter – Estimated Duration: you can set estimated Start Date and estimated End Date to be maintained for the Project. o Meter – Estimated Cost: you can set the value of estimated cost to be maintained for the Project. o Meter – Total Effort Hours: you can set estimated effort of each Role involved in the Project. o Meter – % utilization of Resources: you can set the estimated value of percentage utilization of resources in a Project.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 9
  12. 12. Integrated Project Management by Kovair  Kovair allows you to prepare different Scenarios by adding a set of records (say, Requirements) in a Release. The System allows you to retrieve a set of existing records by means of Filtering criteria, and then by using the simple Drag-and-Drop mechanism you can add them in a Release. The Application does the analysis of the Scenario (i.e., allocation of a set of records in a Release) based on the limits set in the Meters. This is typically known as “What If Analysis” Setting up Limits of the Meters for a Release© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 10
  13. 13. Integrated Project Management by Kovair  For a scenario, manual distribution is suitable if you are dealing with a small list of items. But in cases where there are thousands of requirements; it will turn out to be a Herculean task to do this distribution manually. So it is quite desirable in such cases that the application perform the requirements distribution automatically based on the constraints defined and the rank assigned to each of the requirements. During „Auto Distribution‟, the requirements get allocated among the specified Release buckets while honoring the meter values specified for each and follow the rank sequence of the requirements. During „Manual Distribution‟, lot of permutations and combinations are allowed with the list of requirements by dragging and dropping requirements, analyzing, again auto distributing, etc to arrive at the most optimal decision. Resource Management – Scenario© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 11
  14. 14. Integrated Project Management by Kovair  For each scenario you can view the Gantt Chart that clearly displays detailed break-up of the Scenario (a set of records added in a Release) with Start Date, End Date, Resource Name, Cost, and Effort required for managing complete lifecycle of each record considered in the Scenario. This Chart is quite similar to what we prepare in MS Project. So a Project Manager, viewing the Chart in Kovair can quickly understand what resource will work on what record and for how long. Also, the manager will get a clear idea of the total estimated Cost and Effort with granular level breakups for each record and for each resource involved in the Scenario. Gantt Chart generated in Kovair Application© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 12
  15. 15. Integrated Project Management by Kovair  You can create multiple Scenarios in Kovair application and then compare each pair of scenarios. The visual representation of comparison helps you select the most suitable set of resource allocation for a Project. From the color coded graph, you can quickly understand whether your requirements are matching with the availability of resources or not. Comparison between Two Scenarios  Every time you do an analysis or an auto distribution, the application does a distribution of requirements but does not make any changes to the data. Once you arrive at the final optimal solution, you can commit a scenario. This will permanently update the Planned Start Date and the Planned Finish Date of the Release buckets.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 13
  16. 16. Integrated Project Management by KovairReporting and Dashboard CapabilitiesDashboard refers to an organized and consolidated display of information for users (commonly forthe management) to take quick decision on the performance of various departments. A tool canhave the facility to generate various types of reports, but for the management it is not possible tonavigate to different places to view the reports. Usually they prefer to view all reports form acentralized location. Therefore, the Dashboard became a popular tool for decision making due to its– easy to read information at one place, display of different sets of data in multiple formats, visualclarity, access to real time data, and something not easily achievable with other means of dataanalysis. It helps the decision makers or the management with ideas as to how to go aboutimplementing potential improvements and solutions.Kovair application comes with an in-built Dashboard functionality, where you can create multipledashboards for different purposes. There are no pre-defined ready to use dashboards, all you haveto do is to create the reports in Kovair and include them as gadgets in the dashboard. While talkingabout Kovair application, we cannot rule out its outstanding reporting capability. Working with theKovair application, you can create wide array of graphical and non-graphical reports, custom crystalreports, and other reports. Kovair application provides the facility to use six different types ofgadgets.Salient features of Kovair‟s Reporting and Dashboard Capabilities  Kovair allows the facility to create Reports on different components of a Project. You can create Reports at Workspace level to visualize the overall progress or top-level health of a Project. Moving to the granular level, you can create reports on each entity of the workspace, and on task. Facility is also there to create „shared‟ reports that will be common for all entities within a workspace. So, the scope of reporting is available from top-level of a Project to its every useful component.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 14
  17. 17. Integrated Project Management by Kovair  Facility to define nine different types of Reports. These are – Tabular Report, Tabular with Summary Report, Form Report, Form With Summary Report, Distribution Metrics Report, Matrix Report, Trend Report, Custom Crystal Report, and Work Report. Among these, three reports – Distribution Metrics Report, Matrix Report and Trend Report are graphical reports. Using Kovair‟s powerful reporting capability, you can generate – Project Health Report, Process Measurement Report, Resource Utilization Report and some other useful graphical reports. Project Health Report Process Measurement Report© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 15
  18. 18. Integrated Project Management by Kovair Resource Utilization Reports prepared in Custom Crystal  Reports can be viewed separately by navigating to different areas of the application, and also from a centralized part called – Dashboard. The Dashboard can be set as default „homepage‟ for users, so that when they log into the application, it directly takes them to Dashboard Page.  In the Kovair application, you can configure Dashboards with logical combinations of different gadget types – Catalog, Gantt Chart, Meter, Report, External Links, and a set of existing records based on a search criteria.  Dashboard in the Kovair application provides drill-down functionality that allows the user to click on a point within a chart of a graphical report and get more information on the selected item.  A project can have multiple Dashboards like – Analysts Dashboard, Project Management Dashboard, Managers Dashboard, and Testers & Developer‟s Dashboard. Based on the requirement, each user can have access to multiple Dashboards. Restriction on Dashboard configuration is controlled through Kovair‟s pre-defined user privileges. For example, you can allow a supervisor full control on defining a Dashboard and its components (i.e., Gadgets), while others users will only view the data by means of the Dashboard, but cannot change its Gadgets.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 16
  19. 19. Integrated Project Management by Kovair Management Dashboard with – Graphs, Trend Lines, and Meters Analysts Dashboard with Distribution Metrics – Single Level and Multiple Levels© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 17
  20. 20. Integrated Project Management by Kovair Test Managers Dashboards with Analysis of different informationIntegrating Kovair with MS ProjectThe Middleware of Kovair application provides SOAP (Simplified Object Access Protocol) interfaceallowing Microsoft Project to access data from the application. This enables users of Kovairapplication to synchronize the application database with the database at MS Project Server. You canutilize full power of MS Project, even if it is not available in the client machine. For synchronization,there should be an MS Project installed on the Server so that from the client machine you canaccess MS Project of the Server from remote, and perform activities required to manage theallocation of resources and schedule Project Plans appropriately.MS Project Add-on enables users to define Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in the Kovairapplication, and accordingly prepare resource planning in MS Project. Work Breakdown Structure isthe fundamental method of Resource Management or Project Management to define a range orscope of a Project, considering sub-level units under it.Salient features of MS Project Integration with Kovair application:  The integration between MS Project and the Kovair application is bidirectional or „two-way‟. On one hand, you can export data from Kovair and modify them in MS Project; on the other hand you can add record directly from MS Project Add-on without using the „Add-Forms‟ of the Kovair application  In Kovair you can define WBS using Relation Types between Entities, Filter options available for Task, and Lookup values defined for Entity Attributes. All system pre-defined and custom defined Relation Types, Filter options and Lookups are available in MS Project Add-on. During synchronization, data are exported in MS Project according to the defined WBS in Kovair.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 18
  21. 21. Integrated Project Management by Kovair Defining Work Breakdown Structure in MS Project Add-on  MS Project Add-on allows you to view user specific Gantt chart. The process is quite simple where you have to select the User and a period specified by „From Date‟ and „To Date‟. Based on the data, Kovair application displays the Gantt chart. Visibility of user level Gantt Chart is surely an advantage for Project Managers to work with Kovair‟s MS Project Add-on. Generating Gantt Chart using Kovair’s MS Project Add-on  Kovair allows you to export the Tasks in MS Project, and then leveling them among the resources. After successful leveling, you can import those Tasks back to the Kovair application. So, the planning fields (e.g., Planned Start Date, Planned Finish Date, Planned Duration, etc) of the Tasks automatically get updated as per the resource leveling.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 19
  22. 22. Integrated Project Management by Kovair Resource Leveling  Often you may need to create new Tasks for resource leveling. So if you are already logged in to MS Project Add-on setup, you don‟t need to create the Task by accessing the Kovair application interface. You can create new Tasks in MS Project and import them back to the Kovair application. Similarly, you can also create new attributes for Entities in MS Project, and based on that Kovair‟s database will update when you import the records back to the Kovair application.  Using the MS Project Add-on setup you can allocate Tasks among resources as per the working days defined in the Calendar available in the Kovair application. So if you have declared a holiday in the Kovair‟s – Base Calendar, that holiday automatically becomes available in the Calendar of MS Project Add-on.  MS Project Add-on provides the facility to estimate the Planned Duration, Planned Finish Date and other planning data at Task Level, Entity Level or Project Level. In the MS Project Add-on, as you go on entering the duration of each Task, MS Project Add-on, on the other hand, automatically calculates Entity Level planned Duration and rolls up that calculation to upper levels (e.g., Module, Project, etc.).  After necessary planning is done in the MS Project, Kovair‟s Microsoft Project Add-on provides the functionality to import planning, actual and baseline data of the line items into Kovair. During import, the line items (Requirements, Designs, Test Cases, Issues and underlined Tasks) if existing in Kovair are updated with the planning and actual data. For Task, the „owner‟ and „% complete‟ set in mpp gets updated into Kovair when imported. If any new line items are created in Microsoft Project, those will be inserted as new records under the specific entity in Kovair depending on the WBS and the position of the item in mpp file. The relationship defined between any two line items in mpp will be created as a relation record between these two entity items after getting inserted or updated in Kovair.© Kovair Software Inc. 2010 20