With the rapid increase in remote work in response to social distancing measures, clients are seeking ways to collaborate differently on projects. Communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx and Zoom have seen a growth in usage and adoption where multiple members irrespective of remote locations can attend, share screens and review project data leading to a stronger project execution and collaboration.

Using project management technologies and data analytics tools, projects can stay on track with schedule and budget considerations during the current times. Project management office (PMO) plays a pivotal role in identifying a hybrid mix of staff resources, business processes and technologies based on the type of project and client requirements for successful project execution.

As experienced users of PMO technology and, at our core, as project managers, we work closely with clients to help them realize the financial health benefits of using such integrative tools, especially during these challenging times.

Time-Saving Technology

Identifying the client needs first and then selecting the best technology to capture project data from inception to closeout and training the team members in its application results in better planning, execution and superior data quality. This leads to real-time project analysis by project managers and executive management.

Project management tools and procedures, such as automated workflow processes and cloud-based scheduling, empower remote work and collaboration with minimal loss of efficiency. Multiple cloud applications like Oracle Primavera Unifier, Oracle APEX, Hexagon Xalt and Microsoft Planner are available in the market to provide different capabilities and experience in automation, business process management, task planning, database management and project specific configuration, which allow users to see information in its best form.

Business intelligence and data visualization tools, such as Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle BI Publisher provide decision makers with latest integrated data analytics for an accurate project update at any point in time. By having organized data available in an informative and accessible format, clients can see and quickly respond to real-time data changes, whether working from the field or home office, ultimately saving time spent on meetings, calls and email conversations.

Updated Information

Digital collaboration has increasingly been used in response to current challenges through the use of video conferencing, virtual site visits (virtual reality/augmented reality) and smartphone apps. Project managers can achieve total team integration using tools such as Microsoft Office 365 and project management tools like Primavera Unifier, Microsoft Project, Primavera Cloud and Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to run the projects effectively. Effective use of these tools allows team members to have an outlet to communicate data updates and keep projects advancing. Studies can also be conducted based on available data pulled from the project management and forecasting tools. Such data helps to quickly inform project managers of potential impacts to service due to project shutdowns, as well as work through time impact analyses and evaluate options for fast-tracking schedules. Through the management tools, clients can coordinate fast-moving changes.

Predictive Project Planning

Project forecasting tools like Ecosys, Primavera Cloud and Burns & McDonnell developed WebApp help inform project schedules to improve time and cost estimates, especially in the face of shutdowns or delays. These predicted schedules are at the center of daily team meetings on project updates, providing project management with the ability to make project decisions based on potential forecasted schedules and cost impacts.

Whether an organization has a PMO or is interested in launching one, now is a pivotal time to assess the potential value of technology in managing budget, schedule and resources to keep projects moving.


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Sanket Kamath is a project manager for 1898 & Co., part of Burns & McDonnell, working as a technology project management/business intelligence professional. He has over a decade of experience working in revenue-driven business analytics, strategic planning and project/program management roles for both fast-paced private and publicly held technology companies.