Industry Spotlight: I.T Departments

Project management within an IT department can be a complex business.  It is often about delivering new projects against a backdrop of regular ‘business as usual’ IT activities, generally with the same staff.

Asta has extensive experience helping IT departments – both large and small – deliver projects successfully in what is generally a resource-constrained environment. Asta typically starts by working with the team to create standard processes and methodologies for managing projects within the Asta Powerproject system.  This helps to develop consistency in the way projects are approached – right from feasibility stage to project closure – and provides the basis for clear management reporting.

“We have been using Asta’s software for such a long time now, it’s hard to imagine a time when we ran a project without it; it has completely shaped our processes. All projects follow the same process which allows us to plan and forecast, schedule and monitor every project across the organisation in the same way: continuity and consistency are vital in our line of work.”

Rebecca Mitton, Project Manager, Canon Europe Ltd

Managing the priority order of projects is often an iterative process.  Corporate priorities can change and it is vital that IT departments can move swiftly to reflect these changes in the day-to-day work carried out by team members.  Asta Powerproject provides complete visibility over all projects and resources.  Projects can be assigned different priority levels and the impact of changing their priority order can be instantly seen on project end dates and resources. ‘What if’ scenarios can be tested to assess the impact that hiring additional staff would have on project delivery dates and budgets.  This can be used to have constructive dialogue with senior management about the department’s capacity to support changes in organisational objectives.

Asta Powerproject is a role-based system which can be tailored to meet the needs of all stakeholders involved in IT project delivery:

Senior management

Senior management can access status reports on any aspect of the project portfolio via Asta’s web-based Business Intelligence tool at the click of a mouse.  Milestone reporting, project costs and end dates can be easily monitored and alerts sent to key stakeholders should any acceptable variances look like being exceeded.  Data can be imported from other business systems to provide a single management interface for project reporting and control.

Peter Aspinall, Lancashire NHS Trust

Project manager

Asta Powerproject provides you with the tools to accurately schedule projects, manage resources and project costs.  It allows you to record risks and issues against project tasks and identify those that could have the most impact on the project end date and budget.  Project risk reporting can be built into Asta’s Business Intelligence module to provide management with complete visibility of the risk profile across the project portfolio.

Team member

Asta’s web-based Time Sheet module provides team members with an individualised project ‘to-do’ list and a mechanism for reporting progress and any issues back to their line manager.  Team members can also access the full project plan to see how their work is contributing to the achievement of project goals.