Friday, November 29, 2013

UniPhi OnSite Mobile Apps to Launch in December 2013!

Remotely track live site progress!

UniPhi is releasing new iPad and Android apps called UniPhi OnSite. These apps have been designed to solve the problem of managing multiple sites. The apps are used by both site manager and project manager to communicate progress on tasks, raise issues, track variations and manage defects. The document generation module allows for quality checklists and notes to be made directly into the UniPhi web application while on-site. The apps work in offline mode and have a seemless integration with the camera function of the device.

Android Phone Issues Logging
Android Phone Document Register
Android Phone Track Progress
This exciting new addition to UniPhi’s software suite is all about making accessibility to your vital project information easier and as stress-free as possible. The app will allow functionality for the tracking of the progress of your project/s in as little or as much detail as suits you..

We are launching the apps via a free breakfast roadshow that's heading to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Dates and locations are:

Brisbane Mantra on Queen – 9th December 2013
Sydney Rydges World Square – 10th December 2013
Melbourne Rydges Exhibition St – 11th December 2013

Breakfast starts at 7:30am and will conclude at 9:00am.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Problem 4- Status Dates

It’s a Monday, the second day in May, 2011 and thousands of Twitter followers around the globe are glued to their seats as they follow the unfolding story of the Navy Seals finding and assailing the house of Osama Bin Laden’s refuge. Thanks to the internet, this truly incredible world event was streamed online exactly as it was unfolding and did an amazing job of highlighting just how poor business communication systems are. Here we are, the world, super glued to our screens watching as, what is supposed to be a covert operation unfolds, yet a CEO or a managing director of a company as small as two hundred people has no clue how many projects they’re running or what each project’s status is as of today. How does this work? The three-week-old status report is the most expensive piece of bureaucracy existing in the corporate world. What is the point of knowing that as of three weeks ago you were over budget and behind schedule?!

There is no point, or no point that helps you when you need it, or, ultimately, in the long run. As mentioned in this post, the ultimate goal of UniPhi’s software is to help remove the need to report and therefore, aim to remove three-week delays in the information being relayed to CEOs or managing directors of companies. This is not only to free up their time so that they can concentrate on facilitating resolutions to other issues, but also to help facilitate productivity and promote a more time efficient way of sharing information within the project environment and therefore, eliminating any issues that could arise before they actually do. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

UniPhi to release version 10 of its project software suite in two weeks!

We are getting ready to release version 10.0 of our project management software. This version will see some major new pieces of functionality along with some subtle, but necessary tweaks and changes to the way the software operates, making it more accessible, even easier to use and more time efficient.

Multi language capability
The largest new feature is multi-language capability. This will mean that all labels and tabs can be displayed, dynamically in any language that is desired.

Multiple Language Capability
Over the coming weeks, the changes to each feature within the software will be magnified and explained in full so that the benefit of each change is made abundantly clear and understandable. A brief overview of these changes is as follows:

Reporting and document functionality
Flexibility and ease are already a huge part of document creation within UniPhi’s software. The release of UniPhi 10.0 will allow for even greater flexibilities and more control over the content of your documents and the way they appear to your stakeholders. Graph design is a large part of this, with more flexibility being allocated to sizing and positioning of graphs within any documents created. Release 10 of UniPhi will permit multiple documents to be consolidated into one document or report; allowing for an even faster document creation process. Selecting and adding issues are now things that can be done within the document creation process. The addition of ‘project custom fields’ allows the production of regular reports of any content type to occur. Document templates descriptors are now displayed within the document tab providing more context to the document list.

Improved my work summary
The ‘my work’ tab is the place where you will find the work that is directed to you and needs your attention. This aspect of the software sits at the core of our desire to promote efficiency. The ‘my work’ tab has always allowed users the capability to be able to see and plan their work weeks in advance, but it did not include all items assigned to any one individual. Summary information is now available in the ‘my work’ tab. Things such as due dates, risks, actions, contract deliverables and documents that require you input specifically are now viewable in ‘my work’.  

Enhanced email functionality
UniPhi 10 will see the subject line of an email sent with UniPhi be filled with the title of the document being sent, making emailing easier and less time consuming. UniPhi clients will also be given the ability to establish their own signatures within the corporate email signature that appears on all standard emails.

Financials- fees/costs/contracts/budgets
Financial information can now be displayed in varying degrees of detail. The contracts summary tab provides much more visibility on contract status, variations, adjustments, progress claims and the overall completion of the entire portfolio or individual project level.

The contracts tab now provides a more in-depth view with the name of the contract, the supplier, the status and information such as the percentage complete and variations status all viewable in the one tab.
A budget template control template allows for flexibility when reports are being produced.

Materials on Site is a new feature within the contracts tab that allows project managers to accept and pay for materials as they are delivered on site or to storage without impacting the overall contract value. Financial concepts such as disbursements, variations, claim adjustments, EOT’s and Materials on site, now all appear in their own and panels within the Contracts tab. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Problem 3- Cut and Paste Consolidated Reporting

Typically, program managers or PMO manager (Project Management Office or Portfolio Management Office) have to manage multiple project managers at one time. The problem is that all these project managers send their reports in Word, Excel or Powerpoint format, causing the PMO manager to have to cut and paste the information into other reports in order to send them off to program sponsors, senior management and/or external clients. This is can be a time consuming and tedious task.

UniPhi’s project management software has simple escalation functionality that allows a project manager to eliminate cut and paste reporting and tag issues and risks that need to be escalated to these senior groups. This means that these stakeholders can view the critical information that needs their attention either on screen or receive it in report format. This encourages the management and resolution of any issues

Formal reporting can now be automated with our new document within a document feature. This is where a program manager can incorporate ten project management reports into a new consolidated report without needing to cut and paste information.

It also is able to consolidate financial and time information in an almost limitless number of ways: how much money did we spend in this electorate on road construction last financial year?  How much has been committed against budget for the far north of Queensland? How much was spent across all of Australia on bitumen? All of this can be found with one click

The end result of eliminating the need for cut and paste reporting is that instead of simply reporting reasons why a project is struggling or going to be unsuccessful, time can be spent actually managing and leading the programs and projects to successful outcomes.

Monday, November 11, 2013

UniPhi Core To Internal AECOM Innovation Award Win

Each year, AECOM, as part of a global program to recognise outstanding innovations, hands out awards in excellence to honour the standard of work produced by client projects and business achievements of their nominated parties. This year, a PCC Global Initiative, Global Unite was submitted for consideration of the excellence award for best innovation and has subsequently and deservingly won.

With the implementation of UniPhi’s project management software, Global Unite allows for cost estimators to be able to access project cost information from 10,000 projects, allowing for a better understanding of the relationship between design decisions, their cost and their resulting performance. Clients who have implemented Global Unite have seen a boost in value creation and the efficiency at which this information is delivered to them. This obviously aids in promoting more efficient, and succinct work outcomes.

Innovation drives the Global Unite project. Part of this innovation is the fact that the Global Unite project adopts complex adaptive tools and processes to manage complex projects, rather than employing traditional project management tools. Another aspect of the project’s innovative nature is its ability to encourage and promote collaborative efforts across continents, while promoting and producing efficient communications and therefore work outcomes. Global Unite is live in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, with Asia due to go live in early 2014. While centring itself on building projects, in 2014, Global Unite will be enhanced even further to allow knowledge from infrastructure projects to be captured.

UniPhi’s project management software was adapted specifically for Global Unite and plays a vital role in the way Global Unite operates. It therefore sits at the core of the success of the project as a whole and is an integral facet in the huge collaborative effort that put the project together to see it become the winner of AECOM’s excellence award for best innovation of the year 2013. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Problem 2- Reporting Instead of Managing

The task of reporting progress of a project to other stakeholders monopolizes a considerable amount of a project manager’s time. The purpose of this reporting can often be unclear as the people who are concerned with it are not actively involved in the project. If these people are actively involved in the project, they are getting their information directly on a day-to-day or a week-to-week basis. Primarily, two things cause this problem:

1.     The adoption of control-based project management methodologies that require reporting for the sake of reporting so that governance models are complied with.
2.     The use of closed systems that cannot be accessed by other people either outside the project team or, in some cases, even within the project team itself.

Prince2 and PMBoK derived methodologies are full of reporting requirements that are excellent at consuming the project manager’s time. With monthly status reports, end stage reports, project management plans etc, these reports integrate the nine functions of project management and therefore, require the project manager to integrate these nine systems to manage their project. This task is tiresome, and extracting the information from a plethora of disparate systems and inserting them into monthly PowerPoint slides is the bane of many a project manager’s existence.

UniPhi's project portfolio software's core design premise is one of transparency. Tacit information needs to be removed from the project environment so that all parties involved (and some that are not) can participate with all the information at hand. This way finds that issues are more innovatively resolved.

UniPhi's software features support all nine functions and, being a web based tool, it is accessed and used by all people within the project environment. All relevant data is captured just once in the tool and is then available for use many times through different views, some focusing on one specific area and others integrating all nine into an overall status for the project.  

UniPhi’s software provides for default views that target the roles of the user. When the user logs in they can see, not only, how projects they’re directly involved in are performing, but also see how other projects they’re governing are travelling. This also allows them to view how all other projects across the organisation are going as they progress.

The ultimate goal in using the tool is to remove the need to report. The achievement of this goal frees up the time of the project manager and allows them to spend more time facilitating the resolution of other issues or the mitigation of risks.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Problem 1- Capturing Time and Invoicing in Project-Based Organisation

Large and small organisations the world over battle with the ability to unite on-the-job effort with value created. Usually, recording systems used are completely disassociated from the accounting and contracting functions that are used to quote, invoice and track delivery progress. Depending on this disparity and the efficiency of the manual processes, it can take between 3 and 15 days for organisations to get to the point where they are set to raise invoices. With more time, comes more effort, and the amount of effort involved in this possible 15 days can increase the total work to over one full-time person per month.

A case study has been used to aid in illustrating this point. One client was using a web-based timesheet system and when it came to invoicing, analysis had to occur via comments in the timesheets and invoices raised to the client via Excel. The invoices raised in Excel would frequently contain errors in calculations which would clearly add to the increase in total work. Senior staff who were originally involved in the quote process would then become engaged in the invoice process as they were the only ones who could reconcile the timesheet entries to the value created on the job. The same senior staff were also left with comparing the reconciled timesheet entries and on- the- job value created to the spreadsheet effort estimate in the original quote.

The company had 500 employees and it would take 15 senior managers, on average, two days per month to complete their component invoicing. Administrators would then type up the Excel invoices and email or print and send to the client. Accounts would then key in the invoices to the accounting system. This disjointed system meant that on-the-job project- based staff had no feedback as to how they were performing throughout this process.

UniPhi’s software erases the disjoint within these processes. The software communicates to the project-based staff what the deliverable is that they need to complete, how long they’ve got to do it AND how much effort is required. The staff member is then able to amend the remaining effort when submitting the timesheet. This information is then used by the senior manager (or delegated to the project manager) to analyse the percentage completed, update the progress claim and generate the invoice document all within the one screen. The signed off invoice then exports to the relevant accounting system overnight via a batch process. UniPhi ‘s software employs portfolio aspects in order to identify which projects need invoicing so that no work is missed and working capital is kept to a minimum. The end result is that less senior staff are used and work is completed in less than half a day with no involvement from administration or accounts staff. Time saving for this particular problem was 25 days per month (i.e. 1.25 FTEs).

A short demonstration of this funtionality can be found on our website.

AECOM Award Nomination

AECOM continuously strives for a certain degree of excellence in all of their endeavours. This desire for such brilliance is key in the company’s distribution of excellence awards. In May of this year, a PCC Global Initiative, Global Unite was submitted for consideration for the excellence award for best innovation of the year.

The purpose of Global Unite is to provide unparalleled amounts of project cost information to decision makers around the globe in order to drive evidence-based decisions within the project environment. At the heart of Global Unite’s ability to provide this information is UniPhi’s project management software. UniPhi’s software was adapted specifically to Global Unite’s complex project goals in order to assemble, present and verify project cost information.

As the software was tailored for Global Unite’s specific needs and is a truly massive, global, collaborative effort (every continent bar Antarctica), the fact it is being considered  AECOM’s best innovation of the year is a true testament to the hard work that went into it and the pioneering nature of the project itself.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

UniPhi 50 Problems Series

UniPhi aims to challenge clients to improve their productivity by 10 percent across all project-based staff they employ. This is done through the deployment of UniPhi’s project portfolio software and associated process changes. Over the next 25 weeks, at two per week, we will highlight 50 problems solved by UniPhi. The solutions presented will aid in progressing an organisation towards achieving the 10 percent productivity increase, as well as improve the effectiveness of decision making at all levels of the organisation. Each problem to be presented over the next 25 weeks will identify time estimates or issues relating to clouded decision making and will then go on to explain how UniPhi’s project management software solves this problem.

Through this series, the positive return in purchasing and rolling out the relevant UniPhi software for your organisation becomes evidently significant. For example, if you currently have 50 people working within a project environment with each of them having a total employment cost of $100,000, UniPhi’s software will produce a $500,000 per annum saving over a without investing or status quo scenario. This would work out to be five times the total cost of ownership for the application and would pay back inside a six month period. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

UniPhi Managing Director to present at Project Challenge Expo in the UK on the delusion of control

Last year, UniPhi’s managing director, Mark Heath wrote a paper for the Australian Institute of Project Management entitled, ‘The Delusion of Control’. As life so often does, it threw a curve-ball his way- and his son into hospital- and sadly, he was not able to present. At the last minute, +Sarah Quinton stepped up to the plate with a fantastic, last minute presentation.

The presentation, rather than focusing on proving that most project managers and the PMBoK itself delude themselves into thinking that a project environment can be controlled, used a case study that concentrated on a real-life example to get its point across. This real-life example centred itself greatly on not trying too much to control, rather focusing on fostering a complex adaptive environment.

This year, in order to assist in the launch of UniPhi’s project management software in the UK, and to demonstrate his belief in the ability of complex adaptive systems to achieve greater results than those achieved through control-based systems, +Mark Heath will be presenting at the exhibition on the delusion of control.

The presentation will case study experiences had in rolling out UniPhi for the enterprise on a global scale to in excess of 1,500 users located on every continent bar Antarctica. In true eat your own dog food style, Uniphi for major projects was utilised to deploy five Enterprise applications. It was also used to manage the key global unite piece of technology custom built for AECOM by UniPhi’s software development team.

You can find the blurb of the presentation, as well as the time slot at the project challenge website.

Project Services Associates presents UniPhi at Project Challenge Expo 2013

UniPhi’s project management software will be launched in the UK at the 2013 Project Challenge Expo. Project Services Associates (PSA) will be exhibiting at the expo with UniPhi’s software being the key promotional product at their booth. PSA will be located near the case studies and expertise presentation area which will see, on Tuesday October 16, UniPhi’s managing director, +Mark Heath present. Come along to the expo and meet the PSA team. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

UniPhi partners with Project Services Associates to launch in the UK

UniPhi Managing Director Mark Heath is travelling to the UK to formally sign our first reseller agreement in the UK with Project Services Associates.

Project Services Associates (PSA) is a select group of independent project controls and project services practitioners.  All associates specialise in various project controls skills across different industry sectors covering: project planning, cost estimating, risk and value management, document control, and commercial and contract administration. The balancing of control with complex adaptive systems has been a key research piece of UniPhi since 1999. PSA brings pragmatic real world experience to the deployment of UniPhi's project management software, analysing where the fulcrum should be when balancing the total control to total chaos extremes of project management.

UniPhi looks forward to further announcements of UK clients taking up the software and being supported by the highly professional team at PSA.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stats, stats and more stats

Got introduced to a new piece of software yesterday called HubSpot. Goes to show how hard it is to get awareness (either that or I really do live under a rock) as I'd never heard of the software and yet it looks extremely popular. It has the benchmark 10,000+ clients which seems to be the minimum for B2B software these days and has the most amazing list of marketing stats I have ever seen.

This page is an incredible array of stats that has made me realise just how inadequate our online marketing is and how difficult it is going to be to change this. But, this has inspired me to blog (multiple blogs per DAY do lead to sales apparently) and to review the resource mix with focus definitely now on marketing and sales staff. So if you're interested in working for us, check out the job ad page on our site soon for new positions.

Back on topic of the marketing stats, does anyone in my network actually achieve some of the KPIs referenced? I'd love to know how many staff it takes to meet these targets (e.g. over 40 landing pages and multiple blog posts per day!).

Also, any comments out there on hubspot, specifically what it does and how this helps. I've had a cursory look at the website and am yet to work it out. If I get time to review the immense array of information and form my own opinion I'll be sure to let you know.

UniPhi's YouTube channel

Another long term marketing initiative has finally been completed. We now have a  "huge" suite of 5 software demos on the UniPhi Software YouTube channel Lots of feedback from the local network including "love the elevator music". While the production quality is a work in progress we hope these videos assist those interested to see how simple the tool is to use and the real benefits we know exist when deploying our software.

Below is a list of the six topics covered  with links to the web pages at

UniPhi for Your Business - overview of our enter once use many philosophy targeted to project based businesses and their practice management.
Issues Management - the engine room of project management.
Risk Management - what, risk management plans actually executed, why I never!
Document Management - Not just a repository (or should that be supository) but a content generator and integrator.
Financial Management - The pain of keying in timesheet data made useful and therefore worthwhile.

Feel free to lampoon or encourage whichever takes your fancy. All feedback is greatly appreciated.

More are pending so if you like our software and want to keep abreast of updates, follow us for updates.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New website for the new company

We launched our new website yesterday. Check it out and let me know what you think. It's still a work in progress and hopefully as a friend of mine once said, we won't let our shop front wait so long for a new coat of paint.

I must confess it took a lot longer than I expected. This is one of the interesting things about project management, as time management is the only unique management principle in project management, missing a deadline for most project managers means a failed project. Dr Kaye Remington's new book on complexity in project management focuses on this time management function but from a completely different perspective. It's called Kairos: Harnessing time and emergence in complex projects and as usual, is a cracking book full of excellent insights into what is success. It can be bought on Amazon as an e-book here.

I've long held the belief that a deadline is rarely the most important aspect of a project and that it is assessing this deadline with the emergence of value that is most important. The difference with Kaye is that she puts rigour around her suppositions and supports them with some great research. However, it is my belief that a project manager must always weigh up delay of linear time with the time value of money. This is where one recognises that a delayed product release (say for example a new company website) could have more value than an on-time release where the value proposition for the site has yet to emerge. It is very helpful to have a strong financial understanding of how to assess and value benefits as they emerge when implementing this balancing act.

We have compromised  with our new website release in a similar way. The value proposition is still to be finalised but it has started to emerge and I'm pretty happy with this launch so long as it's a first release and we keep developing the site until its full value is achieved. If left as is then the project would be a failure on both missing a deadline basis and missing the value in the idea.

So hopefully I will be blogging soon about a web update that will move use one step closer to value from the web and our overall business goals being achieved.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

UniPhi the company, global unite, UniPhi 9.0 and more

At the risk of stating the obvious, it's been a while between updates. There's plenty to update too.

UniPhi has been spun out of mbh to become its own company. The three pillars of mbh: management consulting, training and software still make sense but the skills to run each are best managed separately so there are now two businesses under a group called Bruegel Investments. mbh is focused on the training and UniPhi provides software solutions and consulting advice for managing the 3 Ps; Portfolios, programs and projects.

The last post January last year mentioned UniPhi going global. Thanks to the sale to AECOM, UniPhi is now being used in over 120 locations around the world. This 45,000 user roll out has been and still is a fascinating project. UniPhi is the heart of a global knowledge base on construction cost data that is now driving decision making and cost planning around the globe. It is a honour and a pleasure to be involved with such a quality fortune 500 company that is involved in some of the great infrastructure and construction projects globally.

It is a buzz to all in the team that there are users of UniPhi's software 24 hours a day. From our first release back in 2005, it is very satisfying to have reached this global goal.

We've had three releases since the last update in January 2012, with UniPhi 9 being released  in June 2013. The most important feature that has been enhanced over the past 18 months is our Data Warehouse In a Box. This product solves the big problem of enterprise databases; that of extracting the information that has been captured in the way an end user wants. This analytical portal provides the business with the ability to aggregate, cut and dice their financial information captured in UniPhi's enterprise version any which way they wish.

Exciting new developments for the UniPhi suite of products is in the mobile space. We've hired new Android and iOS developers (welcome Vino and Godfrey) to develop our new UniPhi on-site product to be released in August and to enhance our global unite roll out with AECOM. I'll dedicate the next post to the new on-site products.

In other recruitment news, we welcome our new production manager +Graham Eldridge to the fold. Graham's experiences running both enterprise and IT project management offices will assist us in the roll out of our enterprise version. Finally we welcome +Gunawan Herman  who joins our software development team. Gunawan's first assignment is to complete our foreign language feature due for release in UniPhi 10 this October. While only on board for two weeks he has impressed our system architect; +Murray Stiles with his focus and attention to detail. The recruitment process has been both exciting and exhaustive and we're very happy with the quality of our expanding team.