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.