At any given time MCFTech has between 100 and 150 active Internal and Client Projects. These projects are managed by the GPS Team (Global Project Solutions). Unless the Client has a specific request or need for us to work with their tools, we utilize Quickbase and MCFTech Products to manage our projects in a standardized way. That is the key to good Project Management, consistency!
Any project has a core set of criteria that needs to be managed and tracked:
- The Plan/Timeline
- RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues & Dependencies)
We manage this core set by using Quickbase and our product plug ins.Below we will focus on the Plan/Timeline & Resources.
At MCFTech we track and manage the plan/timeline via Quickbase and a custom Gantt Interface product (The Golden Gantt).This allows us to manage the creation of tasks and their timelines.
Dependency Management (Critical Path)
Within any Plan there is a Critical Path – this is the absolute dependency chain. Dependencies are tasks that need to be completed before another task can be started. These are identified at a high level as successors and predecessors. Determining these dependences can be the difference between failure and success!
What do they mean?
A Predecessor is a task whose start or finish controls the start or finish of another task. A Successor is a task whose start or finish is controlled by the start or finish of another task.
Let’s break this down just a little. Let’s make a planto make a cup of tea. The Plan and dependency chain would look a little like this:
There are 3 things needed in order to make a cup of tea. The finished cup of tea is dependent upon the following items:
- Tea Bag
Logically, you can’t pour the water into nothing, it needs a container, the cup. The cup becomes the predecessor, the first link in the critical path.
The tea bag and water can be placed into the cup in any order, so, these become the successors, both on the critical path because they are both critical to the end result, the cup of tea.
- The Cup (Predecessor to 2 and 3)
- The Water (Successor to 1)
- The Tea Bag (Successor to 1)
- Completed Cup of Tea – Successor to 2 and 3
How do we build our plans?
- Ability to select from multiple projects within Quickbase
- View hierarchy and status of tasks
- Easily search and view tasks
- Highlight critical chain or tasks longer than 7 days
- Most importantly – Saved changes are automatically updated in our project management Quickbase application.
How do we allocate resources?
We use our Quickbase tool, The MCF Scheduler Plugin, that is connected to our Quickbase PM Application. This allows us to:
- View our resources and their schedules in real-time by day, week, or even a month at a time
- It eliminates double-booked resources by making edits on the fly, all updated in real-time in your application
- We can see an overall View of work requests, jobs, tasks, projects and more and easily assign resources
- We leverage our PM application’s reporting capabilities and the Scheduler tool to drive management of executive and logistics dashboards
As you can see, from start to finish project management requires up to date information (Quickbase), planning (Golden Gantt), Resourcing (Scheduler) and transparency (All!)
Having this standard set of tools gives us the power to help our clients launch their new technology successfully!
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