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Online Project Management Solutions Gains Momentum

Jan 27, 2008
Online project management solutions are growing with leaps and bounds. One example of this is the announcement on PMFORUM that Seavus Group of London has announced a brand new online project management and collaboration with ProjectOffice. Seavus is just one of many, and is only cited by way of example and a recent announcement.

Many solutions coming onto the market today are web based, online project management. These project management solutions offer basic project management functionality and enhanced collaboration for users. Individuals and teams can create projects and tasks, assign tasks to project members, track time, track expenses and issues, and use wikis ("living" content that anyone can edit in real time over the web) to boost collaboration and knowledge sharing.

This is part of an interesting trend, and here are a few key points about project management as an application and that trend. The Application Service Provider (ASP) model has been heating up for several years now and seems to be gaining more momentum on a consistent basis.

Project Management is a great application for this for a number of reasons that play right into the strength of the ASP Model:

1. Projects are not continuous, and hence an on-demand model to be used during the life of the project for use of supporting programs/software makes sense.

2. Projects are collaborative efforts, and online coordination makes a great deal of sense as part of the project communication plan.

3. There is a need to have all documents, including ad hoc comments, collaboration, status, and snapshots in time all in one place.

4. Licensing is extremely simple for online project management - typically a monthly fee per person - and can be turned on and off at a moments notice. It is also a straight expense, requiring virtually no coordination with other parts for the organization, such as finance and IT, where coordination might be necessary.

5. The web is ubiquitous, and bandwidth is typically not an issue, especially for large, professional projects.

6. Infrastructure management is completely handled by the vendor, thus freeing the team and sponsor from needing to manage this issue.

7. The application functionality is maintained by the vendor, and incorporates enhancements immediately, at no extra charge. This means that features are kept up to date, and the hassle of improving an internal application is gone. Also gone is the need to upgrade when new features become available.

I will be providing a great deal more information and analysis on the phenomenon of online project management. This will include analysis of individual product/service offerings.
About the Author
John Reiling has worked in mining, manufacturing, metal fabricating, and environmental services, and later information technology as a Lotus Notes developer, then project manager. Today he consults mainly in IT Project Management and runs several web sites, including pmtrainingonline.com, leansixsigmatrainingonline.com, and PMcrunch.com .
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