Interview with Günter König, former head of GESIS, Gesellschaft für Informationssysteme mbH, and former CIO of Salzgitter AG Can Do: Mr König, GESIS is on one hand the IT service provider ...
Enough with laborious checking in and out and confusing work with different versions of the project plan: All project information must always be available to all users in real-time! This is one of the golden rules that Can Do established and applied right from the beginning of development of the first version of its project management software. This Golden Rule is winning through increasingly. For example, Günter König, CIO of the Salzgitter AG until the summer of 2010, expects of modern applications that: “All information must be available in real-time without delay. All other approaches are old fashioned and are no longer acceptable to us.”
Can Do has also applied this standard in its development of the Staffer – a function that efficiently shapes the coordination process for staff planning between project and line. The department head receives an overview of the resource requests from projects as well as of the utilisation of his department and each individual employee. Naturally in real-time: As soon as something changes in the capacitative situation of his employees or his department – be it through feedback from time-keeping or through a change in a current project – the software calculates the effects of the changes in 200 milliseconds and updates all positions affected. In theory.
Can Do’s Staffer finds a broader basis for use by a new client: Using the Staffer function, around 25 departments with a total of more than 700 employees will coordinate both the utilisation of staff for project operations and the usual activities of the departments. An extreme technical stress test should prove that all information is available in real-time, even under these conditions.
During the stress test, more operations were performed in one hour, using the project management software, than are usually performed in an entire normal working week. In one hour the system therefore had to process 40 times the data load of regular operations. In concrete terms, 100 actions were carried out per second during the test. All actions changed the capacitative situation of the employees and the departments. As the individually simulated user actions led to several changes to various positions in the project management software, and influenced one another, the 60 minutes of the test initiated actions that resulted in around 100,000 entries in the revision-proof history of the project management software. Can Do’s own Watermodel® capacity balancing procedure was of course active the entire time, so as to continually calculate the current capacitative situation of the employees in the multi-project environment and for example to continually re-calculate the risk of overload for each employee and every department.
The result can be summarised easily and speaks for itself: Can Do’s client-server architecture ran smoothly the entire time, no data was lost and all information was available in real-time. Stress test passed!