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Successful implementation of project management software with SAP and Outlook/Exchange interface

Vast interest in the presentation by Austrian IT specialist makeit, partner of Can Do, at the PMI Chapter Austria Forum Event in Vienna

Munich/Vienna. makeit information systems GmbH gave a presentation on the successful implementation of a project and portfolio management tool with SAP and Outlook/Exchange interfaces for Wiener Wohnen within the framework of the PMI Forum Event at the Vienna University of Technology, on the 17th of June 2010. makeit has been an integration and marketing partner of the Munich-based Can Do GmbH since 2002. During the presentation held in the university’s ballroom, which was attended by some 90 participants, particular attention was given to the integration of the project management software, Can Do Project Intelligence, into the system landscape of Wiener Wohnen, with special emphasis on the interface with Outlook/Exchange. The lecture was presented by Alexander Thür, Senior Consultant at makeit, and Rudolf Randus, one of the two managing directors of makeit. The company Wiener Wohnen manages around 2 050 residential complexes with over 210 000 apartments, and utilises Can Do software to manage construction renovation projects, in order to ensure the maintenance of the value of the residential properties. With the aim of providing optimal support to the renovations manager (equivalent to the project manager of each construction renovation project) and for compliance reasons, two important interfaces were realised with Can Do Project Intelligence.

Alexander Thür (Senior Consultant makeit, zSPM) and Rudolf Randus (managing director makeit, PMP) Once a construction renovation project has been set up in the SAP system, pre-defined deadlines and milestones which are known at the outset are sent to the planning tool via UC4 (service- automated file transport). UC4 is utilised because a direct online link to the SAP system was not permitted. Once the SAP data has been sent to Can Do Project Intelligence, a defined project template is automatically generated there – depending on the type of renovation and adjusted according to the data. Goals, virtual resources, documents and actions have already been stored in the template at the various relevant object levels (project/phase/work package milestones). The template encompasses 8 possible trade areas (for example roofing, windows, facade, cellar etc.) and the project managers delete those that do not form part of the renovation. In the course of the official award of contract, virtual resources are replaced by real ones and the project status is changed from planning to in progress. The project personnel now book the hours spent against the phase and work package levels.

 

In order to support the customary sequence of operations of personnel actively involved in construction renovation projects at Wiener Wohnen, management decided to link Can Do’s planning programme with Outlook/Exchange in order to be able to record, for example, hours spent on the project progress meetings or project meetings directly via the appointment request function in Outlook according to project, phase or work package level. A synchronisation mechanism between Outlook/Exchange and Can Do Project Intelligence synchronises the data every 2 minutes (the interval can be adjusted). A “Can Do Outlook Form“ makes a selection of those projects and their related phases or work packages alternatively available to the Outlook user against which he should record services. When selecting a phase or work package, further freely definable additional fields (responsibilities, deadlines etc.) can be displayed from the Can Do System in the Outlook form. In addition, it is possible to record the project progress – e.g. in the course of a progress meeting – at the relevant object level, and synchronise it with Can Do.

PMI Forum Event in ViennaThe communication between the Can Do Server and the Exchange Server of Wiener Wohnen was solved by way of J-Integra and on the basis of the information in the defined profiles. As an alternative to data input via Outlook/Exchange, personnel can carry out time confirmations either directly within the graphic Can Do client or via a so-called web feedback tool, which supports the recording of time spent via a standard browser user interface.

Both ongoing project reporting and special analyses for strategic decisions in conjunction with construction renovation projects, such as decisions concerning the overall portfolio, are solved via the integrated reporting system, the Project Data Collector (PDC). As a result every single staff member can, taking into account the specified system of access rights as the standard, generate specified reports or alternatively user-specific reports (e.g. in Excel or csv) in real time and then process them appropriately. Reports or special analyses can be activated across all construction renovation projects by way of an own licensed module, the PDC Resource Kit, whereby for company policy reasons, this function is available only to PMO staff .

The slides used in the presentation are available here.