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Project Management and Project Application Tools

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I need some help locating research information to help get me started. Links will also be much appreciated. Thank you.

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Scenario - Your company, LRH Products, is about to attend a major trade show event in another city. You, a member of the marketing team, have been selected to manage the project. The project includes all the activities necessary to update the trade show display, re-stock the collaterals (brochures, signs, presentations), order new give aways, transport the trade show materials, and make all travel arrangements. At this time, you do not need to update any of the printed collaterals, but the presentation will likely need some small modifications. The sales people who will staff the booth also need to be identified, notified, and trained. Clothing may also be necessary to order for them. You will start this project ten weeks before the event; the display needs to be shipped ten calendar days before the event begins to ensure adequate time for set-up by the on-site trade show staff. You have adequate budget, which was prepared by the marketing manager based on the costs from the last show. You have a small team of people to help you complete the project. You are available to work up to 16 hours a week on the project. As the newest person in the marketing department, you are not very familiar with the products or what has been done at previous trade shows. You have significant experience organizing trade show events since you used to work from one of the competitors. You also have experience training sales staff. You do not know the vendors with whom you will work on this project, such as the printer and give away supplier.

You do have the following individuals to draw upon their expertise for help and guidance.

Pat

Hours available per week 12

Related Experience - Has been involved with the trade show for the past several years. Is very knowledgeable about the products and has a solid working relationship with the sales staff.

Comments - Likes to update the collaterals, especially the presentation. Is comfortable training the sales staff, but doesn't always cover the material correctly. Will go on vacation four weeks prior to the trade show and will be off for two weeks.

Terry

Hours available per week 8

Related Experience - Administrative assistant for the marketing department and has been involved in preparations for several trade shows.

Comments - Enjoys working on the give-aways and presentations. Does not enjoy making travel arrangements and tends to make mistakes there. May be pulled away from this project to support more time-critical activities.

Task needing assistance - When someone says "project management tool" the first thing that comes to mind is Microsoft Project. Yet that is just one of the many tools available to and required by project managers. Your role as project manager requires you to use a variety of tools to help through the process. The Marketing Manager has asked you to research and write about the various tools that are available to the project manager. Using the Cybrary, the Internet, and any other materials locate and read articles on other project management tools. Describe the basic tools used by project manager and relate this to applications such as Excel, MS project and other packages that automate these processes.

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Solution Preview

Please see the updated response below, as well as the attached response for other links as suggested in the response below. I also attached one supporting article and other links to help you with this project.

LAST UPDATED APRIL 17, 2010

RESPONSE:

1. Describe the basic tools used by project manager and relate this to applications such as Excel, MS project and other packages that automate these processes.

I am wondering how much research you have already engaged in and if you have read any articles as the assignment suggests? As you probably know, it is important to do as much research as you can, as this is the best way to learn both about doing research and about the topic that you are researching, in this case "project management tools."

To help in this research process, I used a variation of the words "project management tools" using the Google search engine, which had numerous hits, but few that listed various tools. However, I did locate a few sites that were helpful. The first ones lists three basic tools, and the last site lists come basic project tools as well as some creative tools for project management. Some mention how they are related to the other applications, such as PowerPoint. Note: Basecamp is mentioned twice.

From a couple of sources:

1. Basecamp is a web-based tool that lets you manage projects (or simply ideas) and quickly create client/project extranets. It lets the project manager and your clients (or just your own internal team) keep her/his conversations, ideas, schedules, to-do lists, and more in a password-protected central location. And unlike most project management products/, Basecamp is a breeze to use. Take a tour of some key features.

How it works: Basecamp is a hosted service so there's no hardware or software installation required. Just log-in, set up a project site (it takes only a few seconds), then go ahead and start posting project updates, contact info, task lists, files or design reviews, or other content. Your clients can then participate by commenting on your messages or creating their own. It's a simple, organized, professional way to communicate project progress to both clients and other team members. And the uses are endless.

2. Celoxis is the only solution that offers workflow, time sheet & expense; collaboration and project management software integrated under one roof. Celoxis is an online planning tool, project management tool, time sheet tool, collaboration software, as well as workflow software (see http://www.celoxis.com/ for more detail).

3. CounterPoint: is a zooming presentation tool - which hooks to Power Point - acting as a plugin to PowerPoint. It allows you to arrange your PowerPoint slides on a zooming canvas that is provided by Jazz. CounterPoint also provides the capability to create multiple scripted paths through your spatial slide arrangements. Presentations created in CounterPoint are also interactive; so you can deviate from a scripted path at presentation-time based on audience feedback, time constraints, or other factors. (See http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/counterpoint/ for more detail.)

From another source:

1. Basic Project Management Application Tools

These applications are marketed specifically for project management, which include things like task-, team-, and goal-management features. Some include additional features such as time tracking and invoicing.

(1) Lighthouse

Lighthouse is a bug- and issue-tracking app that tracks timelines and milestones, integrates with your email client and more. You can update tickets through your inbox, manage your beta testing (by making tickets and milestones public), integrate it with subversion and manage and prioritize your tickets. Project creation is madesimple; only a project title and description is required. Once a project is created, tickets, messages and milestones can be entered. Ticket creation can be done by email (the email address to send tickets to is displayed on the "Tickets" page). You can show tickets based on a variety of criteria, including date, state (open or closed) and who is responsible for them. Message creation is easier than email, and you can attach files up to 50 MB in size. When you create a milestone you simply enter the title, the date it's due and the goals or focus for that particular milestone. It doesn't get much simpler than that. Permissions are easy to set, and you can invite users by email. One of the best features of Lighthouse is its Beacon and API integration. With the API, you can customize tickets, projects, changesets, milestones, messages and more. Integrate it with other services (such as Google Calendar), or make desktop applications that use Lighthouse. The APIs make Lighthouse infinitely more useful, because you can really customize it to fit your current workflow.

(2) Springloops

Springloops is another ...

Solution Summary

Referring to project management tools, this solution assists in researching of some of the project tools used by project managers and how some relate to applications such as Excel, MS project and other packages that automate these processes. It is supplemented with one supporting article on presentation software tools. as well as other links for further research. Last updated on April 17, 2010.

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