Renewable energy businesses can improve the selection of their schedule management tool by following these five steps.
1. Identify the stakeholders for the schedule management tool
Address these questions to identify stakeholders:
Who will be the readers of the schedule reports produced from the tool?
Who will be responsible for creating and updating the schedule and for producing the schedule reports?
Who will be responsible for installing and configuring the schedule management tool?
Who will provide training on use of the tool and reports?
2. Decide on the planned uses of the schedule management tool
In a prior article, seven uses were identified for a schedule: 1) plan the project, 2) estimate the project budget, 3) communicate with stakeholders, 4) track progress, 5) analyze risk, 6) manage resources, and 7) perform an earned value analysis. Consider both current uses and expected used over the next two to three years. Identify the processes that will be enabled by the tool.
3. Specify where the schedule management tool will be used
Address these questions to specific where the tool will be used:
Will the tool be used in the office only or also in the field?
Will the tool be used on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones?
Will it be used in multiple locations?
Will it be used my multiple users concurrently?
4. Choose the tools that will be integrated with the schedule management tool
Consider the following possibilities: change order management tools, safety management systems, quality management systems, finance and accounting tools, estimating tools, resource management tools, productivity management tools, and timekeeping tools. Evaluate integrating separate tools versus purchasing a fully integrated tool, that incorporates multiple capabilities.
5. Plan the budget for purchasing and implementing the schedule management tool
Evaluate software purchases with annual maintenance fees versus software-as-a-service. Consider how many licenses will be required, both individual and concurrent. Budget time for configuring the new tool and migrating data from the old tool to the new tool
Plan time for raising awareness of the need to change and creating desire for the new tool. Include time for training users to instill the knowledge and ability to use the new tool. Allocate time for leaders to re-enforce the importance of changing to use the new tool.
Follow these five steps and document the findings to improve the selection of a schedule management tool.
Contact Renewable Projects for help with your schedule management system