Project Management Tracking Tools

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    Jewel Thompson Chin

    Hi all, we are looking at several products for meeting our Project & Knowledge Management needs. Have you had any direct experience with these PM Tools and/or their vendors?
    1. ProxX,   BMG
    2. E-Tracker, George Group
    3. Y-Change, Leemak, Inc.
    4. ABT Mgt. Suite, NIKU
    5. PowerSteering, PowerSteering
    6. I-Exec, R&S
    7. Essenteq, Six Sigma Academy
    8. Trackwise, Sparta Systems


    Mike Carnell

    My personal feeling is that most of these tools are overpriced and promote a lack of management involvement. The intent is primarily to keep bureauocracy off the backs of BB’s. If you look at many of the features they have very little to do with anything that really would involve a BB. They roll up results, provide status etc. Companies buy these and they the deployment stalls when they have support issues from Champions.
    If you are on the front end of a deployment do it the same way you should install automation. You do the job by hand. Dump all the extraneous BS then if you want to automate it you have the critical functions. When you shop for a product you are going to get sold a prepackaged program. Do not pay for features that your manual method showed to be non-critical. You might even have them eliminated so some person with a little to much butt time doesn’t decide to expand the requirements.
    This is how I figure out if I have a Champion who is  involved:
    1. Ask what the stock market is doing for the day. (they typically like to appear to be very locked into “the big picture” for business).
    2. Ask the status of the BB projects. If they can’t tell you without booting up a program then you have support issues.
    The BB are their direct responsibility and affect the company ops. The stock market knowledge is image and they typically have very little involved. The BB side should be faster and more accurate.
    You will find that the software empowers them to distance themselves from the BB’s.
    This is just my opinion.



    I’ve seen a couple of them through demonstrations and decided that the price point was too high. I signed up for the 6sigmamanager tool, but thought it was a little early in it’s life cycle. Not sure where I’m going to go next. Maybe I’ll just keep my MS Access database!
    I’d appreciate other’s comments on the other software programs also.


    Ø6 Sigma BB Coordinator

    I just use Excel spread sheet tracking more than 100 projects.
    I saw some tracking software demostration.
    I think the software is too expensive.
    Some functions do not really fit my need.
    Then I say to myself : “My spread sheet is better” (I lie myself)
    I prefer using my Excel spread sheet to track projects.
    However, I am not sure that if I have more than 500 projects, I still follow up all projects effectively.
    Six Sigma Black Belt Coordinator


    John Adamo

    Would you be willing to share your database with me?  I am not looking for the table detail or to see the projects, I would like the table stuctures. 


    Mike Carnell

    Mr. Coordinator,
    I can’t imagine why you need to track 100 let alone 500 projects. I agree the simple spread sheet is as easy a way as any to do it. If you have 100 projects going on under you how much detail do you realy need? There are without a boubt MBB’s in the loop. they track the people they mentor. and the BB’s track the the GB’s.
    As the coordinator it would seem that your role would be more value added as a best practices conduit or looking for leverage or fine tuning the project selection process. Keeping score is a relatively mindless task that feeds the elephant.
    We hold the BB’s accountable for savings – hopefully with some underlying ROI for justification. As the leader you should be able to produce the same numbers.


    Six Sigma Guy!

    I saw a demo of eTracker (Version 2) last week, and it blew me away as to the spread of the project management process they offer.



    Hi Jewel,
    I actually evaluated a few of these vendors/products when my company first embraced Six Sigma. Once we got all the pricing (upwards of $500K plus seat licenses, integration and customization in most cases), we actually decided to hire a custom developer and literally paid only 20-30% of the cost for a fully customized and web-enabled solution which includes project tracking/administration along each phase of the DMAIC/DMADV process, tollgating, workflow, document management, reporting, and lots more.
    I actually completed a full vendor selection spreadsheet in an attempt to objectify our decision-making process amongst all the features, etc. that we were looking for, along with a SWOT analysis on our chosen vendor.
    Let me know if you’d like to know more, or if you’d like me to share the documents with you, write me at [email protected]


    Amber Usman

    Can anyone share with me the format, if using excel based spreadsheet for project tracking.

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