Project support tool – your input would be appreciated!

by Justin Souter on April 17, 2009

I’m in discussions with someone locally about a potential programme of activities to help businesses make the most of technology (usually information technology). We’ve been talking about what tool(s) might help underpin the whole enterprise.

Photo credit to Andy Lawson

It will probably be web-based, in order for everyone to have access – i.e. the organisation doing the supporting, the clients it serves, and the partners it works with / draws expertise from.

From my notes:

  • Over-arching requirement
    • System to support work to help North East-based companies make the most of technology
      • Help them find out relevant & usable solutions asap, and help them implement their use of them
      • Make it easier / cheaper / faster to innovate using technology
    • Provide Management Information around the whole process
  • Solution components
    • Customer interface, easy to use (of course) but adding value to customers who use it by having a clear layout and intuitive steps to go through
    • Probably a private section for each customer / client and their employees
    • Community, so that users can interact and create new ideas etc.
    • Lightweight project management to support the overall process of engagement
    • Supportive of ideas & sharing of ideas
    • Maybe used to track customers & suppliers
    • Reporting framework – perhaps Balanced Scorecard
    • Robust security
    • Maybe some kind of lightweight process management to guide clients through the whole experience, and for this progress to be tracked
  • The solution would most likely be software-as-a-service, to fulfil the easier / cheaper / faster mandate above

So far, our various chats & thoughts have come up with some candidate tools

We’d be greatful if you could give some ballpark feedback about what might fit the bill. V. many thanks in advance :-D

  • Huddle.net is well worth a look at.
    I would definitely recommend Salesforce. Fantastic reporting tool and nice automation options too.
    Joomla would also get my vote as basic CMS tool.

    For all your online video needs I would *highly* recommend Quick.tv :)

    This site might help you: http://startuptools.pbwiki.com/

  • Agreed. Huddle is very good for sharing info / files between team members who are geographically spread wide. Some kind of wiki for sharing info / resources publicly too.

    Paul
    Web Development Executive
    http://www.shell-livewire.org

  • Matt / Paul

    Many thanks for the feedback – met Andy from Huddle whilst in Texas. He's a man for facial hair, rather like me. Am checking it out right now…

    Thanks!

  • Sounds like you are looking to achieve quite a lot Justin, and its not all that clear from your blog post what exactly your after. But it sounds like you are looking to build a support network. Are you aiming this at a particular business sector, for example codeworks do a great job in the digital / creative market place – i'm not sure that this should be applied across multiple sectors though as needs are so different.

    I also think what you are describing is a portal. These only work if there are enough members with enough interest and enough motivation to keep them going, which means there need be a real need and not an existing support network in place, with the NECC, business links, one north east etc, etc etc that you might find the market is already saturated.

    In terms of the tools though, what you seem to be suggesting would have to be very flexible in order to work for lots of different types of company/industry working on very different projects and with very different supply situations. And it sounds like you are talking about support for small companies that aren't currently utilizing technologies very well, so it sounds like you'd be adding to their problems by giving them this quite complex set up to do before they even start trying to resolve thier own issues.

    Maybe it would be a better idea to create a searchable data repository / library for information on technologies, harware / software / services / suppliers with best practicles, step by step guides, white papers and case studies possibly even a range of templates and samples for the various technologies that companies could down load and use.

    I'm not sure if that helps, regards Dave.

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