How to Gain More Value From Project Management Software by Understanding 5 Purposes of Technology

Introduction
Technology (especially “project management software”) has been and will continue to be an important part of project management discussion and practice. This is justified. The right project management software that is implemented correctly can have significant, positive effects on an organization. However, the wrong software, or software implemented poorly can pull an organization down.In our experience, we have seen organizations struggle with the proper implementation of the right software. Many times we find this stems from a limited or misunderstood view of the purpose of technology in the first place. For example, organizations may look for a tool that can just “schedule projects”, or they simply do not think through the broader, strategic purpose that the technology should serve. This leads to selecting the wrong technology or not implementing it in a way that provides the most value for the organization.The purpose of this white paper is to provide a fresh perspective on 5 major purposes of technology (and project management software in particular) in project management.These purposes come from lessons learned in the aviation field. The aviation field is similar to project management in the sense that it seeks to create predictable, successful outcomes in an activity with inherent risk. It utilizes technology heavily to fulfill that objective. By studying the role of technology in aviation, we can derive the major and similar purposes that technology should serve in project management. In so doing, we can also boost the strategic use of technology to support our organization’s strategic objectives, needs, and processes.Purpose 1: Situational Awareness
Some of the most important aviation technologies, such as the ILS (instrument landing system), glass panel displays, and GPS (global positioning system) are focused on situational awareness: letting the pilot know at every moment where the aircraft is headed, how it is oriented, how high it is, where it needs to go, how it is performing, or a number of other pieces of information.Project management technology is no different. It needs to provide situational awareness of each project’s situation, where they are headed, how they are performing, and how they need to proceed. It also needs to provide awareness of the situation of an organization’s entire project “portfolio.” If you cannot utilize your technology to know the current situation of your projects, you are not utilizing technology effectively.The “current project situation” may be different depending on your organization and its particular processes and objectives. It may mean the status of the project schedules, the quality of the deliverables, the current degree of risk, the satisfaction of the clients, or the state of the budget or profit numbers.It may mean how current resource utilization will affect the project, what issues have arisen that would derail the project, or what has slipped through the cracks.The important thing is to always be aware of the project situation so that you can make intelligent, timely, well-informed decisions.You can factor this into your project management technology implementation by doing the following:
Identify the key information that you need to maintain situational awareness.
Ensure that your project management software tool(s) can track and provide this information.
Train your staff on providing this information within the tool.
Purpose 2: Decision Making
In aviation, pilots must be able to make quick decisions using accurate data. For example, a pilot needs to know exactly what is wrong with the aircraft to make a good decision on next steps. They need to know how much fuel is remaining to make a decision on weather avoidance.Similarly, managers need to have accurate data to make decisions in project management. They need to know what is wrong with a project so they can make a good decision on next steps. They need to know resource availability to prioritize efforts and choose directions. In many organizations, this type of information is not readily available, either because the right toolset is not in place or the toolset has not been implemented in a way that supports this strategic purpose.Over 10 years ago there was a project manager position that was held by the author of this whitepaper. Each week, the project management group would spend hours (literally) compiling long status reports for management. They would need to track down the status of everything and document them, along with a host of other information. Is it good to have this information compiled? Yes. But it sure is a resource-intensive way of doing it that could be substituted with good technology and good process. Was the information effectively and utilized? That was unclear.Ask yourself, what is the information you need to make good decisions? What problems does your organization routinely face? Do you have real-time insight into those problems? Do you have all of this information readily available at all times? If not, make a pro-active effort to use process and technology to enable your decision making to be much more accurate, informed, and effective.In order to make decisions, two things have to occur:
The information needed to make decisions must be compiled.
The information needed to make decisions must be readily available.
Project management software technology fits into this broader purpose, but again you need to ensure that:
You know what information you need.
Your project management software technology is capable of compiling the information you need to make decisions.
The information in your project management software technology is always readily available.
Your team is trained on how to correctly compile the right information into the tool so that you can retrieve it to make decisions.
Purpose 3: Automation of Routine Tasks
A recent article in an aviation periodical referred to a certain modern airliner as a 650,000 pound computer. There is a lot of technology in cockpits today and much of it automates routine tasks for pilots. For example, pilots can use automated engine management systems that eliminate the need for the pilots to manage the specific thrust levels, temperatures, and other engine parameters; checklists are automated; alerts (notifications) are automated; and so forth.This automation does three things:
It reduces the risk of human error (i.e. someone makes a mistake while following a boring, routine process).
It frees up the resources (aka pilots) for more important things.
It allows more tasks to be accomplished in the same amount of time with fewer people (a third pilot is no longer needed).
There are many, many routine tasks performed in project management which take an enormous amount of time. Every organization has routine tasks that it has to do to be operational. Sometimes it is inconceivable how many countless hours are spent on mundane activities. This may only be because it is more comfortable and easy to do things the same way that we are used to doing them. Some that come to mind include the notification of events, the reporting of status, finding out if something is done or not, finding a document, routing incoming requests for work, filling out and disseminating forms, and collecting time.The right project management software technology can automate the routine things that your organization does. This has similar benefits for project management:
It reduces the risk of human error in your processes.
It frees up resources to do more important things (such as billable work or taking work off someone else’s plate).
It makes it easier to perform the process (less skill is needed to perform it).
It allows more tasks to be accomplished in the same amount of time with fewer people.
If you implement or use technology without having this broader purpose in mind, you will not be using your technology effectively. In fact, you may be simply swapping one tool out for another without a net benefit.What are ways that technology in project management can automate routine tasks?
Taking status inputs (such as a team member entering percent complete) and automatically rolling that up into project-level status.
Automatically notifying key personnel when an issue has arisen.
Centralizing all information so that there is one place to find it.
Automatically routing incoming requests so that the right person can see and respond to it.
Collecting time reported information and automatically generating reports on actual time usage.
Automatically aggregating all project plans and schedules into useful resource utilization views and reports.
Automatically creating new projects from templates that follow a pre-defined path and eliminate the need to re-create that path.
Automating the generation of proposals and other templated documents.
What this looks like for your organization will be different because you have different strategic objectives, different processes, and different activities that eat up a lot of your staff’s time.The point is to understand the purpose of technology so that you can use it strategically to accomplish a specific purpose.As with other purposes, you need to take pro-active action to fulfill this purpose by ensuring:
You know which tasks are routine and time-intensive in your organization.
Your project management software tool(s) can automate those routine tasks.
Your project management software tools(s) are setup correctly to automate those routine tasks.
Purpose 4: Support for Standardized Processes
Standardized processes are a huge part of the aviation world and a big reason why it has had success at creating predictable, successful outcomes in a risky environment. In aviation, technology supports the standardized process environment. Technology is not implemented because it would be cool or neat. It is strategically implemented to support the standardized processes. For example, part of the takeoff checks process is to confirm that the correct runway is programmed into the flight management computer. Well, in many systems, the correct runway is displayed right where the pilot needs to see it to complete this standard process. It is also standard procedure that when an aircraft is descending in clouds towards a runway that they cannot proceed below a certain altitude unless the runway environment is in sight. Technology supports this process by displaying the minimum altitude and alerting the pilots if they go below it.Technology in project management tends to be separated from the purpose of supporting standardized processes. We may have a process, but we may also be looking for a “scheduling tool.” In other words, we look at them differently, but the two go hand in hand. One of the primary purposes of technology must be to support the standardized processes of an organization. Why is a standardized process important? Because you cannot have a predictable (ordered) outcome if you have a random process. The process must be standardized and ordered.Technology should help us implement, maintain, and improve standardized processes across the organization. Examples include online checklists and templates, exception reporting of items outside the process (aka alerts), and workflow automation that follows a particular process. These types of things support the strategic process and the overall goal of implementing strategic objectives.Your project management software tool(s) should fulfill this fundamental purpose as well. You also need to take the following pro-active steps:
Ensure that your processes are documented correctly.
Ensure that your project management software tool(s) support your processes.
Ensure that your team understands how to manage the process in the tool.
Ensure that your team is trained on executing the process within the tool.
Purpose 5: Insight into Trends, Problems, and Performance
In aviation, there are systems and even organizations in place to mine data and identify trends and potential future risks. Is there a trend of certain mistakes that pilots are making that need to be addressed via training? Is there an unusual spike in maintenance anomalies for a certain aircraft?This is often the furthest thing from the mind of a project manager. We are so busy with the day to day that we cannot (or will not) take the time to look at things like trends and potential problems. However, that is part of our job. Problems and risks are always lurking and will strike when we least expect it.This is where technology comes in to play. As in aviation, technology can make it easier to do this. The right technology will help us run reports, look at data exceptions, and provide similar views into our project management environments.There are two points here worth mentioning:
When you choose technology, you should keep this purpose in mind. How easy is it to mine for various types of data?
We should be experts at quickly drilling into data and extracting useful information.
Conclusion
Organizations continue to struggle with either poor project management software tools or project management software tools that are not implemented correctly. The purpose of this paper was to help organizations understand the broader purposes of technology in project management by looking at lessons from the aviation field. By doing so, organizations can expand their perspective and pro-actively implement these purposes in their own project management environments, thus creating a toolset that increasingly supports the strategic objectives, needs, and processes of the organization.

Astaxanthin Market Exhibiting High Growth Rate Till Forecast

According to the new market research report by IndustryARC titled “Astaxanthin Market: By Product Type (Synthetic Astaxanthin, Astaxanthin Rich Paracoccus Bacteria, Pluviallis Microalgae Astaxanthin, Aematococcus); By Form (Liquid, Dry); By Applications (Dietary Supplements, Animal Health & Aquaculture, Cosmetics, Food & Beverages, Feed); By Source (Natural, Synthetic) & Geography – (2018-2023)”, the market will be driven by the rise in health-conscious populace and exponential demand for natural food coloring agents.The Americas region holds the largest market share in the Astaxanthin Market However, Asia Pacific is estimated to have the highest growth. As the anti-ageing creams and other skin products are becoming much sought after than ever before, the usage of Astaxanthin becomes ubiquitous in this region. The key applications in this region include cosmetics and dietary supplements among others.Selected Impact Analysis Done in the Full ReportAstaxanthin is responsible for the red color in many sea creatures such as crayfish, krill, and salmon. Astaxanthin gives red color to many sea creatures such as crayfish, krill and salmon their red color.Astaxanthin has been reported in many studies for its high antioxidant and skin-friendly properties.Paracoccus Bacteria, Astaxanthin Rich Phaffia Yeast, and Synthetic Astaxanthin are predominantly used in the aquaculture sector, while the Astaxanthin derived from H. Pluvialis microalgae is the main source for human applications such as food & beverages.Excerpts on Market Growth FactorsAquaculture and Animal feed are the major applications, while Carotenoid has been used for coloring fishes and improving the texture of animals.Nutraceutical segment is anticipated to have a rapid growth during the forecast period.Astaxanthin Softgels are estimated to register an agile growth rate during the forecast period.Synthetic source will acquire a major share in the market.Natural Sources are estimated to witness a swashbuckling over the forecast period.Astaxanthin can be manufactured from natural sources. The high yield of carotenoid and low maintenance cost will drive the growth of natural sources, which in turn drives the growth of Astaxanthin.Key Players of Astaxanthin Market:Astaxanthin is an Oligopolistic in nature and dominated by limited number of key players.Koninklijke DSM N.V is one of the key players of the Astaxanthin Market. The Heerlen headquarters company which has more than 20,000 employees worldwide witnessed € 8,632 net sales and € 1,781 net profit in 2017.BASF SE is another conglomerate that earned $816 million of revenue through operations for the year 2017.In September 2014, Algatech entered into an R&D agreement with SCHOTT AG, a German company, to boost its productivity of its closed tube cultivation system.The Astaxanthin Market Report is Segmented as Indicated Below:A. By Source:1. Natural1.1 Yeast1.2 Krill/Shrimp1.3 Microalgae2. SyntheticB. By Product1. Dried Biomass/Powder2. Oil3. Soft gels4. Liquid5. OthersC. By Application1. Dietary Supplement/Nutraceuticals2. Cosmetics3. Animal health and Aquaculture4. Food & Beverages5. FeedD. by Form1. Liquid2. Dry FormE. By Geography (Covers 12 + Countries)F. By EntropyCompanies Cited/Referenced/Interviewed:1. Cyanotech Corporation2. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd3. Valensa International4. Fuji Chemical Industries Co., Ltd5. Divis Laboratories Ltd6. Beijing Ginko Group (BGG)7. Igene Biotechnology Inc8.Piveng Inc9.Fenchem Biotek Ltd10.Algatechnologies11. Cardax, Inc12. Supreme Biotechnologies13. Parry Nutraceuticals14.Alga Technologies15. BlueOcean NutraSciences Inc16. MicroA AS, EID Parry (India) Ltd17. Heliae Development, LLCWhat can you expect from the report?The Astaxanthin Market Report is prepared with the main agenda to cover the following 20 points:1.Market Size by Product Categories2.Market trends3.Manufacturer Landscape4.Distributor Landscape5.Pricing Analysis6.Top 10 End user Analysis7.Product Benchmarking8.Product Developments9.Mergers & Acquisition Analysis10.Patent Analysis11.Demand Analysis (By Revenue & Volume)12.Country level Analysis (15+)13.Competitor Analysis14.Market Shares Analysis15.Value Chain Analysis16.Supply Chain Analysis17.Strategic Analysis18.Current & Future Market Landscape Analysis19.Opportunity Analysis20.Revenue and Volume AnalysisFAQ:Does IndustryARC publish country, geography or application based reports in Astaxanthin Market?Yes, we do have separate reports as mentioned below:1.Americas Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)2.Europe Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)3.APAC Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)4.RoW Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)5.Natural Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)6.Synthetic Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)7.Dried Biomass/Powder Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)8.Oil Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)9.Soft gels Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)10.Liquid Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)11.Dietary Supplement/Nutraceuticals Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)12.Cosmetics Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)13.Animal health and Aquaculture Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)14.Food & Beverages Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)15.Feed Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)16.Liquid Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)17.Dry Form Market for Astaxanthin (2018-2023)Does IndustryARC customize these reports and charge additionally for limited customization?Yes, we can customize the report by extracting data from our database of reports and annual subscription databases. We can provide the following free customization:1.Increase the level of data in application or end user industry.2.Increase the number of countries in geography chapter.3.Find out market shares for other smaller companies or companies which are of interest to you.4.Company profiles can be requested based on your interest.5.Patent analysis, pricing, product analysis, product benchmarking, value and supply chain analysis can be requested for a country or end use segment.Access Report:https://industryarc.com/Report/16597/astaxanthin-market.htmlAny other major customizations can be discussed with our team, we can provide a separate quote based on your requirement. You can drop in an e-mail to [email protected] to discuss more about our consulting services.

Photography Tips: Planning For A Photography Trip

Oh my God! It happened. Again. I went for a photography trip to one of the most beautiful cities in the US, Saint Louis, Missouri. I had my camera in my hand, food and drink in place, and GPS fully charged. The 5 hours driving from Fairfield, Iowa, was really fun. Until I realized that I left my camera battery being charged at home. The photography trip was now just a trip.I’m pretty sure at some point in your career as a photographer, you will be in a situation like this. For this reason, I would like to share some tips with you for when you plan photography trips.1. Months before leavingPlanning for a photography trip starts at this time. As soon as the trip is confirmed, try to look for the highlights of the places you will be visiting. I would do a little bit of research about where to take photos from and what to take photos of. For example, if you are coming to Indonesia in the middle of August, you may encounter independence day events there.Early bird bookings for hotels and flights will cost you less. Book a hotel which gives you easy access to your photography spots. I would write down a list of locations where I will be taking pictures from, and then decide the best location of my hotel.2. Weeks before the dayI would spend more time on planning what photos I want to capture at this stage of planning my photography trip. For instance, if I were to travel to Indonesia in the middle of August, I would be taking photos of the independence day ceremony in the morning, fun events in the afternoon. Then in the evening I would take photos of the local sunset.By properly planning your photography trips, you will be able to dig deeper for more thoughts and ideas. Look at pictures available on the internet and get inspired by them. But not only from the internet, you can also search local photographs from libraries, image directories, photo books, local websites, and tourism guidebooks.This is a process which may take some time because you never know when inspirations hit.At this point of the photography trip planning, I would also check my equipment. I would check if any of my gear is not working well and have them repaired right away if necessary. Servicing them now is the best because they must be ready by the time you depart.3. Few days before the tripKeep in mind that some places don’t provide internet access. Therefore it is much better if you write down, or print, every note you would need, such as local shops, tourist office, and local sunrise and sunset time. Weather forecast is also an important information to be noted.It would be better if you start making a list of what to bring for the photography trip. Sometimes you might forget some items if you think of them 1-2 days before the trip.4. 1 day before the tripI would pack the camera and its equipment first. The last thing you want to discover is missing your spare battery or camera lenses at home. Have a last check on the weather forecast. Print all documents you will need for the photography trip. Make sure you have the memory card(s) ready.5. D-dayCheck and recheck for the last time before you leave. It doesn’t hurt you to have an extra checking, rather than regretting that you left an important piece of gear at home. Camera lenses, formatted memory cards, spare battery, and your travel documents should be rechecked.Insurance, cash money, taxi reservation, flight ticket, and passport are usually the most important travel documents which you should not forget to bring. Other than that you are set and ready to go.I hope these tips will make your photography trip be more fun and memorable. Have fun and enjoy your trip!