Increase Project Success through Lean Data Management

By Martin Monka on June 8, 2015

Project Management can be a complex and difficult area within a business. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines nine knowledge areas such as Time Management, Scope Management, and Risk Management that a project manager must be able to sufficiently manage. As projects are often a result of new or changing business needs like new products, new line of business, expansion, mergers & acquisitions etc. data has become an important part of project management today. Seeing data and information as an asset to the organization, data management is also making an impact on project management. pm small

Scope and Change Management

For example, let’s take a look at Scope and Change Management in projects. Cumbersome transactions and difficult to develop programs make you define detailed requirements, often without having any possibility to validate with the future solution. The scope and requirements for data models, processes and rules might not be as obvious and clear at a very early stage; they can change, or there might be a gap in knowledge or capacity to describe the requirements. The risk of running in one direction after a long and difficult requirements analysis, only to realize that information is wrong, incomplete or simply missing are high, and could lead to costly changes. Scope creep can be another unwelcome result, (especially if not managed well) that can lead to delays and extra cost. Scope Management and Change Management are therefore often difficult in projects.

Implementing Lean in Project Management

Winshuttle’s lean data management methodology and Winshuttle products on the other hand allow a more flexible and faster way to design and implement activities around data collection, data validation and data movement. By providing simplified interfaces and automation capabilities that can be implemented without programming and are tightly integrated with SAP, changes can be made easier and faster, requirements can be validated earlier and, if necessary, corrections will require less effort. This makes managing scope and changes for data management requirements much easier.

Another example is the availability of resources and the effort needed to finish certain tasks. In a matrix organization, resources must be shared between line and project and this can cause restraints that lead to delays in finishing activities. How much time do project members have to spend on these activities? If activities are easier to manage and faster to accomplish, resources are freed up and additional project management activity becomes easier to handle.

These advantages are not only valid for classic waterfall projects, but also for agile or lean project management approaches. Doing sprints and short development cycles is much easier if you have the right tools at hand. Reducing waste is much easier when you use a methodology for your data validation, collection and movement activities that builds on the lean philosophy. But even in a waterfall approach, implementation can be phased in, and requirement gathering and analysis can also be completed in steps.

Delayed or failed projects are costly to any organization. Having a leaner, more flexible and easier-to-use toolset and methodology for data management can help projects become easier to manage and more successful. Find out more about Winshuttle’s Lean Data Management approach and Winshuttle products.

About the author

Martin is an IT Project Manager and Consultant with 15+ years of experience implementing and optimizing various solutions in SAP, Business Intelligence and content management in Europe and North America. As a Solution Engineer for Winshuttle based in Zurich, Switzerland he is now helping customers to optimise data management processes.

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