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Project Management for the Public Sector - leveraging Content Suite

Posted by Aaron Norman on Nov 3, 2015 12:50:40 PM

We’re getting a lot of interest in project management on OpenText Content Suite / Server / Livelink from industries that operate in regulated environments, for example the Public Sector, Utilities and Energy. And from project managers in organizations that supply these industries.

We're seeing that in addition to the usual project management challenges faced by the private sector, Public Sector projects have additional complexity.
This arises from the essential transparent nature of projects that are connected with the Public Sector and because of the regulations that must be followed.
Choosing a project management tool for Public Sector projects means recognising the special requirements of these projects. 
With this in mind, here are some of the challenges that we see these project managers looking to address when choosing project management software. 

Projects are open to scrutiny: 

Public Sector projects can have an impact on many diverse groups so it’s natural that these stakeholders take a lot of interest in the project and how it is being managed. Legislation also requires Public Sector projects to be open to public scrutiny. So Project Managers need to be able show that the correct process was followed and that the correct documents were consulted and used for each of the project tasks.

In practice, project management software that has built in Audit logs and Workflows can really help the project as there is a clear trail of what was done and who reviewed or approved it. Other useful tools are being able to include key documents directly in the project task, for example a copy of the contract with a supplier or the budget for the task. Equally useful is Version control for all project documents.

It also helps, when starting a project, to be able to look at similar projects and learn from them. Or even reuse some of the information. Completed projects might have discussions or documents outlining how a specific problem was overcome. Being able to see who was the project manager on a project allows you to contact them to help benefit from their expertise. Very quickly it becomes obvious that having a central database for all projects data (schedules, documentation, audits etc.) is indispensable.

Managing many Stakeholders: 

Compared to many private sector projects, the number of stakeholders involved in a Public Sector project can be huge. These stakeholders can have direct or peripheral involvement in the project and have enormous influence over major project decisions or even stop the project. All stakeholders are keen to see that regulations and processes are followed. 

For example, we’ve seen from some clients how important reporting is, how essential it is to be able to configure reports to meet individual stakeholder requirements.

It’s clear that having up to the minute data is also vital, particularly for project timings and project costs. For cost control, it’s useful to have project management tools that allow project team members to update their timesheets in real-time, directly in the project.  

Political landscape:

There are many external factors that can influence how quickly a Public Sector project progresses and its priorities. Examples of external factors would be changes in electoral representatives, legislation or policy.  

In practice, these changes may mean having to re-submit the project for approval or adapt it for additional requirements. This means that project managers need to have up to date project status and detailed information such as project schedules and costs. They also need to have clear scope and requirements documentation for the project available on hand.

Project managers can really benefit when they integrate key documents, such as the scope and requirements documentation, directly into the project or even at the task level.

Leverage Content Suite: 

Providing project managers with tools to overcome these challenges is the aim of our Project Management for Content Suite solution. We’ve built industry standard and advanced project management tools such as interactive Gantt charts, resource planning, collaboration and reporting. And by building this on Content Suite, project managers can

  • Access all projects in one central database and search and re-use project data
  • Integrate projects with enterprise documents or systems e.g. Finance or Supply Chain 
  • Capture and manage all project data in compliance with internal policies and external regulations

If you’d like to discuss this or get more information on Project Management for Content Suite, please contact us.


Topics: Project Management

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