ZilicusPM Playbook – Guidelines for Using Project Management Software
ZilicusPM is feature rich project management tool that will help you manage entire lifecycle of your projects, yet it is modular and configurable to make it work for your project requirements and competencies of team members. Based on your organization’s requirement to run projects, you can configure project management module so that your ZilicusPM account gets customized for your team.
We have seen customer implementation where champions have put together references and guidelines so that all users be it project managers, administrator, portfolio managers and team members are on the same page. The features and functionality individual will use might differ but, at the end your organization will be able to achieve desired result. If you set these rules /guidelines right in the beginning and communicate the same to your team, you are investing for better success rate of project delivery using ZilicusPM. It will not just make your team comfortable using ZilicusPM but also drive higher engagement and collaboration. I have been advocating this to many customer and here I’d recommend newly onboarded customers to set up a team meeting for ZilicusPM kickoff meeting and share ZilicusPM playbook beforehand.
What guidelines, rules, specifics should be included in your ZilicusPM online-handbook? Let me share couple of pointers:
- Your ZPM Playbook should define the goals – what would you like to achieve, have all project artifacts at one place, one tool for project collaboration, documents, comments, tickets/issues, risk register, only place to assess resource availability and do demand planning, etc.
- Set guidelines for using ZilicusPM such a way that your team members will get clear answers for questions like
- What should I do when I receive email about Project activity?
- How should I update or respond or create project activity (task, issue, risks, meeting, comments and discussions)?
- When should I add/create or update these?
- What is my role in a given project or portfolio and what should I do to make it more meaningful using ZilicusPM?
- What are the positives of using ZilicusPM in certain way and what short-cut/recommended method should I follow to ensure things are done right, on time?
Set Specific Goals For Your Team
Start with a specific and achievable goal which will make your colleagues excited and understand why using ZilicusPM is important for your organization. Think about the specific problems you’ve experienced in the past (e.g. unmet deadlines, overbooked resources, shifting priorities) and highlight how they will be resolved with ZilicusPM.
Articulate Your Business Process & Set Guidelines For Using ZilicusPM
Articulating your existing project management processes and expected improvements thereof; you can pen down what, how and when should should PMs and TMs use various features of ZilicusPM project management software.
Creating Project & Managing Project Plan
Let them know who can create projects based on roles available in ZilicusPM and who should create new projects in ZilicusPM based on business requirements, processes. After they are introduced to multiple ways of managing project plans (interactive Gantt, task list, dependency, lag time, task types, inter-project dependencies, baseline, critical path, etc.), let them know which method of managing projects works more suitably for your organization.
Tracking & Updating Project Tasks, Issues & Risks
As far as individual team members are concerned, let them know
- How should they access project activities like tasks, issues and risks (eg. Home page or workspace, multiple reports or other approach)?
- What information should they refer before starting, updating or concluding a given project task, issue or risk (description, links, notes/ comments, attachments)
Updating Project Timesheet & Expenses
If your company would like to use time keeping in ZilicusPM, you can urge team members to record their efforts into ZilicusPM once in a day submit at least every week. If you already have certain guidelines defined, when and how team members should submit timesheet; introducing time tracking functionality in ZilicusPM will make their way to successful adoption. Let them also be aware of how review and approval process is going to work, how they can ensure approval without much review-resubmit-re’review process.
Applying for Leave/Time-off, Non-Working Time
You may have different leave tracking mechanism for salary and accounting purpose. However to make resource load chart and capacity planning work in real scenario, you need to inform team members about necessarily applying for leaves even in ZilicusPM. You can let them know how such leaves management and non-working time declaration helps in efficient allocation and assignment of work for everyone.
Just like normal leave application, you can set guideline for applying leave – when should one apply, how many days before should s/he can apply, what can they expect, should they need to follow up with their reporting manager, etc.
Projects where organization need to generate profit or maintain financial prudence, you can guide project managers about tracking financial indicators. Set guideline which financial indicators, project cost elements should be monitored, how frequently such indicators should be checked, who can monitor it, what corrective action should be taken, what should be escalation process, etc.
Monitoring Resource Utilization & Availability
It is important for project managers and practice director to ensure optimum resource utilization where resources are simultaneously working on multiple projects and efficient resource has impact on project success and in turn organization’s success. There are plenty of places where project manager, portfolio owners can check resource availability, resource allocation, availability, capacity; you can pen down the places where this information should be checked, in what sequence should it be accessed (e.g. capacity planning first, then resource allocation to project, and then resource load check before assignment and so on).
There Is More
As ZilicusPM is comprehensive project management software and collaboration platform, you can possibly include additional rules of the game like
If your organization believes in delivering higher quality of projects, you will certainly use incident/issue/bug tracking application in ZilicusPM. You can establish guideline in terms of who can create bug, when should it be submitted, what minimum information should be included in it, how it should be tracked and what logical conclusion can be expected in system.
Generic User/Virtual Users
If you intend to use Generic Users or Virtual Team members in your projects, let project managers know in what situation should they be used, what purpose do they serve, etc.
There are plenty of email notification/integrations are available in ZilicusPM. Depending on your organization’s preferences as configured in ZilicusPM, you should let your project team inform what type of notification will they receive, for reasons will they receive, how should they respond to such email notification. There are ways team members and customers can collaborate using email integration e.g. issues creation over email, task update through email, task comments, issue, risk comment alert, etc.
For team members, this is the go-to-place that tells them exactly what they should be doing today or in this week, what others are saying about tasks they are working on, discussion happening in their project. Even project managers get to know timesheet, expense sheet pending on their name for approval.
Share Resources Wall & Hear What They Have To Say
You can build your own resource wall (containing all useful information about ZilicusPM, guidelines to use, etc) and share it with your project teams. The main idea behind doing all of these activities is to ensure that team members will make ZilicusPM as integral part of project management to drive successful project collaboration and project delivery. Once it is adopted well (day-to-day activities) and ingrained as organization culture, you are set to success path.
Do hear their feedback, share your experience and encourage them to share their findings, tips. Though you may wish, trust me ZilicusPM Rulebook will not be absolutely sacrosanct. As you will learn from your experience, you can continually amend, modify rulebook to adopt changing expectations and environment.
ZilicusPM is your right choice for effectively and productively managing projects; not only you as a project manager but also for your team members for simplicity & ease of use o the application, as well as greater visibility for executive management (dashboard, reports). Sign up for 30-days risk free trial.
About Zilicus: ____________________________________________________________________
ZilicusPM is project management software that offers an incredibly simple and collaborative way to manage projects. Try ZilicusPM a powerful tool to stay on top of things with aesthetic dashboard. ZilicusPM enables online project planning – WBS, online scheduling, resource assignment, Gantt chart, project tracking, issue management, online calendar, risk register and much more. Sign up for 30-days risk free trial.