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A head of software R&D would like to see high level information about the projects R&D works on. What is needed : project, milestones, features, risks. Ability to add features or report bugs if needed.

Later this can be used even for reports to top management, etc. There are different geographically separated offices, and there are some other outsourcing companies that work for R&D. Every office and outsourcing companies use own project tracking systems like jira, tfs, etc.

So our problem is how not to do double work (e.g. have another system in R&D) and give up-to-date information to the head of R&D. On the other hand it's not easy to use centralized system since security and all other restrictions, especially with outsourcing companies. Excel reports will not work :( either

Maybe somebody encountered similar case. Could you advise ?

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    This looks like a request for a tool recommendation rather than a process question. Please edit it to be more process-oriented in order to avoid closure. If your question is closed, feel free to improve it per our Help Center guidelines. – Todd A. Jacobs Jan 13 '15 at 0:43
  • There are plenty of dashboard templates available from other project management sites. Why are they inadequate to the problem? – Mark C. Wallace Jan 14 '15 at 14:44
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Having been a Kerzner Award winner and Project Manager for over 20 years I have some experience in this area.

There are other issues that you have not listed here that need to be considered:

  1. Is work at the corporate offices and/or vendor locations weighted? In other words, does a vendor have critical path work while another office does not? How will you aggregate up at the summary level a status on schedule (for example) if the vendor's critical path work is behind and the corporate remote office work is ahead of schedule?

  2. It is rare that geographically separate or remote tasks are independent of other tasks located at the home office or at other locations. How will dependencies between tasks, across vendors etc be reflected when the vendor task is running late and the corporate office task is dependent upon its completion before it can start?

Generally there are two ways you can deal with the problems we have here: 1. Engage in a costly independent project that ties all of the information together and allows you to aggregate it up after you have spent $$$ on developing the business rules, tool purchase and configuration (Planview, Clarity etc.), and role out with supporting roles that are also costly

  1. Work with representatives from each geographic location and/or representative of major components of work to define a manual report that they all contribute to manually on a regular basis. You will have to spend some time up front working through as a team, what needs to be represented in the report but you will save your company major $$$ and countless hours trying to do this programmatically. Furthermore, you can use your experience from this instance of work to make the case for a PPM tool like Planview, Clarity, Primavera that you can all use in the future to avoid this problem in the future. But be advised,these tools are full fledged ERP tools that typically take 6 months to implement followed by 2 years of corporate adoption, training etc. It is not successful without a lot of change management planning.

Feel free to contact me for further information or connect with me on Linked In at www.linkedin.com/in/scothanley/

  • Yeah. That is what I thought. I'm looking for something very light though. – Ruslan Jan 12 '15 at 21:16
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We faced the similar need. The solution was:

  • Jira for each project detailed tracking (releases, sprints, stories, tasks, bugs etc)
  • Gannt chart for high level cross project tracking (features, releases)

The idea is that Gannt chart does not contain more than 10-12 entries per project. It's very high level and is not synced with Jira tasks, but updated weekly by PMs.

It was primarily used as PM - upper management communication tool and worked fairly well.

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