Hello Project Management Lovers! Is there really such a thing? I’m sure there are. From my experience I’ve found it takes a special breed of person to want to become a project manager and actually enjoy the job. Sadly, project managers are often seen in the same light as a referee or a dentist – necessary evils that do essential jobs but people usually don’t like the news they deliver or advice they dispense.
I was personally drawn to project management because I like being in charge of things but more importantly it is a great way to see progress made on a continual basis. I’ve always been a bit of a gamer too, and sometimes you can see how managing a project to completion compares to finishing off a video game – completing the quest, vanquishing the boss, rescuing the fair maiden, etc etc.
When I first started as a project manager the tools were quite rudimentary however compared to what is available today. Of course there was Microsoft Project, but the consulting firm I worked for used a more sophisticated program called CA Super Project. It was one of the last programs to become ‘window-ized’ after Microsoft made it practically the standard for software applcations. You didn’t use a mouse on this program and it’s powerful functions were hidden layers deep in an arcane menu structure. It took us two days of training on the product just to learn to setup a fairly routine work breakdown structure with resources, rates and schedules. The last thing a project manager needs is to spend hours fiddling with a program just to visually represent the work that is happening and needs to happen.
When I joined Oracle I was very impressed with what they had built for a project management application. It went so far beyond the tool that we had even though it still had some features that were deeper around the workplan. From an overall standpoint though, the Oracle product managed many more of the day to day tasks a project manager needed to do and had collaborative and powerful reporting features to boot.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that our product isn’t perfect. It would be hard to ever believe that anyway because in strategy you’re usually dealing with customers telling you what’s NOT in the product versus what is great about it. That’s perfectly fine of course since if no one bothered telling us what they want next, we wouldn’t have much of a job now would we?
Just to wrap up this first post and get it ‘in the can’ as they say, my focus with this blog is to discuss project management software in general but also with a slant towards how we view it in Oracle. I’ll try to share as much as I can about future directions and ideas but obviously I have to remain very careful about what I can say. Since I don’t want to publish a Safe Harbor staement at the front of every blog posting, I will need to keep it clean.
One last thing – feedback! I’d love feedback. Any and all kinds. Whether you’re a customer (or a competitor!) or just a person interested in project management feel free to leave your thoughts on what I say or if you have some topic ideas. As to frequency, I don’t want to commit to anything specific but I am going to try and get a new posting out every few days or so. In the meantime I’ll be asking some of my colleagues to share their thoughts as well and posting links to interesting relevant articles.