The majority of work carried out by Mainplus Technology Ltd. over the last 5 years has been Project Management. Mostly managing IT projects for large organisations but with the odd web and business project thrown in for good luck.
Carrying out Project Management in the corporate environment brings with it a number of challenges. There is a myriad of people that want reports that show progress against plan but want it on a single page in a very simple format that an audience with no project planning expertise can understand. Given that the plans in question tend to be complex, and often part of a portfolio of projects which also need reporting in a similar manner, the challenge of producing such documents is not inconsiderable. Add to this that projects are monitored on a weekly basis, producing reporting packs is a significant overhead.
A few years ago a good friend decided enough was enough and developed a PowerPoint add-in that analysed one or more Microsoft Project plans and created a single slide view based on simple configuration items and judicious use of specific columns in the plans. Even in its original basic form the tool was incredibly useful and soon became used by project managers, planners and project management staff across the organisation in question, including myself.
Since those early days he has continued to develop the tool and use it in other organisations to enhance his value as a jobbing contract planner/project manager.
Last year, at a meeting of project manager and planner friends, he came to the conclusion that development of the tool had reached the point where it was feature rich enough to warrant it being offered on a commercial basis. A partnership was formed with another good friend with corporate connections and PagePlan development became commercially oriented from that point onwards.
Although I was part of that fateful meeting and a user of PagePlan over the years, my involvement in it’s growth as a commercial product ended at that point, other than the normal calls between friends etc.
I felt real excitement then, when asked a few weeks ago to help launch PagePlan into the marketplace. My own experience includes marketing support for a software distributor so I think I can bring something valuable to the party.
As a contractor I know how much PagePlan has helped my standing on projects in the past and I’m really looking forward to being part of making it available to other planners and managers so that they can add value to their efforts too.
We know there is still a way to go before we will get the product launched, especially as we all have very time consuming projects we are working on, but I hope to blog about the journey from an in-house tool to commercial product as we roll it out.