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ELMA Projects+ is a tool, designed to execute projects, control available resources (time, financial, human resources) and establish communication between project team members.

Projects are not typical tasks; they require cooperation of different departments and consist of a sequence of stages. These stages can include a lot of small tasks. The tasks are executed by tens, hundreds and thousands of company’s employees.
When you carry out a project, these three components are most important:

  • Quality of the end product;
  • Due dates for all the activities;
  • Project budget, which is always limited.

When you manage a project you set and achieve specific goals and to do so, you balance the amount of work, resources (such as money, labor, supplies, energy, space, etc.), time, quality and risks.

Generally, project management includes:

  • Setting project requirements;
  • Setting a specific, achievable goal;
  • Balancing contradictory requirements on quality, contents, time and costs;
  • Adjusting characteristics, plans and approaches to personal opinions and expectations of project team members;
  • Monitoring the project progress according to the plan. Adjusting the project progress taking into account possible deviations.

A project manager is a person responsible for achieving the project objectives; it is important for them to be experienced and skilled. No software can completely replace a good project manager; however, it can help them organize a shared work space in order to solve routine tasks (e.g. draw a Gantt chart) and focus their attention on more complex issues.
ELMA Projects+ allows the users to cope with the following tasks:

  • Managing project schedule;
  • Organizing a shared workspace on the project;
  • Communication between the project team members;
  • Managing project budget;
  • Informing the stakeholders on the project progress;
  • Managing project risks.

Project Schedule

The system provides you with a calendar scheduling tool, which allows you to control due dates and project execution. ELMA calendar is compatible with MS Project calendar.

Gantt chart

Critical path

You can create and publish a project plan in two ways:

1. Manually. Create tasks, define hierarchy and sequences, link tasks, assign executors, etc.

2. Import an MS Project file. The system will attempt to automatically assign tasks to executors.

As the result you get a project plan. The Gantt chart represents the plan. You can select any task in the project plan and view details on its executor: conversation, documents and files exchange, etc. Each task page contains its history.

In ELMA editing mode, you can easily adjust the plan: move tasks along the chart with your mouse, draw links between tasks, specify tasks completion rate (if the executor has not done it earlier).

We have also created project schedule monitoring tools. The chart displays tasks status: complete, overdue, active.

There are more tools. For example, you can create a critical path in one click. The project plan looks like an MS Project plan: same task attributes, hierarchy, etc.

This is because ELMA plan and MS Project plan are compatible. You can import an MS Project plan and then export the plan back to MS Project at any time (e.g. for multi-page printing).

Moreover, you can edit the plan and import it again without losing the tasks statuses.

Establish Shared Workspace

ELMA Projects+ creates a well-organized environment for project managers where they can access all project management tools in one place.

 

The application page displays the following information:

  • General Project Information. Project team members, due dates, status.
  • Project Plan and Project Tasks. The list shows which tasks are currently active, completed, overdue or almost over. You can view the details by clicking on the task.
  • Team members notes and activity discussions. Project messages.
  • Project Budget. Information on project revenues and expenses, and the respective financial result.
  • Documents. Project documents list including: contracts, certificates, product requirements document, etc. The document base has a permission system, which ensures that stakeholders can view only the documents they need.
  • Project Risks. Potential project problems, ways of prevention, mitigation and elimination. It is important to pay attention to the project risks, so that you are ready to deal with them if they appear.

Portlets – small information windows – display all the information on the project page. You can add, delete and move portlets. To receive more information on a subject (e.g. the budget) click the portlet name. Then you will see a page with all information on this subject.

General project information in ELMA (Part 1)

Monitor Schedule Compliance

ELMA Projects+ assigns tasks to executors according to the project plan. Each executor receives their set of tasks. You can monitor schedule compliance in the on-line mode.

Monitoring schedule compliance in ELMA

When an executor starts working on a task they register it in the system. They can edit the task completion rate in the course of work. Task completion is marked in the project. The project plan displays completed tasks as a strike-through text; overdue tasks with red font color; active tasks with green font color.

The project contains task completion rates. The system allows you to draw a Gantt chart, which provides you with a graphical representation of the project plan. Thus, ELMA allows the project manager to control the project progress and monitor current situation.

Project Communications

The system provides you with tools for establishing communication between team members. The priority is combining information exchange efficiency with a high security level for potentially confidential information.

You often need effective communication between team members to complete project tasks. ELMA provides you with a communication mechanism. Users can discuss projects by sending messages. Moreover, they can attach documents and files to the messages. The project page displays a portlet with messages. You can add comments in this portlet.

All project messages are saved in one place. If a team member has a subject to discuss, they just add a new message. All the team members will immediately see it and add comments, if necessary. It is similar to Facebook – just as easy, but only the team members can see the messages.

Project messages

Project Budget Control

ELMA Projects+ allows you to manage project revenues and expenses item-by-item. Each project has its own set of items and planned values. Real values are accounted according to actual documents.

Project budget control

Project payments control in ELMA

Actual income and expenditure values are registered in ELMA. You can send them for approval, acquaintance or on a routing process. Thus, a project budget is more than just a set of numbers – you can monitor flow of funds and learn which employees are involved in this process or responsible for it.

Different options of budget information display are available. In case of implementation projects, you can start a request process for budgeting project items and tie this process to the accounting department.

A business process can also regulate receipt of funds to the budget. Information updates in ELMA are automated. It allows project management companies to speed up payments to contractors, control them and by doing so accelerate the project progress.

A project manager can monitor actual expenditures and current payments on approval in view of the project.

Restrict Access to Business Information

ELMA Projects+ allows you to configure access to project information resources (general project information, documents, budget data). You can grant access to those team members, who need it to carry out their responsibilities on the project.

Team members work with tremendous amounts of various information as part of a project. This information can be confidential; it may leak or be disclosed, if the project works are disorganized.

ELMA provides you with a flexible permissions configuration. It grants the users access to the information they need and restricts access to any excessive information.

Permissions settings

Manage Risks

You can find the list of risks on the project page. You can set priority for each risk to underline its importance.

Project risks

When you manage a project, always foresee potential complications, which can negatively affect the project. ELMA Projects+ provides you with a risks management tool. You can resolve risks while the project progresses, if you mitigate them or their effect on the project results with ELMA Projects+ tools.