Sciforma user testimony: Ingeniweb
Contract management: A high tech company organises its everyday business on PSNext.
Interview with Mr Grizel, Ingeniweb.
The company Ingeniweb is a European technology provider, specialising in content management based on a Zope/Plone application server. Ingeniweb is also an integrator specialising in developing and deploying content management systems.
Under which circumstances did you asked the company Sciforma to manage your projects?
We were at a stage of constant growth and we were finding it increasingly difficult to manage our projects accurately. We needed a tool for planning our financial activities, web governance and application management. In order for us to progress, it was essential that we react and go from using a simple Excel sheet with a Gantt in an Open Source environment to implementing a real project management solution.
Why wasn’t MS Project in your selection process?
We had studied MS Project of course, but had ruled it out very quickly. We develop projects in heterogeneous environments based on Linux, Mac and Windows. Choosing MS Project would have meant installing Microsoft on all machines, which is inconceivable.
We hadn’t really identified any alternatives and felt that there was no solution that met our needs. We had studied open source solutions, which we discovered to be too superficial and even considered developing an application internally. But I was reluctant because this type of project tends to never finish and so never completely works.
How did you finally decide on PSNext?
I met Sciforma on an assignment. I took this opportunity to bring up my need to find a solution and above all to confront the constraints that I was experiencing. It wasn’t long before I was convinced that PSNext could be the solution that we were looking for. We quickly audited the modules proposed and set up a mock-up. I assessed the product for about two months and it was a perfect match.
Was the solution easily adopted internally?
We are a small team, consisting of two project managers and 25 developers. Initially, I was the only PSNext user, learning to structure and schedule projects. Then, the rest of the team gradually followed suit. Learning to use it was pretty straightforward and we didn’t see the need to take any training courses: a short manual, summarising the key modules and tasks to be performed, which incidentally I wrote myself, was enough for all the users.
How has this solution helped you to improve your project management?
Building upon basic reports, we’ve been able to create numerous customised reports as well.
Thus, we’ve been able to integrate PSNext directly into our business management as a kind of micro ERP. We obviously use it for scheduling projects, allocating resources and tracking timesheets, but we also go even further by directly managing the turnover generated by each project.
Using a small in-house application, the project manager can obtain the turnover amount sold by the sales staff. Hence, it’s very easy to have a breakdown of our turnover and manage the margin per business project by simply consolidating the time that has elapsed.
What has been the impact of deploying PSNext in your daily business? Have you achieved your initial objectives?
As regards our project managers, it has enabled us to track projects better, improve the establishment of our processes and also anticipate workloads. In terms of our development team, it has enabled them to be aware of forthcoming tasks and the feeling of being controlled caused by completing timesheets has quickly been replaced by the benefit of project clarity. As for the Operations Manager, I don’t see how I could do without it.
Is the solution flexible enough to meet your specific needs and their progression?
We have been able to make some adaptations ourselves. As regards tasks, for example, we’ve added a system for managing the movements of participants in terms of logistics. This isn’t a standard feature but it can be configured. Likewise, I tried to use the Cost Items module to reserve a training room but in the end, it turned out that we didn't need the training room after all.
You have been growing at a two-figure rate for several years. Do you think that PSNext has contributed to this result?
It’s clearly a key element in our growth. We are able to accomplish tasks that we couldn’t achieve in the past, such as monthly project follow-ups, something we do quickly and flexibly these days. We’re satisfied with this product, which specifically plays a role in structuring and developing our business. It’s true that certain actions are sometimes delicate, but we’ve learned to tailor the product’s functions to our own specific needs.
What aspects of PSNext to you hope to see improve?
Feedback from support could sometimes be better, but Sciforma has known how to react quickly and has thus been able to notably improve the level of service in terms of support.