Itensil - interesting pm tool

I came across Itensil's Teamlines recently in a conversation around project management with a commenter on my blog.  He works for them and asked me to have a look at their online "literature."  I have no other relationship with them as of this writing.

Essentially, Teamlines is a combination of process management and project management.  It's process management in the sense that the tool makes it quite easy to draw process flowcharts.  And it is project (or team) management in the sense that once you have these process flowcharts, you can assign people to the various roles within a given process.

As with any tool that aims to help manage the flow of activities, the proof is in the execution, not just the setup.  And it looks like Teamlines does some nice things here as well.  There are no task due dates, rather the tool shows who is working on what and gives people assigned to the next activity a notice when they should be starting their work.  Assuming the organization has been taught about the evils of multi-tasking, this could go a long way toward what needs to happen from an execution perspective in Critical Chain Project Management.  (CCPM also seeks to deal with the question of estimating a project length and providing protection against variability in those estimates, which I don't see as part of the Teamlines focus.)

The other thing that I don't see in typical PM software is the capability to add and update additional information associated with the tasks in a given process - and the quick review of the documentation process made it appear that Teamlines has some wiki-like capabilities.  Team members can provide feedback on written instructions, and I could see "wrap-up" processes that include lessons learned or after action reviews to help the next team that has to execute a given process.

If you are curious, I found the how it works Flash demos to be instructive.

1 Comment(s)

This software looks promising. We've long since given up on the PMI style, using GANNT only when clients request it. As you point out the big problems with most PM tools are the assumed heirarchy and the lack of association -- the PM tools live in a world disconnected from the way we do the work and fail to provide the help we need.

On top of WIKI and our lightweight project communication web tools, we get a lot of use out of the brainstorming tool NovaMind (www.novamind.com), which we now use for agendas and project dependencies, etc. For PM we're testing Merlin (www.projectwizards.net), which does the GANNT thing but lets us associate files, flag critical items, tag risk levels, etc.

I have a fantasy (no, not like that): someday I'll be able to look at my network diagram, laid out swimlane style by person, with durations indicated visually, criticality and risk coded in, etc. And then when I click on an item I will see all the work associated with it, since the interface is just an output of my QMS. But I dream...

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This entry was published on September 27, 2005 2:08 PM and has 1 comment(s).

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