Tools? – Planning and Scheduling for Customer Service Operations

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    • #4910
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      I’ve previously posted a question relating to how, in my federal government agency, some have considered Microsoft Project to manage planning and scheduling for service operations.

      I suspect that it’s not the right tool for non-project work like day-to-day operations. I suspect that managers, team leads, and supervisors would be better served by enterprise resources planning (ERP) software. But, I’m not sure—I do not know enough about this subject.

      Licenses for MS Project are very difficult to obtain in my Agency—demand exceeds supply. Also, the average users’ knowledge of MS Project is much less than other standard MS Office suite tools.

      I’m thinking that MS Excel, MS Outlook, and/or a simple whiteboard can be used.

      Can anyone suggest a simple, yet effective, computer-based approach to planning and scheduling for service operations (not manufacturing)?

      I just don’t know how and have not found anyone in my organization that knows how too.

      If you can help me figure this out, I’d appreciate your efforts very much.



    • #6215
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      Good Evening Mark,
      Thanks for your question.  Project 2010 offers many options for organizations like yours trying to determine the best solution to meet user/technical/process driven needs.
      Here are a few points.  Let me know if you have any additional (specific questions).
      1) We use Project Server 2010 to manage our service company and leverage the Project Management feature to the rich resource toolset.
      2) The different roles you mentioned (managers, team leads, and supervisors) could all access Project/Resource/Task information via an intutitive webbased GUI.
      3) You mention that Project licenses are tough to come by in your organization.  Project Server 2010 allows web-editing of project plans so many less Project Professional licenses are needed.
      4) With Project 2010 – users could create projects (in an Excel-like spreadsheet) on the web.  These could be very quick and easy projects or they could leverage a template with an associated workflow.
      5) I would recommend talking with an Microsoft partner (like MsProjectNow!) that specializes in Project and Project Server before ruling it out.  Partner like us not only support the full server solution however have many customized solutions to fit every companies needs.
      6) In addition you can view a webcast I did a while back titled Project 2010: Is An Upgrade Right for Me? – you can find the recording in the Knowledge Library under WebNLearns Recordings – just search my name.

      Have a great day.

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