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Utilizing tasks for handling project related issues

Managing day-to-day tasks and tracking the status of internal project cases/issues is often done though email or direct interaction between people. Often the task management is dedicated for a single user to follow up and manage own tasks on day-to-day basis.  ProjectCoordinator task management is envisioned keeping in mind a collaboration environment and how users can manage own as well as common issues that needs their attention. More over, by bringing the task management to different devices, users have an easier way to keep track of the tasks and update the status.

Task Management

The task management can be found under coordination and collaboration section of ProjectCoordinator. In order to make it easier for users to segregate between different types of tasks, one can group tasks in different categories.  Each of these tasks can be assigned to self or assigned to another member in the workspace. While assigning the tasks one can mention the due date.  As you assign a task the assigned person will get an email notification as well as the task will get listed under the active task list.

Each of the tasks has the provision to add additional comments and users can attach documents related to the specific task. All the comments between the users are tracked and saved for future reference.

The status on the tasks can be changed and have active and completed status. If a particular task has passed an overdue date the colour coding and the icon changes to visually notify the user about the status.

Tasks can be grouped and viewed based on status, by date, by category and by assigned user makes it easier to track. 

Combining all these features the tasks in ProjectCoordinator can be used in handling different scenarios. For example, if you are into software business,  it could be used for tasks related to project testing where a quality assurance resource could enter the bugs he found and assigned it to the corresponding developer with a due date. The tasks can be categorized based on different projects so that there is clear segregation between tasks. With each of the task the testing resource could add the comments and attach screenshots/supporting documents. Once the task I completed the developer could mark it is completed in order to notify the testing resource for further verification.

In a collaborative environment, the task management in ProjectCoordinator plays a vital role in managing the day-to-day tasks related to each resources and providing them an effective way to collaborate and manage the tasks.


Collaboration and Project Management in a secure environment

As cloud-based solutions having a major role in all the aspects of business, security has become a serious issue and a concern to many of the companies. Having the data in a secure place has become essential and appears in the top priority list of companies.

At ProjectCoordinator® , we give a lot of emphasize on security and understand the importance of safeguarding the business data on a cloud environment. There are many components we have in place to achieve this.

Encrypted data storage and data transfer
While transferring the data from the computer to the server a secure channel is established between the computer and the storage provider before data is uploaded. The information on the ProjectCoordinator® portal is stored in an encrypted and kept safely and securely in a server room with very high physical security and advanced climate control. 

Data stored in Sweden
In order to ensure that the data is safe the files are stored in servers that are located in Sweden.

Strong access rights management
Our online storage infrastructure is architected around permission-based security to determine what users and groups have access to which files and folders. The rights management within this system is powerful and easy to use. Users within the system can have none, Read/ Modify OR Read/Modify/Delete permissions to the folders they are allowed to view, which in turn decides the actions they can perform on the files in that folder.

 For example, a user with Read Only rights could view and download files, but they cannot edit, upload or delete files.

The system allows combining users to extend folder permissions at a group level. For example, partners and employees can collectively belong to a group that has permission to access a specific folder and files. If an employee transfers to another project, it is a question of of changing that employee's group membership without impacting his/her other valid access rights.

If a user wants share a document with another person, it can be easily done by sending a mail with the link to the document from within the system interface itself.

Traceability of information
When there are multiple users and constant update of documents and files, it is important to have the traceability of the amendments and modifications.

The system comes with a powerful version controlling mechanism. By default it displays the latest revision of each document. When it is modified and updated, the system records the history of revisions in the background.  The system also keeps the information about the user who has made changes to the document.

At any point of time users could go back check the earlier versions.

Apart from the version controlling, a notification will be listed on the system dashboard about the latest change happened to the document and who has done it.

Two-factor authentication (add-on service)
ProjectCoordinator® uses mobile phone two-factor authentication to provide a secure access to the online project management portal.  It uses the combination of personal login credentials plus the one-time-valid passcode. Once the user try to login with their regular user credentials, the one-time -valid passcode will be sent to the users’ mobile phone as SMS. Only after entering the passcode received as the SMS the system allows the user to access the portal.

Apart from providing a highly secured environment, the mobile phone two-factor authentication comes with other advantages. Since the user carries the mobile devices all the time there is no additional tokens required.  The passcodes generated dynamically by the system is much safer than the fixed passwords. With the possibility to define the maximum number of permitted wrong entries and subsequent action like delay in entering the next code or even blocking the further entries reduces the risk of attacks by unauthorized persons.

Read more about Two-Factor authentication here


Importance of communication in Project Management

In project management communication plays a vital role, it is one of the comer stones of collaboration and greatly contribute towards the success of the project. As a project manager it is important to see that the communication between the people involved in any projects have continues flow without interruptions and it involves all the participants. Organizations could use different methods of communication like email, Skype, daily quick update meetings, weekly project status update meetings etc.

Most of the organizations choose their basic communication channel as email. With multiple projects running often keeping track of the relevant communication pertaining to the projects a particular resource is involved becomes difficult as it may lose within all other noise. If the involved resources are working from different locations the difficulty of communication will further increase.

Some of the crucial points that need to be addressed when it comes to communication within projects

  • how to keep the communication relevant to the project you are working with?
  • how many different avenues and mediums that are available for the participants to communicate?
  • Does everyone need to be present in order to get the message?
  • How to communicate if the participants are not in a room or in the same location?
  • How to keep track of the communication and retrieve the information on a latter stage?
  • How to ensure that all the participants are received the message and establish accountability towards it?

With great emphasis on collaboration, ProjectCoordinator has some built in features that can help the users in their communication and address different points mentioned above.  IN order to remove the noise from all other communication methods and makes it relevant purely to the projects, ProjectCoordinator comes with its own online messaging system.   With the underlying concept of Lobby and workspaces, user access to different projects is controlled by the access rights.  Users can decide whether they want to send a message just through the online messaging system or send a notification about the message via email to the recipient limiting it to these two mediums.  Messages can be sent to individual users or to all the users in a specific project workspace. With the web-based access, users can send and receive the messages any time and from anywhere. With the messages are saved online with all the details anytime users can track and check the old messages. In order to ensure the accountability,  special color indicators are added to the messages showing different status as soon as the recipient is read the message.

Even though users can select their preferred communication methods, a dedicated messaging system that is used purely for the communication related to projects, makes it more effective and ensure the messages are not lost in the noise, thus resulting in effective collaboration and successful project execution. 


Improving the security by two factor authentication

With the cloud-based solutions playing an essential role in all the aspect of business, security has never been a more critical issue. Protecting your data and ensuring that your online business activities are safer is a goal for all the businesses. 

When it comes to online project management software, companies would like to have their project plans, documents, resource details, time entries and project related communication in a highly secured environment.  In most cases, access to the online environment is controlled by username and password, and within the environment it is further controlled by the user access rights.

For the companies that are looking for enhancing the security further, ProjectCoordinator provides two factor authentication*. Two-factor authentication helps in providing unmistakable identification of users by having the combination of two different components, these two components are associated to the user and needs to be always with them. For example each time a person withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM), he or she uses the bank card followed by entering the personal identification number (PIN), only with the correct combination of these two components the person will be able to withdraw the cash.

ProjectCoordinator uses mobile phone two factor authentication to provide a secure access to the online project management portal.  It uses the combination of personal login credentials plus the one-time-valid passcode. Once the user try to login with their regular user credentials, the one-time -valid passcode will be sent to the users’ mobile phone as SMS. Only after entering the passcode received as the SMS the system allows the user to access the portal.


Apart from providing a highly secured environment, the mobile phone two factor authentication comes with other advantages. Since the user carries the mobile devices all the time there is no additional tokens required.  The passcodes generated dynamically by the system is much safer than the fixed passwords. With the possibility to define the maximum number of permitted wrong entries and subsequent action like delay in entering the next code or even blocking the further entries reduces the risk of attacks by unauthorized persons.

*This is an add-on service and need to subscribe to a sms service to achieve the two factor authentication 


The importance of time tracking in project management

When you start with a project, the initial task is to have a top-level plan. Once that is done, you often move on to preparing the detailed list of activities and incorporate them into your project plan. Now comes the part were resources are allocated to these activities. During the course of your project, modifications to the activities and resources can happen on a regular basis.  Often, one resource will be working on more than one project and tracking of time spent on different activities is vital in many ways.

When it comes to a project manager, it is important to know the hours the resource is putting on different activities. Over a period, the accurate reporting of time by the resource helps the project manager to understand the performance and the average time a  resource takes to complete a particular type of activity.  This information will be extremely useful for the estimation for the next projects, especially if the activities are similar in nature.

The time spent on activities will also come in handy when there is a need for prioritizing an activity or project over another. More over, the proper time entry enables the project manager to see that the time is not exceeding the estimated time, and well in advance mitigate the risks.

Effective time tracking helps also the resources, in order to keep track of their normal work time as well as the overtime they have put in. Without additional steps human resource personal could check the overtime of the resource and compensate for that.


Time tracking analysisResources can view their entered time in daily, weekly and Monthly formats. At the end of the month they can submit the time reports to the managers. Once the time report is submitted, the entered time will be locked so further changes are prevented.

Managers and administrators can go through the various reports and monitor the time for various purposes.  The combination of effective project planning, resource allocation to activities and tracking of time in ProjectCoordinator add a lot of value for organizations that are managing multiple projects and resources.


Resource management for optimal resource utilization

Effective management of resources is an essential task for companies that are managing different projects. It is important for them to efficiently organize and allocate personal as well as equipment for different projects, same time avoiding idle resources.  Having the information about the availability of the resource and have them available at the right time for the activities plays a vital role in managing the costs and smoothly executing the project activities. The resource management area of ICoordinator™   has been developed in order to manage the resources optimally for the industries that are in project management.

Get a bird’s-eye view of all the resources

With the resource planner, the resource managers could get an overall view of all the resources and their current utilization. It helps managers to identify the over utilization based on the work allocation of the resources in different projects. While accumulating the work allocation status, ICoordinator™  not only considers that particular workspace, it takes information from all the work places in order to calculate the resource utilization. This means, if the resource is involved in another project and assigned to a specific activity at the same time by another resource manager, it will show in the utilization report of the other manager and can help in avoiding the over allocation.

Manage the roles and skill set of your resources

In order to allocate the right resource for a specific activity, it is important to know whether the resource has the correct skillset to perform that particular task. With the role and skill set management features in ICoordinator™ , resource managers could get an in-depth view of the skills possessed by a particular resource.  The tool allows to have customized fields so that if necessary more information against a resource can be captured.

Multiple currencies for effective resource cost management

As part of the resource management, ICoordinator™  allows multiple currency types and a resource can be assigned to a default rate and default working time per day. If needed, each workspace can have its own currency; in this case, all the users associated to that particular workspace will have the same currency and rate.  When you have multiple locations or departments spread across different regions, this helps in having different currencies/rates for the resources based on the regions they are working.

Have control over the equipment usage and availability

With the ability to define custom resources, resource managers can include all the machineries and equipment that are needed for different activities. The custom defined resources contains information like daily availability time, hourly cost, fixed cost, currency and other user defined fields. These resources can be allocated to activities in the resource planner and the resource manager could see the utilization report based the available time of that resource. This ensures that the right equipment is available at the right time for performing an activity.

Resource management reports for the optimal resource utilization

Resource planner in ICoordinator™  comes with a wide variety of reports enabling managers to have optimal resource utilization and clear view on the resource allocation.  The reports can be produced on a portal level, organizational unit level, workspace and resource group level for a particular time period. Some of the reports include resource utilization, assigned activities per resource, assigned activities per unit and resource, resource allocation per user/unit etc. Another useful report is the one that gives the comparison between estimated, allocated, available and the reported time of resources. The reports can be exported to Excel and PDF and can be printed out directly.


ProjectCoordinator™ 3.0 is released

The new version will be available for all the existing cutomers. Apart from  the general performance improvements the new release includes some major enhancements.

Metadata, ProjectCoordinator® 3.0 comes with the meta data. Users can add metadata to their files within the system. The metadata can be used to search and locate an object such as title, author, subjects, keywords etc . It can also be used to organize files based on different attributes for easier access and categorization.

Smart folders,  smart folders in ProjectCoordinator® allows  users to have virtual folders that contains files that are having specific metadata information attached to it. Apart from having the smart folders in each room and lobby area, individual users can have their personal smart folders under “My Functions” area.

Viewer, the newly integrated file viewer allows users to easily view the project related drawings and files online. The viewer support more than 300 document types and users can view documents in all modern browser environments. It automatically generates thumbnail previews of documents and support HTML5.

Message Centre, in order to make the communication more effective and ensure accountability,  users can communicate with each other through the message center. With real time notification and read/unread status, users can ensure that the other resource has definitely received the message. This helps in higher accountability and quality in the communication between the participants.

“We are continuously trying to improve our product by listening to our users and keeping abreast of the latest technologies” says Designetch’s CEO, Patrik Svanerudh. “Our aim is to provide value for our customers and make their day-to-day operations easiler and effective.”

ProjectCoordinator®   is a web-based collaboration and project management software that can act as the central nervous system of businesses, enabling them to collaborate easily, manage efficiently and achieve higher productivity. With ProjectCoordinator® organizations can connect and collaborate with various divisions and departments from a single interface. Users can share documents, enter timesheets, monitor time and expenses towards the projects and activities of each client. It comes with a full-fledged resource management area and can communicate with other systems like Drupal™ web content management system via an API allowing organizations to manage their internal and external websites.



Collaborative Project Management

Collaborative Project Management is built around the foundation of actively participating and involving all the members of a project in planning and participating, and connects each of them through project management, communication, and collaboration areas and modules. Management of a particular task or activity is not solely assigned to managers , but it is an important part of all the members in that project.

In order to effectively work, collaborative project management introduces breaking down of the projects in to different smaller parts and given to members of departments that are actively participating in the project. The broken down plans or the sub-plans could be connected between each other and synchronize to participate the different actors in the system so that each member is well aware of the common purpose of the project.  

For successful collaborative project management, it is necessary to have a central database that could provide the project planning data and related information to all the project members wherever they are located.  Collaboration and communication between the project members enable them to capture, measure and identify any bottlenecks linked to these projects.

With more than a decade of experience in collaboration and project management, ProjectCoordinator works on the same principle that is the basis of Collaborative Project Management. The key components include

  • A single installation and database
  • Easy access through web interface from anywhere
  • Project/department specific workspaces with project plans and other areas
  • Access to different project plans and resources based on the rights
  • Consolidated view of different projects
  • Updation and correction of plans through web or though iPhone
  • Full fledged Resource management area with roles, utilization view and allocation
  • Closely monitor the cost associated to activities and projects
  • Attach documents and discussions to individual activities
  • Communication through integrated email, discussion board and workflow notifications


The below picture shows a sample scenario where ProjectCoordinator could assist in Collaborative Project Management


Collaborative Project Management

As it explains, the Lobby can be considered as the umbrella organization, where you could view the consolidated status of different projects, notifications from different workspaces etc. Under the lobby, you can categorize different workspaces/projects under the  organizational unit. Basically Organizational units help in grouping together different internal and external departments/workspaces/projects.

In this particular scenario, the resource within the company and the customer is located  in different places geographically. Based on their role they could access different projects and associated areas. For example, the programmer could have his internal project activities in the production workspace, as well as he will have access to the project activities in the customer's workspace. He could update the daily/weekly activity status in both the internal as well as in the customer's plan. Customer could login and see the latest status in his workspace, if there is review delay from his side, he could always update the review activity with the new time line, and push the deadline accordingly. Customer can attach relevant documents or specification to some of the particular activities. If a resource updates a feature specification document that needs to be reviewed by the customer, he could upload the document and setup a review and approval workflow which will notify the customer about the document and the need of the review and approval.

Resources could easily update the actual time spend on each of the activities through the web interface or through the iPhone application.

Apart from the project management features, each workspace contains other areas as shown the below image.

With all the above areas and dependent features under each of them, ProjectCoordinator could be the perfect Collaborative Project Management software for organizations who are looking for active collaboration in their project management efforts.

Who can take advantage of Collaborative Project Management

  • Companies with departments, offices, customers spread across the globe
  • Perfect for IT companies who are having multiple projects and customer across the world
  • Companies who are in to engineering and developing complex products
  • European union projects e.g. FP7 projects, where multiple partners work from different countries with their own time lines and delivery dead lines

How ProjectCoordinator can be your Collaboration Nervous System

Some times, during the demos we end up in discussing about the tagline of ProjectCoordinator. Often people ask about how we have chosen this tagline and how it can be explained. With the vast amount of collaboration and project management features, it may be difficult to paint the complete picture in few sentences. So we have decided to touch upon the core areas and how it can work as the ideal solution for your collaboration needs.

As you could see in the below diagram ProjectCoordinator consists of 7 major areas (click on the images to see the features under that).

  1. Project Management
  2. Document Management
  3. Time Reporting
  4. Resource Management
  5. Cost Management
  6. Collaboration area
  7. Web Content Management

Each of these areas comes with their own features and they are inter-related also. In other words each of this areas could communicate or collaborate with each other making it easy to use components from  one of the areas in another area.

How it can be the Collaboration Nervous System?

ProjectCoordinator has been built on a concept of Lobby and Rooms. You can visualize the Lobby as the umbrella of all these rooms. The interesting part is that each of this components has its own 6 major areas. Being an online collaboration tool, everything can be accessed through web and time entries and tracking can be done through the iPhone application.  We will try to explain it with some examples.

ProjectCoordinator working as the Collaboration Nervous System of a corporate with different sub locations

In this below example you can see that the "Lobby" is the head office and "Rooms" are the offices in different locations. Each of these locations has their own areas and can work as independent as well as connected. For example, each of the locations can have their own activities, resources and websites and keep their documents and files in the online document management repository. Access to each of these areas are controlled by user access rights.



ProjectCoordinator working as the Collaboration Nervous System of Business owners with different customers

ProjectCoordinator can be the perfect online collaboration tool for businesses  who want to have interactions with their customers and resources on a regular basis, have seperate document management and collaboration area for each of the customers and internal departments. In this scenario, business owners can create a room for each of the customers under the customer group, allowing them keep thier documents and files, the internal resources as well as customer resources could update the files and activities on this room. They can present the project plans to their customer in each of these rooms. Resources can enter project's related time and status. Same way under each of the departments, they can have different department rooms and thier associated areas.


Here are the two screenshots of the Lobby and Rooms structure within ProjectCoordinator


These are just two basic examples how the system works. But the same could be applicable for a single department with different sections, a consultant with different clients and projects, large scale collaboration projects with different work packages or just a one person company who wants to keep track of his activities, manage resources, maintain contacts, manage costs, keep the documents and files in a single place and manage his own website.  What ever may be the case ProjectCoordinator will be your perfect Collaboration Nervous System!



New site in Swedish

We have launched the ProjectCoordinator site in Swedish. You can visit the site here