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AtTask Project Management Software Demo

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Christopher Stordalen from the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance hosted a demo or AtTask project management software on Friday, September 9th.  @tTask is a cloud-based Project Management solution.  

Project Management Software Features List - this is a Wikipedia page that lists project management software and main project tracking areas each solution supports.

REASON:  I have found that, while we have an in-house, "home-grown" project management solution that is focused on IT projects, I still use multiple tools and environments to accomplish project management  - Google Sites, Google Documents, Google Calendar, Google Tasks, UThink, OmniPlan, MS Excel, MS Word, etc.  The separation may be by project, but more often by task across projects.  I hear regularly from colleagues that they have the same issue and it "sure would be nice to have a common good project management solution at the University".  

HISTORY: When searching for software that included a full set of tools to support project management processes and tasks, I had a short list of software.  I was really impressed with AtTask because in addition to a full project management feature set, one feature was for connectivity via mobile devices.  I had viewed a demo of this software two years ago when in search of a project management solution.  My desire was to find something for both work within GPS Alliance IT, but that could be used for all project management and that would hopefully allow for use by teams that are comprised of members from both inside and outside GPS Alliance.  

ATTENDEES:  The timeframe was quite short for the scheduling the demo - On the Tuesday prior, I scheduled it thinking it would be just me.  On Wednesday, I had the idea of inviting some others, and "some others" turned into inviting all PCMC members.  We ended up with 6 PCMC members attending the ~45 minute presentation.

DREAM:  I revealed my dream to the attendees of the demo that a solution, @tTask or another appropriate solution, could be implemented at the University of Minnesota and that we would be come an "@tTask Enterprise".  It could be implemented centrally as a common good service to handle the gamut of projects, allow different access levels across the institution to utilize the system - from upper-level administration viewing reporting across colleges and units, to team members communicating and engaging each other on project tasks and tracking their progress, to project managers being able to see all their staff and all projects that are in the system for which they are responsible.  The University could leverage it in any courses focuses on, or that have a component of, project management.

QUESTIONS:  A number of questions could not be answered during the demo.  The questions and answers are below.

- Are there other Universities using AtTask?
Yes, there are several. A few I was able to come up with right away was Julliard, CUNY, and MacQuarie University. There are more if you want to know.

- Are we able to sync documents from other sources?
No, we don't sync with other sources. But, you mentioned Google Docs, within AtTask you can link to an external site such as Google Docs.

- Can you view a list of projects? Not just the projects assigned to myself?
Yes you would just create a custom report/dashboard to view it this way.

How much time to become acquainted with the tool?
System Admin - 
Project Manager - 3 day training course is a must but results in 
Project Member -
Reporting - 

DEMO NOTES:  A demo attendee submitted these notes.

Includes tasks, issues, docs, notes, (sync with data storage), email notification 

Gantt chart looks very clear/easy; can look at who assigned to each task, milestones etc. Can do resource assignments from within Gantt - person gets email and also has their own view. Based on how many hours you have available to each person. Can match who has time to skills and time for a task. Drag and drop.

Exec Reports - they can log in and look a reports. About 90 dashoards available. Can easily see where you're behind... Can schedule a report to be emailed to certain people. Lots of management options for levels of access.

Has status updates at individual level. Can move what you're working on to different priorities. Can log time. 

Seems to really work for someone on one project at a time. Doesn't seem to be a way for an individual to keep up with their multiple projects separately.  ANSWER - Every user can see an overview of all of their projects.

No academic pricing model. Pricing by User (PM, Team, View Only). 

Training sold separately. Plus subscription model.  

How work with Google Docs/Netfiles?  ANSWER - setup external link.  

PRICING:  I have asked about educational pricing, but haven't received specifics on that as of yet.  Prices below are retail and are per user per year.

Project Manager Enterprise - $650
Project Manager Professional - $395
Team Members - $250
View Only - $150

The difference between the Enterprise and Professional is the Portfolio Management. This would provide you with the ability to see upcoming projects, approval process for projects, and see whether you will have the bandwidth for upcoming projects.

TEST ACCOUNT:  AtTask provided us with a test account that will be available until 9/30/2011.  If we need a little more time, I can make that request.  Please let me know if you are interested and how much time you might need.

Location and Credentials:

Project Management View
username: christopher.mscott
password: user

You can also find some helpful training tips at

Workflow software at the University

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I have been a member of the Workflow consortium for 2 years now and am looking forward to GPS's first project going live for the Judd Fellowship applications, and quickly followed by Global Spotlight funding applications, and International Travel Grant applications.

I have been thinking about how GPS units may use this, but I have also grasped on to some thoughts I have had for years about automating central form submission processes and now am formalizing these thoughts. What kind of benefits can we realize centrally at the UofM?  I believe that the Workflow Consortium needs to "shop" the WFG tool to some central units that will affect a large base of users.

Employee Reimbursement 
Purchasing Card documentation
Access Request Forms for PeopleSoft, Data Warehouse, etc.
Vacation and Sick Leave routing 
Childcare and Medical Expense Reimbursement requests
Regents scholarship routing 
Student facing forms (Examples:  student forms on One Stop)

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