Join Us This Evening

Steelray is excited to be the speaker at this evening’s CPM WDC (College of Performance Management, Washington DC) chapter meeting. It’s virtual, so all are welcome regardless of where you’re based.

When: Thursday, September 17, 2020, 5:20 – 7:00 pm
Free Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cpm-wdc-schedule-performance-exposed-w-brian-leach-tickets-118199011425

Topic: Schedule Performance Exposed: Schedule Delay Analysis

Why did the finish data move? How do I figure out why it moved? Project managers and customers regularly ask the Scheduler/Planner to answer these questions. One method to find the answer is to apply windows schedule analysis. The window schedule analysis method typically begins with the baseline schedule and progresses from update to update, examining how historical changes impacted the critical path. For each analysis period, the prior update becomes the baseline for the delay analysis.

Join us for a spirited discussion on the benefits of making windows schedule analysis part of your best practices with Brian Leach from Steelray Software.

IPMDAR in 2020

JSON Logo

Steelray is sponsoring the next meeting of the CPM Washington DC chapter.  The topic is Call for More Data?  IPMDAR in 2020.

When?
Thursday, July 23, 2020, 5:20 – 7:00pm

How I register?
Register using this link.

Meeting Details
The Integrated Program Management Data Analysis Report (IPMDAR) is the revised reporting requirement from the Integrated Management Report (IPMR) for EVM Reporting.  It was issued by DoD’s Acquisition, Analytics and Policy (AAP) in April 2020.  It is already finding its way on to both RFPs and contracts.

Join us for a lively discussion on how the IPMDAR provides for maximum flexibility and tailoring to increase cost and schedule integration and get buyer/seller conversations to be at the level where the work occurs, namely, the control account level. Questions are required to be submitted prior to the event.  There will be a subsequent event TBA focused on the JSON file requirements (DEI & FFS).

Panelists include NDIA IPMD Board members of the joint government/industry IPMDAR adjudication team Vaughn Schlegel, Scott LeFrance, and Dan Lynch.

Note: The June meeting sold out (tickets are free).  Register now to save your spot. Also, please note that when you login to the GoToMeeting, your name will show and you will have a choice to show video for the first hour or so.  Then, when the meeting starts at 6:00, we’ll ask everyone but the speakers to go off video unless asking a questions.

Earned Value Joke

Only some of you will get why I titled it “Earned Value Joke.”

A fellow was walking along a country road when he came upon a farmer working in his field. The man called out to the farmer “How long will it take me to get to the next town?”

The farmer didn’t answer. The guy waited a bit and then started walking again. After the man had gone about a hundred yards, the farmer yelled out “About 20 minutes.”

“Thank you. But why didn’t you tell me that when I asked you?”

“Didn’t know how fast you could walk.”

New Video: Healthy Conflict in Projects, Part 2

In the previous video on healthy conflict in project teams, we explained how this is one of the essential things that a project team must get right to ensure the success of the project. In this video, we talk about what that looks like and a step by step guide to resolving issues.

Here’s the video:

Our COVID-19 Relief Policy

We’re starting to hear from companies who are being impacted by the economic conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re telling us about workforce reductions and furloughs and asking questions about their subscriptions, renewals, and license transfers. After some internal discussions, we came up with an idea of how to help our customers who are having a hard time because of the virus.

Effective immediately, we are adding a new policy for our Project Analyzer customers:

  • If your organization had to lay off employees due to pandemic-related economic conditions and want to transfer their subscription to another user, we’ll help you facilitate that license transfer and extend the subscription’s expiration by three months.  
  • If your organization furloughed employees due to pandemic-related economic conditions, contact us when they are back at work, and we’ll extend their subscription’s expiration by three months.
  • If your organization laid-off employees who were active Analyzer users and they will not be coming back, please forward this offer to them: if they contact us directly, we’ll offer them a complimentary 3-month subscription to help them get back on their feet. Terms and conditions apply. 
  • This offer expires on 9/30/2020, at which time we’ll assess whether or not to extend it further.

We hope that you and your colleagues and families are staying safe during this time.

 

New Video: How the Critical Path is Calculated

In scheduling tools like Microsoft Project and Primavera P6, it’s too easy to do things that interfere with the calculation of the true critical path.  To understand how this interference can occur and avoid making these mistakes, you should first understand how the critical path is calculated.

In under four minutes, we can show you.  Watch the video below.

Our 20th Birthday

Today is Steelray’s 20th birthday, which is old age for a software company. As I reflect on that fact, one question comes to mind:  

How?

How on earth did we make it 20 years? In between all of the mistakes and false assumptions and questionable decisions, we must have been doing something right to get here. After some thought, I came up with a list of “pillars” that have supported our health and longevity.

  • Financial Health.  Just as people need water, food, and oxygen to survive, a business only survives with cash. Not running out of money has always been top-of-list!

  • Happy Customers.  You don’t achieve and maintain financial health without customers. Having happy customers who like us and our products has been the difference-maker. We are so grateful to you and know that we need to continue delivering exceptional products, service, and value to you.

  • A Mission That Matters to Us. Our mission is to make the finest software for project schedule visualization and analysis.
    • By “finest,” we mean the most useful and most usable software products in the market.
    • We make the best tools for the best practitioners. For 20 years now, we’ve applied our team’s expertise in project management and building software products to build and offer solutions that provide great value to you.
    • We realized that great schedules come from great schedulers, so making better schedulers through our software is part of our mission.

  • What We Do and Where Matters. At some point, I realized that how you spend your workdays is as essential as any of the other pillars. 
    • We want to work on cool stuff.
    • We want to be an excellent place to work.

  • ‘A’ Players. As cliché as it sounds, the single biggest thing I’ve done to make it 20 years is to hire and develop a team of ‘A’ players. I am eternally grateful for the team we’ve built. Nothing else I’ve done has mattered more to our journey. Because when the project management landscape undergoes change, and a whole new set of skills is required, I’d rather have a team who have the brains, skills, and mostly attitude to embrace change and pivot quickly to the new reality. The alternative is firing and hiring, and who wants to work for a company like that?

As I write this, we are self-quarantined and have replaced working in the same office with online meetings, webcams, and screen sharing. The conferences we planned on going to have all been canceled, so we’re not able to see our customers in-person. I am missing the office and the conferences and look forward to the day when it’s safe to come out and play again.

Mostly I want to say these two things: 

  • Thank you, Steelray customers. Let’s celebrate our 40th together too.  
  • And thank you, Steelray team. You are the best!

Go ahead and treat yourself to a slice of cake today!

Exporter Now Supports IPMDAR

We are pleased to announce the release of Steelray Project Exporter for IPMDAR, version 2018.10.8.  Steelray Project Exporter for IPMDAR allows you to convert any Microsoft Project schedule to AAP’s IPMDAR (Integrated Program Management Data and Analysis Report). Exporter supports the new specification.

To see how to export your first project schedule using exporter, click on the video below.