Meet John Haprian, the Vice President of Development and Operations (and de facto project manager) at Monarch Teaching Technologies. MTT is an Ohio-based small business that provides new, highly visual e-learning solutions designed for children with autism and other special learning needs. Founded in 2007, the company introduced its marquee product, VizZle, three years ago to help teachers, clinicians, and parents provide unique learning experiences for their students.
Monarch is the kind of company where the priorities for any given project can change rapidly and no two projects are alike, and not the kind of company where projects are planned a year or even six months in advance.
Life as Project Manager: Selecting the Right Tool for the Job
John is the man responsible for managing as many as 20 simultaneous projects spanning nine developers located in disparate locations. While he tried using two different project management tools in the past, he quickly realized they both had critical limitations to manage the complexity of his projects. As a result, he began looking for a project management solution that he could use to effectively and quickly prioritize the elements of a project while functioning as a resource management tool for his distributed team.
After evaluating a number of solutions, Haprian chose LiquidPlanner. Avoiding software management costs was important at the small business, so LiquidPlanner was a great choice because it offered an online solution, minimizing hardware and setup costs. However, the reason Haprian ultimately chose LiquidPlanner was because of its unique ability to prioritize the competing demands of multiple projects. LiquidPlanner also allowed Monarch to maintain its existing and familiar project management methodology that was developed internally, eliminating the need to adopt and learn a whole new approach.
“LiquidPlanner is an invaluable tool for managing limited resources against the changing requirements of our many development projects because it works seamlessly within our current internal processes,” Haprian said. “Now, I have much more insight into the reality of the entire project process, allowing me to address trouble spots and move to the next element of the project more quickly.”
LiquidPlanner gives Haprian the ability to create accurate plans that reflect the real world complexities of balancing multiple projects. For example, he often manages several small projects while overseeing larger ones that sometimes require more than 1,600 hours of development. Haprian realized that fewer unforeseen problems were arising on current components of his projects when he used LiquidPlanner, so he was able to spend more time preparing his team for the next priority on the horizon, rather than putting out fires.
“I find that LiquidPlanner helps me to keep more plates spinning. In fact, we were able to scrap one of our larger applications and rewrite it from the ground up,” Haprian said. “What’s remarkable is that we did it while still working on other projects. That would have been impossible without having a tool like LiquidPlanner to manage our time and resources.”
LiquidPlanner provides unique insights for managing resources
Haprian also uses LiquidPlanner to quickly and effectively manage resources at Monarch. Every week, Haprian reviews the timesheets of each member of the development team. He considers the number of hours they worked and identifies discrepancies from LiquidPlanner’s projections. He can easily identify where team members are being distracted from their project by other internal demands such as meetings, travel, or other ideas at the company. Haprian can then look forward to the next week – or month – and make adjustments in the software to reflect the team member’s broader role at the company. Making these changes is easy in LiquidPlanner since the solution is designed to represent the realities of today’s complex and ever changing work place.
Why Monarch Teaching Technologies Uses LiquidPlanner:
- Provides deeper insights into entire project management process for better resource management.
- Prioritizes competing demands of multiple projects to more accurately reflect the complexities of today’s project development environment.
- The ability to maintain existing project processes and methodologies established at the company.
- Avoids expensive project management software acquisition and maintenance costs through online solution offering.