LiquidPlanner: Can you talk a little bit about Airways New Zealand?
Tim Hughes: Airways New Zealand is an air traffic control provider for New Zealand. It’s a state-owned enterprise and acts like a private company, even though the government owns it. The law prevents government ministers from actually directing the company. There is a board of directors and a profit motive that acts like a profit company.
LP: How long have you been using LiquidPlanner?
TH: About four years. Steve McConnell published an article in the beginning of 2007 or 2008 that got my attention and put me onto LiquidPlanner. Immediately after I read that article, our team started using LP, and we became so embedded after a month that we had to continue. Now we have about 30 people using it.
LP: Were you using anything before LiquidPlanner as far as project management software?
TH: We used a variety of solutions, like Microsoft Project for small projects, and also a corporate-scale resource management program covering the whole company.
LP: What was the main thing you were looking for?
TH: I particularly wanted the uncertainty management that LiquidPlanner provides. I wanted a project planning solution that would give me earned value reporting and would let me manage uncertainty to see where the risks lie. I also needed a reporting function.
LP: Can you talk about how you introduced the tool to your team? How did that process go?
TH: I discovered LiquidPlanner while everyone was on vacation, studied it, and decided that I wanted it. When they all got back from vacation, I told them about LiquidPlanner, and it took them well under an hour to decide they wanted it, too. We put the trial licenses in place and ran with it for the first three weeks. I stressed that everyone fill in their timesheets, and we settled work patterns and got the operating rules. It was important that employees were filling in their timesheets and saying what they were actually doing. We could then check the estimates to see that they were true. After that, the reporting in LiquidPlanner showed us how we were doing and how to keep our projects on track. That was all in the first three weeks. We were able to get everyone on board in a month. Everyone was totally receptive.