Information is required for the operation of any enterprise. In organizations,making and implementing decisions depend on the character of the informationavailable to the decision makers. Information availability and flow are critical con-siderations in the speed and eloquence with which the efficient and effective useof resources is carried out in meeting the purposes of the enterprise.Organizations of all sizes need information to design, produce, market, and pro-vide after-sales support to the products and services that are offered to customers. Inlarge organizations the flow of information can be incomplete and sequential, oftennot getting to the people who need the information for their work in time to make thebest decisions. Information may be found lying around in organizations waiting forsomeone who has the authority to make a decision. The best information loses itsvalue if it is not available to people who need it to make decisions and direct actions.A system for collecting, formatting, and distributing information is needed forthe organization and each project. The organization’s management informationsystem will contain some information that is needed for the projects, but there is aneed for additional project-related information as well as that information generatedas a result of the project’s activities.An important part of the management of any project is a well-developed strategyfor understanding and managing the set of procedures and documents that establishinformation used in the management of the project. One author has suggested astrategy for the development of such documentation.
Sometimes the initiation of a project for the development of an informationsystem for one element of the enterprise results in the broadening of informa-tion usage. For example, at 3M during the development of a computer-integratedmanufacturing (CIM) approach for the company, a total integration of all the infor-mation technology for one of the company’s plants was initiated. The name givento this effort became
integrated manufacturing system
(IMS). Tying the adminis-trative systems into their CIM structures provided for further broadening thenotion of concurrency in the management systems of the organization.
In addition to the immediate participants to a project, there is a need to considerall stakeholders. A project manager might characterize the PMIS as being able toprovide information that he or she needs to do the job and information that thebosses need. Typically, stakeholders have various information needs that can oftenbe satisfied through the information stored in the PMIS. Table 12.1 describes someof the stakeholders’ information needs on a routine basis.Those individuals with real or perceived information needs about the project soonbecome disenchanted when inadequate or inaccurate information is provided. Nostakeholder likes surprises that reflect a change to the project plan or anticipatedprogress. Surprises quickly erode confidence in the project manager’s capability tomanage the work and keep key stakeholders fully informed on progress. One cor-porate vice president in Rochester, N.Y., stated to her managers, “Surprises onprojects are not career-enhancing moves.”
PROJECT MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM
Henry J. McCabe, “Assuring Excellence in Execution in Construction Project Management,”
October 1995, pp. 18–21
Tom Waldoch, “From CIM to IMS Spelled Success at 3M,”
February 1990, pp. 31–35.