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Management of development projects: how to meet corporate business goals?

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Two contradictory elements affect development projects in the modern era. New advanced development projects require huge resources and long schedules. On the other hand, the resources available for development projects are decreasing, and intensive competition between companies results in increased required performance and new products which must be developed with short schedules. Development projects have a significant effect on a company's business goals, and therefore attract the attention of corporate managers. A significant part of managers’ time is devoted to the control of development projects. Support tools are therefore developed and used to assist managers in controlling their projects. This paper describes a control tool to help managers make decisions on development projects. The tool described is based on Microsoft's ‘Project’ software package, and was developed in-house. The package performs real-time calculations and simultaneously presents several control parameters. These parameters provide a comprehensive picture of project status. The major benefits of the control tools described are: (1) The ‘Project’ package provides the ability to work with small and combined work packages. It allows attention to be focused on small programs as well as on entire programs. (2) It complies fully with modern decentralised computer systems consisting of a central computer, local computerised networks, parallel PCs and work stations. It provides an interactive quick response ability to follow changes in project status, which result from design changes or progress updates. The control system was implemented by RAFAEL's Missiles Division two years ago, and impressive results in terms of project efficiency were achieved. These achievements play a major role in meeting the Division's business goals. The control tools described are general and can fit a large variety of projects and companies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: RAFAEL, P.O. Box 2250, Haifa 31021, Israel

Publication date: 1997-04-01

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