SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR
IMPLEMENTING PROJECT PROCEDURES
TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates in general to the field of 5 engineering, and more particularly to a system and method for implementing project procedures.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In managing complex engineering and design projects, 10 such as the development of computer software, a wide variety of factors such as corporate policies, industry standards, available personnel and resources, and other outside forces and risks need to be assessed. Currently, the practice of project management is one for which little is training is provided to project managers. Even when adequate training is provided for project managers, many project managers still face difficulties initiating projects and applying processes systematically throughout the life cycle of project planning and implementation. Often a project 20 manager will have to assess standards and required procedures in light of a current product by referring to a myriad of sources of documentation and instructions. A project manager therefore faces many problems in project management that may have little to do with the typical concerns of 25 allocating resources, planning a project life cycle, and specific technical issues relating to a particular project. Thus, it is actually in the area of planning project procedures, project activities, requirement definitions, and risk or impact studies that a project manager typically has 30 the most difficulty with when beginning a new project. While several project management tools are available that allow a project manager to plan and monitor the life cycle of a particular project, or even to allow the project manager to track the work flows involved during a project's 35 implementation, no help is given to a project manager for developing project procedures that can be applied on a consistent and objective basis in order to meet corporate policies and industry guidelines. Often such project procedures are as important, if not more important, than concerns 40 associated with project life cycle, project work flow, or technical development.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with the present invention, the disadvan- 45 tages and problems associated with systems and methods for implementing project procedures have been substantially reduced or eliminated.
In one aspect of the present invention, a method for automated project planning comprises displaying a list of 50 procedure identifiers representing a plurality of procedures at a client and communicating a procedure identifier selected by a user from the client to a server. The method further comprises displaying a procedure data sheet at the client in response to the selected procedure identifier, the procedure 55 data sheet including a list of procedure steps for the selected procedure identifier and at least one of the listed procedure steps including a template identifier. The method also comprises communicating the template identifier selected by the user from the client to the server and displaying a template 60 at the client in response to the selected template identifier, the template including data fields for completion by the user. The method further comprises communicating the template having completed data fields from the client to the server and updating a project workspace with the completed template. 65
In another aspect of the present invention a system for automated project planning comprises a task database oper
able to store a list of tasks and a template database operable to store a list of templates associated with the tasks. The system also comprises a project repository module in communication with the task database and template database and operable to automate completion of the tasks by completing at least one template. The system further comprises a project workspace in communication with the project repository module and being operable to store the completed template.
In yet another aspect of the present invention a method for automated project planning comprises displaying a list of procedure links representing a plurality of procedures on a web browser at a client and displaying a procedure data sheet page on the web browser at the client in response to the procedure link being selected by a user, the procedure data sheet page including a list of procedure steps for the selected procedure identifier and at least one of the listed procedure steps including a template link. The method further comprises displaying a template on the web browser at the client in response to the template link being selected by the user, the template including data fields for completion by the user using the web browser. The method also comprises communicating the template having completed data fields from the client to the server and updating a project workspace with the completed template.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A more complete understanding of the invention and its advantages will be apparent from the detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an illustrative example of a block diagram of a system for automating project planning tasks and procedures according to the teachings of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an illustrative example of a block diagram of a computer usable to implement the project planning tasks and procedures of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a representative diagram of a series of views of particular data displays of the present invention; and
FIG. 4 is an illustrative example of a flowchart for a method of automating project planning tasks and procedures according to the teachings of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
The preferred embodiments of the present invention and its advantages are best understood by referring to FIGS. 1-4 of the drawings, like numerals being used for like and corresponding parts of the various drawings.
FIG. 1 is a embodiment of a block diagram of a system 10 for automating project planning tasks and procedures according to an embodiment of the present invention.
System 10 includes a server 12 coupled to a variety of clients 14, 16 and 18, referred to generally as clients 14. Clients 14 communicate with server 12 using hardware and software associated with a link 30. Although server 12 and clients 14 are referred to in the nomenclature of a client/ server environment, it should be understood that server 12 and clients 14 may be any type of computer operating in any suitable environment that communicate using communication link 30. For example, the components in system 10 may be arranged in a peer-to-peer computing environment, or other suitable environment that supports communication among different components in system 10.
Server 12 comprises a project repository module 20 integrated or associated with a task database 22, a procedure