King Saud University An Innovative Project Management System Presentation Read a paper (will be attached), and create a simple PowerPoint presentation cons

King Saud University An Innovative Project Management System Presentation Read a paper (will be attached), and create a simple PowerPoint presentation consisting of 6-9 slides, summarizing it. An Innovative Project Management System
Shahnawaz Alam
Department of Telecommunications
Government of India
New Delhi, India
Abstract—This paper describes an innovative web based
Project Management System that adds to the set of established
tools of project management. The system is designed to handle a
number of very large projects. It is based on robust open source
systems and frameworks. In addition to the basic features such
as Network Diagram, Critical Path Method (CPM), Program
Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT), Work Breakdown
Structure (WBS), Gantt Chart etc., the system integrates with
Geographical Information System (GIS.) This integration
enables the system to record activities of the project in graphic
detail on GIS map with geo-coded images and to create a digital
representation of the entire project roll-out. This digital
representation becomes a valuable resource for operation and
maintenance on completion of the project. As the project rolls
out, the progress can be seen on an intuitive GIS based
dashboard. The system provides multiple methods of data entry:
web interface, spreadsheet and mobile application. The system
has been found to successfully operate with a number of projects
and several hundred thousand tasks.
Keywords—project management system, real time, mobile
application, GIS, innovative
A number of project management (PM) techniques have
been developed over a period of time to plan, monitor and
control a project [1]. Creation of Work Breakdown Structure
(WBS) involves breaking down project deliverables and work
into smaller components. Activities have to be planned and
then performed to produce these deliverables. The activities
along with their interdependence may be required to be drawn
on activity network diagrams for an optimal planning of
activity sequences. Critical Path Method (CPM) technique
helps identify the critical paths of the activity network
diagram that can be further optimized. Program Evaluation
and Review Technique (PERT) helps understand the project
implementation schedule risks. Financial progress shows the
details of project expenditure.
While it may be possible to apply these techniques
manually to small projects, it becomes increasingly difficult
to do so as project size and complexity increase. A number of
software systems have emerged that can be used to apply
these techniques to a project [2-6]. A set of standard features
of such systems have also evolved [1,7-11]. The software
systems implement these features to varying degrees.
However, an effective feature that can be added to the set of
standard features of a project management software is
integration of the PM software with Geographical
Information System (GIS.) This has not been found to be
included in the standard set of features [1,7-11]. Features of
two PM systems, Microsoft Project [11,12,15] and Primavera
[11,13-15] were reviewed. No evidence was found that these
PM systems could directly integrate and connect with GIS
and enable capture of geo-coded pictures of a project roll-out.
Integration with GIS will help in planning, control,
operations, and maintenance of a project that has a
geographically distributed presence. When such a project is
executed, the roll-out can be recorded on a GIS map along
with graphic details such as geo-coded pictures at the project
sites and routes. This can be a very useful resource for
operation and maintenance. With growing popularity of GPS
enabled smartphones, mobile application can be used to
collect geographic coordinates and pictures for routes and
sites. Another effective feature for a PM system is autoreplication of activities. A very large project may have too
many WBS elements to create in a PM system manually or
even to create one and make its copies. An automated process
to create WBS elements for repetitive activities can create
hundreds of thousands of WBS elements automatically
greatly improving efficiency and productivity of the project
manager and effectiveness of the PM software.
There is a need for such enhanced features in several
types of projects. First, for a project that is distributed over a
wide geographical area such as a nationwide
telecommunications network roll-out, capturing the survey
data on GIS will enable planning the network routes.
Capturing the routes on GIS as the work is executed will
create the network diagram of the entire telecommunications
network which can be used for operations, maintenance,
customer service etc. Second, for government projects it may
be required to make outcome data available to public. The
concept of open data has been accepted and implemented by
several governments [16-21]. For example, in a government
project to set up schools in rural areas in the country, it would
be required to plot on GIS the location of schools along with
pictures if possible. This can be achieved with a PM Tool
integrated with GIS. Third, systems based on open source are
often cost effective compared to commercial systems will
similar features. Wherever cost is an important consideration,
such as governments in developing countries or small firms,
such systems would be the preferred choice.
In this paper we will describe a web based project
management system that includes a mobile application. It
provides many of the well established tools of project
management. It is integrated with GIS and it plots routes and
locations on map along with pictures. The system utilizes
several open source frameworks. It uses the Django
framework, MariaDB database, Nginx web server and
uWSGI (Python) among others.
978-1-7281-3333-1/19/$31.00 ©2019 IEEE
19-20 August 2019, Jakarta & Bali, Indonesia
2019 International Conference on Information Management and Technology (ICIMTech)
The system comprises a Project Management (PM)
Project implementation is an activity that most
Engine, a web browser client, a mobile application, GIS and
organizations, whether private or government, need to carry
a database. Figure 1 shows the overall architecture.
out as a part of their business. A number of project
management techniques have evolved to help organizations
A. PM Engine
implement projects successfully [1]. Software systems are
The PM Engine includes various components to provide
required to apply these techniques and to effectively manage
the structure and functions that implement the project
projects throughout their life cycle. The motivation and
management techniques. It includes a web server, the uWSGI
objective of our work to implement a web based project
application server, Django framework and the new Project
management software with mobile application are as follows:
Management Framework. Nginx has been used as web server
(i) Project management is essential for successful
but any other web server that can connect with an application
implementation of projects. Due to the complexity of
server can also be used. uWSGI application server provides
techniques involved in project management, specialized
an implementation of the Python Web Server Gateway
software systems are required for the various stages of
Interface (WSGI) defined in PEP 333 [22] and PEP 3333 [23].
planning, execution and control.
On the one hand it connects with the web server (Nginx) and,
(ii) Integration of project management software with GIS
on the other, it connects with the application (Django
enables collection and display of geo-spatial data of the
framework.) Django [24] is a Python web development
project. This makes two very important contributions to the
framework that supports Model/View/Controller (MVC)
project life cycle:
design patterns. MVC design patterns decouple application
(a) All locations and routes can be recorded and used
object, the screen presentation and the system response to
for planning the project. Images of the site and route can
user interaction [25]. Django automates database creation for
provide details for the planning process.
models defined in the application. Database interaction is
(b) When the project is executed, the entire record of
supported through Django’s Object Relational Mapper
the project roll-out can be kept in a repository that displays
(ORM.) ORM enables application object manipulation rather
the outcome of the project and, at the same time, can be vital
than direct database manipulation using the Structured Query
for operation and maintenance.
Language (SQL.)
An example of such a project is a
telecommunications project where routes can be surveyed
and planned using the project management software. When
the cable and devices are actually laid or set up, the network
can be plotted on GIS as a permanent record of the network.
This record not only shows the telecommunications network
on a map but is also vital for operation and maintenance of
the network.
(iii) Integration of the project management software with
GIS enables creation of GIS based dashboards where project
progress can be seen on maps. For projects with geographical
spread such as a railway network, track laying progress can
be seen on an intuitive map based dashboard. Progress in
different geographic boundaries such as states, districts etc.
can be shown with color-coded maps.
(iv) There should be cross-verifiable data to support the
correctness of project progress data entered by users.
Fig. 1.
Overall architecture of the system
(v) Data entry of project progress must be easy so that all
project implementation personnel can easily operate the
B. PM Framework
system to provide progress data on their assigned tasks. A
mobile application for data entry is an effective tool for this.
PM Framework provides the objects, business logic and
The mobile application can transfer the data entered to the
processes to implement the various project management
server of the project management system.
tools. Some of the building blocks are as follows:
(vi) Automatic data capture should be possible so as to
Parameter: This is the basic object from which other
reduce data entry errors and discretion of the implementation
objects are constructed. A parameter has a name, type and
personnel. For projects with routes and sites of equipment
type of data such as String, Float etc.
installation, the route and locations can be automatically
Location: It represents a geographical location. It is part
captured with mobile application using geographic
of a tree of locations. Tree representation for locations makes
positioning systems such as the Global Positioning System
it possible to define various hierarchical levels that locations
(GPS). Route lengths can be automatically computed from
may have. Names can be configured for each level in the
the captured data.
(vii) Open source frameworks can make the entire
Input: Input is any material, equipment, labour etc. that
system cost effective and maintain robustness and scalability
may be required to carry out an activity of the project. It has
of the system at the same time. This will be of special interest
to governments and organizations of developing countries.
978-1-7281-3333-1/19/$31.00 ©2019 IEEE
19-20 August 2019, Jakarta & Bali, Indonesia
2019 International Conference on Information Management and Technology (ICIMTech)
a name, type, unit of measurement and any codes of the input.
It has a one-to-one correspondence with Parameter.
Output: Output is any result that may be produced by an
activity of the project. It has a name, unit of measurement and
a one-to-one correspondence with Parameter.
Activity: It represents a unique activity required to carry
out a project. It may have several inputs that correspond to
material, equipment or labour, outputs that correspond to the
results produced, parameters that describe the various
features of the activity and characteristics that define its
behaviour. This definition allows any type of activity to be
configured into the PM framework. Figure 2 shows the design
of an activity.
Fig. 2.
Design of an Activity
GIS Path: It represents route on a GIS map. It contains a
pointer to the Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file
containing the route description and the length of the routes
in the KML file.
Updates: Various update classes are defined pertaining
to task progress update data uploaded into the PM Engine.
There are updates for Parameters, Inputs, Outputs, Tasks,
Targets etc.
Update Audit: It represents auditor’s comments on the
task progress data uploaded by a user. The system provides
multi-level audit for comprehensive quality assurance for
project execution.
User: This is an extension of the user definition of
Django. Additionally, it has the location of the user and his
supervisor. There is a hierarchical structure of users in an
Organization: It represents an organization among the
project stakeholders. This has a hierarchical structure
representing all stakeholders.
C. Mobile Application Client
The Mobile application of the project management
system is an android based software written in Java. It uses
the local SQLite database to store PM data. It allows the user
to view all tasks assigned to him and enter progress data. It
has a dynamic screen view to display data entry screens
depending on the type of activity contained in the task. This
eliminates any dependence of the mobile application on the
type of project or activity being implemented. The application
uses the GPS service of android to record location data. The
behaviour of the application is controlled by the
characteristics of the activity. Location data for a site or a
route is captured when the concerned parameter in the
characteristics is set. The collected data is transmitted to the
PM Engine in JSON format. The application can work in
offline mode when internet connection is not available. The
data is collected and stored locally and transmitted when
internet is available. This makes the application workable in
remote areas where there is no telecommunications network.
The inter-operation of the PM Engine and mobile application
is shown in Figure 3.
Task: It represents an instance of an activity for a
location. It has a set of targets for all the defined outputs of
the activity. It is assigned to a user of the system who has to
carry out the activity. The progress made on execution of the
task is to be updated in the system by the user. A set of
documents can be attached to a task for reference by the user.
WBS: It is a Work Breakdown Structure element of a
project. A WBS element may either be linked to a task or may
be a definition header. It contains pointers to all predecessors
of the linked task.
Project: It represents a project that is to be planned,
executed and controlled. It has an agency for project
implementation and location.
Project Design: It is a template of a project. To design a
project, first a template is created. An automated process
parses the template to generate a project. This is useful when
a project may have same set of activities to be carried out at
multiple locations. Projects with hundreds of thousands of
tasks can thus be automatically created from a template.
Bill of Quantities (BoQ): It lists out the quantities of
various inputs required for a project and the prices of these
inputs. It is used for computation of financial progress of the
Fig. 3.
Operation of the PM Engine and Mobile Application
GIS Layer: It is the definition of a layer in the GIS to
which the PM Engine is connected. It contains the layer id,
D. Web Browser Client
name and GIS layer attribute-value pair.
The web browser client provides user interface for a
GIS Layer map: It links the parameter-value pair of an
number system functions. Creation of project, Gantt chart,
activity to a GIS layer. When a task progress data is uploaded
activity network diagram, Critical Path method, PERT
in the system, the parameter-value pair determines the layer
Model, Tasks view, Audit functions, system configuration,
in which the GIS data is to be plotted.
data download and dashboard are some of the important
GIS Data: It represents a point on a GIS map. It contains
functions provided through web browser client. Dashboard is
latitude, longitude, accuracy of the data and the GIS layer to
displayed on a GIS map with graphs as well as in a tabular
which it belongs.
format. Basic technologies applied for implementation of
978-1-7281-3333-1/19/$31.00 ©2019 IEEE
19-20 August 2019, Jakarta & Bali, Indonesia
2019 International Conference on Information Management and Technology (ICIMTech)
these interfaces are JavaScript and HTML. AJAX has been
used for interactive interfaces. jQuery [26], Dojo Toolkit [27]
and DataTables [28] are some of the open source JavaScript
libraries that have been used. jQuery is a cross-platform
library that provides Document Object Model (DOM), CSS
and HTML manipulation, animation and AJAX. Dojo
Toolkit is another JavaScript library for large-scale client side
web development. DataTables is a plug-in for the jQuery
library that adds advanced features to HTML tables.
E. Database
MariaDB [29] has been used for persistent storage. It is
an open source Relational database Management System
(RDBMS.) Django makes it possible to use other RDBMS
F. GIS Server
ArcGIS as well Google Maps can be used to integrate
GIS with the PM engine.
template has been created, the full project along with the
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and task interdependence
is created. In this process, work breakdown elements,
wherever indicted in the template, are replicated for all
required locations. In this replication, the interdependence of
tasks is maintained as in the template. From a template with
only a few work breakdown elements, hundreds of thousands
of actual work breakdown elements and tasks can be created
automatically. This makes it possible to create huge projects
spread over large geographic areas with hundreds of
thousands of work breakdown elements and tasks.
Upon creation of the project, all the targets for outputs in
the respective activities are set. The tasks are assigned to
concerned users who carry out the task and provide updates.
Updates can be provided in three different ways: with the
mobile application, with spreadsheet or archive upload and
through the web browser.
The first step to use the project management system is to
create all the required activities of the project. The activities
may pertain to any of the five stages of initiation, planning,
execution, control or closeout. For each activity we create the
required parameters, inputs, outputs and characteristics. This
can be done with interactive web client user interface or by
uploading spreadsheet containing the details.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 4.
Operational flow of the system
Next, a project template is configured by listing the work
breakdown structure with details of start date, end date,
optimistic, most likely and pessimistic duration, location of
the activity, the resource to whom the work is assigned, the
targets of the activity, the auditors for quality assurance, how
the work breakdown element is to be replicated and the
predecessors of the work breakdown element. All details are
either available from drop down menus or are numerical
scalar values.
Operational flow of the Mobile Application
A. Data Entry with Mobile Application
The mobile application is used to view tasks assigned to
a user, to provide update on task progress, to capture
geographic location data of sites or routes and to take pictures
of project implementation. Figure 3 shows interaction
between the PM Engine and the mobile application. Figure 5
shows how the mobile application is operated. Upon opening
a task, the data entry form is filled, coordinates of the location
are captured, pictures of the location are taken and
documents, if available, are attached. The number of images
to take and documents to…
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