Project management is a big world. With the PMI’s PMBOK running at 400 pages or so, it can be challenging to keep up with methodologies. Even more challenging is keeping up the practice of closing projects well. It’s easy to sign-off on the work and to do the administrative closure stuff, but building good, usable project achives is harder. It takes time, and the value of this time is not seen in the short term.

I recently attended a conference from Laurent Bellavance, the director of Rimouski‘s economic promotion society. His role is to facilitate the projects: he puts together the local governments, specialists and investors to create innovation and prosperity in his city.  Bellavance has been in his post for about a year. One of his challenges is to get information on past projects. While the other directors who preceded him at the head of his organization can still be reached if needed, they are focussed on other goals and do not always remember the specifics of projects that have been closed for years.

There are paper archives, but those aren’t convenient for searching. It takes time, there’s not index…and what were people doing before Google?

Project historical information must not be allowed to live only in the heads of the project team

Desktop-based project management systems are not convenient for storing information. Even if you can keep the project schedule, there is little room for documentation, notes, lessons learned. And most of it lives on someone’s hard drive (and we all know how fickle these things can be). Organizations like Bellavance’s should use a collaboration tool, to keep all the information centralized. With online project management and collaboration, the data lives in a place that is accessible from anywhere, easily. It’s searchable.

With an online project management and collaboration system, you get a chance to store project archives outside the project teams memory. A few years later, you can go back to a closed project and find that contact information that got lost in the email system changeover, or you can search your issues knowledge base across projects to fix a problem with an SQL query.

When that kind of information lives in someone’s head, it can be forgotten, or the person can move on to other challenges and no longer be available. And that’s when a lot of organizations understand the value of project archives.

Well, what do you know? AceProject does just that!

One reason that people like AceProject is because no project is ever deleted. All the information that was entered in AceProject during the life of the project can be searched: documents, discussion forums, comment threads in tasks, reports, etc. There is no need to transfer all that information in a knowledge base, when you’re using AceProject, you’re building the knowledge base as you go!