NameProject Tracking and Reporting Database
Access Database Developed for Project Tracking and Reporting
Our client is a multi-national provider of technology products and services for businesses, governments and educational establishments. They approached Xlteq to improve and unify their project tracking and reporting. The existing system used a number of Excel spreadsheets.
The scope of their requirements included:
- New project creation tool
- Project budget calculation functionality
- Project tracking functionality, including actions, risks and comments logging
- Timesheet and work forecast tools
- Project reporting suite
- Management summary reporting
The Solution - Access Database
The first stage was for our Access Developers to meet with the client and fully scope the requirement for the new database. After our initial consultation we proposed a solution based around storing the data in an SQL database and designing an Access frontend for the users to manipulate the data in the database. Reporting would be displayed in Excel by transferring data from SQL into Excel with calculations instructed via the Access Database frontend. This method was implemented due to the complexity of the reporting.
A single form was built for project creation and maintenance. To prevent user data entry error we suggested utilizing dropdown boxes. All dropdown boxes are updatable to allow new options to be added to the list, giving the user more control over their data and being less dependent on external support.
Additional functionality was built into the form to facilitate new requirements. This enabled users to perform their roles efficiently in the business and ensured a cleaner interface, grouped data in a logical manner and did not overload the user with too much information at once.
Via this screen a user can see the available projects and the services available for the project. Additional functionality included adding and removing services as required, filter services and update the current progress on the service provided. Over 200 services are available to be selected from the list and these can be selected and removed using a simple selection screen.
An additional facility to view project budgets was built allowing users to either view or update the budgets depending on the user access. This screen required complex calculations to be performed as different services had different budget values depending on the service level required. Furthermore, budgets could be adjusted automatically by the amount and type of service. The ability to manually adjust specific parts of the budget was also created.
A user can record other information such as Risks, Actions, Lessons Learnt and Contact details as necessary and these are used later in company reports.
Timesheet and forecast data entry functions were built, removing the need to manually calculate daily and weekly flows against each project. The interface allows the user to select employee timesheets created in Excel and then import them into the database automatically (after an automatic data validation routine is performed). This results in a considerable saving of time for the company as this is no longer required to be done manually for the dozens of employees working on the hundreds of projects.
Timesheet forecasting functionality was also created. This allowed employees to load expected working days into the database and when combined with the actual imported days provide the company an overall picture of project resource utilisation. In turn this facilitated estimated budget costs and over-runs which are then reported on.
Customer reports of the projects were built. Users are given options which allow the customisation of the reports and can tailor the report for the customer. Customer reports were created as .PDF files allowing a convenient format for the customer to use.
Internal reporting was also built including a weekly summary report used to track project progress at a high level. This dashboard provides a quick “at a glance” status of the running projects. Reports were also built to examine projects at a more granular level. These reports are also customisable, allowing reporting for different time periods, project statuses and other conditions. The reports for specific projects are saved in the relevant project folders for easy access.
All reports are built using report templates, which gives the user some control over how the report can end up.
Management summary reporting was created providing a high-level overview on current project statuses. This gathers data from the hundreds of projects and 1000’s of created packages as well as combining employee notes, activities and other data. All the reports are automatically built and formatted.
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