Case Study: Prommpt, Advanced Project Management Tool
Prommpt is a beautifully stylish iOS app created by MobiDev for Angermeier & Partner. It's a personal tool for project management that allows to monitor health of a project, which is divided into various aspects that are assessed separately. It isn't industry-specific, isn't bulky (just 2 MB), and it's designed specifically for iPads running iOS 7.0 or later.
The app originated as a free and useful side product for all project managers that deal with large-scale, continuous projects (for example, those in the construction industry, which is the core business of the Client). Such a product has to be designed specifically for the devices that are generally used by the target audience. It has to occupy little space and give value and relevance in return. It has to be pleasant to the eye and easy in use. Prommpt is a product that has it all.
All the activities that can be tackled with the help of Prommpt used to be performed with the help of 'traditional' overlong and inconvenient spreadsheets. Now it's easy as ever, and project managers can assess the project aspects themselves and see which areas require more attention and effort. These aspects (e.g. project scope, cost, procurement) get reassessed over time, and users track the statistics. The author of the app is a project manager – who would know the needs of end users better?
Prommpt's first releases were essentially free; as it grew features (the current version is 3.0), upfront fee was chosen as the simplest way of monetization.
Our main task was creating an Apple-style app: simple, gorgeously designed, smoothly animated, easy in use, and at the same time powerful. There was no market research regarding similar products; of course there are planning tools on the market, yet Prommpt focused on long-term monitoring.
- • Ability to create and manage multiple projects. There is also a sample project provided to get acquainted with the app.
- • Cost management module: the user plans the budget, sets estimated costs, enters monthly expenses, and tracks the time and cost performance over time. Earned value and actual cost can be analyzed and compared.
- • Aspects of a project are as follows: scope, time, cost, quality, procurement, communication, risk, human resources, project management, and general issues. Each one is divided into even smaller detailed parts that have descriptions, and are assessed separately.
- • The user assesses health percentage for each aspect, and the outcome is instantly visualized. Costs & budget information can be visualized with a chart as well. The app allows to monitor health during any period of time, plan actions and take notice of risks.
- • Reminders for checking/reassessing the plan.
- • Current project data (chart, dates, and comments) can be converted to a PDF file and sent via email.
- • Objective-C / iOS
- • MagicalRecord plugin
- • EFCircularSlider plugin
There is no backend in this app – all calculations are performed on the client side.
RESULTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
The first version of Prommpt took about two months of seamless development, being quite easy and predictable. It had a lot of opportunities for further development: for example, there was a suggestion of creating web integration and adding multiple users, as opposed to the 'personal' nature of the first version. There were even thoughts of making a whole suite of project management tools, but the effort was finally concentrated on making Prommpt an even more advanced tool.
We had a real exercise in precision during a major functional update, adding new features of building charts and complex formulas of calculations for project health and budget. But however complex Prommpt was getting, it still remained perfectly easy for the end user. It's highly useful now and has potential to grow further features and popularity.
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