Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2013

Portal Options for Microsoft Grants Manager

Microsoft Grants Manager provides a comprehensive solution for grantor organizations to track the full lifecycle of a grant.  Most grantees publish grant opportunities on a website and accept online grant applications. The website or portal may be used to report application status, payment requests, and post-award reporting.  Because you cannot control which browser is used by grant applicants, it is desirable to choose tools which are browser neutral, and avoid requiring software downloads.

In a Grants Manager implementation, you have several options for a public facing portal:

1. The most common scenario is to add pages to your existing website, using your content management system such as SharePoint.  These pages connect to Dynamics CRM with web services.   The web page developer codes in the integration between the web pages and the Dynamics CRM used by Grants Manager.

2.  If you need to allow for offline users, you could accept applications using document formats such as Word, E…

Constraints are Killers for IT Projects

After working on information technology projects for many years, I'm here to declare what may be obvious -- it's not the technology that's the problem, it's the constraints.

Software and hardware technology keeps improving, and offers many innovations that can dramatically change how government and business work.  But the constraints remain intractable.

Project management literature is rich in discussions on working with constraints, such as the tradeoffs between schedule, cost, and scope.  The implicit assumption is that all the parties working on a project are rational players and motivated to achieve the stated project goal.  I have experienced other constraints that are not usually discussed and which are even more hazardous to the health of a project:

1. Communications constraints.  A great way to make a project fail is to isolate the project team from stakeholders and prevent communication with people who are most knowledgeable about system requirements.

2. Pol…