Recent Improvements

by Lee Porter 6. July 2014 15:00

After a busy period of development we have made live the changes which are primarily there to make the software easier to use.  An exciting new addition is the new document/file management system which lays across the whole site and supports other areas.

 

New Modules

Document/file management system Read More

 

General

Newly added employees can now be added with their work pattern, working year calendar and mandatory leave calendar.

Edit links have been added to People, Groups and Areas making it quicker to reach the edit page

A Notes area is now available to add your own messages and reminders about each employee in People > Person

A development plans page is now available in the footer of the site which gives details of currently available modules and future ones

Better controls have been added to help the system decide where best to go from one page to another

The People page has moved the licence information to one side and included the employees first name

The layout of some fields have been adjusted to provide a better user experience

The Calendars now include a list of the employees who are using them and allow for an employee to be moved from one to another, in a similar way to the work patterns

Welcome emails can now be sent to all site roles including Client Admins from the Resend welcome email link in their People > Person > Edit page

Messages can now be presented from the development team via the login page

Navigation though the site has been improved

'Specific to' has been removed from the work pattern > Add page


Sickness

The sickness interview now starts in a state where it can be closed immediately on completion rather than having to start the interview first

Expected return to work dates highlight red in the dashboard when they fall in the past.  This date should be either updated or the actual return to work date should be added (if the employee has returned)

 

Leave

Added a totaliser form to the leave year page for an employee which allows you to specify exactly how much you want the total entitlement to be and the software works out what the adjustment should be.  This will be particularly useful when rounding up or down for a new starter.

Mandatory leave that is zero days due to the employee not working on that day is now not shown in their leave list

Added a button to trigger the recalculation of mandatory leave when a new date has been added to an existing year

Hours and days are better represented across the system

The Leave Year page includes the average working day information to help with certain adjustments

Leave Years are created in one step - no need to refresh the page

The urgent warning when recreating a leave year has been removed


ToDos

Tasks have been styled to allow better presentation of the information


Training

Criminal Records Bureau checks (CRB) have been replaced with the new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) although CRBs can still be recorded for the sake of historical records

Records for the Training Courses Attended (TCA) are styled to allow better presentation of the information

 

HR Lite/Equality and Diversity

Sex and date of birth can now be completed by the employee themselves at My Details > Work

Happy New Year!

by Lee Porter 2. January 2014 10:49

Happy New Year!  We hope you have a successful and prosperous 2014. 

Business software approach: is yours right for you?

by Lee Porter 28. May 2013 12:33
The Software development approach is often overlooked but it is the main reason why your business software investment fails to deliver its potential.

The approach is how the designers of your chosen software product choose to bring their style of software controls to your business while managing ease of use, delivery costs and all the time fulfil their particular remit.  It's a complex maze to navigate but in general it is approached in a number of different ways:

Blank page approach

This approach doesn't limit your input or guide your answers and it doesn't apply any controls or rules on your records. It is a blank book with almost limitless applications although usually sold under one guise such as HR.  It sounds great but in reality its next to useless.

It doesn't help your business improve its process management, deliver better guidance to your employees or help you apply corporate or legislative governance.  It is however a cheap and simple way to deliver a business software solution with minimal to no investment from knowledgeable professionals in the field or experienced developers favouring college graduates instead.

The benefits are that costs are usually low or absorbed in to a separate paid services which is not surprising considering the limited success this software will actually have.  It’s also true that the software will be easier to use in the same way standing still is easier to do than driving a car.

You will find that this type of software has considerably more effort applied to its appearance for 2 reasons.  Firstly its developers are youthful, inexperienced, simplistic in thought and secondly they need to mask the lack of detail below - knowing that some clients will be sold on simple design features alone.

The re-write approach

It is no surprise that the world in which we live is a complex and convoluted one.  No one person is the same and that goes for the company’s in which we work too.  It is especially the case as layer upon layer of influence from one employee to another twists and turns the internal processes and new government guidance adds more complications and yet we expect our business software to be a quick to setup, easy to administer, thorough in its ability to manage any one business - especially yours.  Unfortunately easy and flexible are conflicting pressures on software.

Some software developers approach these pressures by making all areas of their software managed by the same, all encompassing, overly simplified process.  This rewritten process can then take events that can just as well record a disciplinary or complete an appraisal as they can register an asset or record training.

Obviously this limits the development required but also makes the software appear simpler to use.

This restricts future development capacity as a development requirement for training has to be approached with all business areas in mind.  In most cases a specific development in one area will not have a suitable place in another.

The CompanyControls approach

We write our business software to meet the needs of each business area, in a way that is not only independent of other areas but that fully and unquestionably meets the needs of that specific area and that area alone.  Our Training module, for instance, provides specific and key functionality to our clients that is focused on the delivery of training within their business.  While a company can simply record what training all employees have they could also make extensive use of all levels of this module if required to do so.  

This approach allows us to meet the very specific needs of your business, providing key business improvement tools across your company regardless of its size and we are able to add client requested features to further enhance our already powerful and useful business software.

In short while some business software expects your business to come to them, we come to you.  We build software to meet your specific needs while focusing the software specifically on the business area in question.

We do this with security and reliability as our main priority while ensuring that our software is ultra competitive in the market place.  Additionally we offer our software in a modular format so you can have and only pay for exactly what you need.

Get your 3 month trial of CompanyControls for up to 100 staff so you can see for yourself.  Simply start your CompanyControls site by completing the form at https://companycontrols.pro/client_new and I look forward to showing you how it really should be done.

Monday 25th february 2013 Downtime

by Lee Porter 26. February 2013 13:19

We are very sorry about the downtime you experienced yesterday.  We host our servers at CWCS datacenters and they had a significant network issue around midday that caused the problems we experienced.  None of our servers had problems other than they could not reach the internet.

Please accept my apologies but these things do happen from time to time and are difficult to predict.  It is important to note that we have had 4 years of uninterrupted up time before yesterdays issues which is impressive and largely thanks to CWCS and their consummate engineers.

I have included a Root Cause Analysis report from CWCS for your information.

RCAReport25022013.pdf (246.95 kb)

Happy new year!!

by Lee Porter 4. January 2010 15:59
Wishing all our clients and happy and prosperous 2010.

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General

Antiquated Business Processes to Powerful Online Systems

by Lee Porter 4. June 2009 16:44

We understand that complicated, fallible processes evolve as business models develop and flourish.  This often puts unnecessary pressure on employees and management alike.

The most common complications stems from the use of spreadsheets to record and report on your business activities across many areas by many individuals.  While these are relatively simple to setup they quickly get overtly complex (with external relationships to other spreadsheets and ever more complicated calculations) and can not check the information being inputted for accuracy and integrity.

This is the point at which we can apply our considerable wealth of experience to resolve the problem. We will build and implement smart online data capture and reporting systems to replace inadequate and antiquated processes.  Data input will be validated; dates can be checked for inconsistencies, values can be approved, changes can be properly authorised. The resultant good data can be formatted into any preferred type such as PDF, XLS or XML etc and drawn off as required or automatically as a predefined snapshot.

Your procedures will be unique but our experience will put us in the best position possible to assist you, as we have with hundreds of other organisations. To discuss your particular needs please contact Nick Lovelock on 0844 736 1820.

Who am I and what do I do?

by Lee Porter 2. June 2009 16:18
Lee Porter

I'm Lee Porter.  I'm involved in raising the awareness of Programme Office Toolkit (POTv3) to the wider world, particularly to larger corporations and dedicated PMOs.  POT has been in development since 1993 in one form or another but has reach a threshold that deserves a larger audience.  It's power and versatility as an Online Project Management solution makes it a sensible alternative to the current plethora of solutions.

My role at IPS is to improve your understanding of IPS and its software. I'll be maintaining this blog (with the help of Nick Lovelock) and various other social and business networks.  I'll also be looking at ways we can create and maintain a publicly available demo site for POT that clearly shows its best of breed status.  Other than that, there will be plenty of good training videos and guides coming your way and rather a lot more besides. 

If that wasn't enough we are at the crest of a new product launch which is set to be very interesting indeed.  Our newest online solution is intended for small to medium sized companies looking for a software solution to help manage all aspects of their business from Project management to expenses, from absence management to intranets, from document management to Employee reviews. The first release is coming soon and you'll read about it here first.  Subsequent releases will include additional modules and the modules will be inter-dependent (useful, for example, when submitting expenses - they can be filed in the document management system automatically.)

If you would like to discuss any of the above, you can always call me on +44 (0)844 736 1820.

Integrated Project Systems Blog

by Nick 7. May 2009 10:45
Nick Lovelock

Hello, I'm Nick Lovelock. I'm Managing Director at IPS Ltd.

It has been decided for me that I should write an occasional blog about topical issues related to Project Management, the challenges faced by Project teams (with some solutions!) and about whatever else springs to mind. I hope to present an interesting (sometimes controversial) point of view.

I'll try to answer any questions in an honest and open manner, and I encourage you to post frank comments and to engage in polite debate.

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