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ProjectCoordinator: Software making European project management easier

ProjectCoordinator (www.projectcoordinator.net), a web-tool for project, document and web-content management is being adopted by prestigious R&D organisations acting as prime contractors/project managers of EC funded projects in France, UK and Sweden.,

Designtech, a Swedish SME (spin-off from Luleå Technical University) has developed a software application to address the needs of the European project. ProjectCoordinator (www.projectcoordinator.net) a web-tool for project, document and web-content management is being adopted by prestigious R&D organisations acting as prime contractors/project managers, which recognised the particular suitability of the tool to the collaboration and management needs of the European R&D project. R&D consortia are increasingly aware that the information handling challenge entailed in the European project, requires a more effective solution than "e-mail", which - victim of its own popularity- ends up being misused as the only tool for communication, document storage and version handling. Furthermore, the adoption of a tool of this nature is seen as an instrument to strenghten collaboration among the project partners by providing equal conditions of work and access to information to all the group. ProjectCoordinator provides the consortium of partners with a "ready-to-use" private and common web-based workspace, tackling the problem of their geographically dispersed location. The "architecture" of the project portal is structured around "project rooms" (e.g. for each Work Package or partners), avoiding any privacy conflict between partners or projects. Each room is equipped with a wealth of functionalities to support project, document and web-content management. , ,The set of "project management" functionalities empowers researchers and managers to better execute the project, ensuring on-time project deliverables and higher quality of work and research. All resources management issues - budgeting, planning, control and reporting- are addressed, with emphasis in the easiness of monitoring the progress of the project. Effective documentation handling in the workgrup is ensured by sharing the same documentation archive, which is customizable and aims to support collaborative writing. Collaboration is also ensured by sharing meeting calendars, and providing access to the same documentation archive and project news. , ,Project promotion, results dissemination and project publications are handled through a project Internet homepage and project Intranet (edited and maintained using the built-in web editor of the tool). The product helps when "balancing" the public and private parts of the project as well as managing the temporary participation of other stakeholders and even third-parties. For instance, the workspace is already being used to interact with the EC, helping to maintain the transparency of the project. Designtech carries out all its R&D in-house, using it's own resources and in close cooperation with users (currently approximately 3000 individuals). Along with user feedback, tool development is steered by involvement in forums dedicated to "work collaboration" and "collaboration technologies", as well as through active engagement in EC research projects.,