Project Management Expertise Series for ConnectWise Users
The first post in this series addressed overcoming the challenges of resource management. An essential data point when assigning people to projects, though, is knowing how long a complicated project, such as a cybersecurity projection, cloud migration, or compliance effort, will take – from start to finish.
Knowing that involves tallying up a complex set of tasks, dependencies between tasks, and task durations. It can take a ton of guesswork and complex math to account for all tasks and data, which is why many project management experts have turned to the Critical Path Method (CPM), which is a resource-utilization algorithm that determines the shortest amount of time to finish a project based on the longest set of dependent activities. The algorithm is calculated based on a few key elements:
A complete list of tasks included in the project
The time or duration required to complete the task
The dependencies between each task
And the key milestones or deliverables
CPM, although a step in the right direction, still heavily relies on manual calculations and guesswork. The Perfect Project tool – with its critical path automation engine – now integrated into ConnectWise – can simplify this process so anyone can do it and replace your rough estimates with mathematical certainty.
Driving accuracy with an AI copilot
How much more accurate and on time would your project plans be with this tool at your disposal?
Let’s imagine you are a racecar driver at the starting line. You estimate you can complete the race in an hour based on how fast you can drive and the length of the route. You can’t calculate for the variables: Low tire pressure, a fog that limits your vision, or a slowdown that occurs when two drivers collide. So, you add a buffer to your estimate and hope for the best.
This is essentially what most people do when they build a project without a critical path, using Gantt charts.
Now let’s put the imaginary driver version of Perfect Project in the passenger seat, riding shotgun, doing math, and acting as navigator.
A few miles into the race, there is a slowdown. Alone, the driver would not know about it until it was imminent and then would swerve to avoid it. This slowdown adds a minute to the completion time.
Fortunately, the Perfect Project navigator sees what’s coming well in advance and warns the driver: “There’s a slowdown in 3.2 miles. To avoid it, move to the left in one mile, jump two lanes to the right at 2.2 miles, then increase your speed by 10 MPH in the three-mile straightaway.” The driver easily wins the race, at just under one hour, without a dangerous, last-mile, pedal-to-the-metal effort.
An easy to assemble critical path
This degree of certainty is what the integration between Perfect Project and ConnectWise brings to your projects. Using prebuilt templates, Perfect Project makes it easy to build a critical path that is based, not on intuition and estimates, but on mathematical certainty. It can look ahead, see obstructions, and watch for missed deadlines, to counsel you on how to hit your important dates as the project unfolds.
Plus, Perfect Project provides bi-directional ConnectWise integration with automatic data synchronization, so you don’t have set up a separate project management tool to get here.
Here's how it works:
The perfect integration
Perfect Project pulls your project’s name, status, description, customer information, start date, due date, owner, phases, tickets, and tasks from ConnectWise into Perfect Project. You anchor the non-negotiable dates – your finish line. You also put the tasks in order, set up dependencies between them, and add in any lag times – such as a wait for equipment or data – that will slow things down.
Example project in ConnectWise Manage
Example project in Perfect Project using integration
While you solve real-life problems and work with your team, Perfect Project monitors the critical path 24 hours a day, always looking for that slowdown or missed task, warning everyone involved when a milestone is imminent, alerting people to the impact of missed deadlines, and offering solutions for unblocking the roadways ahead.
If your project is complicated – which, of course it is – constantly calculating this minutia is also complicated. Especially since an in-progress project is also always in flux. People miss deadlines. Deliveries are delayed. Clients drop the ball. It is nearly impossible for a project manager to keep track of all the variables in a large and complicated project. That’s what Perfect Project is here for.
Keeping the critical path clear
Every time something changes, Perfect Project recalculates everything on the critical path. It tells you what’s in the way so you can keep the path clear. It calculates what you need to do to hit that non-negotiable anchor date. When a milestone is imminent, it alerts you, saying: “To hit this milestone, this task needs to be completed today.” And, if that doesn’t happen: “To hit this milestone, you have four days instead of the five you allocated to complete this task.”
Download this introductory guide for implementing Critical Path Methodology in your project plans:
Connect Perfect Project to ConnectWise and find out what it feels like to drive your project with the mathematical certainty that comes with having an AI navigator riding shotgun. You are still in control – you set the anchor dates and cue in the coordinates. But the AI constantly calculates the impact of the variables so you can adjust intelligently as you drive your project forward and deliver your project on time, on budget, and without a burnout-inducing push when your deadline approaches.
See how Perfect Project can help you build and monitor an accurate critical path, and for ConnectWise users learn how critical path driven project management maps directly into ConnectWise Manage in this integration video.
Read the rest of the Project Management Expertise Series for ConnectWise Users: