Move faster and more precisely to save precious resources and gain an advantage over the competition. Lumeer helps companies of all sizes to be more connected, productive and innovative.
Kick off your next project with the best template and freely modify it as your team and company grow. There are templates for: project tracker, work tracker, issue tracker, recruiting, sales CRM, marketing, people management, budget planning, inventory tracking, supply chain management, product roadmap and launch and more.
Companies use Lumeer to keep one version of truth on every project, collaborate real-time with others, track progress, automate processes, and provide instant executive reports.
It takes ages to get a situational awareness based on tabular data. Switch your view and organize events in a calendar, plan tasks in timelines, track addresses on a map, drag point in a chart, create a pivot table report…
Lumeer enables you to manage all your tables in a single app. Instead of copy/pasting, you can connect your tables. Stop wasting time on searching for data and collaborate with colleagues on the same thing at the same time.
This is a frequently asked question as the very close role names cause confusion. These two roles are most typical in software companies, however, they can be present at any company creating products (be it a physical product, or a service). In smaller companies, these roles can even be represented by a single person.
First, let’s see what a product and a project are. A product is any good, service, or idea that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need. In general, a product is defined as a thing produced by labor or effort or the result of an act or a process.
The word process leads us to the definition of a project. A project is defined as a temporary endeavour with a beginning and an end and it must be used to create a unique product, service or result.
As you can see, the project is a path you walk on and the product is the target destination. This is reflected in both of the roles of a Project and a Product Manager.
Product Managers are described as the owners of their products. In a nutshell, a Product Manager is responsible for shaping the product (product design); for bringing in the ideas and wishes of the market, customers, prospects, internal solution architects or sales representatives etc. Despite the word manager in the role name, the product manager does not manage anyone.
A Project Manager is responsible for driving the project, typically a product launch. The Project Manager collects information from all stakeholders (including the Product Manager), facilitates communication, prioritizes product features in an alignment with the schedule so that the deadlines are met and the product has expected quality and abilities.
From the time point of view, a product is something that has a much longer lifespan than a project. A project can be seen as a release of a certain version of a product (a software application, a car make, a sight seeing tour). The product then gets improved over time and such improvements can be lead as another projects. Like adding features to a software, releasing a face-lifted version of a car, adding some more demanded sights to the tour. Over the life of the product, it is improved via many projects.
An important part of the Project Manager’s role are so called triages. Because in the project management, things do not go always well and as planned and or expected. There are regular triage meetings that deal with the unexpected. Their origin is in software development where these meetings review existing bugs or defects. Those meetings have been widely adopted even outside of software development and are used to update plans, priorities, expectations or anything that was set. The most important thing is that all stakeholders are involved in the communication and play an equal role.
For each of the unexpected situations, there are typically the following steps:
- Identification of an issue/problem/challenge to solve,
- suggested solutions,
- constructive discussion,
- agreement among all stakeholders on the next actions/steps to take.
In Lumeer, we have several templates to fulfil the needs of both the Product and the Project Managers as well as the triages. Try them for free now:
We are very excited to announce that pivot tables arrived at Lumeer!
“A pivot table is a table of statistics that summarizes the data of a more extensive table. This summary might include sums, averages, or other statistics”, reads Wikipedia.
This is exactly what it does in Lumeer. However, the brilliant thing is that you are able to configure a complex Pivot table on a few clicks of a mouse button. Let’s walk through a practical example.
Let’s start with our Work Tracker project template. There are actually two tables in the project.
The tables track Projects a company works on, and company Employees. The employees then log how much time and when they spent on a project. So the two tables are connected and the extra data like amount of time and date are stored on the connection between the two tables.
You might be asking a question – why the information about time and date cannot be stored in any of the existing tables? Just imagine that we had the amount of hours stored in the Employees table. Then every employee can have only a single record and can actually work only on a single project once in their lifespan. The similar thing applies to the Projects table. So this is why we need to put the information about time and date in between to be able to connect Projects and Employees many times with different dates and hours reported.
Now we would like to see how many hours employees worked on specific projects. So we switch the perspective to Pivot.
Pivot need a little configuration – those few clicks of a mouse button.
- First, we want to see the employee names in rows.
- The project names are in columns.
- The aggregated values we want to see in the individual cells are hours spent on projects.
This is all it takes to create a nice pivot table.
Now, we can extend it a bit. For example we would like to see how many hours employees worked on those projects in any given month.
- We add the date in the columns.
- We do not want to see every single day, we rather want to see them aggregated by months.
- We first want to see the months and then projects, so we change the order by a drag of a mouse.
- We do not need summary of individual projects anymore, so we switch them off.
The last step will be adding costs per project next to the hours. We track hour rate for every employee, so we can easily use that information.
- We just add the costs attribute and this is it.
Now we can save and share our view.
We hope that you have enjoyed the simplicity with which you can create Pivot Tables in Lumeer. Now it is your turn to
The Death of Supply Chain Management
The supply chain is the heart of a company’s operations. To make the best decisions, managers need access to real-time data about their supply chain, but the limitations of legacy technologies can thwart the goal of end-to-end transparency. However, those days may soon be behind us. New digital technologies are disrupting traditional ways of working. Within 5-10 years, the supply chain function may be obsolete, replaced by a smoothly running, self-regulating utility that optimally manages end-to-end work flows and requires very little human intervention. [HBR]
Cognitive Supply Chain
Cognitive supply chains that are able to predict and adapt in times of uncertainty are set to revolutionise trade, and will be a key competitive advantage in the coming years.
As complex algorithms, machine-learning and artificial intelligence become mainstream, it seems inevitable that they’ll disrupt global supply chains. Companies need distribution and inventory management systems that are self-learning, predictive, adaptive and intelligent; so-called cognitive supply chains.
The typical supply chain in 2018 accessed 50 times more data than just five years earlier. There’s an increasing focus on supply chains to reduce costs. Unfortunately, less than a quarter of this data is being analysed in real time. However, the concept that everyone calls for is a “digital control tower”. [Raconteur]
Digital Control Tower
A key concept that many of these companies are exploring is the “digital control tower” — a virtual decision center that provides real-time, end-to-end visibility into global supply chains. For a small number of leading retail companies’ control towers have become the nerve center of their operations.
Visual alerts warn of inventory shortfalls or process bottlenecks before they happen, so that teams on the front line can quickly correct the course before potential problems become actual ones. Real-time data, unquestioned accuracy, relentless customer focus, process excellence, and analytical leadership underline the control tower operations of these retail operations. [HBR]
The outcome can be better, personalised, customer service with lower inventories and a better utilisation of factory hours. Just-in-time supply chains prevalent in automotive, food and healthcare, which look to cut costs by reducing the materials a company holds in stock, are eyeing up these innovative solutions.
A cognitive supply chain can help companies mitigate risks, improve insights and performance, as well increase transparency. Having one is crucial as the global trade wars wage on.
Companies can no longer use a historical statistical approach for demand streams to make sense of what the future will look like. Cognitive supply chains are able to sense in real time, understand implications and trade-offs. [Raconteur]
One Step at a Time
Building cognition into supply chains and inventory management systems doesn’t have to be a multi-million-pound.
“Companies should start with simple use cases as part of an overall roadmap. Starting with cost-savings targeting near-term return on investment to prove that its value can help spark change. The emergence of a new role, the supply chain architect, can also help drive change,” says Kevin Doran, managing director at Accenture Strategy. [Raconteur]
Emerging Job Roles
The trend is clear: Technology is replacing people in supply chain management — and doing a better job. So what’s left for supply chain professionals? In the short term, supply chain executives will need to shift their focus from managing people doing mostly repetitive and transactional tasks, to designing and managing information and material flows with a limited set of highly specialized workers. In the near term, supply chain analysts who can analyze data, structure and validate data sets, use digital tools and algorithms, and forecast effectively will be in high demand. Looking further out, a handful of specialists will be needed to design a technology-driven supply chain engine that seamlessly supports the ever-changing strategy, requirements, and priorities of the business. [HBR]
Clearly, the death of supply chain management as we know it is on the horizon. The managers and companies working to update their skills and processes today are the ones who will come out on top.
You can take the first step even today with taking a firm grip of your data with Lumeer Supply Chain Management template for free.