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Frequently Asked Questions

Value

 

AMI is the first ‘Strategic Project Intelligence’ SaaS solution that combines human and project data into a real-world status and risk identification engine. AMI enhances project success by properly gauging and predicting potential pitfalls to better ensure successful outcomes 

Strategic Project Intelligence is the process of incorporating the information organizations require to maximize project success through the automation of management information discovery.

Management Insight refers to information available pertaining to events / things that have already occurred. “Advanced” refers to the capability for the AMI solution to be your “heads up display” for your projects “advanced” warning of trouble so that being surprised can become a thing of the past.  

AMI helps you to dramatically increase your chance for project success. AMI’s patented approach benefits your organization by providing consistent processes, improved communications, enhanced oversight, and reduced spin for all project participants. Clients report savings of more than 20% from their project budgets. It is not unusual to realize savings like this in the first year of operation.  

AMI is primarily based on the cycle of analysis, visibility, review, and communication that has been well documented with best of breed practices such as Six Sigma, Total Quality Analysis, The Learning Organization, Visibility-Control-and Optimization, Management by Walking Around, Total Team Communications, Team Alignment, Project and Program Office Best Practices, as well as the best documented software development practices of the past decade.  

AMI is not a PPM tool nor a traditional PM tool. AMI is a Strategic Project Intelligence solution that performs patented functions not available in other project management tool (like Microsoft Project or any other basic scheduling system).   

If a traditional PPM application functions as a rear-view mirror as to what has already occurred, AMI is the head’s up display into the future performance of your projects. And, AMI provides a complimentary PPM module thus providing an even stronger value.

AMI is implemented with a very large repository of best practices that is configured for many specific development environments. It contains thousands of consultant level questions, as well as, evaluative and grading systems. AMI contains dozens of formal well documented and recognized quality assurance and review processes. Additionally, AMI is easily configurable to add any specialized or desired evaluation system. Typically, within a month, AMI can be configured for any project environment. As powerful as AMI is, it has an amazingly comprehensible knowledge repository and can be configured and tuned to best fit any customer.  

AMI is a Strategic Project Intelligence solution enabling organizations to manage aspects of projects not addressed by traditional PPM or PM tools. As such, Clarity or other PPM project management type tools do not compete with AMI. AMI’s concentration is on: Control, Communications and Visibility. It provides consistent QA Oversight of every project. In addition, AMI value is further increased in that it provides a baseline PPM module at no additional investment for clients not already using a PPM application.  

CAI’s desire for absolute projects success was the initial driver for creating this innovative and unique solution. CAI cannot afford to fail while working on behalf of customers.  Once created, CAI saw tremendous benefit and set out to create a solution for customer use.  

AMI is available as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution and is available in one, two- or three-year terms. The product is available in one of two methods:  

  1. Multi-Project Pricing (MPP): This allows the clients to purchase usage based upon the number of projects the customer wants to manage (up to 25, up to 50, up to 100, up to 200), or  
  2. Enterprise Critical Pricing (ECP): This option is for those clients that have a significant project with the following attributes:  
    • The project's total investment over two-years is 2% or greater than the client's annual revenue,  
    • The project will have participants involved from three or more BU's in the company and/or outside entities,  
    • The project to be supported will be expected to be rolled out over a minimum of a 12-month period and not to exceed 24-months.  

For more details contact CAI.  

AMI is available as a paid for Proof of Concept for up to 90-days with a 1 to 3 year commitment.  Further, our Virtual Project Office service allows your organization to dramatically boost project oversight capabilities without the need to increase staffing. Our team of PMO experts provides support and guidance to help amplify the capabilities and bandwidth of your current team. The Virtual Project Office service will be provided during this trial period and can be bundled into your ongoing service as required.   

The AMI solution is not a survey tool. Survey tools don’t come close to AMI’s patented assessment functionality and resulting foresight. AMI is an enterprise software solution including sophisticated analytics, database engine, enhanced security, and best practices that are not found in survey tools. Basic Survey Monkey-like tools are not even in the same comparative space as AMI.   

AMI has an API facility that manages the transfer of data between our product, Advanced Management Insight (AMI), and third-party products. This transfer of data occurs during the onboarding process for AMI clients (for example: populating the organization structure and the people), and during the regular AMI use by our clients (for example: when a project is created in the third party tool a project record is passed to the AMI system and a project is instantiated, or when the AMI system is performing weekly updates it reaches out to the finance and scheduling system for the latest data for the week).

Functionality

 

As with status reports and even verbal updates, a culture of trust and assignment driven results is a best practice. Assessments cycle through a series of related questions to ensure respondents are not asked the identical question each time. The reflexive engine ensures the next set of questions asked each person is specifically designed for them based upon their previous answers. If a person were to not answer truthfully, and because AMI is asking questions across an entire team, a person whose responses are not aligned will stand out.  

The Assessment Authoring tool allows our clients to easily configure the Assessments to meet the needs of any project. Modifications, additions and deletions of any questions within an Assessment can be made quickly and easily with minimal training and without programming knowledge.  As an alternative, you can engage our professional services team to perform these tasks for you.   

Dashboards and reports are setup based upon the security access level granted for each person. AMI provides many filter selections that a user may select to meet their needs. Selections are retained for each user to provide a unique tailored experience for each user Additionally, users can be given the ability to establish a safe space or “sandbox” where they can create their own dashboards that are their own reports.  These will not affect the governance of data and they can be shared among the user community that has appropriate secure access. 

It may be as little as 5-minutes but may be up to 15 minutes. That all depends on the person’s role, the stage of the project, and what is the project’s status. It also varies based upon the client specified configuration and the level of detail that the customer requires.  

AMI can be configured so that the assessments automatically populate with the prior period’s answers. Users are still required to take the assessment but can more quickly navigate through the assessment updating only responses that have changed.   

First, this system is a proactive, actively engaged project review and reporting system rather than a “cost analysis and past performance system.” AMI will tell you what is happening systemically within the project and what is in front of the project, i.e., risk analysis, future project time-line assessments, and whether the project is structurally sound or if it is in danger of drifting off course. No PPM tool can perform that function. AMI is meant to tell you what could happen in the future, not what happened last month. AMI is effectively a full-time consultant monitoring your projects and providing 360 degree and best practice reporting and communications. Additionally, the cost of Portfolio Management systems on average is in the $500,000+ range and the implementation costs average more than $300,000, as documented by independent sources such as Gartner.  

AMI is primarily implemented as a SaaS solution. AMI can optionally be implemented on your premises or deployed exclusively for you in the hosting facility of your choice. Investment is significantly different for a perpetual license model. Please speak to your CAI representative for these options.   

Yes. Our professional services team can assist with moving the solution to an on-premise configuration with the appropriate proposal for such a change   

Standard status dashboards will be immediately available for all projects. The dashboards are automatically updated with any new database changeAdditionally, a full, easy to use business intelligence “drill down and reporting system” is available for current and past projects. In addition, AMI provides a ground-breaking innovation called HyperIntelligence.   

With our HyperIntelligence capabilities, project names will be identified and a predetermined set of critical data pertaining to those projects, we be continuously aggregated. Anytime any of the customer’s project names appears anywhere within their browser (within any other browser-based application or within AMI itself), the name will be highlighted. When the user hovers their mouse over the name, a “HyperCard” will immediately find them with all the project critical data. In this way, AMI provides the answers to your questions BEFORE you ask them. HyperIntelligence is zero-click analytics to provide project information in sub-second time.  

AMI comes configured out of the box with a full range of established KPIs, dashboards and reports that adhere to industry standards. Modifications, additions and deletions of these are handled by CAI and are easily customized to meet the needs of any customer. That said, the flexibility of an analytics and business intelligence platform is built-in to the solution. Therefore, the ability to create new reports, ad-hoc queries, etc., can all be performed on AMI data by. This is a significant feature not traditionally available in other tools  

The AMI application, when offered as a service, is continually updated with the latest functionality. SaaS users will always be on the latest version of the product and receive the latest standard enhancements so long as they are a licensee of the product. If the application is installed on-premise the updates are scheduled and coordinated through our professional services team.  

Getting Started

 

AMI is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) by CAI and access is provided using the SaaS (Software as a Service) approach. Clients access AMI capabilities through the internet.  

AMI is licensed based upon number of projects they wish to manage, not by the number of system users. There are many users that are involved with the performance, management, and oversight of a project. All these individuals have some role in a project and a role in AMI. Assessment respondents, project managers, PMO staff, and executives have access to AMI’s reports, dashboards, assessments, and advanced analytics.   

Implementation

 

Yes, any client that can access the internet and communicate over HTTP, can use our web services.  

Yes, coming with the 4th quarter 2019 release of AMI you simply import your project data into AMI using excel spreadsheets or in-built connectors to popular tracking tools.  

There is no client footprint, the application is SaaS and can be used with most any browser (Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari).   

AMI can be fully deployed within a month or less. There is no hardware or software for you to install. AMI runs independently of any software system.  

CAI continually accepts request for enhancements. If CAI determines, in the best interest of the user community, that the report or enhancement is of strong value, CAI will place the enhancement on a prioritization list. When selected, those accepted enhancements will be provided to all users at no additional cost. As a separate service, CAI can also work with you to define requirements and then customize your dashboards or review other specific requests.   Additionally, there are ad-hoc and customer self service repot capabilities available through our business intelligence engine. 

Architecture

 

The base application architecture is made up by a set of common interfaces implemented as web services.  

The application is delivered as Software as a Service via Amazon Web Services.  

The application is hosted on the Amazon Web Services. Please see the “Is the implementation only SaaS?” question for additional options.  

Protecting your sensitive data both in transit and at rest is imperative for modern enterprises as attackers find increasingly innovative ways to compromise systems and steal data.  

Data in transit, or data in motion, is data actively moving from one location to another such as across the internet or through a private network. Data protection in transit is the protection of this data while it’s traveling from network to network – wherever data is moving, effective data protection measures for in transit data are critical as data is often considered less secure while in motion. AMI’s data is transmitted via HTTPS (HTTP over SSL or HTTP Secure). HTTPS is the use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) as a sublayer under regular HTTP application layering. HTTPS encrypts and decrypts user page requests as well as the pages that are returned by the Web server.  

Data at rest is data that is not actively moving from device to device or network to network such as data stored on AMIs servers. Data protection at rest aims to secure inactive data stored on our network. While data at rest is sometimes considered to be less vulnerable than data in transit, attackers often find data at rest a more valuable target than data in motion. The risk profile for data in transit or data at rest depends on the security measures that are in place to secure data in either state. AMI’s data is saved in an encrypted file system so all your data and metadata are encrypted at rest using an industry-standard AES-256 encryption algorithm. Encryption and decryption are handled automatically and transparently.  

Chrome, FireFox, Edge, Safari. Current and (Current -1) versions. Browsers not listed above are not supported. While AMI might run without major issues in older versions of supported browsers, AMI will not fix them if they do not appear in the supported browser versions.

Using Advanced Management Insight in your PMO

 

Establish project management standards and best practices is job one. The ability to monitor projects to validate compliance with standards is also required. Assuming a lead role in defining new projects and linking them into related programs to optimize benefits to the organization and, of course, monitoring the health of in-flight projects to identify risks or issues and prevent problems (such as AMI provides) is paramount.  

AMI automates the oversight and monitoring of projects to ensure the project is on-schedule, on-budget, and scope is being managed. Additionally, AMI monitors ongoing compliance with standards and customer satisfaction.  

AMI is the first digital solution combining human and operational project data into a real-world status and patented risk identification engine. AMI gathers project performance data that you are already collecting, possibly with a project management tools such as MS-Project. AMI also uses role-based assessments (collected via an E-mail interface) to gather information from stakeholders and participants. The assessment responses provide the insight required to analyze the performance data.  

AMI gathers hard data and consultant level “interview information” and performs stage-gate reviews, expert level analysis, and publishes complete dashboards and analytics for each project stage. The data is then run against AMI’s patented reflexive question engine to predetermine the next set of questions to be asked of the participant. Result are calculated against various “bodies of knowledge” (best practices) to provide standards for measurement.   

AMI is configured to collect operational data and assessment responses. AMI is also configured with baseline information for evaluating the data and calculating a KPI. Finally, AMI is configured to report KPI calculation on reports and dashboards along with color-coded risk indicators to highlight areas that may need attention.  

The most common KPIs that are related to projects track performance in the following areas: “Financial”, “Quality”, “Scope Management”, “Schedule”, “Process Compliance”, “Customer Satisfaction.” Other less common KPIs measure the “Professionalism” and “Morale” of the staff and the overall “Value” delivered by the project.  

Process compliance is monitored through role-based assessments. AMI is configured to ask process compliance questions. (e.g. The project manager is asked if there is an up-to-date project plan since this is a required artifact). AMI is configured to interpret certain responses as a risk. In order to guard against misinformation, this same question is asked of other lead roles on the project. AMI can be re-configured to reflect changes to standards or best practices. By asking role-based compliance questions, the AMI solution is also reminding project participants of the approved standards and helps to prevent deviations. AMI can be configured to require the respondent to attach the required artifact for review to ensure compliance.  

More Questions?

Ask us any question and an executive representative will get back to you with the answer.