Recently I came across a new project management software, by the name of WebActionHero, and managed to ask the founder Gary Karasek some questions about this new offering.
Can you introduce yourself and what is your background?
I am the founder and CEO of Via Peak Inc., which is a project management software developer. I have degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MSc. in Process Safety and Loss Prevention. I have 25 years experience working on large offshore energy projects in Canada and Russia.
How does you tool differ to other PM tools?
We have built WebActionHero from the ground up with company-wide high integrity Action Management as our core design feature. It’s in our DNA to be able to diligently manage all actions in an organization; any type of action. Many of the features that we began with at Version 1.0 and have added since then, up to release of version 4.0 in Dec 2012, reflect this inherent quality. For example, we allow clients to build form templates that reflect all their business processes that may generate actions or conditions that need to be tracked. We also allow revision control on all our actions, so if during the approval/verification workflow for a given action there is a rejection of the proposed way forward, the workflow gets restarted at the appropriate step at a new revision and the previous revision becomes part of the record.
This provides a full audit trail for each action management through WebActionHero. Another example is how we allow organizations to easily migrate their action spreadsheets into WebActionHero. WebActionHero not only migrates all their actions; it also automatically adds the appropriate approval/verification workflow to each action in the spreadsheet, thus eliminating the pain of manually creating workflows. This completely eliminates data entry errors. We have a patent pending on that process.
What made you decide to enter this market?
As a Risk and Safety Engineer I have had the pleasure of learning the hard way how difficult it is to effectively manage actions in a project environment. Actions get collated into a variety of spreadsheets in different departments, for a variety of reasons. They all get managed via these spreadsheets with a combination of sign off sheets, emails and database systems to progress the approval/verification process.
It takes a lot of effort to reach closure, and still things can get missed or closed improperly, leaving potential latent risk waiting to be discovered later, never a good thing. And as key project milestones approached there would be this surge in management demand in getting remaining actions closed and we would be in panic mode as we scrambled to address everything appropriately. It was through my own experience trying to close HAZOP actions (possibly the most onerous type of action to close as the workflow can involve vendors, regulators, design teams, clients other stakeholders) on a major project that I realized there must be a way to leverage the Cloud for this major pain.
How long can you trial for?
Trial accounts for 30 days can set up by going to our website and completing the short and simple online form.
What plans do you have (without giving too much out) for the tool in the future?
When we launched WebActionHero in Beta in Jan 2011 one of our key principles was customer feedback. We sought out a variety of large and small customer profiles with experience in design, construction or operation in several industry sectors: Energy, Shipbuilding, Infrastructure, Food Processing, Manufacturing, Fertilizers, Buildings. This customer engagement strategy, combined with our Lean Development process has allowed us to implement, on a quarterly basis, new WebActionHero features that benefit all users. We have a pipeline of features in place that originate from this process. Without giving too much away I will tell you about one upcoming feature; soon users will be able to create recurring actions and reports.
Can this tool work well for small teams?
WebActionHero can be utilized for any team size.
How is it priced?
WebActionHero is very inexpensive when compared with enterprise software providers, allowing organizations normally unable to afford enterprise quality action management to compete on an even playing feild.
Is it easy to use or do you need training?
We provide 5 hours of training for all new accounts. This training is predominantly for admin users who will have access privileges to set up the account, develop custom forms, prepare workflow templates and edit actions. Most users need just a few minutes of training to use WebActionHero.
Who can benefit most from this tool?
Any industry that must deal with heavily regulated oversight or designs, constructs or operates facilities that have potential accident events can benefit from WebActionHero.
Thank you for answering these questions for Project Management Portmanteau! If you are thinking about testing out this new project management software then head on over to their site for the free trial.