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December 13, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

According to Hoskyns Group Plc, proud resident of its new headquarters above Soho Fire Station in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue, PMS/Bridge is one step ahead of your typical software methodology product; it not only plans a project for you but tells you how to carry it out too. PMS/Bridge is an expert system developed by Princeton Management Sciences of Princeton, New Jersey which provides a bridge between standard methodologies and project management systems. It is based on a methodology which draws on the experience of over 2,000 projects and provides the blueprint for finished systems. Information is dealt with in three stages. Initially it is analysed to discover its value and whether or not it can be implemented successfully. Marks are awarded for both, and an action proposed for the project. The risk is then checked and an overall estimating technique used to measure how reasonable a project is. This is done by weighting factors such as data communications, performance and ease of installation against the amount of information processing delivered to the user. This results in the number of man-months of effort estimated to be involved. A series of questions then lets the user identify likely projects which can be sorted into size and type, resulting in a basic model for the project to be built from. The next stage enables a number of development projects to be worked on. Never become datedPriorities are set for each class using a precompiled list which can be changed to suit the users needs. These are then compared with a portfolio of current and planned projects. Finally a model is simulated building on the original kit found after classification and detailed estimates of the next couple of phases as well as forecasts for the remaining ones are developed. All of this is carried out using various limits like people and time available and finally a model is completed showing activities and tasks for each phase. Fine tuning can then be carried out. All the information involved can later be used in forecasting and developing new projects. Since the questions can always be updated the methodology will never become dated, claims Hoskyns. Likewise any methodology can be used. The model is then transferred to a product like Hoskyns’ Project Manager Workbench to develop a system for the end user. Hoskyns reckons PMS/Bridge will set a standard within an organisation, though its goal is to make it an industry standard. At present the Bridge is aimed at systems designers looking at any data processing project although vertical applications are planned in the future. The product will be launched in the US in late January although 150 have been sold to date. Clients include Westinghouse and deals with Fortune 500 companies are being tied up. PMS/Bridge runs on an MS-DOS micro as well as on Wang machines. It requires 512Kb of memory although 640Kb is recommended, and MS-DOS 2.0 and above. A Unix 2.0 version is planned. Hoskyns have the ditribution rights for PMS/Bridge outside North America. It has a tag of UKP1,250 for a single user licence.

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