Project managers can take stroll on PM Boulevard

Project managers can take stroll on PM Boulevard

Virtual advice site has columns, training classes, networking bulletin board and policy documents

A free quiz on the site gives project managers an idea of where trouble spots might be. Surveys on the site cover topics such as scheduling and cost management.

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

Project managers don't need chat rooms: Now they have a Web portal site of their own.

The site, called PM Boulevard and at, went live July 7, said Patricia Davis-Muffett, marketing director for site developer Robbins-Gioia Inc., a consulting company in Alexandria, Va.

Sometimes managers need advice 'on a quick, targeted basis,' which is where PM Boulevard comes in, Davis-Muffett said. The site provides both free and fee-based services.''

Davis-Muffett described the free areas as a Web meeting place for project managers. There are weekly columns written by Robbins-Gioia staff members and guest analysts, business news articles, a bulletin board for networking with other project managers, and lighter items such as a management-themed crossword puzzle.

PM Boulevard's training section offers interactive classes, which cost $295 each. Students need not be portal subscribers to take them, Davis-Muffett said.

Word association

Paid subscribers log in using a user identifier and password. The members-only area contains downloadable documents about project management methods, templates, best practices and government regulations. Much of the information is culled from Robbins-Gioia's nearly 20 years of experience in project-management consulting, Davis-Muffett said.

In PM Boulevard's Knowledge Center area, users can browse the eight 'structured business methods' defined by Robbins-Gioia or search the site for keywords.

Subscribers also get a finite number of consulting hours to spend in the Ask the Expert and Assessment areas of the members-only section.

Subscribers can submit detailed questions and receive a response within two business days.

Two sample questions in the guest area of the Web site have identifying details removed from the postings, Davis-Muffett said.

In the Assessment area, anyone can take a self-scoring quiz to get a rough estimate of a project's management requirements, Davis-Muffett said.

Paid subscribers can take part in detailed surveys about topics such as scheduling, risk management and cost management.

Subscriptions start at $5,000 per year for an individual, which includes 26 hours of live consulting and unlimited access to the members-only areas.

Trial subscriptions of three to six months are available.

The largest enterprisewide site membership would cost about $60,000, Davis-Muffett estimated.

Alyson D'Ambrisi, communications manager for Robbins-Gioia, said 26 consulting hours would amount to 10 or 12 inquiries per year.

Robbins-Gioia, which does about 60 percent of its consulting work for federal agencies, is in the process of making PM Boulevard subscriptions available on the General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule, D'Ambrisi said.

Subscribing to the site is a smaller commitment than hiring a team of consultants; a typical Robbins-Gioia consulting contract takes six to 18 months to complete and costs at least $200,000, Davis-Muffett said.

The PM Boulevard site took 90 days to develop. Much of the site's information was derived from an intranet for the company's traveling consultants, Davis-Muffett said.

Contact Robbins-Gioia at 703-548-7006.


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