Innovation: Taking Projects For A Test Drive



Companies spend millions annually on consulting services to helpthem--essentially--see the forest for the trees. Now Vite Corp.'s SimVision application can help businesses anticipate the unexpected during the critical design phase of projects, be they massive construction efforts or IT integration initiatives.

The company and product are the outgrowth of work conducted by Stanford University professors. The resulting software is the flight simulator of project design, Vite president Robert Drazovich says.

SimVision lets companies model complex projects, anticipate staffing requirements and costs, optimize organizational resources, and assess risk. It lets managers build pictorial models of the organization and foresee how a project affects workgroups. It factors in skills and interactions among people and considers work dependencies and information flows. It also lets users look at different scenarios, such as whether to outsource aspects of the project or train in-house staff.

Customers include Dell Computer, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, and John Deere. When HP used the software for product development, it helped managers foresee and mitigate potential problems and accelerated product rollout through advanced planning.

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