Collaborative Barriers Thwart E-Projects

BOSTON (05/23/2000) - Users implementing e-commerce projects say managing those projects can pose unique challenges to brick-and-mortar companies, especially those that seek outside help to build an Internet complement to their existing businesses.

Some project managers attending the ProjectWorld show in Boston last week said that when dealing with Web projects, they've had to shift from a linear, step-by-step development approach to a simultaneous, collaborative mind-set.

That forces different groups involved in the project to develop each module simultaneously, while project managers are charged with keeping the effort focused.

However, a lack of cross-application software needed to keep developers on the same electronic page is a problem, said Rhonda Barzon, senior director of operations at Organic, a Web developer in San Francisco that has developed Web sites for Blockbuster Inc. and The Home Depot Inc.

Barzon said she hasn't found software that allows clients, contractors or multiple vendors to do cross-application development with each other.

Some companies like PostX Corp. in Cupertino, California, and in San Jose have stepped up to provide what they claim are secure Web and e-mail interchanges that promise quick turnaround between contract developers and their clients.

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