This month we meet Penny Cooke, the Evaluation Manager at, Rangelands NRM Western Australia. Rangelands have implemented Enquire as a key information management system to manage all components of the project contract lifecycle.
Enquire recently had an interstate visitor taking advantage of our in house training and analysis resources. Penny Cooke from Rangelands NRM flew from Perth to visit the office, using the time to organise Rangeland’s new National Landcare Programme (NLP) project structure. A self-confessed nerd, Penny hopes that her work with Rangelands contributes to national and global environmental concerns.
Penny has worked for Rangelands as their Evaluation Manager for the past year. In her role she manages contracts, evaluations, methodologies and investee reporting. Enquire is a core enterprise tool in compiling reports and supporting subsequent evaluations.
“I find the ability to view Projects at a glance from who’s involved and the Client Relationship Management module the most outstanding function of Enquire, said Penny. Project managers at Rangelands report on various metrics and performance indicators through Enquire. They use the reporting functionality and project notes to describe what is happening within their projects. Rangelands encourage project managers to enter qualitative data and other project artefacts into Enquire. Penny then uses this data to “write the rich story”.
Penny said: “Using the program logic in Enquire I view report data and investigate the qualitative project information to roll it up and identify how we are achieving our objectives.” One of Enquire’s strengths is its ability to roll up data across projects to programs to allow organisations to monitor and measure alignments to plans and strategic goals. Penny continues because our program logic and strategic objectives are encoded in our Workplan within Enquire, we can aggregate all our on-ground achievements to report back to our funders. She mentions that funding agencies want to know the larger outcomes so aggregation assists to identify the bigger picture. This concept of bigger picture also assists Rangelands’ project managers.
“Our project managers need feedback on how they fit into a holistic view of our program of work”, said Penny, “and Enquire provides that opportunity. An additional key feature of the grant project management system is that Enquire is our single source of knowledge so therefore all project information is in one place,” she said. Rangeland’s offices are spread throughout Western Australia and a big challenge for the business is the vast distances between employees and their offices. Because Enquire is a web based cloud project management tool, managed externally, Penny believes this assists Rangelands as “we don’t need extra resources to maintain the database or other areas of an internal system”.
Recently Penny conducted Enquire training with Rangeland’s Geraldton office. Enquire’s “train the trainer” approach assists groups by ensuring they have a champion within their organisation to continue Enquire knowledge throughout their organisation.
“Personally” said Penny, “I think using the train the trainer model promotes capacity building and empowers the users to ensure they have an informed understanding of how they are working.” She said it is beneficial conducting face to face trainings as it allows her the opportunity to see the actual circumstances of how project managers work, “sometimes they have quirky problems with their computer”, said Penny. Penny has created Enquire procedural documentation specific to their team. This method ensures project data is consistent across all their regional offices.
Penny is no stranger to information management. “I moved back to WA after working in big data management as an eResearch advisor based at Charles Sturt University, NSW,” said Penny. “In Australia we have such a richness of data, but the real problem is trying to make that data discoverable. With Enquire Rangelands has one point of data storage with the ability to interrogate and identify the big picture answers from it. I have worked with lots of project management tools, but never have I worked with anything that draws together so many different aspects of projects together from the project management level to the funder level” said Penny.
If you have any questions about how your organisation can use Enquire to better manage project lifecycle please contact Tactiv or call us on +61 7 3846 1555.