Home Reviews Software PIVOT Version 4, from Impact Petroleum Software Ltd,
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PIVOT Version 4, from Impact Petroleum Software Ltd, Print
Chances are if you're any type of DIY enthusiast, you probably have your fair share of them, whether you spend your weekends at leisurely do-it-yourself projects or more lofty, long term aspirations.

Pivot your Project Management from Design to Completion

Web site: http://www.impact-os.com/

System Specs:

Alternatively try

  • Pentium 466MHz processor or higher
  • Windows 95/98
  • Windows NT 4.0
  • Windows 2000
  • 80MB hard disk space
  • 64MB RAM, more recommended
  • Mouse or other pointing device
  • CD-ROM drive
  • SVGA display
  • Microsoft Project
  • Primavera Project Planner
  • Primavera SureTrack
  • Innovie TeamCenter

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}As a project manager, you're also probably well acquainted with the ever-growing collection of PM tools. Perhaps you've used a number of them. Maybe you have a specific favourite to which you've pledged your allegiance.

Are you looking for a new toolbox?

Enter PIVOT. Project Integrity and Verification of Operations Tool.

PIVOT is a toolbox that helps manage your projects from their initial concepts to their final completion. Since its 1995 birth, it has undergone several upgrades and further development, and has been strongly geared toward companies in the chemical, oil and gas, transport, construction, and government sectors.

Recently acquired by the London (UK)-based Impact Petroleum Software Limited, PIVOT is built on the Microsoft Access database structure.
Among its uses, it can be used to set up corporate Integrated Rating and Auditing systems and QHSE tracking.

PIVOT consists of a number of modules for tracking entire projects. They are:

  • Overall Project Breakdown Structure
  • Financial Controls
  • Risk Assessment
  • Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Hazard Identification (HAZID)
  • Hazard Operability (HAZOP)
  • Substance Data
  • Human Competence/Personnel
  • Verification of Equipment, Material, and Personnel
  • Integrated Rating and Structured Auditing
  • Events/Incident Logging, Reporting, and Investigation
  • Action Tracking
  • Document Control
  • Resource Viewing


These modules provide comprehensive features to allow you to effectively control and manage your projects.
PIVOT's WBS shows an easy to read hierarchical tree-type breakdown of activities and allows for statement of requirement (SoR), verification process, purchase order raising, progress tracking, supplier performance monitoring, and review process for every WBS element.

Its powerful action tracking capabilities allows you to drive projects by enabling the generation, tracking, addressing, and close out of actions.

PIVOT's document action tracking is accessible in any of the modules, so whether your actions come as the result of audits, meetings, QHSE statistics, or HAZIDS, you can easily track the actions of your documents, assign priorities, and follow them up.

The Substance Management module allows you to enter and keep track of a variety of substances used within your particular industry. In addition to keeping records regarding composition like physical form, viscosity, molecular weight, specific gravity, pH, and density, you can also enter data for a compound's stability, its handling criteria, its numerous medical effects, and what procedures are to be taken in emergency situations.

PIVOT's personnel management features let you enter extensive data on your team members and other employees, their training, and competency assessments.

Its risk management capabilities provide risk identification and assessment, failure modes effects analysis, risk control, HAZOD studies, and value engineering. There is also fast track input for your risks, FMEA, HAZOP, and HAZID details.

The events module lets you investigate of all incidents, record what procedures were followed, and what impacts were made as a result of the event on humans, the environment, production, and equipment.

In addition to the action tracking, all of the PIVOT modules allow for the linking and embedding of objects like pictures and documents.

PIVOT is integratable with any other systems that are based on the Microsoft platform, and is compatible with MS Office applications like Excel and Word. It sits alongside MS Project, and while Project is used for visual representation of your project tasks and scheduling, PIVOT will incorporate the main elements of Project into its database to allow you to generate and adjust a Project timeline.

PIVOT can be installed on a single PC or groups of PCs. All of its information is stored in the MS Access databases. The database files and project or user files are stored on the main server.

PIVOT was easily installed on a Pentium 466MHz system with 64MB of memory and using the Windows 98 OS. It offers a Windows-like interface, but this is where it stops short. The drop down File menu only provides Log-off and Exit choices, so there is no ability to start a project as New or open a file directly.

PIVOT automatically opens to an Asset Breakdown Structure window. There are three distinct areas: Business, Business Unit, and Asset. You must first enter information in any of these by right clicking in the space you wish to work in. Once this is done, you can then proceed to work with any of the program's modules.

Large icons for the Project, Finance, Integrity, People, and Tools modules are located at the bottom of the screen. You can access the various features by clicking on these individual icons.
We found these to be well organised and generally easy to deal with.

PIVOT does have its strong points. Whether you are a single user with one project or have a project team of up to 100 users, projects can be managed and controlled with relative ease.
It also offers ISO 9001 compliance, so implementation, verification, and control processes can be more easily accomplished. Based on the information contained in its modules, PIVOT provides a strong range of features that are especially suited to those of you working in the oil and gas and chemical industries.

Once you get to grips with PIVOT, the amount of information that you can enter is very extensive. The modules are well thought out, and the package is capable of doing more than you might see at first glance. It does allow you to set up password access to specific sections if you find this necessary. You can also use a programmable button to launch up to six custom applications.

The reporting features of PIVOT allowed us generate reports, but with some difficulty. If you want to customise and add report templates, bear in mind that you'll need Crystal Reports. Once you get the hang of things, you can export your reports to MS Word and Excel, Adobe Acrobat, as well as in formats like RTF and HTML. Attaching reports to emails was easy and straightforward.

We did find that a 466MHz Pentium processor with 64MB memory really didn't cut it for PIVOT. It slowed down considerably when we attempted to work in several modules, so we would recommend that if you're taking PIVOT on board, do so with a faster processor and more RAM.

PIVOT does come at a price in more ways than one. It does have a steep learning curve, so you won't be up and running the moment the gate opens. While it has a Windows feel to it, it doesn't offer the whole range of tasks and commands seen in Windows applications. Working with the five main modules is relatively easy, but we found we had to dig around the drop down menus in order to locate specific tasks.

This package really could do with being more user friendly and streamlined. Impact does offer training and have explained that PIVOT users can be taught in two or three training sessions of around two hours each. This is admirable but potentially costly. Currently, there is no Help file or tutorial to help new users with this application. A Help file would be very beneficial, even if it isn't in the Microsoft HTML-based style.

Working in PIVOT can be time-consuming. Much of the package requires constant mouse use, so if you like your Enter key, then you're pretty much out of luck. Also, when opening individual modules, they do not open automatically, but rather go directly to the Windows taskbar and have to be brought up with your mouse.

PIVOT also does include GANTT charts or PERT views, but it was never meant to. It was intended to enhance the work of MS Project, so keep this in mind if you're considering a purchase.

From a pricing standpoint, PIVOT isn't for the weak of heart or wallet.
It currently is available for $3,240, perhaps a bit steep for a project tracking tool. For this amount of money, it could be better organised and easier to use. If you're accustomed to the speed and feel for Windows-based applications, PIVOT will unfortunately disappoint you.

Despite its shortcomings, PIVOT does offer strongly detailed modules for your project information.
There are a number of interesting features that aren't readily apparent.
If Impact can see forward to streamline it, make it more user-friendly and easier to use, then this is one toolbox you could really get a lot of use from.

We think this is an application with a future.

PIVOT 4 receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of
2 bananas
Look for this one down the road!

2001 © Lee and James Appleyard

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