iNGRID

iNGRIDiNGRID is a complete corporate management application developed by Sam Uresin.

The idea is to have a single application that can connect all the dots so to speak. Here's what iNGRID does:

  1. Single application that understands all aspects of the management of a company. 
  2. Primary goal of iNGRiD is to play the role of "Operations Manager" and keep track of everything going on in the company.
  3. Utilize dashboards and notifications to keep people on top of their responsibilities

Let's look at each item in a little bit more depth:

Single Application

Many organizations today run several applications to manage their operations. At the very least, there is an accounting or financial management application. Smaller organizations also resort to using Microsoft Excel -- rather excessively -- to manage their data. It is also quite common for companies to have yet another application that may be specifically designed for the type of business they are in. There are two inherent problems with this scenario:

  1. Users need to go to too many applications in order to get an accurate picture of their operational landscape. If the organizatin is using Excel documents for not only processing but also stroring data which is a very common scenario, one can never be sure about data integrity and accuracy.
  2. Islands of information. Data pertaining to different aspects of an organization are like parts of a jigsaw puzzle. When put together, they paint a picture. By keeping data in such disconnected silos, organizations deny themselves the ability to see the big picture.

The idea of iNGRID was not only to connect such islands but actually understand the context of the data being processed so that the management would get an accurate and meaningful picture of the past and the present in order to prepare for the future.

iNGRID the "Ops Manager"

Middle managers typically have two sets of responsibilites:

  1. Managing day-to-day activities of their team members
  2. Providing executive management tactical support by making operational decisions based upon first-hand data they collect and process.

Unfortunately, in most organizations, the former turns into "baby-sitting" and the latter gets significanlty diminished due to their "baby-sitting" activities taking up almost all of their productive hours in a work week.

Managing day-to-day activities means making sure members of a team do what they're supposed to do in a timely manner. Monitoring most of such activities is a quantitative process which can be better handled by a well-designed application. This would free up managers to focus on qualitative aspects of the work being produced. 

This is probably the primary objective of iNGRID. Monitoring people's tasks, deadlines and the interdependencies among seemingly unrelated tasks is a job well suited for an application that understands an organization's activities.

Visibility

A natural outcome of the first two items, we covered here is user-friendly and meaningful dashboards that provide both tactical and strategic data at a glance. 

Sam wrote and re-wrote iNGRID several times. The last iteration of iNGRiD is in ASP.NET MVC 3 which lives in the cloud.

Here's how Sam picked the name iNGRID:

In the movie ⇒ "Other People's Money" starring Gregory Peck and Danny DeVito, there is a computer named Carmen used by "Larry the Liquidator" -- Danny DeVito's character -- to see what's going on in the market. The idea of having a computer program as a central character with a female name really appealed to Sam. An app so advanced that people working for the company would start referring to it as if "she" was human. This is how iNGRID was born...

Why a name with Nordic origin? Why iNGRID? What does iNGRID stand for?

To be continued... :-)