Resultra is software for tracking business projects, but its origins trace to concepts outside the disciplines of product development and project management. Resultra’s origin and development are intertwined with the its founder, Steve Roehling. By profession, Steve is a software engineer and project manager. He is also a student of and active trader in the financial markets. Steve is what you would call a “rule-based discretionary trader”, which basically means the following:
- Start with systematic, clearly defined rules and guidelines for entering and exiting positions, position sizing, controlling risk, etc.
- Actively monitor open positions while looking for patterns, trends and anomalies.
- If there is something peculiar or bothersome about a particular trade, use discretion to override the system of rules and guidelines. Overrides almost always result in more stringent risk control, such a smaller positions, tighter stop-losses, not making trades to begin with, etc.
- Do post-mortem analyses on both individual trades and summary results from groups of closed trades. The results from this activity are used to inform discretionary decision making in future trades and to progressively refine and improve the rules and guidelines.
The concept for Resultra comes from recognizing that managing and tracking trades is in many ways very similar to managing a business project. Professional traders are highly disciplined and methodical in the way they manage risk, make difficult decisions, adapt to new market conditions, and organize their workflow. Business projects outside the field of trading can undoubtedly benefit from a similar type of discipline and methodology. Therefore, the basic RBD trading framework and workflow described above is arguably a very good way to think about managing and tracking business projects in general.
Rule-based discretionary project tracking starts with a clearly defined set of rules for managing and tracking project tasks. However, rules and guidelines can vary from one project to the next. For example, one project’s tasks may have a different definition of “done” than another. RBD project tracking also leaves room for discretionary decisions which override or improve upon the rules and guidelines. Leaving room for discretionary decision making recognizes the following: at the end of the day, business projects are human endeavors which greatly benefit from the discretionary decision making of their team members.
For varying types of business projects, Resultra’s mission is to provide software which realizes the concept of rule-based discretionary project tracking.