Well-chosen project management tools are now indispensable for taking projects on from launch to successful realization. Learn which of these instruments will fit your project management strategy the best.
Project management is your strategy of how to organize your team’s work so that it can put projects across. How effective is the time usage and collaboration between the members of your team as well as with your clients? The answer to this question defines the level of your future projects’ success.
Today, it is almost impossible to imagine a well-shaped project management strategy without implanting digital software into it. This soft popularity is based on its specific features designed for streamlining your teamwork. Here, most users appreciate the ability to perform the whole work within one program.
Want to know the most efficient project management tools you can easily implement and significantly improve your performance? Then follow this guide to have a detailed view of the most important features these tools should have and how you can benefit from them.
Businesses vary dramatically. Being your company’s leader, you may carry out various activities and the same can be said about the team involved in each project of yours. However, all of them have a similar structure and one has to go through the following stages to implement any of them.
To launch a project, you do not only need to measure your budget and find the area in which you can succeed. You should also build the so-called roadmap of the project to outline its main aspects. Defining who will make up your project team is needed at this stage, too.
Your next step is to create a definite plan that will lead your team to the successful implementation of the project. You calculate its exact costs, all the necessary resources, and the time needed to complete each piece of the work.
You assign tasks and time limits while your team does the job. Each member of it should know its exact mission and the deadline. That’s simple, but this is the determinant stage of the whole project. Will you fail or succeed? It depends on how well-organized your teamwork is.
This stage may spread over all other stages of the project. Having an ideal plan is good but you know how it all runs. There are always things you have to correct, improve, redo, or undo right in the project.
When the goal is achieved, it’s time for estimating the experience and results. You can memorize the successful patterns for your future projects as well as discuss the problem areas with your team and try to find a better way to work on them.
Using project management software is the equivalent of engaging a skilled project manager who will be able to effectively organize each area of the job. To understand the benefits of such an instrument, let’s overview its three key functions.
To achieve the project’s goal, you need a definite plan which should not only include the tasks but also factor in your capacities. No matter which is your business model, you should be able to properly estimate your budgets and resources before you start working on any plan. An effective project management solution will help you to cope with all this thanks to numerous scheduling, reporting, and file-sharing tools.
Having a clear idea of the entire project and controlling each stage of it depends hugely on how effective your teamwork is. The most important feature of project management soft here is that it allows you to gather all the necessary information in one place and let your team members easily share it.
You will be able to communicate with each other starting from splitting the work among your employees up to approving it. You can organize remote work, monitor the timeframes, avoid duplication, and many other things. All this is indispensable for teams that use the agile methodology of executing projects in the first instance, however, other methods will also benefit from using these tools. You can learn more about different methodologies and project management basics to hone your teamwork strategies in general.
With good project management software in hand, you will know how things are running and how it all accords with the initial plan. It should comprise a reporting dashboard displaying the degree of fulfillment, upcoming deadlines, and other insights.
By including these aspects in your project management strategy, you will soon forget about such troubles as lost emails or paper notes left somewhere by someone. You won’t have to catch up with lost deadlines or cope with a budget shortfall.
Now let’s see project management software at work. Which tools will be the most beneficial for your business? This depends on the stage at which your team works with the project. However, many of the tools are universal and necessary for all stages. Here are examples of such instruments.
So, you have defined the objectives and what should be done to achieve them. Now you have to delegate each of these tasks to the right person and define timelines. When not using any project management software, you will need to give oral instructions, send piles of emails, or even write sticky notes.
This may lead your project right into deadlock! To avoid it, you can use soft like Zoho Projects or similar and obtain a perfect set of task management tools. With their help, you will be able to:
- assign tasks in one place;
- set task priorities;
- define deadlines and keep track of them;
- check your team’s progress at each stage of the project;
- communicate with all the project members and keep their missions updated;
- correct possible errors, etc.
With a proper project management solution, you will be able to perfectly organize your time. And what can be more important for the project’s success? Instead of time-consuming meetings and phone calls, you can collaborate with each member of your team from whatever place at whatever time. Even when a meeting is something you cannot avoid, with such handy instruments as Resource Guru you will be able to identify the best place and time for it in seconds. The software suits perfectly for scheduling your project from the initiation phase up to the final sizing up the results. It will allow you to:
- plan the schedules;
- find the most time-saving solutions for executing each separate task;
- track deadlines and never miss them with the help of built-in reminders;
- control project progress, etc.
When having no tailored system of sharing data with your team, you cannot expect adequate time usage and its losses are sure to slow down the progress of your projects. In our digital era, chances are you will need to share various types of information with your partners, employees, and customers. The range of documents may easily go beyond the scope of written papers.
Today, it may even be high-quality presentations and tutorial videos. Of course, managing videos is quite an easy task now since you can download effective and easy-to-use instruments designed for this. But how to manage all the necessary data with people engaged in your project without a time loss? A good project management program will be able to cope with this task by letting you:
- upload all documents needed;
- easily integrate with important programs like Google Spreadsheets, Google Apps Marketplace, Gmail, Microsoft Excel and Office 365, One Drive, Dropbox, Github, iCal, and many more;
- store documentation;
- download and share documentation;
- define the access level for each member, etc.
When initiating a project, you build an ideal way of implementing it. However, things may develop a bit differently. Moreover, you may change some of the milestones of your initial plan. When it happens, it does not mean that your project will fail. But each step you take should be well-considered.
For this purpose, you will certainly need a set of analytical tools. One of the biggest advantages of project management software is that all these tools are gathered and can be used in one place. You do not have to install anything more. A couple of clicks will be enough to get insights as for:
- Budget Forecasting tools help you at the starting point of your projects;
- Costs Analysis tools to compare what was planned and what is actually spent;
- Tasks Reports show how close they are to completion;
- Bug Reports display what are your problematic zones and what can be done to fix them;
- Schedule Reports are to analyze how to improve the productivity of your team and optimize the time usage;
- Work Dashboards show the progress of your team in each area etc.
You can see that all these tools have interlacing missions. Only used in complex, they will lead your project to success. And for the time being, there is no better solution for their complex usage than project management software.
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