Project management software can help you keep track of your resources, tasks, and activities, and ensure that your project is being delivered on schedule and under budget. Without the right tool to support your projects, you are working blindly and lacking productivity. Every problem that crops up can spell chaos, and you won’t have an easy way to keep track of people and resources. It can be very easy to miss deadlines and lose customers this way.
Effective project management can improve scheduling and increase overall productivity, even more so with the right PM software. Here are four examples of how to make it happen:
1. Make sure tasks are completed on time
Most project management solutions provide task management features to make sure work is assigned to the right people, and that those people have all the information they need to get it done.
Choose a project management tool that lets you assign tasks, comment on specific action items, attach relevant details, and set durations and deadlines. Your productivity will also benefit if you can create dependencies between multiple tasks and assign more than one user to a single task. In some cases, you may even find pre-built templates you can use to set up common items.
Every member of your team should know who is responsible for which tasks and which ones are in progress. With complete visibility, you won’t need to conduct repeated follow ups with team members or waste time on tasks scheduled for a later date.
2. Use your project management tool to communicate
Project management software makes it easy for you to collaborate with various teams or departments and create a more productive, transparent process. It opens the door for effective and seamless communication, which is very important for keeping a project on track. A study conducted by the Department of Sociology at Landmark University in Nigeria showed that communication has a positive effect on worker productivity, specifically if communication is participative, efficient, and transparent.
Effective communication can eliminate misunderstandings, make progress transparent, and give team members clear directives and accountability.
A good project management solution can easily facilitate discussions between team members. Instead of relying on emails and other means of private communication, you can send messages and comment on tasks directly inside of the platform. You may also find a log of recent activities, as well as email alerts that can notify each member of important updates.
In this scenario, every member of the team gets complete instructions about how to execute their tasks, and they can get answers quickly, which decreases the margin of error.
3. Keep all of your project data in one place
Every project brings a variety of resources, activities, files and other moving parts that team members and managers need to keep track of.
In the past, most people used their own file system to keep track of their assets — some combination of private documents, sticky notes, and spreadsheets. That is simply not acceptable or efficient in today’s workplace, where everything needs to be transparent and accessible.
Take spreadsheets, for instance. For one thing, Excel is not equipped with features that make it easy to assign tasks and communicate with team members. If you have a new requirement or if a team member is removed from a task, you have to revise the whole spreadsheet just to reflect these changes. Excel and other products like it do not provide a centralized view of every activity, and you can’t use them to communicate with clients. Is it any wonder that Tim Worstall considers Excel the most dangerous piece of software available today?
A project management solution, on the other hand, helps you keep everything related to the project in one place. Every member of your team gains access to the same centralized repository, where they can find all the necessary documentation, finished products, images, videos, and other files related to the project.
Software with built-in dashboards can also provide team members with an at-a-glance picture of milestones and progress, with readily available reports and financial summaries.
4. Get more done with fewer people
When you use project management software, you not only improve team collaboration, but you also streamline workflows. With a better designed process, you can complete more tasks without completely tapping out your team and resource pool.
The beauty of project management software is not just that it saves you time when finding the resources and files you need; it also automates a lot of tasks, such as time tracking, reports, approvals, and stakeholder updates. Whatever manpower you save, you can allocate to other tasks and projects that might’ve otherwise been ignored.
Planning resources, communicating, and tracking schedules and tasks are all critical aspects of project management, so they shouldn’t be stifled by manual methods. Don’t settle for slow workflows and a lack of visibility. Find a project management tool that genuinely helps you get stuff done.
Michael Gabriel Sumastre is a writer for TechnologyAdvice with more than 11 years of industry experience. He has written more than a thousand articles related to tech and gadgets, cloud computing, IT management, big data, the Internet of Things, SEO, and SEM.