What We Have Covered in This Article
- 1 Smart Project Management Tools to Try
- 1.1 Project plan
- 1.2 Gantt charts
- 1.3 Milestone tracking
- 1.4 Cloud based data storage
- 1.5 Time tracking and invoicing
- 1.6 Weekly progress reports
- 1.7 Budget tracking
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Last Updated on April 28, 2020 by Editor Futurescope
Management is a word that defines success in most modern organisations. Companies can find a large number of skilled individuals to work for them, but finding individuals that can manage their jobs perfectly is hard. That is where technology comes in. In addition, considering the fact that remote work culture has swiped the world, you should implement better project management practices and tools that can help the members of your teams go in the right direction.
Studies show that a large number of the employed Americans are spending some of their time working remotely. That makes it clearer that in the near future, companies will rely on remote teams and employees to complete their projects.
What you might not know is that the future relies highly on smart technology – such as project management software – usage. The software programs ensure that any gaps in management that humans cannot fill, particularly in remote teams, are satisfactorily filled.
Smart Project Management Tools to Try
The following are some of the tools to help you fill the gaps in project management.
You should always begin with the project’s outcome in your mind. As the smart project manager, outline everything including the scope of your project and the responsibilities allocation. The other things to include in your project plan are the project budget, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), the financial projections and the project budget.
In project planning, resource scheduling and allocation are the most important. Studies show that substantial planning reduces chances of errors in a project. Even more, the days when people relied on Excel to plan their projects are now gone. Projects are now more complex and the project managers have to implement various factors and departments to deliver the expected outcomes.
That is the primary reason why most project managers are using management software programs that can help determine the projects that rely on others and how they rely on them. The programs are also helping them know what to expect when the factors have changed. Availability of project management software that facilitate streamlined, detailed and secure planning has helped project managers monitor, organise and plan detailed control of projects. The leading software in the market includes Easy Projects, Bridge24 and AceProject.
Gnatt charts are among the simplest project management tools but among the highly used. The key reason behind their vast usage relates to the fact that they facilitate listing down of every activity of a project, indication of the interdependencies and serves to manage projects cohesively.
Attainment of project milestones highly influences overall success of projects. With milestone tracking, project managers can identify timelines and responsibilities. As a smart project manager, invest in detailed milestone tracking applications because they will help you stand out amongst the rest. In addition, they will help you realise higher level of outcome and project efficiency. Milestone tracking applications available in the market include Zoho Projects, Upvise Projects, Trello and Collabtive.
Cloud based data storage
Cloud based storage is very new and more beneficial to smart project managers. With the form of data storage, project managers have lesser worries. They can now use cloud based storage applications to store the most critical company data on online platforms. Even more, they can access the information at any time if they are in a location that has internet coverage.
Cloud based storage is useful in complex projects and enables faster sharing of reports, information and progress updates among the team members no matter where they are. So, if your physical storage is unreliable, a cloud storage application should provide you the peace of mind you need. You will be certain that you will never lose your data. The common cloud based storage applications include Google Drive, Outlook and Dropbox.
Time tracking and invoicing
Time tracing and invoicing is another important smart project management tool that should not miss in your list. The tool is cloud based but offers a wide range of benefits to project managers. The tool allows remote tracking of projects and management of project teams situated in different locations. After tracking, the tools help managers to produce invoices using the predetermined project rates.
Moreover, the tool allows production of estimates that project managers can share with their target clients. The tools optimize resources allocations and highly reduce chances of errors. The commonest time tracking and invoicing tools include Zoho, Minterapp and Harvest.
Weekly progress reports
For projects to succeed, project managers should provide the stakeholders with timely and accurate reports as a way of synchronizing them with the project progress. Smart project managers understand the importance of keeping the stakeholders informed on the project progress, the financial status and the changes that might have arisen. To ensure that regular weekly meetings are occurring, smart managers should use the popular resources such as telephonic and video conferencing. The tools facilitate the reporting.
Optimum budget allocation is a key indicator of great performance. That is imperative for every smart project manager because he/she is held answerable for allocation of money efficiently. Therefore, smart project managers should ensure strict tracking of budgets to facilitate appropriate allocation of money.
Moreover, smart project managers should conduct regular budget checks to ensure that the outflow of money is expected. That also helps identifications and rectification of abnormalities and leakages. You can do budget tracking by formulating project matrices. Use spreadsheets to derive the matrices.
Now you have the few tools to use in smart project management. The tools have helped many smart project managers to stand out among the average crowd. If you have never used one of the tools, streamline your business processes. The tools also ensure that managers deliver the needed results and reports consistently. Owing to globalization of operations, rigorous performance checks and complex procedural requirements, the tools are a great strength for project managers. They will help you complete every project in a way that adds more value to your organization and one that the stakeholders will like.