Everyone is capable of coming up with terrific ideas for their companies; however, poor project management is a complication that managers struggle with, as regressing on important projects become detrimental to the overall growth of companies. Are your employees late on task deadlines? Is there a lack of communication between departments within your company? Are your projects being reviewed after deadlines pass? These are all potential problems that could inhibit your projects from succeeding to the heights that you want them to. In order to optimize your project management control, what policies, tools and software must be implemented to enhance your workflow?
Before learning about the different types of project management software, it is essential that you know one fundamental guideline of project management, communicating constantly with your employees. Poor communication in any aspect can affect how well the project turns out, as the worse a project turns out, the more companies are going to be concerned about their reputation with the people they are doing business with, including potential customers. That is why there should be certain tools implemented in your project management to make sure that your team is regularly staying in touch with one another.
Emailing team members is essential in making sure everyone working on a given project is in the loop. This becomes extremely important when the project hits a bump in the road, and issues arise. If your employees do not find out about these problems, this could become damaging to the project as team members could continue working on their tasks, when those tasks need to be adjusted according to the issue. It is also imperative that project managers hold weekly meetings for their employees to provide updates on tasks, and time estimates on when they will be completed. It is the manager’s job to deliver the project’s expectations to his/her team during these meetings, therefore everyone is one the same page.
Even though communicating with the whole team is important, it is also vital to have one-on-one conversations with each member assigned to specific tasks, as this will impact the productivity of the project at hand. Even though this might seem like an outdated tactic, technology can fail on us sometimes. It is possible for both a server and a software to crash or delay at any given time; and when they do, your team should already be prepared to move forward from the notes that they took during the team meeting and the individual discussions. When technology is working, you might want to consider the following communication software to help organize statuses on team members’ tasks such as, Slack, Skype for Business, Redbooth, and/or Flock. These programs make communicating with your team much more efficient and convenient than having to check your email constantly.
Another challenge in project management is determining where the project stands. Gantt Charts are an easy way in making sure everyone working on a specific project can identify which tasks need to be accomplished, when they need to be accomplished, and who needs to accomplish them. Gantt Charts contain the milestones a project has reached by showing the progression of completed tasks. Also, calendars in Gantt Charts display the deadlines of all the tasks, as team members have insight into the progress of a project and they know who’s responsible for each task assigned.
For those managing large scale projects in the manufacturing industry, having a product lifecycle management (PLM) system is an essential tool that will make managing your projects much smoother. PLM software applications can help an organization manage their product’s lifecycles by providing a data warehouse for all the information that affects the product. PLM software can be used to automate the management of product-related data and integrate the data with other business processes such as enterprise resource planning (ERP). Software like Enovia is an example of a highly reviewed PLM system that optimizes efficiency and eliminates waste in business projects. ERP software incorporates various functions that are essential to running a business such as, inventory management, accounting, human resources, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. ERP systems then streamline all of this information to every department in your company, to keep fluid communication running. CRM systems help organize all customer contacts that are already clients with your business, or can be potential clients. Each customer has their own column describing the basis of their company, their contact information, as well as contact persons. You can also use CRM systems to schedule appointments with customers, write notes about previous conversations you had undergone, as well as declare the level of interest the customer has with your company. CRM systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics are highly-rated programs for your customer organization.
These are all helpful ways to improve your company’s project management oversight. There are different project management software applications that inherit many of these tactics, ranging from Microsoft Project to Trello, all the way to SOLIDWORKS Manage for manufacturers. Subtle differences, such as layout options, differentiate between these applications, but both provide well rounded background checks that can be managed by all project partners, and task scheduling for team members. If you want easily update your project management strategy, the tactics we offer and the software applications mentioned are a good first step to organize any project that comes across your team.