Unless you like doing things the hard way, you probably use a project management system. Why wouldn’t you? There’s tons of software available to help project managers simplify their careers by providing all the necessary tools for organization. The biggest possible mistake would be to assume that this software can essentially do your job for you. It can’t, but it can make doing your job a lot easier if you’re using it correctly.
Use a cloud based system
If everyone is running around, or some people work remotely, having a stationary system can only take you so far. Opting for a cloud based system will allow workers to tend to their responsibilities from wherever they are. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops let us take our work with us, and you can’t afford to take that option off the table. This is especially important for business trips if you want to maintain the same standard of quality outside of the office.
Don’t expect magic
Project management systems are immensely useful, but they aren’t magic. They’re a great way to keep track of numbers and data, and they’re also helpful for making charts, lists, and graphs. You have to plug in this information properly, otherwise nothing is going to get done. Don’t rely on project management software to do all the hard work for you. They’re more of a supplemental tool than a universal fixer.
Integrate your software
What you can integrate largely depends on what project management system you choose. Selecting a closed system will only provide you with limited capabilities. You need to use a software that will work with other programs you’re currently using. Things like Quickbooks and Microsoft applications are also an integral part of your job, so using a project management system that’s designed to work in synergy with your other products will give you a cohesive, smooth working experience.
Train your employees
What good is it to have something that no one knows how to use? If you’re the only one who can interact with your management software, you’re going to be faced with many unnecessary burdens. If the software comes with a tutorial, make sure your employees have access to it. If not, either hire someone to train them or take the time to do it yourself. Allowing untrained employees to dabble with the software can have a disastrous outcome, and that’s not a risk you should take.
Use tracking features
Tracking features are the biggest part of project management systems that simplify your life. Many newer systems offer live tracking for expenses and productivity. These figures allow you to see where you are relative to your deadline, and having to manually draw up those numbers on a constant basis can drag you down. By using these features, you’re saving yourself time and energy by having readily available figures you can work with.
If you’ve found the perfect project management system, it’s only as good as the people who are using it. If everyone is using different software, you’ll wind up with some wonky outcomes. Make sure the software you ultimately choose has all the features you require, and then make sure everyone else agrees with that decision. Everyone should use the same software to avoid confusion.
You should always have realistic expectations of your software, and be consistent in its use. Every business has different needs, and your software needs to accommodate your vision. In the event that you can’t find prepared software that will work for you right out of the box, you can always contact software companies and inquire about customized solutions.