Best Tools for Project Management

Project initialisation can be daunting, yet by taking time to consider the best management tools for the project you can often find the key to success. However, in a fast moving working day when you face many other priorities this maybe easier said than done. Before committing to any agile project management courses or buying any new software read on.

In this article we can help you identify some of the smartest management project tools on the market and how to make the most of the opportunity for you and your team.

What is project management?

Project management is the process of leading the work of a team to achieve all project goals within the given constraints. This information is usually described in project documentation, created at the beginning of the development process. The primary constraints of course are the project scope, time, and budget. We would also add the tools you use and the project management skills the team possess in how to use the software available.

Trying a new software

Your staff may not have the time or the confidence to acquire new project management certifications. All too often we fall back on the tools that feel familiar to us, rather than those which are right for the job. At Smarter Business Processes, a vital part of what we do is ensuring our clients have the right tools for their business, giving them the confidence to try something new.

The right tools will make a difference

The levels of anxiety and stress associated with changes in tools and systems should not be understated. A recent study by the Journal of Business and psychology found that employees’ self worth is often closely linked to the tools they use. Stress levels are often linked to feelings of uncertainty; employees need to feel confident that any new system will deliver on what it promises. 

Review your business needs

Taking the time to review your business needs before implementing new software is essential, as is bringing the team in on the selection process and most vitally the training. Management may not always have full understanding of the intricacies of the tools required to get the job done. However, by involving your team, you are ensuring you have all the relevant information, and you are encouraging their buy in early on.

What we hear about Management tools

At Smarter Business Processes, we hear many of the most common complaints about the available tools. This list comprises a remarkable set of criteria.

Point to note –

Most of these challenges and issues are avoidable by choosing the correct tool for your project and ensuring you secure the right training for your team.

Challenges teams face with many software tools

  • Overly complex. Employees have to spend time navigating various menus to find the features they need. Staff struggling to navigate an unfamiliar system quickly become stressed and demotivated.
  • Irrelevant to workflow. Management need to have a clear understanding of their team’s workflow processes to ensure they have the right software for their needs. Train your team in tools that are relevant to their role, and achieve what is required.  
  • Cost inefficient. Managers often find themselves out of pocket, having invested heavily in a new software system and only using a fraction of its capabilities.  
  • Too labour intensive. Involving repetitive manual tasks such as data entry.  
  • No allowance for the learning curve. As with all new tools and processes, new a management software project needs time to bed in. Allocating your team training resources is essential, as is a roll out period to iron out any quirks and address issues.

Finding the right Project Management tool for your team

Effective Project Management for Smarter Business Processes.

Management software requirements vary depending on the business, and the size and scope of the project. But in our experience a strong tool will help you understand what project management is and should also do the following, without costing the Earth:-

Help to plan and track deadlines, resources and constraints

This is a must. Efficient project managers need to be on top of resource allocation and delivery expectations at all times. Smartsheet’s Control Center can set up and initiate new projects quickly and easily.

Point to note –

Care is needed in designing and creating the necessary automation at the setting up phase. Take a moment to consider what options you have and what tools there are that could help make this a more efficient process.

Smarter Launch Pad app

For many potential Control Center clients, our consultants recommend our own Smarter Launch Pad, which can do all this for a fraction of the cost.

Help to communicate efficiently with managers and staff

This doesn’t just mean relying on email to do the job. (yeah, we do it too!) We believe the key to efficient communication is finding accessible ways to keep the team up to date on the data that is relevant to them.

Smarter Dashboard app

We recommend our Smarter Dashboard application as a way to present and manage your data in a real time setting and view it in a range of ways with concise, graphical options. Slice and dice your Smartsheet data in live dashboards with charts, graphs and tables. You can also drill down to your data, simply by clicking on the relevant graph, and present handy snapshots based on any parameters you need!

Be intuitive to use

Our clients come to us for solutions they know will be friendly and easy to use, but we pride ourselves on our comprehensive training packages. For more information on using Smart sheets for project management, contact us today to discuss our training options.

Project management webinar

You might also be interested in our webinar on Using Smartsheet as a PMO tool. In this webinar we offer a demonstration of how to set up a project, coordinate resources, timelines and communications all using a fully integrated Smartsheet.

In Summary

Reviewing and changing your Project Management Toolkit can power efficiencies and be cost effective, provided it is done in the right way. Take the time to consider your company workflow and business needs, and act in consultation with the team for the best results. 

If you are reviewing your business processes and still unsure where to start, get in touch. We can offer a free consultation to uncover the tools, software and processes that are right for you.

Further Reading

If you would like to read more about effective Project Management and how to demystify the stages of each project, take a look at some of the articles on our blog:

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