In tenth grade, my teacher assigned a six week group Victorian Project. Each group read a novel from Victorian England, did an extensive report on it, prepared a poster, and acted out a scene in front of the class. My group wanted to show off by reading the longest novel possible, so we chose David Copperfield. It’s an 800 page whopper of a book.
It was challenging deciding who would do what task and making sure everything got done decently and on time. We divvied up assignments, but some of us still did extra work (because we didn’t trust the other members). We didn’t bother writing any assignments down. In fact, we just assumed we’d remember them. Amazingly, we got it all done and capped off the project by staging a dramatic death scene from the novel.
How do you manage projects in your company? Are assignments well-organized, do tasks get done on time, and do team-members collaborate seamlessly? Or are projects run in the student tradition of winging it with a hope and a prayer?
If you’re looking for work projects to be a little less chaotic, you should strongly consider using project management software. It will enable easy delegation of tasks and help everyone on the team to keep track of assignments, project status, and make quick adjustments when needed. Basically it will turn your company into a well-oiled project machine.
Let’s explore the benefits a little further.
One of the biggest problems with any project is making sure that each team member gets every task done on time. Project management software allows you to see exactly what tasks have been completed and how far along every team member is on their assignments. No more panicking on Friday afternoon! When Dilly Dallier Dan tells you he actually won’t be able to get his part done that day, you’ll already know. You’ll know days in advance that his task is running behind and can make adjustments before you’re stuck.
Not only can you get status updates, but you can use the software to send frequent reminders to your employees about upcoming deadlines. Flora Forgetful will be amazed and grateful for getting daily emails reminding her to get her project done.
Often, the most difficult task about working in groups not knowing what your colleagues are currently doing. This lack of transparency produces loads of inefficiencies. For example, Gary Go-Getter knows that Lazy Larry never gets his PowerPoint presentations done on time. So, he prepares Larry’s presentation for him. Only it turns out Larry isn’t so lazy anymore, and he’s already finished the presentation. He just hasn’t shown it to anyone yet. You now have two employees who wasted valuable time. Project management software solves this problem by enabling everyone to know which tasks are assigned to whom and what’s been finished.
The software also allows for flexible delegation of tasks. If you want to delegate assignments to Lazy Larry, you can do so through the software with lots of controls for deadline reminders and status updates. And if Larry ends up being lazy, it’s easier for you to switch his task to Rachel Responsible.
With project management software, you can easily share documents. Rather than having a bunch of people in walled off cubicles doing their own thing, you have a cohesive unit. When Ollie Oddball and Cammie Conventional can instantly review drafts, the discussion that sparks from their differing opinions allows the team to create a thorough and well-reasons final product.
It can be hard to keep every team member on the same page with big projects. Ultimately, who you need to impress is the client. If Christopher Client doesn’t know what’s going on with your project – whether it’s bang on time or running weeks behind – he’s going to remember that chaos. Even if you end up delivering a fabulous product to him, the lack of communication will linger in his memory.
Project management software enables you to communicate with clients throughout the entire project. You can choose the level of communication that works best for you and the client. Perhaps the client wants weekly email updates about which tasks have been completed and the status of the project as a whole. If the client wants to be highly involved, you can give the client full viewing and editing powers over files. That way, a client can spot a problem and get it changed before it becomes a huge issue that requires the entire project to be redone.
More communication with your clients usually means fewer problems in the end. That translates to new clients becoming returning clients. And that’s the ultimate goal, right?
Big group projects can be one of the most enjoyable and useful assignments for any company. And with a good project management software system, they don’t have to be the bane of your existence. Project management software helps maximize the good by keeping everyone informed, on task, and working together. It helps ensure that your business functions like a grown-up, rather than being stuck in 10th grade.