Our last two blogs dealt with two dangers of managing projects: individual human capacity, and work styles and personalities. Today’s blog is on the third danger: the technology and applications used to communicate and manage the project. More specifically, finding the right technology and application. Here is our advice and perspective from our team’s real-world experience and education.
An internet search for “project management tools” or “project communication tools” yields an overwhelming number of results. While refining your search may reduce the number of results to something more reasonable, the process of finding the right technology and applications to communicate and manage a project need not be so daunting. Here are our two (yes, just two) powerful tips.
- First, consider what current technologies and applications are already available within your business. Using what project team members are already familiar with will avoid the additional time necessary to train on use, not to mention the possible added cost of the application and how well it integrates with your current technologies.
- Second, establish standards of when and how to use each. Within our own business, we rely on Excel for project management, with meetings and (to a lesser extent) email for communication.
Project Management tasks are captured via a shared Excel workbook, with agreed-upon standards for adding or updating items. The shared workbook helps bring new team members up to speed on the scope and status of the project. It also can be used to create reports for other stakeholders.
Regularly scheduled meetings are used for overall project communication. If additional dialog between team members is needed, ad-hoc meetings are held with the appropriate stakeholders. Email is reserved for simple directive items (i.e., “please proof this” or “remember to update your items in the Excel project workbook”). The regular meetings ensure the project continues moving forward. By limiting emails, team members’ time is better spent on actual project tasks instead of endless email follow-ups.
How can we help?
If you or your team need help to identify obstacles and challenges in your workplace situation, contact Theresa, or visit our Contact Us page to schedule a 30-minute Complimentary Conversation. Reaching a goal is a journey, and Success Trek is here to take that journey alongside you.