Online Project Tools for Management Decisions
Management decisions can only be taken using fact data. If fact data is not readily available then you need to collect it. Ensure it is up-to-date and that stakeholders have signed-off. If the fact data does not have quality then you will be taking improper decisions.
You can tell that our first paragraph easily applies to for example "Financial Statements". Statements must be up-to-date (for the last financial period of the company) and they must be approved (sign-off) by the Accounting lead or Chief Executive Officer.
When it comes to individual projects initiatives within your organization then it gets a bit more complicated to collect all data. Specially if the individual projects are not clearly defined to all stakeholders. Or if those initiatives are covered as part of other projects - which are not necessarily being funded by the project sponsor. If this happens in your organization then you need an online project tool. Else, can you make good management decisions without the fact data?
Online Project Tool? Project management software is used for project planning, scheduling, resource allocation and change management. It allows project managers, stakeholders and users to control costs and manage budgeting, quality management and documentation.
We use the term "online project tool" because it is currently the best way forward for project management software. No upfront costs, your organization only pay monthly fees (pay-as-you-go) and get rewards by managing projects correctly. More here about the software options: On Premises Open Source Online Web Based Project Management Software
Clearly defined projects! Your organization have to establish/define the initiatives that are actual "projects". A project is a unique group of activities that has a beginning and end for achieving a business goal. It operates according to specified funding and budgetary constraints. Some examples of projects are: System migration of an accounting system, Installation of new company servers, Re-engineer business process to streamline customer billing, Microsoft Exchange server upgrade, etc.
Projects can be "internal" or "external". External projects are usually easy to identify as those deliver value to a customer in exchange for payment/billings. Internal projects are harder to identify because usually they are embedded into your organization and as such sometimes your employees do not see "internal" initiatives as projects but rather as "responsibilities". It is important that your organization establishes the proper guidelines to define what is project: anything that requires cross-functional teams, initiatives that require capital expenses, business process re-engineering, etc.
Once you identify all of your projects, then you can plan resources/budget surrounding them and measure very effectively if the current workforce can actually execute or not all those activities in a given timeline. This will help your management decisions and prioritize what is critical, must-have versus the nice-to-have.
Track and Manage projects! If your organization understands the internal vs. external projects, start/end, business goal for each project and the resources; then at this point, the online project tool can help you streamline the day-to-day project management.
All resources and project team members get their time spent into the online project tool, communications are not lost on emails but rather on a central repository. Tracking dependencies then gets easier as some project may depend on the outcome of others.
BTW: Not every project requires a certified Project Manager specialist. Meaning there might be projects, specially IT infrastructure related projects, that will be executed by the IT manager, and not necessarily you need to get a PMP - as long as your organization understands that the IT manager will act as PM for certain initiatives. The underlying objective is for your organization to understand how much time your IT manager is spending on a given initiative without adding more unnecessary overhead.
Projects with major capital expenditure should get a project manager, and such project manager can manage multiple projects. When major projects get more attention then the realized savings on a given timeline will prove the value added of good project management.
Profit! Online project tool will track all the project data, communications, milestone and tasks, and if properly configured will notify resources of delays and potential risks. Additionally project tools do provide a structure approach with predefined templates in how your organization will define/track a project. Some project tools include already methodology aspects that when used => your project teams will benefit immediately.
If successfully implemented, the strategy behind the project tool will ensure that fact data is up-to-date, and that each project stakeholder have signed off in the initiative. Additionally online project tools offered dashboard views that will give you a sense of how every initiative is progressing; add to that some Key Performance Indicators and you will be ready to take the proper actions for your management decisions!
Additional reading here if "online" is still unclear:
The role of project manager in online project management
Getting your online project tool could be challenging; and should be managed:
Should I propose to buy Project Management Software Tool
Ready to define your selection criteria for online project tools:
Key Criteria for Online Project Management Software Comparison
Posted on August 17, 2015
Tags: Management Decisions