5 tips on how online project management tools can help your business

Projects need to be managed if they are to stay on task, on budget, and on time. Project management tools
can help to define what each of the tasks involved in the project should be, when they should be carried out
and by whom.

Traditionally, project management requires central staffing so that the project plan can be updated.
This may involve a meeting with one overall update per week so if you have a large diverse project with a
large number of staff at different locations this approach may not suit. Looking at the issue an online “Cloud”
based Project Management system might be preferred.

Before you run off to find out more about online collaboration, it is important to weigh up the facts
and consider how cloud-based PM systems and tools could help your business.

Do you have the skilled staff you need to handle the software?
Essentially, whatever tool you invest in is still a tool so you will need to make sure you have the right
staff in place that can handle the requirements set out by the software in order for the management
of your projects to continue to run smoothly.

Formally Introduce the new methodology
Before you implement the new PM methodology, explain it to your team and tell them why you have
decided to begin using it. People have a natural fear of change and information and guidance can
reduce any reluctance amongst team members. If your team is kept in the know then they are
likely to be far more motivated and committed at work.

Carry out a trial first so that you are confident it will work for you
Before you make a permanent move to online collaboration, implement it in one area with a smaller
sized project so that you can see how it operates and then assess whether it is working. This will help
you weigh up whether it is right for your business, and you can also feedback your findings to your
team who will want to know whether it is successful if they are to feel confident in using it.

Managing task dependencies
Although the project management software will cover a lot of bases, there are some that it will not.
There will be aspects of the classic methodology that the newer technology cannot account for and
you will need to manage this. Practically speaking, this is likely to refer to task dependencies, which
may inevitably still need to be centralised.

Check what your people are telling you
Online collaboration can work but there is always the risk that people are marking tasks done when
they are not yet completed, which will always need to be managed which ever system of project
management you are using. People should feel empowered to look after and complete their own
tasks but this will always be something that you will need to oversee.

There are teething problems with any changes you intend to introduce and you will always come up
against challenges along the way. If you can arm yourself with the facts, however, then you should
be prepared for these enough that you can make a success of your new project management tool.

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