A Project is A Team Effort

Project FailedI suspect that I could get full agreement if I proclaimed that every team leader would agree with this statement: “I wish I could simplify my next project!” In my career, I managed many projects and made it a habit to ask people from other organizations if they had any new ideas on simplifying project management, new tools or templates.

One colleague mentioned that she had heard about solutions offered by a company named Teamworks.com.  As a part of my normal due diligence, I visited the site and also discovered some research and articles completed by others. One of the most helpful articles I discovered was written by Rob Marvin, 7 Ways to Simplify Project Management in Teamwork Projects.

I was impressed with the seven (7) techniques that Rob discussed. However, each of you may have a different reaction based on the types of projects that you manage, your current software and other factors. Five (5) of suggestions resonated with me and I will summarize them. However, you can read the original article here.

Here is my list:

  1. Useful TemplatesTemplates save time when dealing with repetitive and similar tasks and projects. If you can copy an entire project and save it as a template to save time all you need to do is give it a new name and you are already organized. Also, task lists can be saved and edited for the new project efficiently and quickly. With one click, you can add the new task to the new project.
  2.  Everything is taggedIf you could label every aspect of a project it would be easier to manage. This would enable you to create tags like completed, delayed, approved, denied, invoiced, billed, paid, etc. Creating custom tags would be very useful as well as being able to grant various levels of accessibility and authority.
  3. Limit notifications to a specific projectI would be a time saver if you could turn off certain notifications from certain team members if that information is communicated from multiple levels. It would be also be helpful if you could filter your notifications for specific concerns such as “behind schedule” or “over budget.”
  4. Availability of mobile applicationsThe ability to login to your projects from your smart phone or tablet at any time is a useful feature. A chat feature could be helpful.
  5. Extensions and Integration – The more flexible any system the more useful it potentially can be. Being able to designate images, file types that are readable on various operating systems is quite helpful. Being able to interact with software through a browser further expands the utility of your software.

I believe that most team leaders would agree that an intuitive user interface (UI) and a rich list of features is a desired quality of a project management system. As a caution, we should not be wary of software that has such great functionality right out of the box. A system may not need to be complicated to be effective.

Related Articles:  Set Your Project Up … Right!  and  Project Estimating … time and costs!

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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Posted in Professional Skills, Project Management

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