6 Benefits of Using a Project Management Solution
Project management is an incredibly important business discipline, essential to ensuring the success of strategic organizational initiatives.
But the fact of the matter is that many organizations do not have any proper project management processes in place, let alone a tool to support the methodology.
Some folks might think that project management is nice, but “we’re doing alright with our current approach.”
Maybe project managers and team members see the additional process or the implementation of a tool simply as more work they have to do, rather than a productive aid to help them achieve better results in their job.
But project management is not a luxury. It’s not a “nice to have” in your organization.
If you want to drive your business forward and be more successful with strategic projects, then you need to get serious about project management – and fast.
There are certainly more you may think of, but here are 6 of my benefits of using a project management solution, that will help your entire team!
6 Benefits of Using a Project Management Solution
1. Implement a Standard Approach to Managing Projects
Without a standard approach or project management tool, you’ll end up with lots of PMs using lots of different methods to manage projects.
When that happens, there’s no way to capture all the information centrally. So project updates are time-consuming and it’s impossible to know what is going on across projects.
Now, this might be alright in a scenario where the team is small and projects are rather simple, but the approach does not scale as you add more projects of growing complexity and importance.
What you need is an approach so people know “this is how we manage projects,” and a tool guides them through the process.
The project management solution should support it and tie it all together – so that project information is centralized and managed, providing visibility into what is actually happening.
Having a tool can provide project managers with templates and other guidance to ensure projects are being managed the way you want them to.
BrightWork includes a range of out-of-the-box templates for project and portfolio management on SharePoint. As the templates are based on a spectrum of project processes, there is a template for every type of project and team.
2. Manage the Project Pipeline More Efficiently
A critical part of project success is actually choosing the right projects to carry out in the first place! Most project management tools include some kind of facility to manage requests for new projects. But hopefully, the tool doesn’t make the process too cumbersome, especially if you are just starting out.
At the start, all you really need is a list so you can compare alternatives. Just a simple mechanism (like the Project Request Manager in BrightWork) where you can capture requests and review them will help with your project selection process.
The key is that you can start capturing those requests somewhere.
By being able to capture project requests in a central location, you’ll be able to assess the new project pipeline and make sure that approved projects will provide the best value for your organization.
BrightWork includes the Project Request Management Template to help senior executives request, review, and approve or deny new projects.
3. Optimize Resource Allocation
Do you know what your resources are working on? Do you know what else that person has on their plate? Do you know what work is not assigned to anyone?
These kinds of questions are a bane for executives who need to ensure that resources are being utilized in an optimal way and that mission-critical work is being given the attention it requires.
By leveraging a collaborative project management tool, you’ll get visibility into who is assigned to what and make sure that the right resource is working on the right piece of work.
BrightWork provides resource reports and a Resource Allocation list, which allows project managers to assign resources to new project requests.
4. Centralize Project Reporting
Like we said above, when everyone is using their own method to manage projects, status reports can be time-consuming and difficult. Once they are created, the information presented is likely out of date.
By deploying a project management tool, you give the entire team a central location to manage your projects (so everyone can see the big picture), where data can roll-up to project offices and reporting portfolios.
A robust reporting engine should allow you to cut and dice the information in different ways for different audiences.
When project data is housed in one central system, you always know where to go for updates and can easily drill down into the project detail when necessary.
The Project Office and Portfolio Reporting Templates include real-time dashboards, scorecards, metric tiles, and other features to simplify reporting. Senior executives can also create personalized portfolio reports as needed.
5. Improve Task Management and Visibility
Using a collaborative project management tool helps everyone on the team manage and prioritize their work efficiently. It gives them one place to go to find out what they’re responsible for and how it affects the other tasks and the project at large.
Using scheduled emails can serve as reminders of work assignments so nothing falls through the cracks. It also makes it easy for team members to update their progress and bring visibility to any issues they are facing.
By using a project management tool, team members are enabled to contribute to the project in a meaningful way, and the visibility helps to keep team members focused and accountable so the project can move in the right direction.
BrightWork extends native SharePoint features for task management with an in-browser scheduler, Agile Boards, and automated reports.
6. Effective Team Collaboration
Finally, deploying a collaborative project management tool connects your team to their work and to their colleagues.
The team can quickly build a culture of collaboration by leveraging tools and features like shared sites, document management, discussions, and social capabilities.
By getting everybody working on one uniform platform, collaboration and information sharing become much easier, so teams can work together to move work forward.
BrightWork leverages several collaborative features within SharePoint such as a document library, surveys, discussion boards, and forums.
If your team uses Microsoft Teams, you can easily add a link to your SharePoint project site to the relevant team for easier communication. Note – this is not a direct integration between BrightWork and Teams.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
In her free time, she enjoys a challenging session at the gym, tucking into a good book, and walking the beautiful Galway coastline with her dog.