Project collaboration tools can help project managers and teams manage change, communicate, and save time while remaining effective. Let’s look at the benefits of using a project collaboration tool in more detail.
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Communication and Collaboration
Communication and collaboration are two sides of the same coin. Timely communication is key when it comes to effective project management. To enhance communication among the project team, use a visual project management tool that allows all members of the team to easily see the work before, during and after it appears in a workflow.
The ability to see the work in all its stages is good for individual productivity because it helps team members anticipate, prioritize and coordinate their work:
- Anticipating what is coming up next allows people to feel more comfortable with what’s expected of them
- Prioritizing work based on a holistic view of all the work needing to be done helps people focus on the right tasks at the right times
- Coordinating your work with the work of others prevents team members from working in relative isolation
Seeing the work as it happens is great for project managers because it helps to streamline communication. Good communication helps project managers:
- Manage stakeholder inquiries and expectations
- Keep the team marching to the beat of the same drum
- Coordinate dependencies and contingencies
Once a rhythm has been established in communication, the team can become truly collaborative. Collaboration software helps teams reveal their true priorities and work together on tackling the most important things first. As a project manager, you can’t ask for a bigger win.
Meeting Project Timelines
Project managers cringe when they imagine missing critical milestones due to communication issues. As a project manager, you can mitigate this risk with the right project collaboration tool.
What is the next milestone? Are there impediments that are getting in the way of reaching that milestone? With visual project management, everyone can see a clear picture of the priorities and status of work. Plus, updates can be viewed in real time, so the project manager can easily adapt the project plan as new information becomes available.
Staying on Budget
Being over budget is something that project managers try to avoid. However; if a project must go over budget, it is the project manager’s job to anticipate the overage as soon as possible and inform the stakeholder(s) that an overage is imminent.
Confusion, a common root-cause of delay in projects, causes team members to focus on the wrong work items. This leads to wasted work, which translates into more cost.
Using project management software, project managers can identify the potential for overages when critical milestones are in danger of being missed.
Similarly, project managers who can identify risks early on can re-allocate resources to where they are needed most, mitigating the risk of delay and keeping a project on track. The ability to visually track the history and/or progress of projects helps project managers allocate resources better, a feat that helps estimate future work and avoid over-or-under-estimating a project.
Reducing Work-Related Stress
As a project manager, what keeps you up at night? Not knowing if the critical path will be met in time? Uncertainty over whether a team member will follow through? Fear of missing something that was right under your nose?
You have all the information you need in your project documentation, but tracking that information is another thing entirely. Project managers must take the time every day to check up on status, ensure communication is taking place where needed, and manage the expectations of stakeholders. These three things consume so much of a project manager’s time that most project managers have turned to project management software as a solution.
Managing projects will never be easy, but project managers can take some of the complexity out of project management by choosing a visual, versus list-based, project collaboration tool that will facilitate communication, empower accountability, and reduce the burden on the project manager.