The choice of Tools to support a project
Project management is all about delivering results. The tools that we use as project manager should support us in achieving this objective. It should not be the other way around. A good project is well supported by the methodology, tools and processes. A good selection of these by the project team will ease their work and assist them in completing the various tasks.
Unfortunately, sometimes we feel that it is the opposite. The project team must adapt the project to the methodology, tools and processes.
Too often, project reports are an administrative exercise to compile the status of the various tasks. It doesn’t support well the successful completion of the project.
Why do we make such report? Hopefully, it is not only to create documents and fill the project files.
Project reports should fulfill two purposes:
- Provide appropriate information to stakeholders
- Support decision-making during the life of the project.
With a right tool, providing appropriate information to the various stakeholders should not be a complex task. The project manager should not have to dig far to find the information. Let’s hope that the project manager does not have to interrupt the team in completing their tasks and ask them to provide complex status reports.
Project reports should also support well timely decision-making. Unless you are managing a very simple project, decision-making will be an essential part of the role of the project manager. A successful project manager is able to play the leadership role of the position. Leadership is the ability to lead a team and achieve an objective. Leadership goes beyond the role of being a boss, and managing tasks. Leadership requires making decisions.
Making decisions require judgment, sometimes courage, and also some accurate and timely information. With modern technology, and the pace of change in the business world, information should be organized and easily accessible.
Visibility of project information
This is why I love project management and team collaboration application, ideally online. They make the information easily accessible, visible to all team members. It makes project report easy to prepare, and provide a solid foundation for decisions making. You don’t have to interrupt team members to obtain an update. Even better, they may be unavailable and you can find the information. Also, with the team collaboration features, discussion relating to a task is available to all, not just stored in the email inbox of some team members.
Visibility of project information is one of the great benefits of online project management and team collaboration application. For some, it is also the key reason they don’t like it. You can no longer filter information and adjust the report. The truth is visible. But that would be the subject of another post.