Author: Amy Lamare

Project Management Tips and Tools

Successful project management abides by several principles. Essentially, every project needs three components to be successful: it must come in on time, within budget, and to the degree of quality that is expected. Sounds easy enough, but every experienced project manager knows that anyone who counts their proverbial chickens before they hatch will not complete the project on time, budget, or with quality.

Successful project management has tended to rely on time-tested and proven methods of planning, managing, and charting workflow throughout the project cycle. The old saying, “When it’s not broken, why fix it?” can certainly be applied here; however, what if a new way of managing the workflow in a project cycle was more efficient, more accessible and more transparent to all members of the team?

Consider the fact that one of the toughest things a project manager has to do is maintain the focus of his or her team. Often the team members are not committed to just one project. They have other projects. Increasingly, members of a team may be located in different locations. This makes the job of the project manager harder. How do you build in strong standards and practices when one team member is in California, another is in Colorado and a third in Connecticut? New web-based project management solutions offer an alternative to traditional workflow charts and software. With an interface that tracks all aspects of the project, everyone on the team can check the status and check for tasks assigned to them while the project manager has one easy place to go and oversee it all.

This solution minimizes rework and keeps projects on track so that they can be delivered on time and on budget. With email notifications, when the project manager changes something in the timeline, all members of the team are notified. Every good project manager knows that the first plan they lay out will not be the one they stick with. Project Management, by its very nature, is about planning then re-planning and then tearing the timeline apart and planning it again. As a project progresses, it takes on a life of its own and the collaboration between the team members will, in part, dictate the timeline. A good project manager knows how to manage and adapt to this changing aspect of the life cycle of the project.

An aspect of project management that holds true no matter what the nature of the project is that all deliverables and activities must be visualized and communicated in great detail. At the start of the project, the entire team must come to an agreement on what the finished project will look like. This enables the entire team to focus their efforts in the same direction. Web-based project management solutions ensure that all team members stay on the same page even as the life cycle of the project evolves.

The scope of work of any project evolves — it is the nature of project management. However, if all members of the team are not on the same page and focused on the same end goal, time and money can be lost when the project gets off