7 tools that will help you to be a great Project Manager
With the right tools, our work can be much simpler, while we achieve great results, something that is especially noticeable in Project Management.
With some tools in their pockets, like the ones we are going to see, we will be able to face all the needs of Project Management, to be excellent Project Managers in any type of business and company.
Do you use these 7 fantastic tools?
- Project Management Software
The incredible technological advances of the past have made the project management tools easier to use and more powerful than ever. The best programs, both free (One Point, OpenProj, etc.) and standard license (Microsoft Project, Spring), allow us to plan any type of project in collaboration with multiple professionals, make a graphic, clear and simple tracking of the data of progress, control time and expenses, collect valuable information, create management and direction reports, know prematurely possible deviations and risks …
The project management software makes it much easier for us to create tasks, increase the application of all team members, foster collaborative work, integrate with e-mail, and access project information from any computer , laptop, tablet or smartphone, thus breaking all barriers to collect, use and share information from the past. Only the fact of being building a large database of all the knowledge and experience of the company, is already a very valuable advantage that we should take advantage of.
- Tools to inform and share
Communication problems between teams, with customers, partners or suppliers, always appear among the top of the problems that cause more costs and errors, but we can drastically reduce these misunderstandings and other errors thanks to the information exchange tools and files.
The best project managers know that a great part of the success of the projects lies in the correct distribution of up-to-date information and the correct management of project documents, since in addition to minimizing problems, time management is improved, and so the costs.
The best exchange tools should have online service, and that can be accessed from anywhere and from any device with Internet connection, allowing tasks such as:
- Editing and version control
- Attach project files for different tasks
- Share tasks and documents among project participants
- Security keys to protect files and information, and backup archives.
- Integration with project management software.
The most used exchange platforms are: Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Communfire.
- Project Analysis: risks and costs
Applying project management will significantly improve our results as project managers and company, but if we want to reach the highest level of optimization, then it is time to use the most powerful weapons to analyze risks and costs. Knowing, calculating and measuring these two keys to project management will show us the inefficiencies, irregularities and dangers that weigh on our projects. The best project managers program these tasks in the project management software, and with the resulting reports, they make decisions to improve the performance of the resources, and the results of the projects, also involving a large number of stakeholders (teams, clients, suppliers, etc.), in the best evolution of the project.
- Clear and precise Communication Rules
Companies and professionals who use e-mail for all communications have a problem. Often the long chains of e-mails, the copies to several people, the unclear or confused redactions, or even the misinterpretations, generate great lost of time and are source of conflicts, weighing seriously in the march of the projects.
Define which communication rules will govern the project, organize fair meetings with the necessary time, favor team interactions to discuss creative ideas, use kanban boards to communicate visually, video chat like Google Hangout … the alternatives are multiple and its benefits can be enormous if we know how to define a good communication plan for each organization and project. Consider also to improve your network with a job card software. We will reduce the loss of time, the lack of communication, and we will be more efficient, which will improve the result of our efforts.
Usually our projects share many tasks, resources, planning, calculations, etc., and therefore we can take advantage of this work in the following ones. That is why the templates are so useful, because thanks to them we can save time, and facilitate the work to the different team members who participate in the project, and who are not necessarily experts in Project Management, so it facilitates much your participation.
- Programming of the delegation
The main mistake of the project managers is wanting to do everything by ourselves, believing that it will be the way to ensure that everything will be done well, although we know perfectly well that it is impossible, and taking on too many responsibilities will only produce enormous burdens for the project. The projects with the roles, responsibilities and tasks that are better defined and distributed are the ones with the highest probability of success. Programs that we are going to delegate, requires the effort of trusting the other members of the team, but once we establish those bonds of trust, we will check that it works, saving time and personal stress, and the benefit for the team and the project will be huge.
- Defined Leadership
The Project Director is first and foremost a leader. The best project leaders rely on the 6 tools to create efficient, effective and strong management environments that allow them to focus on final decision making. A Project Director concerned about a well-executed project management, gains time and team strength to put into practice his best ideas and decisions for what is necessary:
- Always put the vision as a project banner.
- Be a good communicator for both the team and the rest of interested parties.
- Be open to other points of view and opinions, and be honest with all collaborators.
- Transmit enthusiasm and passion for the project.
- Confidence in the arguments and decision making.
- Know how to solve problems as they arise
- Praise and congratulate when they deserve it.
- Listen to the opinion of others and encourage creativity and ideas.
Project Managers who use these 7 essential tools of project management ensure a huge improvement in the success rate of their projects, and manage to take an important personal / professional step, so if we still do not use all of these weapons, it’s time to start taking advantage of them.