This article is brought to you by Wrike, a global leader in collaborative work management. Wrike consistently delivers effective real-time management solutions for their clients and can offer tailored software packages for any business department.
As the modern workplace continues to evolve, so too does the delicate art of project management. Gone are the days of moving post-it notes across whiteboards; businesses now are on the lookout for the most efficient and cost-effective tools, as they seek to streamline their workflow and get more out of doing less.
Project management software ticks all these boxes. Regardless of the business or the wider industry, it can be easily customised and tweaked to meet the requirements of any organisation. Yet, naturally, some teams may be hesitant. Resistance to change is human nature, and when there are profit margins riding on the outcome, businesses are more likely to question why they should be using a particular tool.
The many benefits of using a dedicated software should allay these fears, though. In this article, we will look at some of these advantages and discuss the positive effects they can have on your business. So, unless you’ve got a surplus of post-it notes flooding the storeroom, read on…
1. Easier Collaboration
Many tasks overlap departmental and locational boundaries and sometimes it can be difficult for each team member to be aware of what is happening outside their immediate circle. Fortunately, a project management tool negates this issue straight off the bat; Wrike, for example, provides a live activity stream that allows other team members to know what you are working on, while there is also an instant messaging feature for any nagging queries.
As a result, the prompt and real-time nature of a software-based service allows teams to collaborate seamlessly, avoiding any potential communication issues. It can also put a stop to those infuriating ‘update’ meetings to garner everyone’s progress; an especially handy benefit when time – and patience – is at a premium.
2. Better Scheduling
Keeping track of milestones in a project can be tricky, especially as every single team member needs to know what has to be completed and by when. To combat this, collaborative software can employ clear and easy-to-follow Gantt charts of the project timeline which can then be constantly updated. This is highly useful when things inevitably change at a moment’s notice and resources have to be shifted.
It also allows virtual managers to implement instructions in a clear and accessible way, displaying individual tasks visually and letting everyone know where they stand at the click of a button. This ensures that among the general chaos of a busy project, poor organisation can’t be used as an excuse for missing a deadline.
3. Better Communication with Clients
We’ve all been there: the 10am conference call with the client that actually starts at 10.15 due to the lack of available rooms (followed by another 15-minute delay as the client has been given the wrong dial-in). Aside from making you appear less than professional, it’s also an ineffective and time-consuming process.
With online cloud-based software, this saga doesn’t need to happen. Clients can access your assignment board and easily see your progress; they can then give feedback and make edits in the relevant areas – all they require is a password and a username. In the grand scheme of things, this results in a much more efficient use of yours and the client’s time.
4. Delegate Tasks More Easily
For managers, it can be hugely time-consuming handing out tasks to individuals, especially on larger projects that incorporate other departments and locations. Instead of briefing each person one at a time, the task can instead be simply inserted into the project timeline and assigned to the relevant team member, along with thorough instructions.
This makes life easier for the whole team, who can simply check the software to see what they are supposed to be doing and when it needs to be done by – an effective and time-saving win for everyone.
5. Budget Management
This is another bonus of a flexible and multipurpose software system, particularly for managers who have to keep an eye on the cost of a project and ensure it doesn’t spiral out of control. By having actual quantifiable evidence of which employee has done what, and for how many hours, those in control of the budget can see costs in real-time and identify where too much money is being spent.
This, in turn, can inform decisions moving forward, allowing managers to tweak where necessary or allocate hours differently. The importance of being fiscally responsible can often get overlooked when the focus is firmly on the project itself, and this is one of the more subtle benefits of using a reliable project management tool.
6. Document Sharing and Access
One of the added benefits of having everything centralised in one place is the greater control users have over documents. Aside from the fact they can’t be lost or misplaced, the system also allows users to track any modifications or submissions, resulting in more accountability and transparency over who has changed what in a particular document.
It is also practical, as team members can find documents easily without having to trawl through shared drives or ask for links. This is especially convenient when a user is waiting for an updated version of a file or you find yourself thrust into a last-minute client meeting and need access quickly.
7. Standardised Processes
As already touched upon, one of the foremost benefits of project management software is that it gets everybody on the same page. This also applies to your processes, as everyone is required to provide the same information and use the same templates when creating and editing documents.
While this may sound superficial, it is important to standardise everything and make sure each document has the same look and feel about it. Aside from appearing more professional, it also helps to create consistency and unity right across the board, as everyone is working in the same way.
8. Integrate New Team Members
Bringing someone onto a project halfway through can be a daunting experience for both parties, as a wealth of information and context has to be explained and learnt in a very short space of time. With an easy-to-use tool, any new additions to the team can clearly review the progress of the project from the start, as well as any direction changes along the way. This means they can slot into the team effortlessly, requiring minimal integration and being able to produce an effective contribution straight away.
9. Remote Working
Many top companies now offer flexible and remote working; collaborative software allows employees to do this effectively, without becoming detached from the team.
This is because project managers can be confident that tasks are still getting done without having to physically check, whereas users at home have every resource they need at their fingertips; all that is required is a reliable internet connection. In a workplace that is increasingly progressive and open to change, this way of working is likely to become more commonplace in the near future – with this software set to be at the heart of it.
As you can see, the pros of using project management tools are indisputable. When confronted with complex tasks consisting of a large, often scattered workforce, the immediate concern is how to handle organisation, delegation and communication. Synergetic software solves these issues with ease.
By taking care of the logistics, this allows managers to focus on actually leading the project, while workers know exactly what they should be doing and when; as a result, the process becomes effortless and a positive end result can be delivered to the satisfaction of all parties.
Through its world-class software, Wrike has empowered some of the most recognisable companies in the world and continues to create innovative solutions. From planning through to delivery, their tool enables business teams to achieve their project goals through an easy-to-use and logical interface; their state-of-the-art software is now used by over 15,000 organisations worldwide.