Historically, project management meant paperclips and clip folders, columns, tables and charts, calendars, whiteboards, and a large filing cabinet. Not to mention daily first-thing-in-the-morning meetings, weekly reports, memos and trails of emails dating back to the 90s.
But increasingly, small to mid-sized businesses are turning to contemporary, cloud-based online project management systems as a means to efficiently plan, initiate and manage their project work. Sophisticated software and tools are saving on paperwork, helping team members to communicate and understand their roles, and assisting management in keeping track of it all.
The key features of online project management
- The first and most important characteristics of online project management tools are that they help management assign tasks and set milestones while keeping everyone in the loop, communicative and accountable.
- But also they allow management to easily track time and record costs. As an in-house necessity, this helps keep the team to the budget and provides an invaluable reference for future undertakings. But as well as this, it means that it’s simple to see and report the time spent for charging and invoicing purposes – all in a highly visible and accessible, client-friendly way.
- Equally valuable is the facility for secure online workspaces, where team members assigned to a collaborative project can connect, communicate, exchange files and organise their schedules. Here, people can see the activities of their colleagues, and check that they are aligned with how other areas of the project are developing. This is also makes it simple for management to oversee and monitor and progress. With high-quality project management software these workspaces can be customised from project to project, to suit the scope and dynamics of the work.
- Another essential feature is being able to keep your files in one place. With a single location for all files it’s quick and easy for anyone in the team to find the files they need, as it is for anyone with the authority to access that protected area. Additionally, a quality project management tool will see that anyone accessing a shared document is looking at the latest file version. With potentially a large number of people accessing and amending different files at any one time, possibly from remote locations, it could be easy for someone to be looking at an outdated version of a file. But this too can be regulated so that you are always accessing the latest version including its most recent revisions.
Naturally, while many project management software systems include all these features to varying degrees, it’s important to research which software best suits your needs before making a decision on which one to go with. You must be highly confident in any cloud-based system before entrusting it with sensitive company information. For more information on what’s possible with collaborative software, visit www.glasscubes.com