How to be a more effective project manager?
This question has been bothering the project management fraternity since the advent of formal project management. Organizations continue to figure out the magic formula (if one exists ????) to create effective project managers. The advancements in technology have given rise to sophisticated project management software. However, let us remind ourselves – ‘a fool with a tool is still a fool!’ Assuming project managers have the project management competencies and skills, let us explore how TouchBase, a leading online project management software could empower project managers.
Being an effective project manager could be viewed from two broad dimensions.
- Proactive a.k.a. project initiation & planning.
- Reactive a.k.a. project monitoring & control.
Let us start with ways in which TouchBase can be a catalyst for both proactive and reactive needs of project management.
PROACTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Bottlenecks to a project manager’s effectiveness
Project Manager’s Effectiveness Bottleneck # 1: Fit-to-Purpose Solutions
In general, project managers are constrained by the project management software’s inability to ‘fit to purpose.’ Cases are numerous where managers of professional services organizations struggle with PSA Software or project management tools that are not designed to ‘accommodate’ flexible project management approaches – leading to a very high business cost!
TouchBase is uniquely designed to the needs of ‘your’ industry life cycles. TouchBase gets implemented specifically for –
- Your industry life cycle needs, be it Professional Services (as PSA Software), Engineering, EPC, Pharma, Automotive, FMCG, Consumer Durables, etc.
- Your organizational standards, business processes, workflows, templates, etc.
- Your project type(s) – customer projects, new product development, or internal strategic initiatives.
Project Manager’s Effectiveness Bottleneck # 2: Project Business Case Justification
One of the hardest decisions organizations make is to approve project funding. With TouchBase online project management software, business leaders are better equipped to support new projects – be it external customer projects, new product development, or strategic internal initiatives. TouchBase project management tool supports the creation of detailed business cases or new idea evaluation by considering aspects such as technical, costs, benchmarking, competitor product specs, forecast revenues, risks, etc. With the ability to configure business case templates to suit project types, business leaders could have greater confidence in their project justification.
Project Manager’s Effectiveness Bottleneck # 3: Comprehensive Project Planning
Here’s an interesting quote. “You execute a project twice, once in your head and once on the ground.” In other words, the quality of project execution depends on the quality of your plans.
Today’s projects are characterized by global locations, higher value, greater complexity, and higher levels of uncertainty. Further, different project management approaches may be needed based on project parameters. Contemporary project management is no longer restricted to scope, schedule, and resources. For example, today’s PSA Software must address dimensions of proposal building, contract creation, and procurement as well.
Project managers can become significantly effective and productive with TouchBase that offers numerous capabilities for comprehensive project planning including –
- Capturing project requirements and scope.
- Create a granular WBS (work breakdown structure).
- Develop detailed schedules by considering task relationships, lags, leads, and constraints.
- Request and allocate resources.
- Estimate costs, and budgets.
- Based on customer contracts, define financial milestones, and link them to work performance.
- Manage engineering data through meticulous BOM (Bill of Material) and/or BOQ (Bill of Quantity).
- Evaluate and select vendors of products and services needed or the project.
- Comprehensively identify risks and create risk response plans with owners and due dates.
- Set key project baselines – scope baseline, schedule baseline, and cost baseline.
- Define key project health dashboard metrics to ensure stakeholder value is delivered.
- Define governance workflows and decision points for project changes, escalations, and milestone reviews.
Project Manager’s Effectiveness Bottleneck # 4: Multiple and Disparate Enterprise Applications
It is very common to find organizations utilizing a variety of software applications for different business reasons such as CRMs for sales, ERPs for business operations (accounting, procurement, resources etc.), HRMS (resources), and Accounting (finance and accounting). Project management data resides in different applications based on the project management stages. The ineffectiveness emanates from questionable data integrity – impacting the quality of decision-making.
TouchBase project management software seamlessly integrates with an organization’s enterprise applications, be it CRMs, ERPs, HRMS, Engineering, and Accounting, and offering ‘one version of project management truth.’
REACTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Let us shift our focus to becoming reactive project management.
Despite best efforts, things can go wrong, or new factors can force changes into projects. This is another area where project managers are rendered ineffective – from ad hoc mechanisms, reliance on meetings and emails for prompt project communication. In most cases, issues get addressed when they reach their ‘flash points!’
- Project changes are managed through well-defined ‘change control mechanisms’ that avoid scope creep and associated costs.
- By linking deliverable progress with financial milestones, TouchBase enables 100% revenue recognition and automated customer billing.
- TouchBase PSA Software has inbuilt Meeting Management that integrates action items with project resources and offers automated tracking.
- With a powerful documentation module, TouchBase relieves project managers of documentation related traceability and integrity issues.
- TouchBase online project management software is equipped with inbuilt social platform that allows seamless collaboration across diverse stakeholders.
- TouchBase PSA Software offers powerful and configurable dashboards and reports for real-time project status updates.
- Project managers can define rules-based alerts, notifications, and escalations that drive swift decision-making by project stakeholders.
- Review team performance through project health dashboard parameters.
- By integrating data from multiple systems, TouchBase supports high-quality and timely decisions.
TouchBase project management software offers the best of both worlds – proactive and reactive project management with unmatched, comprehensive, and an integrated approach to manage projects across industries. TouchBase online project management software is designed to significantly enhance a project manager’s effectiveness – at every single step!