5 Valuable Tips for Effective Project Scheduling

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Project scheduling is an important activity for managing a project. A schedule communicates to the project team members what tasks should be performed, the resources that will be utilized to perform the task, and the time frame within which the task has to be completed. The project schedule displays all the work that must be performed in a way that the project deliverables are met. Without a schedule, a project manager will not be able to meet the project goals in terms of time, cost, and other related resources.

In this article, we will share five valuable tips that can help in effective project scheduling using a work management software.

1. Define the Dependencies Clearly

Dependencies are present in almost all types of projects. Most often, a task cannot be completed unless the dependent task is finished. The dependencies must be identified before creating a schedule using a task management software. The schedule must clearly reflect all the dependencies related to a project. Also, you should consider putting a bit of slack to account for unknown dependencies that can be known only once the project has started.

2. Calculate the Exact Time Required for Completing Tasks

When creating a schedule, most project managers tend to enter a rough estimate of the time required to complete the task. This is not an effective project management strategy. The manager should go at length to determine as much exact an estimate as possible for each task. Accurate scheduling of tasks will ensure optimal project delivery that will meet and even exceed the expectation of the clients. 

3. Make Sure Every Resource is Assigned a Time

Every resource should be assigned a time in hours. It’s advisable to enter some time for the tasks than no time at all.  You should ensure that resources are 100 percent busy throughout the schedule of the task. This is better than the task schedule showing that the resource is doing nothing on certain days.

4. Define the Task Breakdown

Without a proper work breakdown structure, a project cannot be completed successfully. A project manager must ensure that the tasks are broken down correctly with proper deadlines. The deadlines will be of no value if the tasks are not clearly defined when scheduling. By creating a schedule after all the work has been clearly defined will make the process easier for the project manager.

5. Avoid Creating Relationship between Summary Tasks

Some project management software allow the creation of predecessor task relationship between the summary tasks. However, this will create problems as the work progresses and changes occur during the execution phase. A project schedule that has dependencies among the summary project is also not recommended by PMBOK Guide and Standards. While tasks can have predecessors or successors, the summary tasks should not have them.

Scheduling is one of the most challenging tasks for a project manager. But the process can be streamlined by making use of smart scheduling practices. Also, selecting the right task management software is important for efficient scheduling.   

5 Creative Tips for Employee Collaboration

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In the present competitive business landscape, the most important resource through which a company can gain and retain its competitive edge is the human resource. Focusing on better employee collaboration will ultimately help a company increase its productivity, market share, create wealth, and pave way for organizational success.

While there is no one perfect recipe for enhanced team collaboration, the following five tips will prove invaluable in ensuring effective collaboration between the employees.

1. Know the Difference between Collaboration and Consensus

Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between consensus and collaboration. Coming to consensus relating to a matter is not team collaboration. Effective team collaboration refers to obtaining new ideas, pursuing a new way of working, ensuring an innovative spirit, and getting the input of different perspectives in order to create better solutions.

2. Make use of Digital Technologies

Another advice to ensure better team collaboration is making use of the latest digital tools. Making everyone gather around a table don’t cut it anymore. The business world is changing too fast, bringing new opportunities and challenges. As a result, face-to-face meetings are not effective anymore. A company needs to use more improved methods to ensure team collaboration.

Using online project management software is recommended to foster better communication and collaboration between the team members. The company should cloud work management software that allows employees to connect anywhere, anytime. Your team will develop an improved sense of cohesion and actively attack the challenges in a coordinated manner by connecting through an online team management software.

3.  Allow Flexible Work Arrangements

A Harvard Business Review study had found that employees that were allowed to work from home were about 13 percent more productive than those who worked from the office. The researchers had found that the extra productivity translated into about $2000 in revenue per employee for the period of study.  In this respect, a team management software will prove invaluable for the company. 

Benefits of Collaborative Work Management Software for the Managers and Employees

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Work management is a process involving task assignment, allocation of the best resources for a task, task tracking, and delivery. Managers handling bigger teams have higher chances of facing missed deadlines and accidental duplications. Sometimes, the team misses important minor details of the project, landing its burden on the shoulders of the managers.

Collaborative work management software is for any worker or manager facing these kinds of issues.

Managing Loss of Concentration

The University of Hamburg conducted a study regarding the focus of mind while using WWW in 2008. According to the study, it takes only eight seconds to shift the focus of a human mind. The While the improvement in the shift of focus is beneficial for multi-tasking, at the same time, it is unsuitable for diverting the attention from important tasks to least important ones, like using social networking sites.

A work management software works as collaboration platform for the managers and employees. The managers can assign the tasks to the best resources in the organization using the collaboration software. The employees can communicate with each other using work management software to avoid duplication. Furthermore, collaboration software can prepare employee reports and daily task completion reports. The software provides everything in a precise manner, making it easier to maintain focus and concentration. The project management process becomes easier when employees and managers properly manage the loss of concentration from the important tasks.

One Stop Shop for Data

Work management software makes data sharing and intra-organizational communication easier for the employees. The collaboration software provides fast and easy solutions for sharing important files with each other. The employees can share information with multiple employees and download the data within seconds. A one-stop-shop for all data, the collaboration software reduces the chances of delayed projects and missed deadlines.

Real-time updates provided by the software improve team collaboration and make encourage new ideas. Employees can share their ideas, hold meetings, and access the brainstorming sessions with a simple click.

Elimination of Geographic Boundaries

The organizations can obtain resources from all over the world by using work management software. It not only reduces the project production costs but it is also useful for integrated work-sharing techniques to reduce the time required for completing a project. Work management software is also useful for completion of important tasks when concerning remote employees.

The work management software tracks the time and resource spent on a task. The reports generated by the collaboration software can be used to minimize the time, resource, and production costs and improve project management techniques in the organization.

Is Team Management Software Effective for Reducing Workplace Stress

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Workplace stress has damaged the productivity of employees since centuries. It is believed that the workers of Egyptian Great Pyramids were tortured on a daily basis to keep them working. However, the modern organizations devise policies that make organizational environment more comfortable and productive for the employees. These include agile policies, virtual offices, introduction of restrooms, and more. However, the cost of workplace stress still damages the American national economy by $190Bn of healthcare costs.

Team management software can help reduce the workplace stress by several techniques.

Reduction in the Managerial Stress

A Harvard Business research reveals that managers spend an average of 47% of their time in managerial activities. In contrast, employees spend 88% of their time in workplace operations. Managers can improve the usability and consumption of their time by reducing the workload, which increases employee turnover rate. According to the Yerkes-Dodson Model of Stress, people become more productive when they have affordable workload and good mood. The team management software improves the mood of managers by reducing their workload and helping them manage their routine activities in an effective way. The managers, in return, deal with their employees in an effective manner, which helps improve the corporate environment of the organization. A good manager is the strongest tool to convert the loyalty of employees in the benefit of organization.

Equal Distribution of Information

The chances of task duplication are higher when the employees operate from virtual offices. In team management software, the employees receive equal distribution of information, which helps reduce the chances of duplication.

Convenient Accessibility to Files and Documents

The task management software design is based on convenient accessibility to the documents and files. These include storing the files on one server and easily sharing the files without any hassle. The task management software increase employee value by making information accessible to all the employees.

Task Assignment

Task assignment and resource allocation are the most hectic responsibilities of the managers. These are also the key reasons of managerial stress. Effective resource allocation can help increase the productivity of the organization. The task management software reports the employee performances, which can be used to generate employee performance report for providing them training. These techniques are useful for reducing the workplace stress and making each employee more resourceful in the benefit of the organization.

Companies can evaluate the suitability of team management software by considering the benefits. These software applications provide benefits beyond task management including employee retention, reduction in workplace stress, reduction in healthcare costs, improvement in client retention, reduction in employee turnover, and many other benefits. Proper assessment of the benefits of task management software and an implementation plan to assist change management can help improve the benefits of team management software.

 

How Online Project Management Software is Suitable for Agile Employees

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Virtual offices have completely transformed the corporate operations. It has reduced the productivity costs of organizations by several folds. A stronger agent than capitalism, it has pushed the boundaries of organizational operations to the countries, which have low labor wages. However, it also made employee monitoring and communications difficult for the upper management. The online project management software offered the solution for agile employees by providing the following benefits.

Task Completion and Reporting

Task planning and management is the most time consuming daily activity of the project managers. It takes up to more than 50% of the time to plan and assign the tasks to the employees. Yet after all this effort, the managers cannot confirm the completion of tasks on time. The online project management software provide solutions for task management by automatically assigning the tasks to the employees based on their customized data. The software generates daily work completion reports of individual employees, which helps in task management as well as helps evaluate the productivity of an employee based on their performance, which is otherwise difficult for the employees working on agile basis.

Accessibility and Flexible Communication

Miscommunication may cause errors in project completion. The chances of miscommunication increase when the employees work from virtual offices, miles away from the head office of a company. The online project management software provides easy communication tools and features including equal distribution of information among employees, speedy messages, speedy file transfer, and more. The chances of duplication reduce when the information is equally distributed among all employees and ease task management.

Speedy File Transfer

From heavy files to small files in KBs, the online project management software allows flexible and speedy file transfer service. This helps reduce time consumption and speedy completion of the projects.

Cost Efficiency

The cost of managerial stress in organizations is higher than the perceived cost. The workplace stress costs around $190Bn to the US Healthcare Department, according to Forbes. The cost can be reduced by reducing the work stress on the managers. Online project management software reduces the operational time of managers up to 53%, which helps them focus on creative ways of project completion and maintain a healthy mood within the organization. The online project management software provide a detailed report of the employee performance and eases task management and resource allocation for the managers in agile operations.

Reliability and Security

The companies using the similar server for transferring important company data makes the online project management software more reliable and secure. The employees working from another continent will also use the similar software application for transferring the data, which ensures that the intellectual property of the organization is safe.

The online project management software requires low maintenance cost. Most of the software service providers maintain the software without any additional charges, which makes it a lucrative choice for the inter-organizational and intra-organizational operations.