Digital Project Management: Industry Best Practices

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The advancements of the digital technologies have introduced new work practices. Today almost every business has moved online along with the associated job. The project managers have to adopt new methods and approaches to manage online projects.

Digital project management involves using online collaboration software, digital work management strategies, and cloud file storages. The project managers need to know the industry best practices to ensure that the work is performed efficiently ensuring successful completion of the project. In this article, we will share some of the tips that can help in effective handling of the digital projects. 

1. Know about Project Goals

Digital projects have slightly different goals as compared to traditional projects. These projects entail different deliverables that the project manager should identify before scheduling the project. Find out how the clients measure the project success. Take time to find out what are key requirements of the projects or what matters most to the stakeholders, and align them with your project management strategy.

2. Create an Open Communication with the Customers

With a digital project, you should always be in the loop with the end customers. This is important to ensure that the digital project conforms exactly to the requirements of the clients. After all what’s the point of a digital project that the client will not want to use. Through creating an open line of dialogue with the customer, you will be in the same wavelength with the client regarding the kind of features that should be incorporated with the product. The input of the customers is vital to delivering true value of the project. 

3. Implement the Iron Triangle Approach

The Iron Triangle concept addresses the intrinsic connection between resources, time, and scope. Resources are the tangible part of the project, whereas, project schedule is in essence the time expected to produce the deliverables. Lastly, the scope of the project represents the functionality and features that have been agreed with the client. These three factors directly determine the quality of the project deliverables.  While quality is a subjective term, it is nonetheless affected by the way these four factors are organized by the project manager. 

4. Break Vision into Action

The insights and information of the digital project must define the long-term goal of the project.
When managing a digital project, the project manager must act like a strategist. Just like a strategic planner look at long term deliverables, the project manager must develop a long term strategy for the digital project. 

Once the vision or direction of the digital project has been determined, it should be broken down into different iterations. The project manager must develop, execute, and improve the strategy regarding an iteration that should also define the next iterations. This will help in prioritizing the tasks and exacting the project to perfection. 

Managing digital projects is no walk in the park. It requires a project manager to act as analyst, strategist, and business executive. The manager must balance the business objectives and generate innovative ways to accomplish project deliverables. In this respect, using an effective work management software is indispensible.

3 Best Practices for Project Managers in the 21st Century

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While the ground seems to be constantly shifting for project managers, the fundamental practices remain somewhat the same. The basic knowledge, principles, and practices relating to project management will remain applicable at all times. However, the basic premise of project management must be adjusted according to the demands of the present time. 

In this article, we will look at three best practices for project managers that can help them in achieving quality project deliverables in the present landscape.

1. Search for Technological Solutions

You must be ready to talk to vendors about technological solutions to project management. Make sure that you select a work management software that fulfills the needs of your project. You should go for online project management software as it allows more enhanced collaboration between the project managers.  The online work management software allows people located in the remote collection to work collaboratively. 

Using the online team management software can help in managing employees located in different locations. Also, it makes flexible work practices possible that has shown to result in increased productivity and ultimately revenues for the company. 

2. Find Out the Business Value

When carrying out the project tasks, the main goal should be to identify what will provide the greatest value for the business users. It is important to find out how the investment (or expenses) will offer value to the client. The corporate customers will likely be interested in the ROI that represents the gain for them from the end project. In this respect, a project manager acts more like a financial analyst. While this task can also be delegated to a finance professional, a project manager will benefit from carrying out a cost-benefit analysis as it will help in prioritizing the allocation of resources to different tasks.

3. Regular Reporting of Project Status

A project manager should review project status report on a regular basis. The project report can help in communicating the progress of the project to the stakeholders. Regular reporting of the project deliverables will ensure that issues don’t arise due to not being on the same wavelength regarding the project. Make sure that the report consists of graphs and charts that make the information easily digestible.  Also, the status of the tasks should be highlighted using red, yellow, and green colors. The easier you make for the readers to understand the report, the less are the chances of an issue arising due to miscommunication. 

Project management in today’s context is challenging. It requires a lot of effort and time.  A project manager should remain abreast of the latest practices and knowledge relating to project management. Also, the old project management practices must be adjusted to bring them in line with current practices.

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.