The 5 Step Process of Choosing Online Project Management Software

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The online project management software is designed on the concepts of easing project management. However, every company has different types of requirements based on the nature of their projects. Therefore, not every work management software is suitable for a company. Some online project management software offer universal properties, which make them acceptable for all types of businesses. Here is the five-step process of choosing work management software.

Evaluate the Needs

The needs of each department differ from the needs of other departments. The project that a company chooses will be used by a certain department or all departments. The organization can begin the evaluation process by soliciting the input of their employees who will use the online project management software. The input of employees will help consider the requirements of an organization as well as make the acceptance of change in the management system easier for the employees.

Evaluation is a two-step process.

  • Gather the feedback of employees working in the concerned departments.
  • Consider the overall needs of the projects depending on the company’s niche. A construction company will require collaborative software applications as compared to the needs of an IT company. Choose the online software management system with universally accepted features.

Consider the Collaboration Features

The work management software eases the inter-organizational and intra-organizational communication. The online project management software must contain effective collaboration and communication features including email, easy file sharing, speedy messaging, and hassle-free distribution of information.

The Ease of Use

The online project management software is designed to make the handling of complex projects easier. However, the software will not benefit the organization if the software’s infrastructure is complex to understand. The evaluation of the ease of use should always be done on the organizational level, not only on the managerial level. Change management and deployment of the work management software becomes easier if it is user-friendly.

Calculate the Cost

The online project management software provides various benefits including cost calculation, cost estimation, reporting, employee performance, risk forecasting, and others. The cost of work management software should justify increasing the profits and helping the project managers to work on multiple projects without any hassle. The suitability of a work management software can be evaluated by comparing its cost with its benefits for an organization.

Create an Implementation Plan

The implementation plan is useful for change management and making the change in organizational operations acceptable for the employees. The tech-savvy team can create a plan for the implementation. The plan should include training of the managers and employees. The day-to-day tasks of the project manager will drastically change therefore, the project manager’s training is crucial to the success of implementing online project management software.

The company can make the implementation acceptable by making the project managers and employees aware about the benefits of online project management software. The work management software make agile operations easier and help increasing the productivity of a company by reducing absenteeism.

How to Train Your Managers to Use Work Management Software

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Work management software applications have become a necessity in almost all types of organizations. These task management applications make project employment and anticipated completion flexible and up to the mark. The project manager is the bridge filling the gap between the requirements of a project and the employees working on it. For profit-oriented use of work management software, it is essential that the project manager is well-trained to use the software application. Here is how a project manager can be trained for maximizing the benefits of new work management software.

Start With Change Management Training

The project manager will face resistance to incur any change in the company’s operations. The implementation of work management software is itself a huge change. A quick session of change management training will help the project manager deal with the resistive behavior of employees. The second step in change management training is to brief the employees about using the task management software and its benefits. It will help the organization convert the resistive behavior into acceptance.

Solicit Input of the Software Users

The input of software users benefits the organizations in two ways. Firstly, it generates a sense of value among the employees, making them realize that they were a part of the decision-making process. Secondly, it helps the organization to consider the major features of work management software. This is useful during the selection and deployment process.

Provide the Essential Training

Learning the task management software techniques is not difficult if the software is designed on a simple infrastructure. However, yet it will take some time for the project manager to learn the different techniques. Hire a software developer or ask the project management software team to assist the training session. It is essential to provide training to the managers as well as to the employees.

Distribute Project Software Responsibilities

The task management software eases accessibility from top to bottom in the organizational hierarchy. However, it is also important to monitor the information flow and document sharing in the task management software. Furthermore, confusion may occur if more than one person assigns the tasks and assignments to the employees. Therefore, the organization should design a setup of using the task management software. The distribution of responsibility will maintain the flow of information and work assignments along with reducing the time consumption with work management software.

A Harvard Business Review reveals that the project managers spend an average of 47% of their time in project management operations. They can stop wasting their time and invest the time in more productive and constructive solutions. The managers can reduce their operational time by efficiently using the work management software. The task management software automatically assigns the responsibilities to the employees and provides a detailed report of the activities throughout the day, which helps in forecasting the project completion within the given deadline.

The Historical Evolution of Online Project Management Software

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The Great Pyramids of Egypt are one of the few brilliant examples of project engineering and management in historical times. It took the efforts of millions of people to complete the huge project of The Great Wall of China. Considering the world’s most fascinating projects, here is a breakdown of the specialty fields in project management.

  • Planning
  • Work and time scheduling
  • Cost estimation
  • Change implementation
  • Resource allocation

Project Management during the Rise of the Internet Era

The core concept of internet is based on accessibility. The concept of implementing online project management software/techniques began soon after the rise of internet during 1990s. The first project management system was created by Oracle and Artemis in 1977. These project managers were one-step resolution systems. In 1988, the two-step project managers were introduced with an added benefit of Earned Value Management. In 1995, a study conducted on online project management software revealed that the task management software is well-suited for decision-making, and successful planning activity. In 1996, PRINCE2 was introduced, which was a seven-step project management system for complex projects.

The concept of E-commerce was introduced in early 2000. The developers became more interested in developing online business management systems, which gave birth to the idea of online project management software. In 2001, the first Agile Task Management software was created. By 2006, people became capable of value, resource, task, and cost management in online project management software.

SaaS and Cloud-Based

SaaS or Software-As-A-Service emerged as project management support system in 2008. Just after one year, the US News announced that SaaS has become one of the most demanded skills. The first mobile project management app was introduced in 2012.

Key Purposes of Modern Task Management Software

The modern day online project management software serve many purposes. The key purposes include:

  • Project planning and scheduling
  • Communication and resource/document accessibility
  • Task assigning
  • Resource allocation
  • Task scheduling
  • Cost calculation
  • Anticipated cost of project and the difference
  • Anticipated time of project completion and the difference
  • Employee performance monitoring
  • Employee training
  • Flexible agile operations
  • Equal top-bottom distribution of information
  • Minimum upfront cost
  • Reliability
  • Task reporting and automated planning
  • Prioritizing the tasks
  • Data security

The Future of Online Project Management Software

The online task management software applications have enabled the project managers to expand their vision and get their hands on complex projects. The algorithm of online project management software will also become complex with the passage of time. The business structures will expand, pushing the boundaries towards countries with lower labor costs. This will lead to the expansion of cloud support systems.

An organization can make the most of online project management software by training the project managers and making the software applications handy for them. The project managers can adapt and implement changes using task management software systems.

What Characteristics Do Successful Managers Share With Online Project Management Software

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An organization is blessed if they have a successful manager in this fast-moving world. Technology may not have replaced everything and everyone on the planet but it has become an essential ingredient to assist operations, especially in the corporate sector. Here are a few characteristics that online project management software shares with the successful managers.

Time-Bound Tracking and Reporting

Successful managers establish the foundations of their team management by regulating time-bound tracking and reporting of tasks. The managers use these reports to plan the work of the next day. Reporting is essential to track the completion of a project on regular basis and to ensure that there are not any loopholes in project completion. The online project management software assists the project managers in team management by automatically providing detailed reports of individual employees. The online project management software can be automated to plan the tasks of individual employees for the next day.

Risk Forecasting

A prioritized task may cause serious risks in project completion if it is delayed by an employee. The project managers forecast the risks by keeping a track of the project tasks and calculating the costs of the incomplete tasks to ensure effective team management. They also use a proactive-creative approach to manage these prioritized tasks within the given deadlines, without letting the delay harm the organizational profits. The project management software does the same job, by automatically calculating the cost of an incomplete task and sending a report to the project manager. This technique is useful in creative team management and project completion without bearing the loss of incomplete tasks.

Research for Justified Training Investments

Organizations bear a high cost of employee training and team management, not only in the US but all over the world. The employee training cost is high not only because of high turnover rate but also due to lack of intra-organizational research. Companies do not spend time on evaluating the employee strengths, which leads to unjustified costs of employee training. The successful managers, in contrast, evaluate the employee strengths for effective team management. Similarly, the online project management software sends the detailed reports of employee performances to the managers, providing a clear picture of employee activities during work hours. Employees need training if they spend extra hours on an easy project. The report also enables the managers to evaluate careful assessment of the team members and assignment of the projects to suitable employees. It helps increase the productivity turn out of a project with unparalleled team management.

The Ability to Communicate Effectively

Free flow of information, speedy exchange of the documents, top-bottom distribution of the files and documents, and effective communication are the keys to successful and hassle-free completion of the projects. The online project management software provides all resources required for inter-organizational and intra-organizational communication.

Effective Stress Management

The cost of managerial stress comes with various consequences including increased absenteeism at the workplace, increased turnover, increased cost of recruitment and training, increased healthcare cost, loss of market reputation, and worst, failure of a project. A Harvard Business Review on 1300 managers reveals that stressed managers spend only 47% of their time in managerial activities. The successful project managers are effective stress managers. They manage their stress by prioritizing the important tasks, distributing the work, and adapting a realistic approach to project achievements. The online project management software reduces the workload on the managers and enables them to utilize their time more creatively to boost productivity. The online project management software aids amateur managers in stress management.

Successful managers effectively manage their work and time for timely completion of the projects. The online project management software does the same job, along with many other benefits including error-free cost calculations, effective task distribution, and others.

How Team Management Software Helps Reduce the Cost of Managerial Stress

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The managerial stress of project managers is one of the leading causes of failed projects. It may also affect the work-life balance, personal life, family relationships, and personal health negatively. The project manager is responsible for the success or failure of a project, which means that the stress on managers is also higher than that on other employees. Small businesses use team management software for reducing the managerial stress. However, the benefits of team management software go beyond task management and assignment.

The Yerkes-Dodson Curve on Stress

The Yerkes-Dodson Curve explains three stages of stress. We will implement the Yerkes-Dodson Curve on project management.

BORED – It is the condition when the managers are calm and looking forward to improvements. Usually, the managers are bored when they have less work stress and task management responsibilities. Their performance is 40%–60% at this stage.

EUSTRESS – The project managers show optimal performance at this stage when they are focused, energized, and work effortlessly.

DISTRESS – The managerial performance reduces when the managers have too much work load, causing fatigue, exhaustion, loss of health, and ultimately breakdown.

It is quite evident from the given model that work load is the primary factor in causing stress and distress among the project managers. Here is a lowdown on the impact of managerial stress on an organizations performance and its solution.

The Cost of Managerial Stress

According to a Forbes article, workplace stress has caused a damage of $190Bn to the US healthcare costs in 2015. These include self-reported physical and mental problems and high mortality rate. While this is the national healthcare cost estimation due to workplace stress, the cost of damage to the organization is higher. Managerial stress causes distress among the employees and leads to high turnover and recruitments costs to the organization. It also leads to high absenteeism. The productivity of the employees reduces and the employees have higher health and safety issues, leading to high accidental and insurance costs for the organizations. It also causes reputational damage to the organization. The organization needs to hire new employees and spend more money on their training.

Is Team Management Software Useful

The culture of managerial stress and all costs related to it can be reduced by reducing the workload on the managers, which is certainly the most important task for higher management. The work stress on managers can be reduced by using team management software, which offers the following benefits.

  • The agile task management function allows the managers to manage their employees through distance operations scheme.
  • The team management software prepares the to-do lists of the employees based on their data. The team management software not only performs the function of task management but it also reminds the employees about pending tasks, based on priority order.
  • The team management software prepares an employee performance report at the end of the day. The well-research report provides a detailed analysis of the employee activities throughout the day, providing a clear outline of the most time-consuming activities. It allows the managers in task management and assignment of the tasks to suitable employees.
  • The team management software tracks the time required to complete an assigned task.
  • Its task management function also includes task reporting function, which contains graphical and visual illustrations of all the information related with employee performance.
  • The team communication function allows flexible distribution of information and documents, which reduces the time required for individual communication.

The team management software is more beneficial than just task management. By reducing managerial stress, it improve employee presence at workplace, reduce employee health expenses, and allows the managers to adapt a proactive-creative approach for boosting productivity and profits.