What is the stage of the task assigned to you?
Why is there a delay in completing the project requirements?
How many projects are you currently working on?
As a business owner when you have to ask these questions to your team, you’re managing your projects in the wrong way.
Organizations, irrespective of size and industry, juggle numerous projects, teams, and tasks. With all the tasks and projects that they work on, it’s almost impossible to remember everything in the head. Putting down all this information in spreadsheets and emails is overwhelming and difficult for constant communication.
Therefore, it’s necessary to have a solution that can keep everything organized, up-to-date and transparent so that everyone can carry out their jobs as planned, and achieve the goals they have set out to deliver – with little or no change.
With globally distributed teams slowly becoming a natural phenomenon for most businesses, the importance of project management implementation by businesses has risen.
A survey from PMI’s Pulse of the Profession states that an increasing number of projects are meeting original goals and being completed within budget, thanks to the application of project management across the organization.
What is a project management tool?
Using a project management tool, businesses can plan, execute and manage multiple projects under one virtual roof. This software maps out the entire life of a project on a single screen, including planning, systemizing and administering the scope, budget and resource allotment.
Without wasting another second, here are seven reasons why your global team needs a project management tool:
1. Optimized planning
Chances are, as soon as you finish planning the project, some aspects are bound to change.
Without a process in place, communicating this to multiple teams and all the team members involved becomes a time-consuming task.
In the absence of a tool, there are no guidelines about who is accomplishing what and the time duration. This leads to difficulty in sticking to a schedule and subsequently a loss in productivity.
Project management outlines all the tasks and makes them visible to the team. You can schedule the timelines, deadlines, and priorities to avoid overlapping of the tasks. The PM software lets you optimize the lifecycle of the project. This tool shows the way projects are to be managed, centralizes the way people approach work and provides better visibility across the company.
Therefore, the team has a complete idea about where they are, where they want to go and what they are expected to accomplish.
2. Easy collaboration on projects
For large projects, each member is assigned individual tasks in the team. For a global team, this means employees are distributed across different time zones and cities. For everyone to stay on the same page, to track the progress and to get an overview of how their counterparts are doing, a project management solution is vital.
In case of a query, they can get a quick answer because they know the exact people working on a particular feature. The time taken to search for an answer is drastically reduced. Team collaboration is also facilitated.
The team members can chat on the tool, share documents and discuss any outstanding work without worrying about miscommunication – all under a single roof. Your project manager can check the team members’ progress and make changes as and when required.
3. Budget management
For every $1 billion invested in the USA, $122M was wasted because of the lack of project planning. [PMI]
One of the goals of the project manager is to maximize the profits earned by the company on each project. A simple Excel sheet listing the expenses is no longer doing the job since the team members are remotely working.
A project management tool helps your project manager in determining how the team across the globe fares in terms of planned and actual budgets. You get weekly and monthly reports on the expenses and the total amount spent.
If there are any discrepancies, the work can be aligned and allocated among lesser engaged employees accordingly so that at the end of the day, the project gets completed within the allocated budget.
4. Optimize resource allocation
Companies deploy a project management tool to optimize resource allocation. Managing the resources ensures that you do not waste anyone’s time and leads to smooth operations.
This feature outlines the resources who will be needed and what would they be needed for. The cost of usage is calculated accordingly.
Why is it so helpful? Using this, you can avoid lacking resources or overusing them.
5. Systematic project reporting
When project managers use varied ways to manage projects, the status reports can also be in multiple formats. Reading those reports is a painstaking task for business owners (like yourself!).
Every project management tool has a set of templates for project reporting, which makes it easier for project managers to not only slice and dice the information in different ways but also give the status to the business owners in a pre-defined format.
Moreover, the reports can be stored in a central location so that everyone knows where to head to, whenever necessary.
6. File and document sharing
Files and documents are a vital part of every company. One of the features of the best PM tools is a centralized storage platform from where the team members can store and access critical documents. Your staff does not have to shuffle through multiple spreadsheets or emails to get the desired information.
7. Clear communication
57 percent of projects fail because of poor communication. [IT Cortex]
If the nature of your business involves collaboration with clients and vendors alike, then it is important also to get them on your project management tool. That way, they can also log in and view relevant project data, leave comments and share updates and feedback, whenever.
A project management tool isn’t just about internal communication. It also makes external communication easier and smoother. Clients prefer to be kept in the loop for even the smallest of things, and with this tool, you can also keep them engaged and satisfied.
Bonus tip: tools to manage a globally distributed team
Although businesses can hire the best project managers to handle different projects with teams spread across the globe, the right set of tools can make work more efficient. Here’s a roundup of the most useful ones:
- Slack – for team communication
- Smart task – for project management
- Zoom – for video conferencing
- Nimble – a CRM software for prospecting better and smarter
- Chanty – for remote team communication
- Zapier – workflow automation
- PomoDoneApp – for time tracking
- Timetastic – staff leave planner
Project management is no longer a luxury. It facilitates the implementation of discipline across companies to achieve their goals efficiently and effectively.
And if you are dealing with global teams, it is all the more necessary to have a proper system in place that allows your employees to work optimally, in peace, towards the same goal.