Is project management critical to your success? Oh ya betcha it is! Even though we know this, a majority of the time this is taken lightly. There are so many tools out there (some of my favorite listed below) that, for the most part, can quickly be implemented. Now with that said there are many considerations to be made when considering this implementation.

Here are some keys to a successful project management system;        

  • Define the scope of all projects (no cheating here).
    • Define where they are on a bell curve.
    • Define the key stakeholders.
    • Define the sponsors, support team
    • Define all key deliverables.
    • Define all dependencies and interdependencies of each project.
    • Define risk and mitigation plans
    • Oh, and you should understand costs, operating expenses and hopefully there is a profit.
  • Implement a project plan for each product and or service and administrate them to success. Remember, inspect what you expect and determine risk early!
  • Define, review and implement project management tools.
    • If it helps, you can choose from the tools below.
  • Please make this person report to someone other than the staff they will piss off the most.
  • Empower this position to assign and manage tasks.
  • Must have a very strong working relationship with supply chain and production to be successful.
  • Consider project management methodologies (waterfall or agile). There is a lot more to this… we should discuss this one.

Now for some good tools to help you along the way. But remember, the tool does not make the mechanic!

  • A standard for many companies but not cloud based (as of now) (oh, and it is Microsoft Based). That’s right, MS Project. It is a great tool but not easily shared. However, if you are a Microsoft house you might want to consider this and Sharepoint as a viable solution.
  • Probably the closest to MS Project BUT Cloud-Based… Yes, THIS is important for many reasons (if you want to know, call me). Smartsheet is a web-based program that has several quick templates for many types of Project Management Tasks.
  • One of my favorites and very cloud based. Great tool for assigning tasks and can look just like MS Project (even import & export to MS Project). Check ZohoProjectout. (Well worth the money)
  • Then one of the most customizable (and affordable) is Podio. I really enjoy this community for sharing apps and ideas. This can be customized to support Project Management, CRM, and many more cloud solutions. Well worth the research!
  • Another excellent cloud-based tool and very popular is Basecamp. We have used them since they started and a very good tool especially when working with stakeholders and offsite task assignees. Also a great tool for all project documents.
  • There are more and this will be updated.

So do you get the idea that there is a lot to a successful project management program. If you do then you are on track for success! If you want some help with getting a program started or just questions on tools please contact me.