In any organization, during the development and implementation of a major project, there are innumerable stresses created at every level for those involved. Key players are continually stressed by deadlines, budgets and tasks while managers are burdened by their oversight responsibilities. The implementation of an online project management system (PMS) can go a long way towards facilitating these processes and in the process significantly reduce the stress on all the personnel.
1. Facilitates Communication
While other forms of communication certainly have their place in project management, a single convenient, collaborative platform can eliminate misunderstandings, confirm evaluations and ameliorate any language issues. The same information about project requirements, potential problems and time or budgetary restraints is available to every team member. Any potential changes made by one team member can be evaluated before the changes are made and save aggravation and stress for everyone.
In addition, an online project management system can help overcome the hurdle of language incongruities. While a member may have difficulty in expressing a difficult concept in words alone, the use of charts, graphs and blueprints in the PMS can easily facilitate the exchange of information. In short, an online PMS focuses the efforts of the team on the same goals as outlined by the project manager.
2. Provides Enhanced Oversight
A project manager’s greatest fear is of being left “outside the loop” on some seemingly minor, but actually important, decision. An online PMS reduces this stress by allowing continual oversight, even from a remote location. It can even serve as a “gatekeeper” for decisions, large and small. In that case, any potential changes can be input into the system but will require the manager’s approval before implementation.
The information is also provided in a standard framework making oversight far easier and efficient. Progress reports and daily updates can all be monitored in a single place and quickly compared to the project budget and timeline. In addition, the notification of problems is also expedited saving time, money and reducing stress when dealing with them.
3. Enables Better Risk Assessment
No one knows better than a project manager that the responsibility will always be passed back and forth between all team members when an unidentified problem arises. Unfortunately, no matter who is actually at fault, it is his problem to solve. The key to eliminating this stressful situation is to be proactive in identifying potential problems.
An online project management system brings everyone to the table at the same time and potential problems become evident. Though potential difficulties are unwanted, it is far easier and affordable to deal with them now than when they arise unexpectedly. In addition, the budget and timeline can be adjusted so that there are no surprises for senior management of for clients. Proper risk assessment is fundamental to relieving enormous amounts of stress on the project team and on its manager.
4. Allows 24/7, Web-Enabled Access to Archived information
An online project management system is more than just a platform for passing notes. Specifications, budgets, deadlines and a host of other necessary information can be archived in one readily accessible and always available space. This feature may seem trivial when compared to some of the other benefits of an online PMS but there is nothing more frustrating and stressful than trying to track down an essential piece of information when key employee is out of touch. In fact, entire projects can be stalled while waiting for an email or telephone call. A single repository for all relevant project information is an invaluable resource for every member of a project team.
5. Reduces Travel
Nothing saps the energy from a person more than unnecessary business travel. The situation is only exacerbated when the meeting attendees are late or unavailable or the problem has been solved while the traveler was en route.
An online project management system is the perfect solution to this problem. Meetings can be scheduled, changed and cancelled at a moment’s notice with almost no significant ramifications for the participants. Time and money are saved, employees are less stressed and the project does not suffer.
The Bottom Line
An online project management system is not a panacea. There will still be problems and obstacles associated with any project. A PMS, however, is available tool for overcoming these hurdles and for reducing the stress of all members of the project team. It is useful on projects, large and small, in a wide variety of applications. Consider one before you tackle your next important project.