To be a good project manager you must use collaboration software

Posted by Niall Sullivan

13-Nov-2017 08:00:00

good project manager

As a project manager, you have a lot to deal with on a daily basis. From planning and defining scope to budgeting and risk analysis, it can seem a bit overwhelming at times!

But don’t worry, help is at hand! Using online collaboration software can help you in many ways and ultimately could prove to be the difference between your project ending in failure or not.

Here are just some of the ways in which online collaboration software can help you to be a good project manager.

Time management

Time management

People are spending longer periods wasting time at work than ever before.

According to Forbes, it breaks down like this:

  • 31% waste roughly 30 minutes daily
  • 31% waste roughly 1 hour daily
  • 16% waste roughly 2 hours daily
  • 6% waste roughly 3 hours daily
  • 2% waste roughly 4 hours daily
  • 2% waste 5 or more hours daily

Over a week, month or year this certainly adds up! The main reason for this is not only ineffective time management, but also poor planning.

A little bit of thought can make a big difference though. By spending just 15 minutes planning out your day, you can save 2.5 hours of your time. A huge success don’t you think?

Task lists can help you to achieve this. In an online workspace you can monitor all of your tasks in one place, assign them to different people and set due dates.

Communication

Time and again we have mentioned the importance of having a watertight project communication plan.

A key part of this should be how you communicate with your stakeholders. With email known to be harmful to productivity, the time has come for you to look at alternative solutions.

Step forward collaboration software. It allows you and your stakeholders to share and collaborate on documents in a secure online workspace, wherever they’re based.

In fact, it goes further than that. Instead of searching through long email trails, the software can provide communication tools such as shared calendars, messaging and instant notifications to ensure that everyone is kept in the loop about developments within your project.

Team building

Every project that you work on relies on everyone pulling in the same direction.If this doesn’t happen, it could spell trouble.

That’s where team building can help. Research has shown that it has a significant positive impact on teams that find it difficult to work well together.

Now you’re probably wondering how this can be achieved using online collaboration. It’s simple really. Most platforms will allow you to create online forums.

They provide the perfect platform for team building because you and your team can exchange ideas, learn more and work better together towards achieving common goals.

It has also been known to increase employee engagement.

Collaboration with stakeholders near and far

remote working

When managing a project team and trying to work with stakeholders, you will face many barriers when you try to introduce them to collaborative working. 

One of the main issues is distance. If all or some of them are based in different places outside of your office, it can be difficult to encourage them to work closely together.

If you think this doesn’t concern you as everyone is based in the same office, then unfortunately you’re wrong. Times are definitely changing. More people than ever are working remotely, with one report suggesting that 91% of firms in Britain have at least one employee working from home now.

Fortunately, improving collaboration with dispersed teams and stakeholders is made simpler with an online workspace.

When working on documents together no longer do you have to be in the same room looking over the same paper printout. By simply uploading a document to the workspace, you can ask for comments or approval and even edit it together in real-time.

Thanks to the power of the cloud, you can of course do this on any device, wherever you’re based as long as you have an internet connection. Georgraphy is no longer a restriction for effective collaboration!

Store sensitive information securely

With GDPR being introduced in the UK in May next year and cyber security becoming more important in organisations, you will need to ensure that your project’s data is as secure as possible.

Currently, you might be using Excel spreadsheets. Although they offer basic protection, they can’t entirely be relied on to not be accessed by outsiders.

One thing you can count on however is that security is taken seriously by online collaboration providers. They put a number of measures in place to ensure that data is highly secure such as:

  • ISO27001 – Achieving this demonstrates that they are following information security best practice, and delivers an independent, expert assessment of whether their data is adequately protected.
  • IT health check – Internal systems are tested to show that no significant weaknesses exist on network infrastructure or individual systems that could allow one internal device to intentionally or unintentionally impact on the security of another.
  • Cyber Essentials Plus – This is awarded to organisations that can show that they have the necessary security procedures in place to prevent Internet-originated attacks against their IT systems.

Fortunately, most provide a secure alternative to the Excel spreadsheet – databases.

These can be customised to suit a variety of different uses for your project that include:

  • Issue registers
  • Risk registers
  • SWOT analysis
  • Asset management
  • Key contacts

While standard spreadsheets need to be locked and downloaded first before editing, online databases are perfect for a multi-person project team who are working on it at the same time.

10 Questions to ask an Online Collaboration Supplier

 

Topics: project management, online collaboration