Project planning software: why is it helpful?

Project planning software: why is it helpful?

Any project starts to be managed when, besides the set goal, someone leads it. The goal will only be achieved after reaching a balance time and cost vs. resources. Projects of short-term and with low investment should not involve weeks of planning. Similarly, the complex and highly critical ones require more than simple management skills, but also tools to facilitate your life. My intention with this post is talking to who faces resistance from employees to cooperate with the project. If you adopt a project planning software, you become able to leverage and keep your work under better control:

But why?

You’ll be able – using a project planning software – to organize and visualize:

  • The project tasks listed by priority of delivery;
  • Date and time of starting, estimated and actual delivery of the task;
  • The task status, e.g. “reviewing”, “testing” or “trading”;
  • The name of the responsible for the task and its supervisor;
  • The percentage already completed of the project;
  • A space for comments and attachments – no more e-mails;
  • A permanent record of all information exchanged through the system.

 

1. You plan

Take a time to reflect on some key issues, to outline strategies (what to do) and tactics (how to do it):

  • What’s the problem that motivates us to create and follow the project?
  • What are the expected benefits for the stakeholders?
  • But what are the risks?
  • How much of technology solutions we need?
  • Which employees will be involved in this process? Are there bottlenecks?
  • And finally, how the productivity reports will be processed?

 

2. You manage

  • Make an agreement between all stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers) about the objectives and benefits of the project. They should be involved in the project as soon as possible.
  • Delegate a project team whose primary responsibility is helping you follow the planning and overseeing the implementation of the project, interacting with external developers (consultants), managers and members.
  • Now visualize all the necessary tasks to achieve each goal. Stipulate a deadline and a cost estimate. Then delegate the tasks, that can be individual or made by a whole team.
  • Identify all hazardous areas and consider the steps to minimize it.
  • Set realistic and measurable targets. You may determine project goals (e.g. automating the accounting records) and business goals (e.g. increase profits by 20%, reduce costs by 30%, increase staff by 10%).
  • The final results should be agreed on a negotiation process between the project management and the customer. In general, values of time, cost, quality and goals are defined by contract.

 

3. EXTRA: Canvas

Business Model Canvas” is a map of the main requirements to start a project or an enterprise. As every planning, it must be flexible and reviewed over time. Here’s a summary:

Infrastructure

  • Key Activities: the most important activities in executing a company’s value proposition.
  • Key Resources: they are considered an asset to a company, which are needed in order to sustain and support the business. These resources could be human, financial, physical and intellectual.
  • Partner Network: in order to optimize operations and reduce risks of a business model, organization usually cultivate buyer-supplier relationships so they can focus on their core activity. Complementary business alliances also can be considered through joint ventures, strategic alliances between competitors or non-competitors.

Offering

  • Value Proposition: the collection of products and services a business offers to meet the needs of its customers, which distinguishes the company from its competitors. The value proposition provides value through various elements such as newness, performance, customization, “getting the job done”, design, brand/status, price, cost reduction, risk reduction, accessibility, and convenience/usability.

Customers

  • The public interest for the products and services of the project.
  • Channels: will distribute a company’s value proposition in ways that are fast, efficient and cost effective. An organization can reach its clients either through its own channels (store front), partner channels (major distributors), or a combination of both.
  • Customer Relationship: to ensure the survival and success of any businesses, companies must identify the type of relationship they want to create with their customer segments.

 

Try Runrun.it on, a project planning software recommended by 83% of its customers, who related an average growth of 25% in productivity at work. It’s for free: http://runrun.it

 

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