According to one of the experts, tools, apps and software packages keep coming and going and some are here to stay as per their volume of usage by masses. In such cases development and improvements keep happening on these particular tools, apps and software packages.
Normally an app or tool continues to evolve and upgrade only when sufficient funding keeps coming from those investors who believe and have a strong data to back that these apps and tools are going to make a long way ahead and more and more people would be using it in the future. Investors just would not invest their time, effort and money in an app or tool which will not yield any return (ROI).
So the expert feels that best project management tool is nothing but your brain and just a plain piece of paper and pencil to start with, as the brain is the place where all the ideas, innovations and research starts flowing in. Unless the brain feeds in proper and relevant data and information to the tool, it will not function efficiently on its own. For any project to start with following things are very important to jot down.
- What is your Deliverable Product – a classic example given can be a Mobile Phone, what are the features it includes, what is the pixel size of camera it has, what is it’s memory and storage capacity, its weight and shape, what is the range of colors it is available in. In short it’s the requirement’s gathering task or activity, which can be the first and foremost.
- What will be your Product Delivery Date / Time Frame – normally any product made or manufactured always has a release date or delivery date. If not a specific date then there will always be a time frame within which the makers of the product need to deliver the product to its customer or client. There will always be exceptions and diversions from the date of delivery or the actual time frame, the product was supposed to be delivered.
- What are the Challenges, Hurdles and Issues Coming Your Way – There will never be a product or any software which can be delivered absolutely error free or which has no further scope of improvement right in the first instance of delivery or first deployment. It is very important to identify these challenges or issues as early as possible in the product development cycle to reduce financial losses, time and effort. Once the challenges, hurdles and issues are identified, try and eliminate them or mitigate them as far as possible.
- Solving or Eliminating the Challenges as per Priority – There will always be number of issues to be resolved or eliminated in order to execute the project further smoothly. As per the critical rating of each of the issues and challenges you need to eliminate them starting with the most critical issue first as its directly impacting your business and revenue and causing dissatisfaction to your customer. Always such issues needs to be dealt first.
- What Task Force Is Deployed To Fix These Issues and Challenges – The team of people appointed to fix the issues and challenges as per priority should be a well-trained one and should be able to provide a concrete time frame of resolving the issues, based on their assurance the management can commit the deadlines to their customers making them feel comfortable and assured. Also it will exactly reflect the time frame from when the revenue impact will be mitigated and losses minimized.
All the above decisions will be based on the above critical factors no matter what tools and techniques one might use for Project Management. If one is not getting all the answers in detail to all the questions above then one is not having a project to work on, your job is to get a project to work on first and foremost, all the answers to above questions will automatically fall in place.
If one is not able to define the deliverables in depth and detail, then you should go and get complete clarification on the requirements of the project first. If one is not sure to give a committed delivery date for a project or task or activity completion then try and answer rest of the questions in depth and detail, then you may get the answer to your this question.
Issues and challenges coming throughout the project execution consume a lot of time, effort and money and eats away major chunk of your revenue and eventually your profits. So focus more on keeping them at bay and try and mitigate them as far as possible to reduce damage. The expert does not see a point in spending money on a complex tool unless and until one knows the answers to the above questions. As you are going to gather all this information in your tool and hope it works as a solution to all the above questions. Instead of directly investing in some tool for project management not knowing whether it’s really of help to your processes and activities, you should try and device a tool yourself based on what all processes you follow and what kind of tool with clear requirements would be of assistance to us.
There are some Project Management tools available for use in the market.
- JIRA – it’s a project management tool especially and particularly of assistance to software development teams, it includes various features like agile project management, bug management or tracking, release management process etc.
- Trello – This tool can be defined as a visual project management tools which utilizes cards, lists and boards etc. to manage projects and tasks. It is most useful for teams who prefer a more visual approach to project management.
- Monday – it is considered a flexible project management tool which can be customized and modified as per the needs of your project activities and your teams. It has various workflows which can be customized. Automation is also possible in it. Also integration with other tools which allows coherence and parallel processing kind of activities.
- Asana – it is a widely known project management tool which facilitates you to handle and manage projects, team interaction, tasks all in a single place. The GUI id very user friendly and it consists of numerous templates and integration features with other tools and processes.
- Basecamp – it is considered to be an all in one project management tool which consists of various features such as file sharing activities, messaging to teams, to-do lists, and calendars for marking events etc. this tool is in particular use for teams located remotely to collaborate and work simultaneously and coherently and maintain an organized environment.
- Saviom – it is mostly considered as a project and portfolio management tool where multiple streams of projects involved which are running simultaneously. Also used as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning tool). It can also be effectively used as a workforce or resource management tool.