In today’s world all companies are looking to save money and increase productivity even if by the smallest of margins, even if it means spending millions of dollars to shave of 0.1 of a penny off of production costs. Staying competitive is essential in the ever-growing international market. Leaders in these markets are on an ongoing quest to find new ways to stay ahead of the rest, sometimes even getting quite creative, from employee incentives to classes to help employees concentrate. But how about taking a look at the infrastructure of the company and really getting into how projects big and small are delegated in the company? We help you to find the best project manager.
To do this we have to look into choosing a project manager. Choosing the best project manager can be difficult. There are so many options and most times people don’t know what to choose or how to start using one.
Why use a project manager
Just as email mostly pushed out verbal delegation due to its ease of usage and ability to track what is supposed to be being worked on. Project managers are now replacing email. By verbal an email communication there are so many things that can go wrong for both managers and employees. The best project manager help by reducing confusion in communication, and help protect employees from becoming too overwhelmed,
All too often managers send out email to their employees expecting that a job is done only to be faced with the age old ‘’oh I didn’t think you meant now’’ or ‘’I wasn’t sure what you meant.’’ While sometimes these very well are the case, they are still huge time sinks when there are deadlines that need to be met. When we put everything in an online project manager this simplifies and spells out exactly what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and by who it needs to be done. No more potential confusion for the staff, and no more headaches for managers.
More often than not employees have more than one major role in their position, and this leads to having many, many emails in their inbox. Which in turn sometimes leads to the excuses listed above. Without a project manager these employees are almost constantly receiving emails that request their ‘’undivided attention’’ or to ‘’drop what you’re doing’’ normally these requests and flowing down two different chains of command without communication between managers and their respective deadlines causing employees to become very stressed. A project manager also works for the employee. It allows for all managers to see what someone is working on and its overall importance to the company. If another manager comes in, and tells an employee to stop what he or she is doing and to work on something else, this will be reflected and there will be less stress placed upon already overstressed multitaskers of our companies, and, ultimately, accountability ownership in the workplace will be clearer.
What makes the Best Project Manager the one
Project managing applications are stepping in and outperforming email by making difficulties of knowing what is being worked on, where resources are going, and if everything is truly on track a thing of the past.
In the past (or in some cases, currently) we were stuck delegating employees who are sometimes countries apart through emails. But how do we know how the process of various tasks is coming along without taking out our own time to inquire. Project managers are a solution that is resolving this issue, it allows for managers to see what is being worked on now, how much time has already been dedicated to what tasks and when said tasks are looking to be completed. With this information, managers will know if teams are being productive, or if there is a need to step in, all without having to stop their current work to stop someone else’s work to get updates.
One of the trickiest jobs to do in management is how wages expenses are broken up. How do we know what money is going where. Do we really know how many hours are being dedicated to ‘’fixing bugs’’ in the IT department vs ‘’Coding’’. Nope we don’t, and without someone standing over our employees with a stopwatch we aren’t going to be able to. This is where online project managers come into play. In some of these tools there is a system which tracks how much time each employee spends on each task, and linked to this is what type of task said employee was working in. This helps managers get a solid read of what money is going where, and if there can be changes to increase productivity through either time or resources.
During the startup phase of a business, it’s not very difficult to keep a close eye on your project, for the big picture and day-to-day tasks are still very parallel and micromanaging project progressions is much easier. As the company grows, as does the big picture and the number of, well, everything. From projects to employees, everything grows numerous and as a manager, it becomes difficult to micromanage with the precision that they once could. This is yet another reason a project manager is great. It allows you as a manager to see how all projects are coming along, if they are over budget, going over budget, close to being completed, etc. Not only this but it can be done in the back of a taxi in a traffic jam if you so desire.
Choosing the Best Project Manager
Is there a checklist to have when looking for a great project manager you ask? Why it just so happens that I have said checklist here. I’ll cover each area of what makes a project manager great.
- Time Tracking
One of the most important things that I touched on a bit above about project managers is their ability to track time. But not just time tracking for resources, instead, an ideal project manager would replace the timeclock all together. Timeclocks just tell employers if their employees are ‘’on the clock’’ but not what employees are doing on the clock. Knowing how much time has been devoted to what, really helps managers ensure productivity and results.
- Does the Project Manager make management reports for me?
The time currently spent on putting reports together is a gigantic waste. I mean sometimes it requires information from various departments such as: accounting, human resources, other managers, etc. The sheer delays in getting information for reports from said departments is exhausting just thinking about it. Instead, a project manager automatically tracks all information put into it. So getting anything from costs reports, to project projections is all generated in seconds. Allowing for management to use more brainpower working the reports, as compared to what it currently takes to put them into existence.
- Real time information about what your team is working on
Ever wonder what teams are working on? If priorities are in the right place? A project management application has to be able to display this information for managers. Knowing what everyone is doing and when said things are planned to be done saves so much time and not to mention stress from employees constantly having to report what is being done and what they are going to be doing next. In a project manager, team leaders should have the ability to set the priority of task lists for workers so that there are no questions as to what needs to be done.
How does it all tie together? Yeah, that’s right, timesheets. Project managers report how much time was spent by employees throughout the week(s) and automatically calculates overtime in projects, and also if adjustments need to be made.
- Cost control
Project management programs should have a way to alert managers about costs. For example a manager should be able to look at a project and see if costs are on track and if there are ways to lessen the costs. Let’s say we have 2 members in the IT department one being more experienced and higher paid, while having another who is less experienced and lower paid. The way current task systems work is to sometimes assign problems to whomever, when in the long run, this can be very costly.
Why? Imagine if the higher paid IT worker was using his time/cost on tasks that a less experienced team member could resolve while the IT task load is congested with more pressing matters that requires the attention of the more experienced member. Not only are costs out of control and being spend in areas incorrectly, the schedule is being pushed back due to delays. This is just one example in millions as to why the best project management program needs to have a form of cost control.
- True cloud integration
One of the most important factors in choosing the best project manager is ensuring that it has complete cloud integration. Can you access your work from anywhere? Can you manage mobile employees? Can you share file all without having to leave the site. This is truly the icing on the cake for the all-around conveniency of an online project manager.
Down to the nitty gritty, some of what’s out there.
Runrun.it is a task management tool that generates a foundation for effective communication. Runrun.it allows for managers to keep track of project and task projects through just a few simple clicks. Attach files to tasks, spell out the details, get reports, the whole 9 yards – Gantt included. By streamlining paperwork, Runrun.it increases productivity and provides a home base for employees and supervisors to apply to their business conversations. And what’s more is you can give it a try for free.
Google tasks is Todo list program usable across all google platforms, mainly created to keep track of things in your own life whether it be personal or professional. While this isn’t classified as a project manager I thought it would be mentioning because with some creativity users can take advantage of its integration and put it to use in many form inside and outside of work.
Gantt project is an interesting choice for managers looking to map out a project. It requires a quite a bit of project management knowledge to get going and shows information in in-depth charts. The learning curve is a bit steep and there is online format for other users to collaborate but is free and worth looking into!