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Why Managing Progress With Online Tools Gets Better Resultson 18 July 2018Posted by Kevin Senior
Not so long ago, your whole team would be sitting just outside your office, ready to answer questions at any time about what they were doing and how far they had progressed.
Today, wherever we lay our laptop is our home, meaning you can no longer do that. However, we can now access online software tools that are able to track time and tasks automatically. They improve organization and workflow efficiency. They also make information about progress available to you, their manager, wherever you happen to be. These tools have the added benefit of being available any place, anywhere, anytime.
Whether it’s managing progress on individual tasks, remote teams or projects, we can now quickly know whether they are really on track, or in need of a targeted management intervention.
Working online should in principle be no different from working offline in the same office, in terms of the outcomes. Having the right approach and using good tools can make the difference between a smoothly running organisation and a series of ‘rabbit-in-the-headlight’ moments.
Here are some tips.
When everyone worked in the same office, you could pop over to Jenna’s desk and check how she was doing whenever you want. Now, Jenna could be in a different building, a different office or even another country. You could send her a stream of emails, but this is time consuming and emails have a way of being readily misunderstood or falling into spam buckets.
Online tools make it easy for people to log progress on their tasks, and for you to get a current view of their progress. Get all your tasks in one place. Do this for both yourself and your individual team members.
You can track progress on things like:
- Is the task started?
- Are comments on the task answered or outstanding?
- What priority tasks are due for completion this week?
- Are any tasks slipping?
- Have any tasks been re-delegated?
To help you manage progress of your tasks and tasks you have assigned, implement a good task or project management system. Most good secure collaboration tool sets like Glasscubes have this as an integrated tool. This will save crashing your inbox with hundreds of progress emails, and will mean you can review progress more easily.
Although group tasks can often be managed in a similar way to individual tasks, there are additional steps needed when your team is not all in same office.
Having one place to find all your shared information will save a lot of scratched heads, abortive work (on an old document) and stress. You can share not only your documents, but also drawings, image files, audio and video, emails, online conversations, queries, screen shots etc. Sharing these all in one place, means everyone will be accessing the latest versions, wherever they happen to be. It will improve your audit trail. It will allow you to more easily move current members of the team out to new projects and new members in, without impacting progress.
Remote teams often work in different time zones, making it difficult to be really sure of overall progress. By encouraging them to share online, not just documents, but ongoing discussions, improves both their team working and your ability to monitor how things are going.
Other tools like version control, common calendars and shared folders will also help to ensure everyone is clear about the status of all parts of the project or activities.
Online tool sets will enable you to see what comments are being made, any queries that are outstanding and how the team is progressing.
Most projects have a defined time scale and budget, so the ability to track what people are supposed to be doing and when is rather essential. This is especially true when some or all of the team are remote where you can’t see what they are doing. However big or small the project, tracking people’s time is essential to managing the budget and ensuring the budget doesn’t overrun.
As soon as a project gets beyond a few tasks, it becomes very difficult to know who is doing what. Not keeping track can quickly lead to a project becoming unmanageable or being a constant round of meetings and little progress.
The great thing about using software tools is their ability to track time and tasks automatically. They improve organization and workflow efficiency. They also make information about progress available to anyone who needs to know, whether inside or outside of the project team. When these tools are web based, they have the added benefit of being available anywhere, anytime.
Looking for project management software reviews to help you decide on a PM tool? Here are seven of the best sites to use.
Of course these are not the only things that need to be managed. A web based tool that is integrated into a wider collaboration system like Glasscubes, gives you the added benefit of being able to manage your progress reporting and other project documentation. They enable better communication both within the project team and between the project team and other stakeholders, making successful completion more likely.
Existing users of Glasscubes can simply spin up a workspace on your account and give our task management features a try. Why not start getting more organised today? Glasscubes is a UK based collaboration tool that supports a full range of online tools for management. Find out more about how they can help you by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310.
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