Online project management tools to keep you organized

Posted by Ivana

Project Management“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”

- A. A. Milne

At some point, even if an individual’s chosen profession is not that of a project manager, he or she will manage a project in some capacity.  Professionals must exhibit project management and organizational skills in order to stay on track, and this goes far beyond creating a simple spreadsheet and to-do list.

Project management is a very serious and often complicated task, which is often an integral part of most people’s everyday work experience.  Although there are advanced degrees and certifications in the project management field these are not essential, as long as one has a strong grasp of the basic principles.

It is quite easy for a complex project to spiral out of control, which can ultimately lead to missed deadlines and loss of profit; however, keeping these general, tactical, and practical best practices in mind will help prevent a professional disaster from happening in the long run.

Making the most of meetings

A professional project management team that doesn’t hold meetings will be disjointed and unable to accomplish much.  It is therefore important to schedule regular meetings with everyone involved in a given project, whether it is just a weekly check-in or more detailed discussions; meetings help keep everyone on the same page and the job moving forward.

There is a trick to holding effective meetings because every project is different. The frequency of the meeting will depend on the magnitude of the project and how well it is all going.  Weekly meetings or conference calls are the norm, but some projects may require more regular communication.  But it is essential to remember that the meetings must achieve something – have an agenda and stick to it.

Keeping things in line

A good project manager knows how to keep things in line, from the meetings, to progress reports, to the finished project.  While the project manager is ultimately responsible for a given project, there are usually several different teams involved.  It is important for each team to feel as though they have control of their segment and that they are not being micromanaged.

It is up to the project manager to ensure that things are kept moving along, but when something goes wrong – and it likely will at some point – it is essential that the reaction be positive rather than explosive.  The ultimate goal is to deliver a high-quality project, so it is necessary to meet each challenge with a proactive response rather than one that could undo a lot of hard work.

Project management tools

Aside from the most basic multipurpose business tools, such as spreadsheets and email clients, successful project managers tend to utilize other organizational trappings.  Some individuals become certified project managers through a university or certification program while others learn the essentials through various Online Programs however, online schools aren’t the only way to achieve effective project management skills. With technology at the forefront of so many industries, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of project management software programs available today. Such software prompts any project manager toward best practices through a variety of integrated features that help track completion times, assigning responsibility, and maintaining communication channels.

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