Organizing all the elements of a business project into a coherent plan is not for the faint of heart. But it is one that project managers (PMs) tackle every day.
Project managers and their teams are responsible for the success or failure of a project. Corporate Education Group lists these main tasks for PMs:
- Defining a project, building a work plan and managing the budget
- Building a productive team, removing obstacles and motivating team members
- Aligning projects with business goals, managing stakeholders and communicating progress or unexpected difficulties
Having a Toolbox Makes Life Easier
Project management is a complex role. With so many moving parts, it is important to keep the toolbox fully stocked. A blog post on TechnologyAdvice offers a list of useful software appropriate for almost any project management task. For smaller businesses, many of these programs are free, although with limited features.
- To-do lists. People love lists. They are easy to use and a great way to stay organized. Asana is one option for assembling and managing tasks. The software also makes it simple to share these tasks with colleagues.
- Workflow. You need the ability to track projects as phases mature. The software Trello transfers as much information as possible out of spreadsheets and emails into a visual format that facilitates task management.
- Charts. A classic project management application, the Gant chart, uses horizontal bars to illustrate completion dates, progress and milestones. There are several good software packages, including Microsoft Project, GantPro, Aha! and LiquidPlanner.
- Time tracking. Time tracking and invoicing are crucial in project management systems that work directly with clients. Paymo offers a time tracker to account for every minute you spend on a client's project and a dashboard that enables tracking multiple projects.
- Collaboration. Email is not a great tool for collaboration. Software like Basecamp makes collaboration easier through its message boards, native chat app and file sharing.
- Small team. Software packages like ActiveCollab combine project management, communication, digital asset management and basic pay functions, making it perfect for agencies and small teams.
How important is project management to business? FinancesOnline reports that 97% of organizations surveyed agreed project management is critical for performance and success, and 94% believe it enables business growth.
So it's no wonder advanced degrees like Boise State University’s online Master of Business Administration feature project management as a core subject. This critical skill is just one part of Boise State's comprehensive program. Students can complete the program in under 12 months. This MBA combines need-to-know fundamentals with vital processes that empower young professionals as they take the next step on their career path.
Learn more about Boise State University's online MBA program.
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