Did you realize that fewer than one-third of all projects started by businesses in the last year were completed on time and on budget? For most business owners, finding a way to adequately manage their workers is an ongoing challenge.
Luckily, there are a number of innovations within the world of project management that can help make this task much easier. Instead of using outdated methods of project management and suffering as a result, you will need to take some time to figure out what type of technology can be used for this task.
The following are just some of the most common project management trends you will have to be aware of in order to make your small business successful.
1. Overcoming the Challenges of Using Remote Workers
For years, businesses have used remote workers for a number of different reasons. Not only does using a remote workforce provide employees with a higher degree of flexibility, it can also lower a company’s overhead. While using remote workers can be beneficial, there are a number of challenges you will need to familiarize yourself with.
Addressing Communication Problems
The cornerstone of any successful remote workforce is efficient and effective communication.
Using the power of web-based communication platforms like Skype can be very helpful when trying to keep an open dialogue with your remote team. Scheduling routine video chats with your team can help you stay up to speed on what they are working on. Using work management tools is also a must for monitoring task progress. Be sure to consider the length of your video conferences beforehand. If a particular video conference is going to be longer, be sure to limit the time each speaker has and schedule plenty of breaks.
Working with a remote team can help to increase productivity levels, but there are some virtual-related inefficiencies you will have to deal with first. If you are working with people who are in different time zones, you will have to figure out how to properly schedule them.
There are many other communication challenges that come with managing a remote team like:
- Holding Remote Employees Accountable- Often times, business owners micromanage their remote teams. Not only can this be counterproductive, it can lead to a business owner doing far too much work. The best way to solve issues with remote worker accountability is by using apps like Trello or Basecamp. These programs allow you to schedule tasks and communicate with your remote workers regarding their progress on a particular project.
- Providing Feedback is Essential- Allowing remote workers to toil away on a creative project for long periods of time can lead to lots of unnecessary changes. Instead of letting our remote employees work in isolation, you need to be there every step of the way providing them with feedback. Utilizing the power of apps like Dropbox will allow remote workers to share files with ease. Once you have these files, you can let them know if they are headed in the right direction with a particular project.
With the power of technology, you can address any remote worker issues you encounter.
2. How AI is Shaping the Workload
While most team leaders have heard the term artificial intelligence (AI) thrown around a lot, they fail to realize how the use of this technology can benefit their company. When used correctly, AI can help you reduce human error, engage your staff and serve your customers better. If you are looking for a way to break the chains of repetitive administrative responsibilities, then AI is what you need.
Using an AI-based app or program to handle these repetitive tasks, you can free your team up to focus on more important work. It is your job as a team leader to find and implement the right technology. When choosing AI-based apps or programs, be sure to do some research to find out how effective and easy to use they are. The following are just some of the AI project management programs you can make use of right now.
- Cisco Spark– One of the biggest benefits of using this AI-infused program are the chatbots it offers. The team at Cisco recently developed a platform for their AI-based chatbots. These bots can find out what your team members are working on and report back to you. Cisco Spark allows project managers to find out what their team is working on and what tasks are labeled urgent. You and your team can also upload and edit documents when needed. With Cisco Spark, you can increase communication and get problems resolved in a hurry.
- ZiveBox- This program is touted as a digital workforce tool. The ZiveBox program uses AI in order to determine how long certain tasks should take. Once this figure has been determined, this program will closely monitor the productivity of your workforce. You will also be able to sort through enterprise-level communications and find the information you need with ease.
3. Productivity Apps
Modern project managers and business owners rely heavily on apps and analytics to keep their team productive. Providing your team with tools that help them keep track of the progress of project stages is essential. With the help of great tools like this source: https://www.appoptics.com/monitor/scala-performance, you can clearly see where application bottlenecks are. Once you have this information, you can work with an app developer to address them.
Be sure to also check out productivity tools like:
- Asana – In essence, Asana is a hybrid project and task manager app. With this app, you can add multiple projects and track them with an easy to use the sidebar. You can also structure out your project goals and milestones with the Asana checklist. When using this program, you can keep track of who is responsible for completing a task. The Asana program allows you to create, store and share files with your team. If you need to chat with your team, you can easily do so in the Asana dashboard. Adequately tracking the work your remote team is performing can help you prevent things like missed deadlines and low productivity levels.
- Trello – Do you like using cards and post-it notes to arrange your tasks and thoughts? If so, you are going to love With this fast and flexible tool, you will have no problem organizing all of your project components. The drag and drop functionality of this program allows you to get important project management elements laid out in great detail in a short amount of time.
4. Project Managers are Adapting to Their Teams
Stay on track is something most project managers are passionate about. In the past, managers would take on the bulk of the responsibilities in a project. Since remote workers are able to handle more tasks, project managers are now free to adequately manage their teams. Being a successful project manager will require you to be flexible and accommodating.
In the past 10 years, the world of project management has undergone a number of changes. No longer is project management based on making phone calls to workers for a good report. Modern project managers use mobile dashboards to communicate with remote workers from all around the world.
Project managers have also changed significantly in the past decade. Project managers use cloud-based programs to keep up with developments in their projects. In the past, project managers would spend lots of time manually updating terminal based software programs. Cloud-based software has changed the way project managers collaborate with their team and company stakeholders.
5. Outsourcing is Becoming Commonplace
Are you a team leader looking for ways to reduce overhead without compromising productivity? If so, outsourcing your project management tasks may be a good idea. There are a variety of companies who specialize in providing team leaders with comprehensive project management solutions. With the help of these companies, you can keep your projects on track with ease.
There are many reasons why outsourcing makes sense for small businesses. Most businesses outsource things like project admin tasks due to a manpower shortage. Often times, outsourcing this type of work is cheaper than hiring on a new employee.
Most project managers outsource things like finding and hiring contractors due to how time-consuming this can be. You may also want to outsource administrative tasks like ordering supplies or preparing reports. Before hiring a company to perform these administrative tasks, you need to ensure they have experience. The last thing you want is to entrust these tasks to a company that will not be able to handle the work.
While finding and implementing new project management tools may be a bit intimidating, it is worth the effort you invest. With a bit of research and some trial and error, you should have no problem improving the success rate of the projects your company takes on.