Project managers have a complex role to play in most organizations, as they are tasked with juggling costs, time, people and scope among many other things. In the competitive landscape of today, it is highly unlikely for project managers to finish high-quality projects without the aid of special software and tools at their disposal.
Fortunately, the widespread tech innovations during the last few years have meant that project managers today have a lot more tools to play with than what their predecessors had back in the day. In this article, we take a look at some useful tools that every project manager today has at their disposal and should preferably utilize. Stay with us as we run you through them.
Microsoft Project has specifically been created for the contemporary project managers of today. The tool comes with all desired resources to help project managers with planning development, tracking progress on projects, distributing resources and analyzing the work volume around them.
While Microsoft Project might appear to be a bit complex at first look, it has an intuitive interface that you’ll soon get a hang of. The software solution is highly regarded in social circles and can significantly contribute to the success of your project. Microsoft Project operates in three blocks: resources, tasks and calendar.
The main advantages offered by Microsoft Project include:
- Complete and convenient tracking of all details related to the project throughout its journey
- Complete organization of all work using the MS project scheduling function
- High levels of customization available for specific projects
- · and prevention of a number of projects risks
- Various possibilities and options to add ideas, filter data and represent projects
- Efficient management of records and options to create summaries
Microsoft project is an ideal addition for most organizations, especially in cases where projects require interaction across the board.
Skype for Business
Skype gives project managers and business owners the ability to immediately connect with their teams, colleagues and clients, regardless of where they are. Skype supports four types of conference calling options, which include video conferences, conference through a telephone connection, video and voice conferences and instant messaging conferences. Skype for Business has the ability to connect users from all sorts of available devices and help them collaborate with each over accessible documents. Users can also share their desktop screens and access their files through the conference connection.
Skype for Business comes specifically designed for the corporate sector and can help facilitate communication between stakeholders of a supply chain. The good part about Skype for Business is how it allows organizations to manage meet-ups remotely, without everyone being present in the office. All sessions on Skype for Business are protected through encryption algorithms, which ensure that the data discussed in the meetings is authenticated and safeguarded. Project managers can meet both, clients and colleagues, without the threat of data being obliterated or misused.
Trello is a system that works on the kanban principle initiated by Toyota in Japan. Trello allows the consistent and constant monitoring of all processes in the production phase. The tool is standard for projects and is ideal for both, individual assignments and team projects. The interface for Trello can accommodate different boards, which act as a representation of different processes and projects in the company. Each board on Trello comes with cards with descriptions, comments, lists of tasks, color tags, files and deadline management.
Evernote is a simple tool that allows organizations and project managers the luxury to develop a huge knowledge base. Evernote can be used as your go-to project management solution as it allows you to build to-do lists and store all kinds of information related to your notes and files. In addition to this, Evernote can also be supplemented by other tools that project managers require.
Microsoft Visio is a vector graphic application that has been created for the Windows Operating System. The application is greatly used by project managers to get work done without any major problems. The tool has a powerful interface to present complex information in the form of shapes, flowcharts and diagrams. Visio allows you to translate your thought process into visuals, even if you aren’t gifted with the best technical design skills.
Whether you want to create a network diagram, a process diagram or an organizational chart, you can use a number of tools on Visio to get the process done. Additionally, you can use Visio to import data from MS Excel and interact with other stakeholders. All users can interact with each other to create stellar graphics that illustrate the right point.
SmartDraw is another tool used to create a variety of charts, graphs and presentations by organizations today. With the SmartDraw application, you can quickly construct flow charts, mind maps, PowerPoint presentations and much more.
The application gives users over 70 such materials to put their thoughts on paper and get the results they require. SmartDraw also supports cloud service which allows you to share graphics, diagrams and charts with members of your team. SmartDraw is much easier to use than Visio and can be installed in both, Mac and Windows Operating Systems. The final choice between the two platforms, however, rests on the shoulders of the users who determine which one is easier to use and can aid them in their contemplation process.
With such a wide selection of tools and applications for project management, project managers today are spoilt for choice. However, choosing between these options is a headache that project managers can afford to have because of how it gives them plenty of quality options to complete projects.