Mobility – The Changing Face Of Project Management
This decade witnessed a big transition in the corporate culture. Even a leading men’s clothing brand recently explored it in their advertisement, showing how entrepreneurs are now changing the working rules. They or their workforce don’t need to be confined to the four walls of an office to get the job done. With the advent of smartphones and Internet, the time and location are no more a constraint. People have shunned the 9 to 5 timeline, traffic halts and long drives as they can work practically on anytime and from anywhere, be it a coffee shop, their living rooms or even their cars. They can conveniently share plans, send documents, inquire statuses, hold meetings, check mails and do a lot more. This flexibility promises some relief in today’s fast paced life, giving them some “me-time” and in turn better productivity.
All rosy? Not really. This new working culture has posed a number of challenges for Project Managers. The major being:
- Keeping their distributed teams or team members on the same page
- Monitoring the project when the whole team is actually not at a single place
- Touching deadlines
- Encouraging and motivating teams virtually so that they meet standards, and
- Sharing ideas, information, guidelines and such. surmounted
An agile project management solution with mobile capabilities can help overcome these sore points. It can help Project Managers materialize projects, while staying on time and in budget, to the satisfaction of all. And, the mobile compatibility feature of the project management tools allow seamless embracing of the new working culture that is driving the change in many business processes.
Simply said, a Project Manager has a number of tasks to do, beginning with laying project plans and setting scope and timelines for the project. Within the confines of these scopes and timelines, they need to break as well as assign tasks and sub tasks, set schedules and milestones, compute costs, check progress, and provide status reports. With a project management tool, all this information can be managed and accessed from at a single central repository; providing a single version of truth to all internal/external staff, beyond borders and time zones.
Being a cloud based application, it bridges the disconnection between the Project Managers and their teams. It facilitates collaboration through inbuilt communication and notification tools. And through mobility, it fosters a day-to-day support essential for steady progress of the project. The whole team can on-the-go update task sheets, discuss problems and together work on the solutions. While the Project Manager can track each change and update, check statuses, modify plans to accommodate deviations, hold online meetings or send notifications to share the same and thus keep everyone in the loop.
A successful Project Manager is not just lost in the minutiae of project delivery, but initiates, inspires, supports and motivates its team all through to work for the best. He has to work on keeping his virtual team real. The off-site team should be, at the very beginning, endowed with a clearly defined goal in order to direct and measure their work. In a typical office setting this and great amount of other information is communicated informally – through conference meetings, hallway conversations and chats at a cubicle. Your remote staff craves for similar information. Managers should take a more organized effort and document project expectations, changes, standards, and updates in writing and distribute them regularly. A project management tool can be used to upload such documents and send an immediate notification for the same via e-mail or an SMS. A regular interaction by any means with the team can keep their spirits up and quality high.
A simple reality is that the mobility is here to stay. Every sector is realizing its importance and coming ahead to embrace it. But to overcome the challenges it serves, a project management tool with mobility is the right mix of technology and communication that every Project Manager needs. Such tools and their wealth of features support each phase of the project life cycle and enable leveraging your remote team efficiently and to the fullest. It works well for both the sides by letting the managers have a real communication with the virtual teams, keep a tab on their everyday progress and lay clear goals plus standards for them. The teams on the other hand, through their mobiles, laptops and tabs can work happily, stay engaged, access conveniently and prove cohesive plus high-performing from anywhere and at anytime!