First lets make sure you’re in the right place, PMS stands for Project Management Software. Now that we’ve cleared that up we can move on...
Project Management Software can help set and support processes, streamlining efficiency while improving tracking and ensuring specs are met every time. This blog post will show you how to reach a level of empowerment, helping you achieve all of the above with the added bonus of reports and data to improve the performance of your team.
The four-step project lifecycle approach
The four-step process is integral to project managers (PM's) and services companies alike. It is what makes possible the turn of a project from inception to completion. Revenue can only be achieved through the ongoing completion of a successful project.
While project status naturally follows this lifecycle, well-versed PM’s have intentional processes for every stage, driving production forward and improving outcomes.
Project management software improves the lifecycle of a project through the tracking of progress and production of critical data to improve costs, the management of resources and most importantly the quality of output.
Let's take a look at the steps
Step 1: Projects as concepts
The first stage of the lifecycle which requires a thorough understanding of the project at hand, reveals what’s needed to complete it. Understanding project scope and specifications, including budget, and resources, shows the timeline of a project.
A project management tool works to reveal the data needed to make accurate estimations, thus removing predictions from the drafting of proposals in the conceptualisation phase of a project lifecycle. Project managers are able to use project management tools to see which resources are available as well as their costs. Historical information is telling when it comes to how many resources are needed to complete a specific project. Budgets can be decided using this when considering future projects of a similar nature. As well as this, it also offers scope into whether or not adjustments need to be made in the current proposal to ensure profitability.
Step 2: Planning of the project
Once a project is underway it enters the “planning” stage of the lifecycle. The PM now needs to decide on available resources that will be used to complete the project.
Project management software allows a look into the availability of existing resources and their current workloads helping to determine whether resources are necessary for the completion of a new project. The software helps managers create realistic timelines and deadlines based on an overview of current projects and availability, rather than allocating tickets at random without consideration of workloads. Budget is another aspect taken care of, ensuring it stays within scope.
Step 3: Execution of the project
Arguably the most important, project management software can help in this critical stage, tracking the status of tasks, in terms of who completed what and when.
Throughout the duration of a project this software helps those involved keep within budget, and offers a glance into which resources are performing well, as well as those in need of additional support.
Adjustments can be tracked in cases where major roadblocks or challenges exist with insight into the speed and a realistic overview of the resolution put forth.
Use the management of documents, correspondence, versions, and client approval in a single platform to streamline project completion.
Step 4: Completion of the project
On completion of a project, PM’s begin the phase of termination in the lifecycle. The project is closed, the data collected, and the outcomes used to improve future performance.
Project management software has enhanced reporting functionality, helping improve data collection and overall performance.
It’s a wonder how PM’s managed previously without the help of such software!
All the answers to your questions:
Was the project completed on time?
Was it within budget?
If it wasn't within budget, when did the budget start to deviate from projections?
How does this compare to previous projects?
Which resources proved most effective?
Could the performance of particular resources be improved?
What needs to change for the future?
Any adjustments needed for the budgeting or bidding of future projects to improve project outcomes and profitability?
The right project management software is built to satisfy all stages of the project lifecycle, that much is clear.
However, not all solutions are made the same. For example, service companies have inherent business challenges which may complicate the lifecycle of a project. Some organisations are so large and complex, their needs can prove too demanding for basic project management software to accommodate.
That's why it is important to look for one that works with the unique processes that support the individual specifications of project delivery needs.
Businesses seeking to deliver projects with more predictably and profit, often seek Mavenlink as their project management tool-of-choice.
As technical experts, we partnered with Mavenlink to help agile development organisations with their needs, regardless of project scope.
Read, watch or listen to learn about our partnership with Mavenlink.July 18, 2019
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