Technology has made a lot of things in life easier, but how has it affected project management? To put it simply, it has changed it in every conceivable way. Advances in software, hardware, communication technology and other areas have transformed the world of project management over the last 20 or 30 years, and things are changing even faster today. While new capabilities often lead to heightened expectations from customers and senior management, the net result is that project teams are able to achieve more in less time than ever before.
From easier collaboration to more accurate reporting, here’s how technology has made every PM’s life a little bit easier.
#1. Improved Communication
Most project managers would tell you that communication is the key to project success. It should come as no surprise, then, that one of the most important uses of technology in project management is to ensure proper communication between managers, team members and other stakeholders. A few decades ago, when email first came into common use, project managers used it to replace interoffice memos, faxes, voice messages and other less-reliable forms of communication. Now, as social collaboration tools and other innovations have begun to replace email, successful project managers continue to use the latest technology to share updates, documents and other critical information with their project teams.
#2. Efficiency in the Cloud
Project management software, as a concept, is nothing new. Until recently, however, effective project management solutions were often too expensive and too labor-intensive to justify use by any but the largest and most profitable organizations. In the last decade, a revolution has taken place, as cloud-based project management software like Clarizen has become accessible for companies of all sizes. Cloud project management technology is not only more cost-effective and easy to manage, it allows for mobile access and interoperability in a way that on premise PM solutions simply can’t match.
#3. Real-Time Updates and Reporting
In the old days, it might take days or even weeks for a project manager to gather updates from stakeholders, update the project plan accordingly and distribute the latest reports and Gantt charts to the team. Today, thanks to cloud-based project management software, PMs can check on task status, update project documentation and alert the team of any issues in a matter of seconds. For example, Clarizen’s industry-leading reporting and task tracking features make it easy for everyone on the project to stay up to date.
#4. Mobile, Decentralized Project Teams
Few project managers in the 1980s or 1990s would have believed that a project team could work effectively if the team members did not regularly meet face to face. Today, thanks to amazing advances in communication technology and project management software, organizations can build project teams with employees and contractors located in multiple cities, time zones, countries and even continents. Not only does this enable better alignment between project needs and available resources, but it can dramatically improve the speed at which a team can operate.
#5. Social Collaboration
It didn’t happen overnight, but now that businesses have begun to adopt social collaboration tools on a large scale, project management has become faster and easier. Rather than attempting to sift through an impossible-to-manage sprawl of emails, meeting notes and other documentation to find relevant information, project team members can use Clarizen’s cloud collaboration tools to communicate in real time and organize all of their interactions and work documents together in a single location. Ideas get shared with a wider audience, tasks get completed faster and project managers can follow the action without disrupting everyone’s day for unnecessary status meetings.
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