Keeping documents organized and up-to-date is a challenge when many individuals are participating in a project together and all touching the same documents. Failure to save an updated file, accidental deletion and simple misplacement are regular occurrences in the life of a project. Besides having inaccurate or outdated files there is also the trouble of email inboxes overflowing with Excel sheets, expense reports and any other number of project documentation.
Managing a project can require a plethora of different types of documents for planning, tracking and reporting. Documents have a role in each phase of a project life cycle, helping to keep the project moving forward. On the same token, however, documents need managing themselves or they overtake the process they’re supposed to facilitate. As they guide their projects, project managers can easily fall into the trap of producing an overload of documents that cloud the project objectives with repetitive information, ultimately contributing to a project’s failure. Poorly managed documents can confuse the actual status of a project, create turmoil and frustrate those who want answers and those who need to deliver. Sound project document management determines whether information flows effectively through project teams and stakeholders or turns into barriers that cause projects to miss their milestones, or go over budget or scope.
When the documentation of a project is poorly managed it leads to:
- Opacity – Project managers, team members and stakeholders have an unclear picture of project statuses and related work. Project documents do not exchange relevant up-to-date information, creating redundancies and confusion.
- Loss of key information – Many project managers do not store their project documentation in a single place. Some files might be saved on the desktop, others on a server and some in storage software like Google Drive. The information in these documents can be lost or so difficult to access it might as well be lost. Lack of accurate data means incorrect information could end up in decision-making reports or shared with stakeholders.
- Hindered collaboration – Without data being stored in one central location that is accessible to project managers, proper resources and stakeholders it can be almost impossible to find, leading to collaboration taking a major hit. If resources are working on the same document but from two separate stages in the process, collaboration abilities will be obstructed.
Clarizen cloud based project management software allows for the most current documents to be stored and easily accessed in one primary location. You will gain the ability to manage all project specs, design files or any other related documents in a central location while collaborating with with team members and end users. Clarizen also integrates with tools like Box and Google Drive to support your organization’s document management strategies.
A few of the advantages of utilizing cloud based project management software for document storage include:
- Reduced storage on computers
- Easy retrieval
- Flexible indexing
- Simplified search
- Better controlled document distribution
- Better security
- Disaster avoidance with off-site storage
- No risk of lost files
There are also a couple less tangible benefits to storing documents in the cloud.
Enhanced internal operations. Day to day operations are improved with better organization and easily accessible documents.
Improved employee and customer satisfaction. Documents are easy to find and easy to send, cutting down on response time.
Documents are a major part of any project. They are the substance of businesses and need to be treated with care. Workplaces are more geographically dispersed than ever. This means it’s possible that documents in your organization are also used more than ever by people in several countries and continents for communicating and collaborating.
People succumb to communication problems even in the same office because they do not have easy access to the documents that they need. An advanced and integrated document management system can be a powerful tool to help in day-to-day company management. With the knowledge of how important a good document management system is, it is easy to see what it might contribute to the improvement of productivity and the quality of the output from each employee.
By utilizing online project management software like Clarizen, you open up your company for success in sharing files, collaboration and overall quality of service and deliverables. File cabinets and desktop saving are methods of the past. Take advantage of cloud based software for document management.