Automation has been an ever-increasing presence in nearly all industries and, as such, project management has seen significant changes happen in recent times, with many more due to come about over the next few years. Apart from fears over job security, there is also the worry that creativity and automation don’t mix well together.
The reasoning goes that having technology run projects will reduce project management to a simple numbers game with no room for creative and intelligent decisions which can ensure greater value or success in a project. The truth is, however, that creativity and automation can actually work extremely well together, and here are four reasons why:
- Better focus on higher value work
Project managers are highly skilled and often very experienced individuals yet can needlessly spend time doing repetitive administrative tasks instead of focusing on more important work. Reviewing data, compiling reports, integrating work from one process to another and hundreds of other activities can now be automated by cloud-based project management software like Clarizen. Once those tasks are off a PM’s plate, her daily schedule can be opened up for more valuable and creative tasks such as problem-solving, change management and future strategy.
- Automating communication and coordination
Not only is communication a major demand on the time of a project manager it can also cause huge bottlenecks if various stakeholders are unaware that a project phase is waiting for their sign-off or a project team misses a handover. The constant need for coordination of communications can be fraught with stress and risk factors. However, through automation and effective software-based management, communications such as assigning job tickets, sending status updates and coordinating task strands can now be automatically created and sent, keeping your team and stakeholders informed of everything they need to know.
- Improved resource and budget management
Keeping an eye on your project’s budget and how well your resources are being utilized is a key concern for most project managers, especially those without specialized assistance. One of the automation benefits which doesn’t often get the limelight however is just how well automation can be at processing data and giving you effective insights into how closely aligned your project is with keeping within its set limits. By giving you an easy to understand dashboard and a huge range of in-depth information on how your personnel or technology resources are performing, you will be able to make better decisions quicker.
- Identifying risks
As well as crunching numbers and keeping your budget in line, another of the ways automation benefits project management is through its ability to identify risks both before and during a project. Possibilities of risks occurring, such as supplier delays, bugs in testing and even natural disasters can all be computed and accumulated with the right data, providing you with a calculable risk assessment plan. Not only that, but as one of the biggest unseen risks in project management is the over-reliance on large spreadsheets passing through hundreds of iterations, then removing the constant need to update and send spreadsheets to your team will also remove a major potential risk from your project-running process.