Project management is not always the job of a professional project manager. If you’re an IT professional for a large organization, for example, you play the role more often than you’d think. In the same way, you don’t always need to invest in cutting-edge project management tools to get the job done. All you need is the right set of tech tools.
Generally speaking, a “tech tool” refers to a piece of software developed for a specific purpose. By harnessing the power of project management and technology together, you can alleviate a lot of inefficiencies in the system.
In this post, we’ll demonstrate a few of our favorite tech tools, evaluate the impact of technology on project management, and explain how they can simplify the management of whatever project you’re handling.
Collaboration and Communication Tools
More often than not, you have to interact with different people, either from different departments or your own department to manage the workflow. In the case of a physical office, the communication between the involved personnel is as simple as walking down the aisle. But in the case of remote projects, communication becomes a pain point. We all know that without clear communication, any project is bound to fail.
This is where technology and project management can work hand-in-hand. There are plenty of tech tools designed for collaboration and communication for the most complex projects out there. Imagine you have to share IT strategy plan examples with the strategist you’ve hired for the project. You can always use email but it’s not an effective medium for consistent contact.
But if you use Slack, for example, you can message one or more people after sending the documentation via email. You can even make channels for different purposes to keep the collaboration streamlined.
Cloud Computing Tools
There’s no way to deny that cloud computing has changed how we interact with the internet. From accounting to workflow automation to cybersecurity solutions, every major aspect of project management has migrated to the cloud. As a project manager, you can harness the power of the cloud and use it to your benefit.
One of the primary benefits of cloud-based software is the centralization of management and real-time sync. Any other medium to execute, report, or share assets doesn’t boast this feature.
Let’s use our document-sharing example again. When you send the email to the recipients, they have to download the files. If they make any changes, they have to send it back to you. This adds unnecessary friction to the system, slowing the project down.
If you used a cloud-based tool, Google Docs, for example, you could eliminate the need for back-and-forth communication. You can simply share a document via email address. If the authorized users make any changes, they reflect on your document in real-time!
Time Management and Tracking
Most individuals don’t realize the importance of time management until it’s too late. The amount of time that slips away through our fingertips every single day is scary! We’re not saying you shouldn’t mindlessly scroll Facebook or Instagram, we’re just saying you should know how much time you’re spending on these platforms.
That’s where tech tools like time-tracking apps come into play. If you’re familiar with the Pomodoro time management concept, you can effectively combine it with the tracking apps to make the most out of your time.
Many project management tools include a time tracker by default because it’s important. If you’re not investing in management software, at least consider a time tracker.
Marketing Automation Tools
No matter what type of business you’re in, there is always a component for marketing. Yes, even for individuals handling their own projects. Depending on the depths you want to explore, marketing automation tools can be an excellent addition to your software arsenal.
For example, if you have to send a lot of emails every day as part of the project, you might be spending a few hours writing and sending them out. The same goes for reporting. You may have to generate reports every week and send them to your supervisor for approval.
Did you know that you can automate all of these processes by simply implementing automation tools? These tech tools can help you generate automated reports as long as the data feeds are connected. Or, you can manually generate them and schedule automatic emails to send them out.
Whatever path you choose, seeking help from marketing automation tools can be a game changer for how you approach project management.
Budgeting, Accounting, and Invoicing
Budgeting is an integral part of any project because no matter how much you want to cut corners, there will always be some expenses. The question is, how do you plan to track them?
Many of us have a false sense of control when it comes to expenses. It’s only when you tally everything up that we realize the unaccounted spending. This is where budgeting and accounting tech tools come into play. Freshbooks and QuickBooks are the biggest examples in this area that can simplify your finances. In most cases, you can get away with the free versions of these tools.
On a different note, many projects require invoicing and collecting payments from clients or stakeholders. Professional invoices include all the deliverables along with their corresponding costs. It’s also critical for taxation because improper invoicing can lead to serious penalties.
Manual invoicing is typically the way to go for project managers but it opens you up to the wrath of human error. It’s especially true if you’re playing multiple roles at once and handling lots of complex invoices.
Did you know that the most popular invoicing software out there, Zoho Invoice, is completely free? It’s a technology for project management no business should function without! Even if you’re an individual working with freelance clients, you should consider adding an invoicing tool to your stack.
Technology has been making our lives easier for centuries. Now, it’s an integral part of any business environment. We highly recommend evaluating your project and utilizing the opportunities to use tech tools wherever they apply.