Why Digital Project Management Will Still Be Important After COVID-19
As we all know, COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on how just about every industry approaches the work they do. When the pandemic first took hold, many businesses were left floundering, desperately trying to figure out not only how to continue working, but how to do so effectively.
The digital project management tools that we have relied on to get us through this extended period of unrest and remote working have been indispensable. But as more companies return to the office and some sense of normalcy, is there any reason to change how project management has adapted to the needs of the current moment?
What is Digital Project Management?
Primarily conducted through the use of specialized software, digital project management is the process of coordinating and running projects online in order to preserve continuity among all involved staff members. The software can be used to manage every stage of a project, from conception to completion, while helping teams remain within budget and resources.
Using digital project management software like Scoro allows businesses and agencies to manage every aspect of a project online. This includes everything from planning and delegating tasks to tracking progress, regular reviews, and measuring the results.
Although every project is different, the goals are invariably the same – to deliver profitable online projects on time and within budget. Scoro is a single piece of software that can be used to oversee everything from media projects to software applications and online marketing campaigns.
How Has Project Management Been Changed by Current Events?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought tremendous challenges for all kinds of businesses and made protecting people, projects, and performance a priority.
It has tested organizations’ ability to deliver projects effectively under unimaginable and – yes – unprecedented conditions. While some businesses have been able to pivot to remote working relatively easily, many others haven’t been so lucky, facing substantial delays and even cancellations to cornerstone projects.
In terms of the real-world impact on project teams, many organizations have implemented full-time remote working policies to help contain the transmission of the virus. However, this change has been stressful for many employees and has taken a significant toll on many people’s mental health.
The pandemic has also changed the way workers collaborate with one another. With face-to-face interactions minimized, organizations have had to adjust in order to provide employees with the level of collaboration they need to keep up with their regular tasks.
The switch to digital project management has also created new challenges, particularly when it comes to overseeing tasks and maintaining the productivity of project teams.
In some ways, the pandemic has replaced a culture of control with one of openness and trust. Project teams are learning how to work independently and with far less oversight than they are used to, developing new processes as they go along. However, digital project management software can still provide managers with the level of oversight they need.
For example, Scoro lets you view all your tasks in a grid, allowing teams to visualize their workflow. You can track everything from project progress to team initiatives and goals and manage tasks side by side in columns, tracking them as they move towards completion.
Tracking how long each part of a project takes has also become essential for all sorts of businesses as they learn to adapt their operations during these uncertain times. Digital time tracking solutions are being used to keep tasks on track and to help to reduce the risk of employee burnout, which has increased in line with the rise of remote working.
There are numerous benefits to using time tracking programs, both for project managers and their teams. It enables project managers to check that employees are working on tasks assigned to them and helps to assess employee performance and maintain communication. It also helps to ensure that employees are not working too many hours and increasing the risk of burnout.
Using Scoro’s time tracker, employees can automatically log how long they spend on an assignment – it’s as easy as clicking start and pause. The result is accurate and detailed reporting on all activities and accountability for the time spent on client work.
Best Practices for Remote Project Management
As an innovative and agile organization, it’s important to be able to turn challenging situations into opportunities. For some, the pandemic could actually prove to be a welcome reality check. The upheaval it has caused has magnified the smaller issues and inefficiencies that exist in projects, giving businesses the opportunity to think about how this can be improved.
So what is best practice when it comes to adopting digital project management? Here are three areas for you to think about.
1. Clear communication and collaboration
The lack of regular face-to-face status meetings does not need to become a roadblock to the timely completion of a project. Chances to ask questions or ‘check in’ may not come around quite so frequently, but although you may be tempted to send hundreds of emails a day instead, it’s not the solution.
Instead of getting in constant contact with colleagues – a practice that has actually been found to hamper productivity – project teams can use the comments function within Scoro to bring all relevant information together. Comments can be left all over Scoro, on specific projects, tasks, and documents, while workers can manually select the users they want to notify with updates related to certain tasks.
Scoro also easily integrates with video conferencing tools like Zoom, facilitating regular meetings and catch-ups. This helps to maintain the connection between team members who might otherwise feel isolated by working remotely. However, you should also remember to schedule meetings on a more informal basis to recreate those water cooler chats that help to keep teams motivated and engaged.
2. Data centralization
One of the biggest issues many organizations face when managing their projects remotely is unreliable or missing data. If everyone is working from different Excel sheets, they might not know what the latest version is or when changes have been made, which can quickly become a project manager’s nightmare.
The primary need when it comes to data centralization is being able to collect and synchronize all of the information that’s relevant to a project – reports, worksheets, documents, etc. – in one place. Thankfully, the solution is simple.
Digital project management tools allow project managers to immediately see everything that’s going on in real-time and track the progress of every task and project. With Scoro, having one system to cover all bases can centralize your workflow and eliminate duplicate data entry. Reports, meanwhile, can be built, bookmarked, and shared to only display the relevant data to each user’s permissions.
3. Efficient monitoring
Just because the landscape has changed, it doesn’t mean organizations can afford delays, wasted days, and missed resources. This is where having a single project management platform that synchronizes collaboration, data centralization, and monitoring comes into its own.
All three of these factors are interconnected, so being able to manage them all using one piece of work management software like Scoro makes it easier than ever for businesses to monitor the health of their projects and finances in real time.
Organizations can visualize the KPIs they’ve defined and build monitoring dashboards, while customizable enterprise-level reports that cover every aspect of a business are automatically compiled. That gives businesses quick access to all of the information they need to make data-backed decisions on sales, costs, and budgets.
What Has COVID-19 Taught You About Digital Project Management?
The landscape may have changed, but the bar for project performance remains as high as ever. If your organization is to perform at its best during and after the pandemic, it’s time to think about how digital project management software can help you to overcome the new challenges you face and underpin your project performance going forward.
Scoro is an all-in-one agency management software that allows agencies to manage every aspect of their projects, teams, time management, and clients from a single place. Future-proof your business and sign up for a free trial today.