A comprehensive project management solution is vital
to success because it directly impacts the bottom line.
“Project failure rates are astoundingly high,” says Michael
Fritsch, vice president of project management at Confoe, a
project management consulting firm. Only eight out of 100
organizations have a project success rate greater than 80
percent, according to research from the Project Management
Institute. On average, less than 70 percent of projects met their
original goals in 2016, 57 percent finished within their original
budgets, and barely half finished on schedule.
Among the most significant benefits Fritsch says project
management solutions can provide are greater project success
and reduced risk of failure; better visibility for project team
members and management, leading to better decisions;
reduction in “busy work,” emails, and meetings; and keeping
everyone involved in the project on the same page.
The failure to adopt a project management solution leaves
any business vulnerable to significant downsides. For smaller
companies, it’s “death by email, files, and spreadsheets,” quips
Steve West, co-founder and CEO of Project Insight, a developer
of project management software and solutions. In larger
organizations, lack of a centralized project management tool
leads to the creation of work silos and employees being walled
off from each other. “That makes it incredibly difficult and time-consuming to roll up the information for the decision-makers.
Management has difficulty seeing what’s going on.”
Look for multi-tasking solutions
The best project management technology solutions are those
that support collaborative work management, Fritsch says. A
good platform should perform multiple project management
roles, such as collaboration and communication, project
scheduling, automation, and resource management. “They must
be cost-effective and easy to use,” he stresses.
For growth-oriented SMBs new to project management,
the best way to get their feet wet is to pick their three biggest
challenges and go from there, West suggests. For example, a
company challenged to know how busy its team is, because it
has so many simultaneous projects underway, might benefit
most from a tool with strong resource-allocation capabilities.
Robust time and expense tracking features might top the list
for another business.
Recently, Project Insight released PI#team™, a free SMB version
of its feature-rich PI#enterprise™ solution. PI#team provides basic
project management functionality along with a library of paid add-on tools for companies, allowing them to scale as they continue to
grow. It also upgrades seamlessly to the PI enterprise version.
Project Insight is also rolling out VirtualPM™, a “project
concierge” that leverages AI to facilitate communications,
updates, and insight delivery in corporate IM applications.
Initially available for Slack, VirtualPM will also be available for
Microsoft Teams and regular text messaging in 2018.
Fritsch advises that first-time SMB users focus on cloud-based project management solutions that let them “kick the
tires” before they buy. “Cloud-based is important for ease of
implementation and cost-effectiveness,” he says.
Not Just for
the Big Guys
solutions give smaller businesses
access to critical project management