For years, project management positions have been highly regarded as essential, as a good project manager can take a business to the next level and ensure its growth trajectory. And as modern technology has revolutionised the world and the way we do business, it has conjointly furthered the abilities of project managers.
Every business can benefit in numerous ways from going digital, but project management (PM) is a role that can especially develop into something even more proficient with the help of modern tech and automation. There is so much to tackle and undertake as a PM, especially for those who work for small businesses with limited staff and resources. But with newly developed technology and tools that are now available, project managers can be more efficient.
By utilising technology and digitally automated processes as much as possible, your project managers can worry less about menial tasks and put more time and effort into what really matters. And the more they can focus on the important things, the more they can boost the potential and output of the company as a whole, leading to increased revenue and growth.
How Modern Technology is Transforming Project Management and Driving Business
Automating your processes with technology is a must for every business in today’s competitive digital market. If you aren’t utilising the latest tech to be as efficient and productive as possible, you will likely be surpassed and outperformed by your competitors.
Understandably, restructuring your business and its processes comes with risks, but where technology and automation are concerned, it’s typically worth it. All business decisions that involve updating your systems and processes come with risks, but if it means giving your project managers a significant leg up, there should be no question about if you should do it but rather how best to do it.
And when weighing the risks and considering how best to implement the latest tech, it can be helpful to first understand how beneficial these changes can be. Numerous companies at this point have experienced significant growth and reaped the many rewards and benefits of using tech to optimise their PM processes. As a result, more and more companies are digitally transforming their systems to benefit their project managers.
Some of the many ways that technology is driving business and benefiting the PM role include:
- More flexibility: Technology makes your processes more efficient, which ultimately frees up time for your project managers and gives them more flexibility throughout their workday. And the more flexible they are and the more time they have, the more effort and dedication they can put into things that require more attention to improve the success of your projects.
- Better collaboration and communication: Digitising and automating processes not only benefits the project manager but other team members working on the projects as well. With better tools and technologies, your employees can communicate and collaborate across departments and teams more efficiently to ensure everything comes together.
- Increased productivity: Of course, the easier it is for your PMs and other team members to accomplish their tasks, the more productive they will be. Technology makes completing projects simpler, which frees up time for employees to brainstorm, problem-solve, and think outside the box, which ultimately improves their output productivity.
- Improved results: With the latest tools and systems, your project managers can also create more results-driven processes. Technology allows for better data research and analysis, enabling PMs and their teams to produce better, more accurate results.
- Better customer experiences: It should go without saying, but the more efficient and productive your PMs and teams are, the better service and experiences they can provide to your customers. Better processes = better results = happier customers and clients.
- Increased revenue and growth: Additionally, the more successful your projects and the more satisfied your customers are, the more money you will make. Overall, automation is great for business and can optimise your processes and operations to help you bring in more money, retain loyal customers, and grow your business.
Technologies and Automation Solutions to Help Optimise Project Management and Your Business
Whether you run a new small business or are looking to expand an existing business, adopting new practices that utilise the latest modern technology and innovations can be highly beneficial. There are numerous tools, systems, applications, and digital programs available today that can help you fully automate and optimise your business to improve your project management capabilities.
Below, we’ll review some of the top trending technologies and ways you can optimise your project management processes:
These days, there is no way around having an online presence. Your company, especially if you are a small business, needs to have an online platform to reach today’s digitally-savvy consumers. And the best way to move your business online is to utilise cloud-based software programs. There are various cloud providers available, and which one you choose is ultimately up to you and what works best for your business. The idea is to use a system that allows you to best access your business from anywhere on any device.
Project Tracking Tools
The ultimate goal of project management is to stay on top of projects and see them through without any major hitches or bumps in the road. So digital tools and systems that allow you to track your projects and automate your processes as much as possible are key. Again, there are numerous tools and project management software available, so just make sure you do your research to find the one that works best for your business and what you seek to accomplish.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is one of the latest and most popular tech trends available. Businesses everywhere are using IoT technology to enhance their capabilities and improve their processes. This tech allows physical internet-enabled devices to be connected more securely through the use of sensors, software, or other digital systems.
With project management, IoT devices enable your teams to be more connected, which means better collaboration, communication, and results. It also allows for the sharing of data and sensitive information in a more secure way to avoid having your projects compromised.
Data sharing tools and systems are nothing new but are still highly beneficial technologies that can improve the output of your projects. Modern digital analytics tools allow you to collect and analyse data on a whole new level that can provide your PMs and teams with more accurate and thorough information that can allow for more targeted solutions. When you have a clearer idea of what needs to be accomplished from obtaining high amounts of data, you can be more efficient and successful with your projects.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI tech is being used in many ways to help businesses optimize their processes. This can include knowledge-based and machine learning systems, expert decision management systems, deep learning software, and robotic process automation. All of these things use AI to enhance capabilities. They essentially use a type of code that learns from what you do or what you want to fully automate your systems and processes so you and your teams can focus on more important, challenging tasks. For example, AI can spot pain points for sales teams, allowing PM teams to focus more on solutions than identification.
Whether your teams work from home, across multiple time zones, or in-office, scheduling tools are essential for project management. They can ensure that everyone is on the same page at the same time to ensure alignment. One of the most significant issues with project management is when things don’t get done on time, as it can throw the timeline of the entire project off course. But advanced scheduling software enables everything to stay on track and be completed on time.
Workflow automation can be incredibly useful in the same way as scheduling software with the addition of helping your PMs and teams keep their ideas more organised and in one convenient place. These types of tools allow project managers to clearly lay out everything that needs to get done and which things have priority to ensure team members are working on what matters most first. Workflow automation tools also give your teams an overall view of the project and where it’s headed so everyone is on the same page and can more easily stay on track.
Principles to Follow When Using Tech to Optimise Your Processes
Aside from the actual tools and programs your teams use for project management, there are also some general guidelines you should follow. Using tech to modernise your business is essential, but it can go wrong if you lose focus and sight of what matters. Simply upgrading your processes for the sake of being more modern can result in missteps and unnecessary risks. Instead, try to remember your goals and purpose for upgrading, such as being more efficient to provide better results for your clients or customers.
- Focus on customer value: Though your end goal may be to improve your processes to increase revenue and experience growth, don’t forget that these things can’t happen without happy and loyal customers. Customer value and experience should always be at the front of your mind with all your projects. Don’t get distracted by the tech and let it lead you off course.
- Use only the necessary tools: Again, using tech for the sake of being more modern is not a good purpose for upgrading your systems and process. This can result in too many unnecessary upgrades and changes that are distracting and overwhelming. Remember, the idea is to simplify and automate your processes to make what you’re doing easier, not harder.
- Align tech with company culture: Not every tool will work for your specific company and your teams. Try not to force an upgrade or a new tool or digital process on your teams if it’s not working. You want everything to be in alignment to create a better company culture with employees that are encouraged and enabled to be more creative and more productive. If the tools you are using stress them out, it might not be a good fit.
- Use a “services” mindset: often, many companies will treat technology like assets that they own. Instead, try to see the technology you adopt as a set of services that assist you in your endeavours. Not all tech needs to be owned and can be accessed through an open network of outside providers. This allows your company to only integrate what is needed instead of trying to own and manage everything itself.
- Make a plan before you start: Finally, it’s always best to have a clear plan or set of goals that you want to achieve before deciding to use new technological tools and systems. To avoid taking on too much and integrating more than necessary, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of what exactly you are trying to achieve.
Consider Partnering With an MSP
When updating your business with new technology, it’s not always easy to manage all these new systems yourself. So it can be beneficial, especially as a small business, to consider partnering with a managed service provider (MSP). An MSP allows you to adopt new tech to optimise your processes without fully integrating everything into the company.
MSPs essentially allow you to outsource your tech services. These third-party companies can manage your IT services, providing you with a network, applications, infrastructure, and security, so you don’t have to worry about managing all of that yourself.
However, no two MSPs are the same, and before you choose one to work with, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research first and planning first. And even once you do pick one, there are some general guidelines to follow to ensure everything goes smoothly. The three dos and don’ts of MSP governance include:
- Keep the lines of communication open
- Establish responsibilities
- Set expectations
- Think small
- Be afraid of change
- Adopt a reactive approach
By following these do’s and don’ts, your business can have more success with the MSP you work with. When working with third-party providers, everything is a balancing act. But an MSP can still be incredibly useful, especially for small businesses that don’t have the staff and resources to manage all of the IT themselves.
Overall, optimising your business with the latest tech is key to keeping up in today’s digital world. The various tools and systems that are available can make your processes a whole lot easier for your project managers, which can lead to better performance and increased revenue. Still, it’s important to be mindful of the tech you choose to adopt to avoid taking on too much, as it can do the opposite by overwhelming your team and making their lives harder.