The Right PM Tools

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These tools are not luxuries, but necessities. With these tools improve communication, achieve team agreement on objectives and processes, and collaborate with all project members.

1. Initiation Document:

This is the most important tool and first step of project management—the paper agreement. Here you are defining the project, making sure that everyone is aligned in work and objectives. This document must address the What, Why, How, Who, and When of the project, including the following items:

Project’s Objective
Scope of Work
Timeline and Budget

2. Project Plan:

Depending on the scope of the project, this can be in the form of a simple text document, excel spread sheet, or Gantt chart. If it’s a large project, the plan should take different forms according to different phases. The text document is sufficient for showing main deliverables, dependencies, and a general timeline. The Gantt chart provides a more thorough representation of the project’s process. Other things to consider:

Plan milestones
Also break your milestones into items that can be delivered every 2-3 days
Make clear assignments of tasks to each team member

3. Risk Management Plan:

Risks are everywhere, so it is essential that you acknowledge its existence and possibility of occurrences when managing a project. As a team—

a. Identify risks
b. Rank them by likelihood and severity.
c. Brainstorm solutions

Also, don’t keep people in the dark. Along with the project plan, your risk management plan is something you should share with your client so that when issues do occur, they don’t see it as the first signs of project failure. In fact, they will see your risk management plan as a meticulous approach to the project.

4. Progress Updates:

It is important to inform people of the project’s overall progress. Keep it succinct. The progress report should show the following points:

Overall status
On/Off Track

Also, talk with the client to see which method of update they prefer—casual email, formal documentation, telephone—as well as the frequency.

5. Project Management Software:

PM Software exists to help your team be on schedule, keep track of budget, and collaborate effectively. Do your research and find one that is easy to use and fits your needs.