Managing multiple projects at a time is what project managers do. Even while focusing on one single project, managers have to focus on many diverse strands of information that they seem to be entirely different projects. On any given day, project managers have to constantly switch between new projects, changing customer requirements, trainings, meetings and growth strategies all the while stressing about looming deadlines and potential cost overruns.
However, it doesn’t have to be a difficult task to maintain as there are solutions available to help project managers. This is project planning software.
Project planning software has many features which can help in managing multiple projects, which can be seen in the key aspects of the software such as the Gantt Charts, Planning Boards and resource planning options.
If you want to learn more about these features and how they could help you, this link to the Timewax project planning software will provide you with some images to see what each feature looks like. The following information will tell you what such software does, and how it could help you manage projects.
Project planning software provides features such as online Gantt charts, which can be used to visualise project milestones and communicate them to employees and clients accordingly. For each milestone, you can instantly view the duration and dependency on other activities, which makes it significantly easier to schedule and prioritise tasks. Project managers who use Gantt charts are usually able to schedule each activity carefully and conveniently. They are also particularly useful for large projects with complex requirements.
Additionally, online Gantt charts can be easily integrated with planning boards for easy resource planning and scheduling. This significantly reduces any chances of errors and problems with resource allocation.
Project planning software also includes planning boards which provide project managers with a visual ‘board’ which clearly shows all available resources. Through planning boards, projects managers can easily schedule resources through easy drag and drop features and send resource requests without having to run around the office looking for available staff, or flipping through Excel spreadsheets looking for available employees.
Planning boards also offer many additional features such as time scales with where you can easily access the daily, weekly or monthly schedule, depending on your needs. You can show just the current week’s plan, or jump to a later date. Another particularly helpful feature of planning boards is that they allow you to create alerts and emails for multiple reasons, such as during instances of over-allocation, upcoming deadlines, redundant resources etc. Through planning boards, you can also send direct emails to team members and clients with pre-set templates. This will ensure that everybody involved in the project stays up to date on the progress.
Resource Planning Options
Any experienced project manager will tell you that resource planning is a serious problem which can greatly impact efficiency. When working on multiple projects, it becomes even more difficult to plan each resource and allocate it according to availability and skill set. However, with a feature known as Utilisation in project planning software, project managers can easily determine where to place each employee. Leaves, working time and applicable holidays can also be accounted for through this feature, as it provides a complete overview of all available resources.
Additionally, when project managers can easily view available resources and schedule them according to skill sets, they can also view the overall productivity of the organisation. This can significantly help managers to manage multiple projects at the same time, while ensuring that they are not left under staffed or face other difficulties in scheduling resources to different projects.
These options greatly serve to boost efficiency and enhance time management – a crucial component when it comes to managing multiple projects.
The following are some of the ways that the features in project planning software can help leaders manage multiple projects.
Greater Efficiency and Transparency
When working on multiple projects, it is important to be able to instantly view upcoming tasks and deadlines. Project planning software offers greater transparency of project schedules and resource availability. This visibility serves to facilitate resource allocation, a crucial aspect for ensuring that projects do not suffer from a lack of skilled resource.
Efficient Time Management
Time can be the single greatest enemy of project managers. Being disorganised can lead to significant delays in projects, which can lead to time and cost overrun. This can not only damage the reputation of your organisation, but can also cost you in terms of finances.
With good project planning software, project managers can plan their time efficiently through integral features such as the iCalendar, which embeds resource planning features into the organisation’s calendar. This not only helps in prioritising tasks, but also helps in planning resource allocation efficiently.
For example, if your firm has a single resource with a specific skill set which is needed for multiple projects, you can easily assign resources to projects with the closest deadline. This can be managed through features such as resource planning options and integrated calendars. Best of all, project managers do not have to slog through various spreadsheets to see the availability of required resources – with a simple swipe of their finger or a single click, they can easily view the availability of all resources immediately.
Online project planning software also offers mobile applications which can be accessed through hand held devices. This option is particularly useful to busy project managers looking after multiple projects, as it allows them to conveniently access project schedules and resource planning options without having to speed to the office.
Multi-tasking with numerous projects is something that all project managers, and general employees, are all going to face. If we were to only manage one single project at a time, then deadlines would be almost impossible to meet. But, if managing multiple projects at once is not done correctly, mistakes will inevitably be made and important tasks could be completely missed out. Thankfully, project planning software can help make management a breeze.
So, if you’re struggling with the pressure of more than one project and want to ensure your job is done faultlessly, consider the use of the above-mentioned software. The features available are paramount to success and are there to be utilised, so look at software options and choose something that your entire business can benefit from.
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