What is the hardest thing about managing projects? For some of us, it’s scheduling. For others, it’s delegation. For still others, your problem is keeping track of all the little details that go into a successful project. When you’re in the last group, you often feel like you’ve painted yourself into a corner, and money’s burning in the other room.
We get it. That’s why we’re sharing the benefits of using a project management system. Full disclosure: we use Asana for our own projects! Asana is an online and flexible collaborative workplace management tool, and the uses we’ve found for it have largely shaped our feelings about project management systems in general. The main reason that we use Asana is to have one central place where all information for a project is kept. This allows us to delegate work to appropriate team members, assign due dates which keeps the project on schedule, as well as provide a level of transparency to the client. One of our biggest time sinks is getting stuck in our email accounts. By using Asana, it has enabled us to step away from email and communicate with clients within our project management software.
And we want to pass these things on to you. These are our top five benefits of using a project management system like Asana:
|Staying on schedule. Systems like Asana allow you to assign deadlines to tasks and place them on a calendar. Good project management systems stack tasks in chronological order so you know which one comes first. Great project management systems actively alert you when deadlines approach. These two things can help you improve your time management skills. Time management is essential once you start gaining more and more customers for your business.|
Delegating tasks. When assessing any project, you may come to the point where you realize you may need to delegate something. Project management systems make this easier for you. Asana, for example, allows you to assign sub-tasks, tasks, and entire projects to people. If you’re concerned about work load or time constraints, you can also search tasks by users to see how many outstanding tasks your employee has before delegating more work on their shoulders.
|Greater transparency. Ideally, when in a project management system, you are also sharing usernames and passwords with all the players needed in a project. This may mean your supervisor or your subordinate or your direct coworkers. By sharing these projects, every cog in the machine knows exactly what’s going on and where the project is going. The right hand knows what the left hand is doing. Also, in the event that your client has access to the system as well, they can then see what work is in progress (and what isn’t). This can greatly improve communication and trust.|
Cuts down on costs. Many project management systems are cheap or have free versions, like Asana. But where they can save you money lies largely in coordination and communication of tasks and goals. For example, on Asana you can discuss small details of projects there instead of pulling everyone together into a meeting to communicate every change. Since a meeting can reduce the productivity potential of every employee involved, you actually lose money by making people sit around a table. Using a project management systems instead.
|Training tool for new employees. When new employees are learning the details and scope of your projects, it can often be hard to them to grasp the whole picture. However, if you have a project management system, this can provide a snapshot of not only what projects in your company look like, but also where that particular project is as far as completion goes. This kind of information can help your new employee jump in on the action faster and better informed than he or she would have without that kind of overview.|
As you might have guessed already, we highly suggest Asana as a project management system. If you’re not a fan, don’t worry! There’s other systems available, such as Basecamp, Podio, Slack, InLoox, and AtTask. Even Microsoft Outlook can be helpful. What project management systems are you using? How are you keeping track of your projects? Share in comments!