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Project Management Tools to See The Big Picture

Posted by
Lincoln Hayes
on
July 24, 2020

Some time ago, I shared some thoughts and learnings on project management during a pandemic. This was specifically in reference to Interfuze’s work with CyberCX to deploy a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure so that over 20,000 Australian National University students can have immediate remote access to over 80 core study applications. 


In the post I also shared the digital tools we used to help manage this important project. 


Recently, I saw this article where NASA scientists shared their project management tools that they used to discover planets about three times the diameter of Earth. It got me thinking to expand a little bit more on my previous post on digital tools. 


Importance of project management tools 


Good project management tools can help teams see the broad view of a project, allowing users to create and complete tasks, meet deadlines, capture detail-rich notes and provide templates for common protocols. If used well, these tools make teams more efficient and minimise frustrations such as forgotten tasks and duplicated work. 


Which project management tools should I use? 


As a project manager, I do get asked this question many times. 


My initial answer is always: “It really depends on what’s fit-for-purpose, based on size of the project, duration, complexity, team composition and location.” I personally regularly swap tool sets based on what is appropriate and sometimes it depends on what the governance requirements are as well. 


That aside – for usability and with the recent shift to remote working, I have found MS Teams and MS Planner invaluable. 

 

These two tools, when used together, enable teams to rapidly mobilise, quickly collaborate and develop technical task and action lists that can be managed at a high level - in a highly customisable Kanban style.  It’s visual, reportable, easy to update and has cross company collaboration.  Teams also has the added bonus of the wiki and links into project documentation repositories. Bonus: all able to be set up within minutes.


Technical project management tools 

 

For more technical projects such as software development, co-located teams will benefit from the use of tools such as Atlassian’s Jira as this provides a level of lower granularity than Planner and Teams.  

 

Jira’s tracking and reporting side is invaluable for technical projects, giving you and your team the ability to see if progress against a plan is suffering or if your team’s throughput/velocity is falling off so you can then address this. 

 

For some projects – and this might be a little old school - but all you need is MS Excel with a tab for each area - Scope, Schedule, Budget, Risks, Issues, Actions, Deliverables Tracking etc.

 

But my favourite right now for cross organisational, remote teams is MS Teams with Teams Chat, the wiki and Planner.


Need more project management information & support?


Get in touch for any Perth project management support or for any remote technical and digital projects.



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