While looking for the top project management headaches, I came across a very interesting article - 3 Project Management Headaches and How to Fix Them by Dr. Andrew Makar. This article captures the top three project management headaches, and also suggests solutions to overcome them.
The best part about Dr. Makar’s piece is that his solutions match the feature offerings of our platform – BootStrapToday. It is encouraging to know that if you adopt BootStrapToday, you get one quick way to fix all of those headaches.
Here are the top three project management headaches, the proposed solutions (pulled out directly from Dr. Makar’s blog), and how BootStrapToday aligns with those solutions:
Headache #1. Updating the project schedule
“Updating the project schedule is an administrative burden that becomes a “time suck” from value-add activities like working on the actual project deliverables!
Solution: A better method is to use a collaboration and work management solution where team members work the tasks and complete the work.”
BootStrapToday: BootStrapToday provides a collaborative work management solution via features such as Fileshare, Wall, Project Wiki, and Email Integration. A project manager does not update a project schedule and gets the complete status of the projects on the Dashboard through the inbuilt automation and intelligence in BootStrapToday. The project manager can track project progress, milestones, team progress, and recent updates in a single view.
Additionally, a project manager now has Gantt Chart View support, which helps in monitoring the progress of the projects. Tickets are grouped by users and displayed in the Gantt Chart View. Tickets assigned to a user in other projects are also displayed in a separate row. This helps to quickly find out more free time for the user across projects.
Headache #2. Establishing accurate duration estimates
“A project schedule is simply a forecast model of future activities required to deliver a project. Unless you’re channeling the spirit of Nostradamus and can foresee the future, task estimates will always be an educated estimate. Yet our stakeholders hold us accountable despite the lack of Second Sight.
Solution: Use a ranged two-point estimation set and monitor progress. The two-point estimation technique provides a comfortable range that any team member can realistically estimate. Ranged estimates provide the flexibility to be wrong but also provide enough wiggle room to deliver close to the promise date.”
BootStrapToday: BootStrapToday’s Filter Delayed/Overdue Tickets feature makes it feasible to implement the solution proposed by Dr. Makar.
Filter Delayed/Overdue Tickets allows you to know which tickets are overdue and which have taken more than the estimated time. So, sometimes when you need to forecast a deliverable date for any requirement change (and/or scope increase) you can refer to the similar tickets done in the past, and provide an educated estimate. You can make it a two point-estimate by getting input from your developers also, who will also refer to the same project data.
Top up your two-point estimate with your Gantt Chart analysis to tighten any loose ends. With the Gantt Chart View, figure out the available developer resources and then arrives at the final estimate to be provided to the stakeholders.
Headache #3 Managing the Email Overwhelm
“In my work email account, I have 183 unread messages. My personal email account has over 4000 unread messages with all the newsletters, LinkedIn updates and long lost uncles seeking to bequeath their fortune to me. If you need me to do something on a project, don’t email me.
Solution: Use email to communicate facts and meeting notices rather than discussions, file transfers and work requests. Get out of the Inbox and create a task for your team member to follow up using a collaborative work management solution.”
BootStrapToday: Our Wall feature allows you to carry out project specific discussions, without barraging any of your team member’s Inbox. Email Integration allows you to communicate with the team members about only new ticket announcements, ticket updates, and/or add comments to existing tickets. Furthermore, Fileshare allows you to share files with your project team members and upload your release zip for your customers to download. There is no need for FTP here, and no need for sending file attachments over the emails.
Do you think there are other project management headaches that are more severe? Please drop us a note in the comments section. We will see if BootStrapToday is able to fix it or not. If not, then we will include it in our future feature updates list.
(Photo credit: http://www.Office.com)