It is a one-time activity with a definite start and end that never happens the same way again. Simply put, every project is a unique process that demands unique methods, resources, and skills to achieve the result.
Depending on whether the project is big or small, the complexity of the process, amount of resources used, and people’s involvement vary. People from different fields of expertise come together and require simultaneous processing of vast amounts of resources.
Usually, a project manager coordinates all these works, or individual executives handle each task. As the size of the project increases, the whole process may become tedious. Since they are time-bound, keeping the work organized and accomplished within the specified duration is essential.
It is necessary to identify the various processes involved in the project and streamline them so the project can be finished efficiently while ensuring the glitches in processes don’t affect the project’s outcome. It will make the whole process of developing the project easy.
Similarly, in a much larger perspective, a Program consists of many such interconnected projects. Unlike projects, they focus on achieving a significant, long-term business objective. Single-handedly managing them can be extremely difficult. It is where the project/program management tools come in handy.
What are Program Management tools?
As we know, a program is composed of many individual projects that target specific goals. For the successful undertaking of a program, it is very much essential that we track them effectively.
It is crucial to monitor the program’s real-time progress to schedule, plan, allocate, and organize the resources. It requires individual cross monitoring of each project in the program. A program management tool helps one to do all these tasks with ease.
These tools are advanced in a way that they manage tasks, organize and manage the roles of the team members, assign responsibilities, schedule deadlines, track progress, and all sorts of developments related to the projects.
When a project management tool monitors individual projects, a program manager manages several interrelated projects simultaneously.
Features of a Project management tool
Planning and scheduling: Planning is the first and foremost step before starting a project. Superior planning and analysis rule out the chances of various risk elements, thereby increasing the probability of success by executing the desired outcome. Scheduling tools assign tasks, deadlines, member roles, organize meetings, etc. It notifies members about the upcoming important dates, activities, and goals to be achieved.
Unified document management: Resources are essential for any project as they form the database on which the product is structured. One should have ease of access to the same for effectively moving forward with a project. Having centralized access to all the projects and programs with a user-friendly interface provides a clear picture in real-time.
Automated day-to-day tasks: Project management software can automate routines and other tasks. It automatically prioritizes the high-priority tasks, assigns new ones after completing an ongoing one, etc. Built-in features in the tools perform activities such as keeping a record of attendance, time management, reporting, etc., and thus improve productivity.
In-built templates: Pre-installed templates aid the project team by providing plans according to the desired task. In-built templates avoid the extra labor of creating new plans. That is, the project teams choose the apt template from the already existing ones. Customization is available according to the requirement.
Effective collaboration: Effective collaboration of projects and active communication between various project teams have very much importance in the program’s smooth functioning. The project management tool makes this possible, along with easy file sharing, group discussion, attaching files, and cloud access.
The collaboration tool allows the team members to view and edit projects and know what other project members are doing. To sum up, collaboration boosts productivity and offers better problem-solving options.
Real-time reporting: For effective working, it is vital to know about its progress, budget, and expenses, problems encountered in between, etc. A reporting tool analyses all such factors and computes a detailed report on the same.
The problem-solving task becomes easy as the tool determines the root cause quickly with the reports, including the previous ones. It allows one to access a detailed overview of the projects.
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