A good friend of mine is fond of saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” He’s right, of course, especially when it comes to technology. Advances come so quickly that often buyers are unaware of what’s possible. This makes it difficult to identify the solutions with potential beyond the checklist items you already know about. That’s why we thought it would be helpful to take a few minutes and share some of the capabilities that you might want to look for when evaluating project tracking software. Some are surely familiar, but others might be surprising.
Top-Down or Bottom-Up Project Definition
Most project tracking software can handle projects that are initiated by management with tasks assigned to employees, but sometimes ideas for the projects that might be most impactful for business come from front line employees. Look for project tracking software with work flow that can handle this scenario as well as a typical top-down initiative.
Active Notifications and Alerts
Especially when employees or organizations are new to project management, it is important not to assume that they will log into the project tracking solution every day without prompting. It takes a while for the solution to become second nature. That’s why you want to look for software that will leverage an application that your staff does use every day, email, to prompt and remind people when action is needed. Alerts and notifications are essential for keeping forward momentum.
Every organization is a little bit different and has its own way of getting things done. Look for project tracking software that is customizable enough to fit your way of doing business, rather than one that expects your business to conform to its template.
Support for Cross-Departmental Collaboration
Projects that bring about positive change are very frequently those that require cross-departmental collaboration. Therefore, you want to look for project tracking solutions that don’t force the work flow into silos or set up walls between groups. You want information and task assignments to follow freely across teams. You project management solution should become the single source of the truth for all active and completed projects and be accessible by anyone on the team.
In addition to tracking the progress of each project toward completion, look for a solution that will actually help you determine the final impact of completed projects. The best solutions create an apples-to-apples comparison of various projects to help inform decisions about what opportunities for improvement to tackle next. Assigning some kind of ROI to completed projects also help executives justify further investment in similar initiatives and in project management itself.
We hope you will consider KaiNexus for your project tracking needs, but even if you don’t, looking for these capabilities will help ensure that you get a solution that will support your organization’s project tracking and improvement efforts.