PM Software: Superman Hiding in a Clark Kent Suit

by Jessica Zartler / February 10, 2016

What does a multinational CEO with an MBA from Yale and a manager with a high school degree at a fast food place have in common? (HINT: It’s not a trick question)

They both have to get people to do work! Ideally on time.

Anyone that has managed people (or a household for that matter) knows how absolutely difficult even the most mundane tasks can be - when you are trying to get someone else to do them. Communication gets cloudy, things fall through the cracks because to do’s are on sticky notes or scattered in dozens of emails, and the feeling of forced discipline leaves little to no room left for innovation or finding better solutions.

You are so busy just trying to get the tasks done, that there is no space for creative initiative, leaving employees unengaged and managers holding the bag (in the case of the fast food manager, it’s literal… and there’s no burger in it).

The Management Revolution

As we move away from the mechanization of management and the one dimensional assembly lines of the the industrial era, and into a new age of 3D printing and 4D conceptualization, the world of management is following.

With more companies leaving hierarchical structures behind, imposed work hours and the robotic nature that is 2D thinking in product development and business, entrepreneurs and companies are breaking the chains of worker-and-desk, freeing up capital, time and unleashing sheer productivity.

If you are a project manager you’ve already heard of Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Lean, etc. (If this sounds like Pig Latin, have a read on the Wiki page or search Six Sigma) - the idea that work, or perhaps a little more philosophically - (Booming film voice) The Power of Human Creation, is harnessable, now piece-partible, incremental, edible - and in bite sized pieces.

Remember that lack of space for innovation with assembly lines? Well, in the early days of Agile, it was a bit too undisciplined and the Wild West of innovation gave way to the pendulum swing on the other side - big financial losses, waste and a lack of productivity. Too much space and freedom to “innovate,” also known as the kids (employees) went crazy when the parents (managers/financial backers) “weren’t home.”

But here we are now. And balance has been restored in the galaxy. What the mechanics and hardware allowed for with assembly lines, software is allowing for in Agile management - a revolutionary change in the way people work. There is freedom, flexibility and room for innovation, but there is also transparency, planning and accountability.

Throwing $109 Million in the Garbage

Project management software is the new flexible, gravity defying, innovative, 4D assembly line - that still gets stuff done. If you run a business or you are a project manager, with it, you will get more done, save time and by doing so, save money or stay under budget.

But don’t take my word for it. According to software review giant Capterra’s Project Management User Research Report 2015, project management software like Taskworld improved team communication by 52 percent. In addition to more clarity in discussions, PM software was found to improve the quality of work, number of projects completed under budget and on time and customer satisfaction by 40 percent or more.

This difference is what separates the high performers from the organizations who are struggling. According to a study by the Project Management Institute (PMI), project completion rates were 89 percent for high performers and only 36 percent for low performing organizations.

That’s a massive opportunity if you consider that for every $1 billion an organization invests in programs and projects, $109 million of that is lost to project failure (PMI). Just imagine for a moment - $109 million!

The One Tool Every Manager Needs

Project management software is for project and other managers, their Swiss Army knife. It’s a virtual workspace, free from distractions, where giant, overwhelming projects become easy, check-off-able tasks.

These tasks can be organized in Tasklists and stacked how you want - by department, on a Monday through Friday Kanban sprint board, by individual or as a month-by-month timeline. (For more on organizing Tasklists, check out our use cases, or get creative - whatever makes sense for your industry).

Back to those tasks - they have an assignee, the person who is doing the work, and you can have more than one. The Tasks can have followers, people who should be in the know. The Tasks have color codes and customizable labels, a files tab to upload, exchange and store documents, and a comments section.

Taskworld for example, also has chat - in multiple channels where you can talk to the whole company in general, by department or group in private chat or one on one chat with direct. With all these solutions there are also smart notifications and filters, so you can see an overview of progress and only get notified about the things that matter to you.

Don’t Drive a Horse Buggy on a Highway

You can read statistics all day about project failure and what it costs organizations and businesses but the evidence is clear - a solution is here and it’s working. Project management and PM software are revolutionizing the way we work and allowing managers and businesses a chance to stop time and money from falling into the precipice of failed projects.

For employees and teammates, it’s a chance to break the chains of their desk, gain mobility and space for creative innovation, but deliver quality work on time - a symbiosis which can propel a company forward at light speed. But for those who don’t adapt, they’ll be driving their proverbial horse buggy down an eight-lane highway. Trust me, you don’t want the buggy.

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