Poster for The Kings Fund Digital Health and Care Congress 2019 white text on a dark purple background

Here's why we'll be at The Kings Fund Digital Health and Care Congress 2019

 

Verto will be joining leading NHS and social care professionals at The Kings Fund Digital Health and Care Congress 22-23 May 2019 to explore how data and technology can improve the health and wellbeing of patients and the quality and efficiency of services.  Verto’s cloud based work management software brings together real and virtual teams, even across different organisations to plan, collaborate and manage digital transformation in the health and care sector.   

 

So, what does that look like?  Well, the practical tasks that sit behind challenging transformation need putting in place and managing. Changing the way we do things does not happen in a vacuum. This is where Verto comes in.  We’ve all been there, trying to bring together disparate people, teams or organisations.  There’s often a blizzard of emails, some data on spreadsheets which could be correct or not, depending on which version you’re looking at, a hazy view of who is doing what, until they’re not, projects stuck in the approvals bottleneck – this is just a flavour but any of these things very quickly can make a transformation programme get stuck in the mud. 

 

Now imagine you’re a bird – the flying kind, not an ostrich.  You’re going to be the Verto bird, soaring above your work with a birds eye view of everything that is going on. A single version of the truth with everything in one place that you can look down on.   Immediately see which tasks and milestones are on track. Risk assessment?  One glance tells you the projects that need prompt attention.   You can see who’s working on what and where your resourcing and skills capacity may be.  You’ll also have one touch reporting at your fingertips  - no more lengthy manual report compilation or digging through multiple spreadsheets.  Projects sponsors can instantly see how things are going so no risky surprises!  You are the peregrine falcon of transformation.  Nothing will escape your eye. 

 

Verto’s templates can craft use cases for faster project launch so that Verto becomes the engine room for your transformation programme.  It is a single location for files, to-do's, authorisations, risk management and timelines.  We’ve got Gantt charts (really good ones), if that’s your thing.  We can bolt on to loads of other software (just ask) and we’ve got a great looking dashboard – because who wants to look at boring?

 

The thing is, there's a clear drive to improve systems for the benefit of both NHS staff and patients.  A drive to deliver efficiency and value.  A drive to make sure things are done right, first time.  A drive to manage risk and make sure there is good governance.  A drive to get things done, individually, as a team and where necessary as a cross-organisational team.  This is what Verto helps make happen.  

 

We're working with over 35 health sector clients across the UK to help them transform health and care.  Come and see us on our stand 22-23 May at the Digital Health and Care Congress  - we’d love to find out more about your work and show you how Verto can help.. You are also supremely welcome to drop us a line at  info@vertocloud.com or swing by our website for a free trial!

 


Woman juggles hoop and lit balls at night to show managing multiple projects

5 top tips for managing multiple projects

Woman juggles hoop and lit balls at night

 

 

Managing a project can be challenging enough. Managing multiple projects within the same programme or organisation can be even harder, especially when there is some crossover, with resources being spread across two or more projects. If you are juggling multiple projects, then here are five top tips to help you keep those balls in the air.

 

 

 

Keep everything in one place 

 

It is vital to have a way to manage all your projects in one virtual space. This gives you an easy overview of each project and how they fit together.. It also allows team members to manage their time and respect the time of others. Verto project management software allows you to coordinate multiple projects, with well-laid-out dashboards that give everyone a clear visual representation of what is happening with each project, who is responsible for what, and what current workloads might look like for team members.  

 

Start your projects off right 

 

A good launch is essential.  With multiple projects on the go, it is more vital than ever to have detailed project plans from the beginning. Make sure that the goals, deliverables and responsibilities for each project are carefully defined at the start. The outcomes and timeline for each phase of each project should be clear to everyone involved. Again, the right software can make this seemingly complicated process surprisingly easy, providing an overview of how all the moving parts will fit together.  

 

Set your priorities 

 

Prioritising projects is a valuable skill. Some projects will have a bigger, quicker impact on organisation goals, and those should be the ones that are given priority. It is also possible to set priorities across multiple projects, as long as you have that clear overview in place. Look at the programme or organisation as a whole, and assess the impact of the projects being implemented.  This will help with everyday priorities when it comes to execution and task assignment. 

 

Manage team members’ workloads 

 

It makes perfect sense to have team members contribute their specialist skill set to several different projects as needed. However, to do this, with multiple projects running simultaneously, it is important to manage individual workloads and ensure that team members are not overstretched, stressed, and trying to decide for themselves what to prioritise. Verto software allows project managers to see at a glance how much work each team member has on their schedule at any given time, and how that might change in the near future, allowing for careful planning, and adjustments to reallocate resources as needed.  

 

Schedule carefully

 

Managing multiple projects takes careful choreography.  Verto software makes it easy to schedule projects with your full portfolio in mind.  It provides a coordinated overview of your various projects.  You can coordinate team members’ time and see which projects (and tasks within projects) are dependent on other tasks and projects being completed.  This visibility avoids duplication across projects.  It also allows team members to plan their schedules efficiently, as they can see what to prioritise when they have a long task list spread across different projects. 

To see if Verto project management software is right for you, get in touch with us at info@vertocloud.com or sign up for our  30 day free trial!


How our tools are shaping our world

person with two light sabers stands between two bridges lit up red and blue

John Culkin perhaps put it best:  "We make our tools and they shape us"

This is something that cannot be denied by anyone who has lived through the current technological revolution. Communication has changed. Society has changed. Our work practices have changed. Many argue that our ability to delay gratification, wait patiently, or even just be truly idle for more than a few minutes has also changed.  

Some will argue that the tools currently shaping our world have hidden dangers. Most will also agree that some of the benefits are beyond what we could have imagined just a generation ago. Technology, software, the Internet of Things, machine learning and artificial intelligence are shaping the world of the future, and just as the printing press facilitated the Renaissance, and electricity sparked the Industrial Revolution, the impact may be bigger than we can predict at this point.   As Stowe Boyd put in in a recent article“We have been culturally, economically, and philosophically remade by the tools we hold, use, and think through.” 

 

Work management evolves

 

The way that our tools impact our world is clearly seen in modern-day workspaces. We are seeing work management solutions driving greater productivity and more extensive collaboration, as well as delivering better-quality decision-making. The process of project management through to overarching work management is being strongly impacted by the software available to project teams and leaders. Those who started out in the world of traditional project management, with its sea of paperwork, endless reporting, and meeting-heavy schedule, may not quite recognise where they have ended up. 

 

The tools available to modern teams are shaping a new world and a new way of working. Reporting is one-touch. Updates are in real time. File versions are automatically updated. Meetings are rare. Communication is central. Teams can work remotely, often significantly more efficiently than they used to when all team members were based in the same location. Managers constantly have a clear, high-level overview of their current projects in a way that they may never have had at any point in the life cycle of a project before the technology made it possible. 

 

Verto's work management software is creating a strong cultural imprint on our client organisations and the people who run them. Our software helps managers and leaders as they become increasingly more responsive, and supports a transformational culture by changing the work management experience for everyone involved, from sponsor to project manager to team member.   

 

The software provides a go-to place for all project and collaborative work data, effectively relieving teams of the need to find, keep and search through emails, spreadsheets and documents. It eliminates the need for the version control that was often a major challenge, when files were emailed back and forth between team members, meaning that several different versions were floating around at any given time.  Used as a tool for work management means output data is always current, live and up to date and clearly displayed on one screen that anyone who needs to can access.  

 

Shaping the public sector

 

Here at Verto, we are witnessing how tools are shaping the parts of society that matter most. Through our work with local government and the NHS, we are seeing work management software becoming part of transformation culture, even within the largest and most complex of organisations. We can, and will, continue to debate in the UK how to maintain and develop a free and functional healthcare system, and no one is likely to suggest that there is one easy answer to the issues involved. It is, however, fascinating to note how software systems have impacted recent UK health and social care initiatives. 

 

With the help of our software systems, we have supported healthcare teams to improve their project and programme management. This results in real-world impacts, allowing them to save time, eliminate red tape, launch projects faster, improve communications, and manage risks, issues and milestones in one easy-to-use system. As the software enables collaboration, and facilitates the easy sharing and mapping of project and resource data, we observe some of the roadblocks to implementing complicated healthcare initiatives melt away. Notably, we see the way that the organisation organises its data, manages it's stakeholder accountability and communication changing. We have made the tools, and now the tools are indeed shaping the workers, the culture and the organisation. 

 

How else will software continue to shape people and their work practices? 

 

When it comes to work management, there are several impacts that we expect to see more of in the future. 

 

Data collection will happen constantly and seamlessly, across many different areas, drawing in data from many different devices. What’s more, software will quickly consolidate that data into information we can use. This will allow project leaders to make quicker, more efficient and better-informed decisions, facilitating a new era of dynamic planning, agility and revolutionised project execution. 

 

As AI and the Internet of Things advance and expand, we can expect to see the speed of project execution increase rapidly. More technology, needing less human input, is often represented as a scary machines taking over the world scenario, but it is, in fact, a scenario that many of us already benefit from in our daily lives, as we rely on our smartphones and countless other smart devices to shoulder more and more of the work for us. It is also what represents exponential jumps forward when it comes to the timescale needed to execute complicated projects. 

 

Within the realm of work management software can be expected to lead, over time, to complete process control. It will provida system where an entire project or work process can be monitored, controlled and assessed using a range of smart technologies, requiring less work and generating less uncertainty than ever before.  

 

Ever more complicated projects will, of course, require an increase in testing and tweaking software to meet new requirements. However, it is also fair to speculate that the stress and uncertainty of project management will be more evenly spread between the tools and the people, invariably impacting our experience of daily work processes even further.  

 

Verto software can give you the tools you need to manage how you work in a completely new wayTo find out more, contact us at info@vertocloud.co.ukor register for our 30 day free trial


For busy people: A very short guide to project management software

 

 

We're all busy, some of us productively, some of us not.  We all need stuff made short and simple.  Which is what this piece does for project management software.  The right project management software can make all the difference when it comes to successful project completion.  It can provide solutions to all the major frustrations and time drains that all project management teams need to address.  Here's how ..... 

 

 

 

Organisation 

 Project management provides solutions to all the common organisational issues that every project experiences. It facilitates a centralised system, accessible by everyone involved, with clear dashboards showing project progress, next steps, timelines and budgets. This clear visual overview of the project can be updated at the touch of a button with each step forward that the project team takes. 

 

Accountability 

 Within any project management team, accountability is vital. The right software system provides a transparent, easily accessible and updateable task list, indicating who is responsible for what, what has been done, and what is overdue. One-touch reporting allows team members to inform the entire team of project updates instantaneously.  

 

Consolidation 

 Software can consolidate project data with relative ease. It keeps all information in one place, with important data clearly displayed, and all files automatically updated to the most recent version. Communication can also be centralised through the system, cutting out the need for countless emails and face-to-face meetings, where only the people involved know what was discussed. 

 

Follow-up 

 Following up on tasks becomes easier but less necessary with the right software in place. Managers can see at a glance which tasks are complete, and which are still pending, and easily check what the status is on anything for which they are waitingTeam members can update the system in real time, so there is no time wasted in chasing up people who may or may not have completed tasks because of a lack of clarity. 

 

Visibility 

 One of the strongest benefits of project management software is the ability to create a clear overview of an entire projectDashboards can be customised, with all key information represented in one placeManagers can track project progress from their desk in a fraction of the time it might previously have taken to pull together an overview of the project, and the overview is complete, with no missing documents, reports or data floating around. The dashboard is your own 'at a glance' picture of everything you need to see.

 

Evaluation 

 Ongoing evaluation is essential to good project management. With advanced software, evaluation can be built into the system, with things such as current spend, projected timelines, progress towards desired outcomes, and other key performance indicators incorporated into the system, so the progress of the project is obvious. Detailed records of every phase of the project are logged, allowing for an easy assessment of the success and cost-effectiveness of every project. 

 

Feedback 

 Feedback on a finished project can also be facilitated by project management softwareIndeed, software systems can be set up for built-in feedback. Communication between managers and team members is recorded, both during and after the project, allowing everyone the opportunity to report on lessons learned in a way that will contribute to all future projects. 

 

Verto software can help you manage the pain points in your projects. To find out more, contact us at info@vertocloud.co.uk or register for our 14-day free trial


5 steps for managing project risk

person tightens carabiner in preparation for climbing

 

Excellent project managers are not scared of risks. Far from it. They know that identifying, prioritising and managing risks can actually be what makes their project more likely to succeed. Risk can sound like a negative word, but risk management is a positive, proactive and essential process. Good project managers will incorporate risk management into every stage of the project life cycle, using these five important steps. 

 

1. Identify risks  

 

Potential risks should be identified early on, in the planning phase. Risks should be assessed with an open mind, and feedback should be sought from team members, stakeholders and outside experts. Early risk assessments are all about considering what could go wrong, what impact this might have, and how likely it is. You are trying to identify, and ultimately plan for, possible but undesirable scenarios here, so it is important to be honest and realistic, rather than overly optimistic. Identifying risk does not equal failure. 

 

2. Get to know your risks 

 

Once you have identified risks, it’s time to analyse, prioritise and document them. The better you know your risks, the easier it will be to respond to them. Once you fully understand the nature of a risk, you can put plans in place to mitigate it. You can assign it a priority, based on the impact it will have and how likely it is to occur.  Devise a process to monitor it and predict when it might happen. You can also document it so that everyone on the team knows that the risk exists and should be tracked.  

 

3. Plan your responses 

 

The most important reason to get to know your risks is so that you can plan for them effectively. Planning risk responses means taking a decision on what needs to be done. You may need to take steps to avoid the risk, or put a process in place to deal with the risk if it happens. It may be possible to reduce the likelihood of the risk, or minimise its impact. It is also useful to assign ownership of the risk. Who is responsible for monitoring it? Who is responsible for dealing with it if it happens? This should all be documented so that everyone knows who to turn to regarding any given risk. 

 

4. Communicate with your team 

 

Documenting your risks in a centralised system is a great way to communicate with your team. The right systems and software can ensure that all relevant team members are aware of risks and risk management strategies, and can be easily updated as risks become moreor less, likely. Any updates to the planned responses to risks should also be clearly documented. 

 

5. Don’t ignore positive risks 

 

Modern risk approaches include assessing positive risks, also known as project opportunities. These are uncertain possibilities that could have a beneficial impact. Monitoring them, and taking advantage of them, can help your project be completed faster, cheaper and more effectively.  

 

To find out how Verto project management software can help with your risk management strategies contact us at info@vertocloud.com or register for our 14 day free trial!

 

 


person pours coffee into cup on table with phrase ugh on side to denote the despair of a work morning

Mess is Stress. Change that with the right tools.

 

The goal of project management is to take a project from the planning stage to completion –smoothly, on time, and on budget. The process is supposed to take the stress out of running projects, not add to it.  

Mess is stress and chaotic project management can cause more problems than no structure at all. Having the right tools and software makes all the difference and if mess is stress then organisation of your projects should bring you closer to feeling on top of things.

 

Organise into one clear space

Some traditional project management approaches are surprisingly messy. The mess is often in the paperwork”, even if the paperwork is technically not paper at all any more. Digital paperwork can add a whole new layer of stress and mess to running your project, often in the form of version control. 

 

When you digitalise traditional project management techniques, version control can become a problem. Spreadsheets, data and documents need to be constantly updated during the project life cycle, and this means that there are often several versions of the same file floating around. No matter how clearly labelled these files are, it is easy for a team member to end up working from outdated information, which can impact the entire project. 

 

Email doesn’t help. When team members email each other, the email simply goes from one team member to another, and, of course, whoever else is cc’d in that email. With very small project teams, it might be possible to cc everyone. With larger ones, it becomes completely impractical, and time is often wasted simply working out exactly who needs to receive communication of each update.  With Verto, everything is contained within one system meaning your work continues uninterrupted.

 

Find your project management zen

Project management tools such as Verto can take the mess, and stress, out of your project management. They enable clear organisation of information with everything in one place. They create a simple, easy-to-access work management hub for your project, which can be updated in real time by any team member.  

 

The benefits are significant, and concrete. Each team member spends less time tracking down vital information, checking that they have the correct versions of documents, and waiting to be notified of a finished task. More time is saved in not having to wait for approvals, or hunt around for data buried in spreadsheets or old emails.  

 

Updates are instant, and available to every team member. Using a project management platform such as Verto means that go-to information is all in one place, in its most recent version. Everyone can see at a glance what they’re responsible for, and who is responsible for other key tasks.  

 

Team members find that the right software takes the stress out of their individual roles. They can focus on delivering the work needed to achieve outcomes, without getting distracted with constant one-to-one communication, face-to-face meetings and tedious reporting tasks. The whole team is kept in the loop, with clear dashboards providing an immediate visual picture of the project, or indeed, multiple projects.     

 

Verto project management software gives teams all the tools they need to manage their projects easily and in one place. To find out more, contact us at info@vertocloud.co.ukor register for our free 14 day trial! 


7 ways to stop your projects from managing you

two peoples hands giving impression of two people studying reports on desk with mobile phone, marker pens

Who wants to be a slave to their work?  Managing projects is complex, requiring circus level juggling skills.  Left to it's own devices it is attention seeking and time draining and can end up managing you .  It's easy to to find yourself lost in a world of chasing down information, managing data from multiple sources, in many formats and trying to get a clear picture of just what is going on.

 

 

Help is at hand.  The right project management software can make all the difference when it comes to successful project completion. Software can provide solutions to all the major pain points that all project management teams need to address.  Here we look at 7 ways project management software can help you get on top of your projects.

 

1.Organisation

 

Software provides solutions to all the common organisational issues that every project experiences. It facilitates a centralised system, accessible by everyone involved, with clear dashboards showing project progress, next steps, timelines and budgets. This clear visual overview of the project can be updated at the touch of a button with each step forward that the project team takes.

 

2. Accountability

 

Within any project management team, accountability is vital. The right software system provides a transparent, easily accessible and updateable task list, indicating who is responsible for what, what has been done, and what is overdue. One-touch reporting allows team members to inform the entire team of project updates instantaneously.

 

3. Consolidation

 

Software can consolidate project data with relative ease. It keeps all information in one place, with important data clearly displayed, and all files automatically updated to the most recent version. Communication can also be centralised through the system, cutting out the need for countless emails and face-to-face meetings, where only the people involved know what was discussed.

 

4. Follow-up

 

Following up on tasks becomes both rarer and easier with the right software in place. Managers can see at a glance which tasks are complete, and which are still pending, and easily check what the status is on anything for which they are waiting. Team members can update the system in real time, so there is no time wasted in chasing up people who may or may not have completed tasks because of a lack of clarity.

 

5. Visibility

 

One of the strongest benefits of project management software is the ability to create a clear overview of an entire project. Dashboards can be customised, with all key information represented in one place. Managers can track project progress from their desk in a fraction of the time it might previously have taken to pull together an overview of the project, and the overview is complete, with no missing documents, reports or data floating around.

 

6. Evaluation

 

Ongoing evaluation is essential to good project management. With advanced software, evaluation can be built into the system, with things such as current spend, projected timelines, progress towards desired outcomes, and other key performance indicators incorporated into the system, so the progress of the project is obvious. Detailed records of every phase of the project are logged, allowing for an easy assessment of the success and cost-effectiveness of every project.

 

7. Feedback

 

Feedback on a finished project can also be facilitated by project management software. Indeed, software systems can be set up for built-in feedback. Communication between managers and team members is recorded, both during and after the project, allowing everyone the opportunity to report on lessons learned in a way that will contribute to all future projects.

Verto software can help you manage the pain points in your projects so they don't overpower you. To find out more, contact us at info@vertocloud.co.uk or register for our 14 day free trial!


Apples for apples, quality and price

Quality and price – how can we better focus on delivering quality outcomes?

Every project aims to deliver high-quality outcomes at an acceptable price. This is not a new challenge, but recent developments are making it more troublesome than ever in many areas, and in particular when it comes to public services. Across the UK, local councils are having to make better spending decisions in order to cope with constant cuts while trying to maintain quality services at the same time.  So how can we better focus on delivering high quality outcomes?

 

Balancing quality and price is something that can be learned from previous successful projects. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the chance to focus on them, especially in challenging times. In a recent Guardian articlethe director of the UKs Government Outcomes Lab, Mara Airoldi, claimed that years of focusing on the complexities of Brexit has deflected government attention from many health and social projects. In order to move forward and focus on delivering quality outcomes at a low cost, it may be time for central government to pay attention to the various projects that have been successfully run by local councils, the NHS, and other public service providers. 

 

Here at Verto, we are aware of how well some local initiatives are working. We know from our extensive work with local government and across the NHS that with the right systems in place, projects can be successfully completed to a high quality and on modest budgetsHow can project managers better focus on delivering high-quality outcomes at an acceptable price? 

 

1. Pay attention to pricing from the outset 

 

Poor pricing at the beginning of a project leads to problems as the project progresses. This is exacerbated in climate of austerity and spending cuts. Low budgets make it tempting for project teams using outside suppliers and contractors to always go for the lowest price. This in turn tempts contractors and suppliers to quote an unrealistically low price, knowing that this is the way to secure the contract.  

 

When your project is relying on outside supply chains that have underestimated costs, you will often face delays and issues with quality. As those contractors struggle to meet their commitments, they may sub-contract at low cost in order to try to meet original targets. If contractors and suppliers do deliver on time, they may have cut costs somewhere along the way, sacrificing quality in order to meet their budget. 

 

Pricing realistically can avoid the problems of quality dropping as overstretched contractors struggle to deliver. While it is tempting to look for the lowest possible price, delays and low-quality deliverables will ultimately drive up the cost of the project anyway.  

 

2. Clear roles and responsibilities 

 

When quality is sacrificed to keep costs down, a culture of blame can develop. Team members are unwilling to accept responsibility for problems and delays that they see as unavoidable due to the fact that they were working with limited resources. By ensuring that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and documented, it is possible to keep blame and conflict under control.  

 

Each team member should know exactly which part of the project they have ownership of. The sense of ownership can help to ensure that team members do the very best they can with the part of the project for which they are responsible. This may not avoid cost versus quality issues completely, but will support individuals to produce the very best quality they can, with the budget they have, rather than constantly shifting blame onto other people. Clearly understanding in advance what your deliverable is, and what the budget for that deliverable is, can make team members surprisingly resourceful. 

 

3. Understand expectations 

 

It is important that all team members understand what is expected of them. Only then can they work together to produce what they need to, in order to satisfy clients, end users and other stakeholders. Producing a high-quality outcome at a low price is challenging, so it is vital to avoid wasting any resources on things that are not actually required. Not everything that costs money is necessarily adding value to the project – or it may be adding value that is not important to the stakeholders. Project managers should, of course, establish desired outcomes and expectations at the start of the project, and plan to reach those outcomes at the lowest possible cost. Constantly updating stakeholders and clarifying expectations allows the team to avoid extra costs that may be adding limited value to the project, or providing benefits that have become less relevant to end users. 

 

4. Communicate effectively 

 

In order to constantly clarify expectations, effective, real-time communication is vital. The right project management software can make this almost effortless, with constant project updates available to all relevant parties.  

 

Communication within the project team can also be key to producing high-quality outcomes without running over budget. Good communication can help avoid duplicated effort and minimise delays between interdependent tasks. It can allow team members to predict what is needed in advance, and make the best use of time, skills and resources to move the project forward as smoothly as possible. Time is, of course, money, and when budgets are tight, using time efficiently is an excellent way to keep quality as high as possible. 

 

5. Manage change carefully 

 

Every project is subject to change as it progresses. This is given, and is also an opportunity to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. Sudden or unpredictable changes to the project will result in delays, confusion and often a temporarily stalled project, causing budgets to get out of hand quickly, even though no actual progress is being made. 

 

Well-managed change can have a positive impact on overall quality while keeping costs lowAn honest risk assessment and effective risk management plan can mean that changes to the project are dealt with so well that there are rarely significant delays or extra costs. An assessment of positive risks will also allow the team to identify opportunities that arise during the project that may even improve quality or cut costs. 

 

Verto project management software gives teams all the tools they need to manage their projects efficiently. To find out more contact us at info@vertocloud.co.uk or register for our 14 day free trial! 

 

 

 


What makes a successful project manager?

 Successful project management professionals who fast-track up the career ladder tend to have a few things in common. They deliver successful outcomes, keep their stakeholders happy and help bring in projects on time and on budget. Obviously, training and experience influence how well members of the PMO perform, but there are some habits anyone can cultivate if they want to be a successful project manager.  

 

 

Pick your team strategically 

Great project managers pick the right team for the project. Not just the best individuals, but the right team. Know who is in your team, what they can do and how they can fit in with all the other team members and their skills.  

 

Be a people person  

 Now that you have a great team, manage them well. Get to know them. Use their skills. Develop good team building skills. Learn to communicate, motivate and reward your team members. Use everyone’s strengths in both planning and implementing the necessary tasks. Take responsibility for your part in any problems and give credit where credit is due. 

 

Manage issues efficiently 

All projects are affected by issues you didn’t plan for. However, counter-intuitively, you can plan for the unexpected. Good project managers have processes in place to quickly assess and respond to issues so that problems are dealt with promptly and efficiently. This is where a good project management system comes into play.   Verto gets rid of time consuming admin such as trawling through email trails, scrutinizing spreadsheets and documents and constant vigilence around version control - leaving project managers to do those things that are going highlight their abilities and profile.  In short, by working smarter, successful project managers learn where to use their skills to maximum advantage.  They know that using technology to take out the admin slog enables them to focus on the areas that deliver results. 

 

Track time and cost

One of the most common reasons a project is assessed as unsuccessful is that it exceeded its budget. Tracking costs can allow you to predict and avoid budget overspend or plan for it by reallocating resources.  

 The other common reason a project is seen as a failure is when it significantly overruns its deadline. Time is like money. It needs to be closely monitored so that extra resources can be allocated to tasks that might otherwise slow down the entire project. 

 

Plan for change 

Change that affects a project should not be a threat to project completion. In fact, the possibility of change is one of those variables that should be planned for even though you may not be sure exactly how or when it will present itself. Good project managers are flexible and resourceful. If they need to make changes to the original plan, they use the opportunity to improve on the original plan. 

 

Update the schedule  

Keeping your schedule updated is perhaps the most important communication task that keeps a project moving forward. When things change, make sure that everyone affected knows about it. This includes the stakeholders as well as the team members.   With an integrated project management tool such as Verto, updating the project schedule can be done and live in a couple of clicks, with stakeholders notified,  resource plans updated all without breaking stride.

 

Manage risk 

Identifying, assessing and managing risk is a vital part of any project. It is also ongoing. It is not enough to identify potential risks at the beginning of the project and then simply monitor them. Risk assessment should be carried out regularly throughout the project life cycle to identify and manage new risks as they arise. 

 

Deliver 

Perhaps the most obvious mark of a good project manager is the ability to deliver the desired outcomes. Whatever happens, great project managers deliver the changes they promised, every time.   

Verto is a system that makes these things look easy, making you look good and keeping you on the fast track.  For more information and to see Verto in action contact us on info@vertocloud.com or sign up for a  free trial

 


10 ways a project management approach is helpful

 A project management approach can have a large impact on the success of any project. However, many managers are reluctant to re-position their team, approach or budget to focus on project management. They may argue that it is expensive and that they can manage their own team on a certain project just as they do on a day-to-day basis.  This approach, however, overlooks the vital differences between routine management and project management and how a project management approach is actually helpful to achieving successful delivery. 

 

 

 

1. Avoid the admin time drain

Running a project without having a project management approach in place is usually a false economy. Projects involve a lot of moving parts. They require constant communication and collaboration, and they can bring with them specific issues involving many team members working, sometimes remotely, to update data and documents. This means that issues such as version control can quickly get out of hand. 

 

Working on a project without collaboration and project management software in place can unnecessarily complicate circumstances.  If you are relying on email, spreadsheets, documents and calendars to try and stay on top of the initiation, progress and performance of your projects then you are having juggle a lot of complex admin.  That's just managing the information, never mind reporting on it.  All of this saps time, time that could be spent more usefully doing more interesting and productive things. 

 

2. Keep track

Having an easy to use collaboration, reporting and management tool to hand can solve problems that you did not even know that you had. Project management software will simplify your project, especially if you are: 

  • Communicating remotely  
  • Sharing large files 
  • Regularly updating centralised information and data 
  • Emailing attachments  
  • Amending and annotating documents  
  • Trying to manage version control   
  • Manually creating reports  
  • Waiting for the completion of certain tasks so that other tasks can start 
  • Constantly pursued by people chasing you for approvals so that they can move on with their work  

 

A lack of project management techniques and software leads to a lack of clarity on who is doing what as well as what is important and what is urgent or not. Without proper project management in place, it is almost impossible to work out how different tasks involved in the project fit together, who is waiting for whom and what needs to be a priority for the project to move forward. 

 

Good project management greatly increases the chances of delivering a project on time, within budget and with all its objectives met. However, there is more to the process. With an effective project management approach in place, the benefits go beyond simply delivering what you promised when you promised it. There are other advantages that help the project run smoothly and reduce stress for everyone involved. 

 

3. Make Quick and effective decisions

Waiting for decisions and experiencing confusion over who handles specific decisions are major causes of delay with many projects. Good project management clearly lays out whose approval is necessary for which decisions and only puts relevant decisions in front of the team members that need to see them. This means that decision-making is quick and effective throughout the project’s life cycle, allowing it to move quickly from one stage to the next. 

 

4. Stakeholders know what to expect 

A project management approach ensures that stakeholders stay informed of progress, delays and key changes as the project progresses. This keeps everyone satisfied and enables stakeholders and team members to agree on what they will deliver, even if this changes slightly (or even drastically) from the objectives laid out in the original business case. 

 

5. Problems resolve quickly 

A good project management approach incorporates risk management processes. This means that risks undergo regular assessment, anticipation and preparationEasy, real-time communication is another feature of good project management software, and it allows both current and potential risks to stay on everyone’s radar. This lets all team members be proactive about problem-solving and facilitates engaging talk about the problems encountered and the solutions implemented. 

 

6. Team members are more satisfied and motivated 

Controlled projects with few surprises are more enjoyable and satisfying to work on. When team members are all working collaboratively and proactively, it leads to a happy, motivated and efficient environment that saves time, money and stress for both managers and clients. Of course,  the other major benefit that flows from this is increased productivity.  Given we are all working in a climate of doing more for the same or less, a project management approach coupled with the right delivery tool means less time doing time consuming admin and more precious time doing more productive and worthwhile activities  -  undoubtedly helpful for the individual, team and organisation.

 

7. Controlled scope and costs  

Badly managed scope is a major cause of projects over-running their budget and timescale. Costs can quickly escalate when a project has no clear definition or constant monitoring. Project management software allows for the tracking of costs in real time and a solid overview of the allocation of resources. This facilitates proactive budget management as the project progresses. 

 

8. Dealing with variables 

Projects rarely run smoothly from inception to delivery. One of the criticisms of project management in today’s dynamic and fast-changing work environment is that it is too rigid and inflexible. This certainly does not need to be the case, however.. Even old-style project management included techniques to monitor, re-assess and adapt circumstances according to variables that were likely to crop up but unpredictable. Modern project management software makes this process easier than ever, allowing projects to stay on track overall despite situations that impact certain tasks and processes. 

 

9. Built-in quality control  

Good project management techniques and software can ensure that the quality of deliverables is consistent and sufficient as measured against pre-defined objectives. Gated phases are part of the process and involve the assessment of quality, applicability and return on investment. These phases provide teams with the time and processes to examine and test outputs regularly as the project moves from one stage to the next. 

 

10. Deliver real value  

A good project management approach allows for strategic alignment. The project manager, team members and stakeholders can track not only what they deliver but also how that aligns with the strategic framework for the entire project. They can put processes in place to monitor pre-defined deliverables and assess and evaluate whether the project is actually delivering real value for the organisation. Properly applied project management techniques ensure that the goals of an individual project remain closely aligned with the strategic goals of the company. 

 

Great project management software for all team members helps deliver successful and stress-free projects. To find out how Verto project management software can help with your next project, you can experience the software in action via our demo or  free trial. Contact us at info@vertocloud.com to find out more.