How to Stay Focused with Task Management Software? by Priyank AgarwalGet notified with latest updates T T T T January 27, 2020March 11, 2020 Smart teams globally prefer task management software to achieve high productivity levels. Primarily for the simple reason to make the most out of their workday & stay on top of their key assignments. On the other hand, there is a lot of fuss around distractions at the workplace due to the overuse of digital mediums be it various productivity tools, social media platforms or constant dings of the cell phones. Digital mediums are the need of the hour and if not deployed and used in the right manner can turn counterproductive. Moreover, daily operational challenges and ambiguities add to chaos & lea to execution delays and less than optimal quality of deliverables. All of which can: throw the project off-track demotivate team members add to customer dissatisfaction probable loss of business To that extent, let us take a quick review of how an all-in-one integrated task management and team collaboration software can keep our teams focused. Integrated task management tools offer a plethora of productive features such as time tracking, resource utilization, project templates, Gantt charts, Kanban boards, resource allocation and daily catch-ups that enable smooth communication and collaboration across the team. Get Organized The first wise step is to bring your project teams together on a central project management platform. The platform becomes your single source of truth and your go-to place for all information regarding the project. Right from project plans, project templates, task assignments, schedule, and all project documentation can be found within a single project management tool. Thus, time is saved from juggling multiple apps. Less chaos and anxiety as all information is interlinked and presented at one place for ease of use. Additionally, role-based access control ensures, the right people see the intended information and hence, reduced distractions and better control. Also, the team now knows their individual responsibilities, expected outcomes & absolute clarity around the project schedule. Pro Tip: User role management and Gantt chart works wonders when you are working on large complex projects or projects with very strict deadlines. Align your Processes Processes are often bypassed or forgotten altogether while execution. As a result, there are quality gaps, more issues than expected & rework efforts that will not be billed to the client. Intuitive project management software takes these crucial business requirements into account. They offer enough room to align your process to your execution and help maintain a common understanding. Execution is far more streamlined and is in accordance with the established processes. Also, rework and repetitive activities are reduced. For e.g., the project template is a capability that allows for defining project plans once and reusing them forever. You can always update and optimize based on evolving project requirements over time. But the important fact is, chances of missing out on key tasks and project activities are significantly reduced. Plus you save time from defining the same tasks for every new yet similar project. You also get to do accurate project estimation with time using historical data from actual implementations. Similarly, defining the logical sequence of tasks life-cycle from start to finish eliminates any scope for confusion. Teams know how the tasks will move along the process, who will work on them and when ensuring seamless execution with greater quality. Pro Tip: Custom Status Workflow & Project Templates save you a lot of time and make your processes effective. Communicate Effectively & with Ease The power of optimum communication is well known to us. The more the better. No denying that fact. But then communication has to be meaningful. The whole idea is to have all relevant information available when needed and with ease. If you make communicating a time consuming and tedious affair, the benefits are outdone! Ensure your chosen project and task management software enables optimum communication. Integrated in-app chat is one capability that prevents the use of multiple mediums. Saves on cost and keeps data within the tool. Moreover, simple yet effective features such as desktop notifications, email alerts, daily and weekly overviews make tracking progress easy. Also, the ability to link relevant artifacts to the tasks allow for all-round information centrally. Thus all personnel working on the task have the utmost clarity. Daily catch-up is a highly productive way of tracking daily progress. Imagine if all team members reported their daily progress over email. But with daily catch-ups, all updates are linked to one single task. A simple glance and you know who has done what! Similarly, real-time notifications on task progress replies and status changes are most important. Once enabled, you get to know how your key tasks are progressing plus getting prompt answers from dependents is also seamless. Pro Tip: Daily catch-ups, task status updates, replies & comments, email alerts, and desktop notifications are all baked into the task management software – Orangescrum. Execute as a Team The whole point is getting to the endpoint faster with better outcomes. Task management tools must enable all costs. Detailed task management capabilities to breakdown the project plan is a good start. Ability to group related tasks using task groups or keeping associated tasks linked by means of parent, subtask and sub-sub tasks is added bonus. You can assign each individual activity to respective assignees and track the estimated vs actual hours using the intuitive time tracking capabilities. And then having a centralized Kanban Board brings your entire execution status to a single view. Issues & delays are identified immediately and can be discussed over quick yet productive stand-up meetings. Building a new product, launching a new campaign or making an MVP? Go Agile if your business processes are up for it. Scrum board, epics and sprints, sprint reports and velocity charts the whole range of Scrum methodology at your fingertips enable an iterative development and delivery model. Good for the team, better for the customers and best for the product. The important thing is absolute visibility of task planning & progress ensures better collaboration. Teams are more aligned with the common objective and motivated enough to help each other. Pro Tip: Agile Scrum, Kanban, task linking, task labels, filters & subtasks make for a robust task management model. Monitor and Improvise In-depth analytics and reports are a must to optimize the processes and execution continuously. What works today, may not be relevant tomorrow. But making informed decisions is crucial. Ensuring the project is delivered on time with quality is one aspect, but keeping them profitable is another. We are all so much occupied with getting past the finish line that often one or more of the cost, time and quality parameters get side-lined. That is for sure not in alignment with the overall project objective and surely not good for business. Hence, having a project dashboard (s) and a host of reports covering resource allocation resource utilization actual vs planned hours billable vs non-billable hours overdue tasks tasks progress by age, assignee, etc. Moreover, all of these reports must be auto-created and available for filtering, review and downloadable for detailed analysis. Just imagine a project manager’s relief! You save countless hours that are spent on manual & error-prone reporting. Next time your stakeholders request a report, a few clicks are all it takes to showcase the team’s real-time performance & the overall status of the project. With this, precious hours can be reallocated to handling more projects & to focus on pressing complex project issues that require human intelligence. If you are still spending hours on reporting then your current platform isn’t up to the mark. Replace it immediately. Pro Tip: Comprehensive reporting section to filter & download in the desired format for task, time & resource management is the need of the hour. Lastly, it is all about being effective, efficient and productive. The idea is not only to do more but to achieve more (both personally and professionally) with less. The ability to collaborate at will, communicate globally & keep it all together is what an integrated task management software should deliver for you. Make the right choice, invest once and focus only on your business! Gift your teams all the productivity boosters they need in 2020 with an account in Orangscrum! Related articles you may Like: How to be an Effective Project Manager in the Times of COVID-19 & Beyond How PMs Enable Project Success 5 Tested Strategies for Remote Client Management with Orangescrum Time Tracking or Time Blocking: What’s Good?