Tools Matter

When you start working on a project, take into account what really matters.

Team members matter – The team you’ve got working on the project can make or break it. Some team members work best together, with a constant communication flow, while others prefer to work solo, only reporting completed tasks. Some team members may be working on five different projects at once, while others may be distracted by their new born son, or by progress reports by construction workers on their house.

Ask yourself: Are they focused on the tasks ahead? Do they understand the value behind their work? Are they dedicated to the project’s success?

Management matters – Sometimes, even though your project was officially sanctioned, your boss doesn’t think it’s that important. Or office politics (and we all know those) come into play. With the right manager making sure that you get the resources you need, and removing all those undetected obstacles that lie in wait like a rake in tall grass, your project can go smoothly.

Ask yourself: Do they back your on-the-fly decisions? Are they committed to the business venture? Do they understand the project’s potential impact?

You matter – You are the one at the helm of the project. You need to make sure that the team mesh together, that the tasks are flowing out on one hand, and progress is being made on the other. You need to be sure that management is being kept up to speed, so they know what to expect, and you are the one who makes sure that the project is completed successfully and on time.

Ask yourself: Are you prepared? Is your team running smoothly? Is the project on track? Does management know what’s going on?

Your tools matter – Your tools are what help you manage the project smoothly. If you find yourself constantly moving around dozens of tasks and deadlines to change one simple task, if you don’t rely on the tool to show you what the project’s situation is really like, or even if you don’t enjoy working with the tool, then it isn’t doing the job properly. A project management tool is there to do the heavy lifting for you. To make it easy for you to assign tasks, change priorities, for your team to communicate with each other, and for reports to be generated (because management needs to know what’s going on, too).

Ask yourself – Is the tool working for me, or am I working for it? Am I working too hard on small tasks that should take seconds? Can I see all the information I need easily?

And start using happytodos – you won’t know how you managed without it 🙂

Happy Todos 5th March 2012