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Is Your Project Management Software Hampering Your Efforts?

written by: CaryStuart • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 11/15/2010

Project management software can be incredibly beneficial, but what happens when everything goes wrong? Find out how to protect your data and keep your team on task.

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    Two Solutions to Common Project Management Software Issues

    As technology improves and online project management tools become more available, many companies are switching to software programs designed to help their teams become more productive. However, in many cases, these applications may actually be hindering your teams progress.

    Issue #1 – The Learning Curve – Every member on your team will have different skills, different comprehension rates and a different way of learning. If you are trying to train a new team, or you have a new team member that joins late in the game, bringing everyone up to speed on how to use the application may be difficult. There are quite a few project management software applications that have a very high learning curve. This may leave some team members behind. If they can’t effectively use the application, they won’t be able to keep up with everyone else on your team.

    Solution: Take advantage of training materials offered by the software manufacturer. Leave plenty of time at the beginning of the project for team members to get used to new software. If you are dealing with a new team member, block out some extra time to make sure that they fully understand how to use the application.

    Issue #2 – Software Problems – If you are relying solely on one application for all of your project management needs, one failure could send the entire project into a tailspin. Even small bugs, such as a writeboard that won’t save correctly, or to do list notifications that don’t get sent out can cause delays on your project.

    Solution: Always back up your project notes and data in at least one other place and do not rely on one solution for all of your needs. This does create extra work to some extent, but it is still a best practice to use this strategy as insurance. Nothing can replace good old fashioned paper notes either, so resist the urge to rely completely on a digital solution. Even a process as simple as printing out reports from your project management software can serve as an adequate safety measure.

    These are just a few examples of how problems within project management software can hamper the collective efforts of your team. By implementing the solutions mentioned above, you can easily find new ways to work around these problems and insure that your project won’t be delayed.

    Software issues are common, but that doesn’t mean they have to completely throw your project off track. There is no replacement for a good back up strategy, particularly when you are dealing with a high dollar project, or one that requires a good deal of research, files and time spent putting everything together.