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How to Get Started With Online Project Management in 5 Minutes

How to Get Started With Online Project Management in 5 Minutes

By Kirstin Miller

If you want to transfer a paper-based project scheduling system to an online system, the hardest part is gathering those piles of notes, emails, and memos so you can tame them once and for all.

How to Get Started With Online Project Management in 5 Minutes

If this is the “hardware” holding your project management system together, get ready for something much better.

By going with online collaboration software, you eliminate the waiting involved with ordering on-site software and having it installed and configured, because you can get started in only a few minutes. Here’s what’s involved in getting started with web-based project management software.

Step 1. Set up a dashboard that offers you an instant, current snapshot of where your project is.

For each project, you’ll need to enter a project name, name of the project manager, starting and ending dates, project duration, and project status. In addition to displaying this information, your dashboard has a column for helpful notes, like “Waiting on client to choose images.”

Step 2. Set up automatic email alerts for when task completion is cutting it too close to deadline.

This allows you to prioritize and focus your efforts most efficiently. When a task misses a deadline, you can arrange for both your status alert page and your dashboard to be flagged so that all key personnel are notified.

Step 3. Create “To Do” lists for each project participant so the software can make a comprehensive, cross-project view of everyone’s tasks.

With these lists, each relevant employee knows exactly what to work on and can check off tasks or update them right on the “To Do” page.

Step 4. Save time on future projects by saving projects as templates that can be reused for similar projects.

You can lay out project schedules based on start dates and working forward, or you can identify a deadline and allocate tasks backwards from there. Not only do project templates save significant time when managing future projects, they keep processes constant across your organization.

Step 5. Identify task dependencies.

With most projects, people cannot begin some tasks until other tasks have been completed. When your web-based project management software allows you to create dependent task lists, start dates for certain tasks are automatically set based on end dates of previous tasks. And with good project management software, if a date for one task moves, dates for tasks dependent on it are shifted automatically.

Online project management software today has terrific capabilities, like time tracking by employee and project; customizable security permissions that can be set for each project and each project participant; and tracking for approval on all phases of a project.

The time savings from using well-designed project management software can be significant, and with online project management software, there are no worries about everyone having the same software version, because everyone always has the latest version. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about on-site servers to run the software, because it’s web-based.

The time savings from using well-designed project management software can be significant

Nobody’s figured out how to bank time for later, so you need to make the most of the time you have.

Online project management software is revolutionizing how projects are managed. While older online project management systems like Basecamp are limited to basic project management functions, today there are great Basecamp alternatives that are feature-rich and easy to use. With great time-saving features, rigorous security and encryption, and no hardware to maintain, you can spend your time actually doing the work involved in your projects so that you meet or exceed client expectations.

Are you interested in “kicking the tires” on a great project management software system before buying? With Workzone, all you have to do is ask!

Photo Credits: Joel Penner, blue2likeyou