Project management can sometimes feel like such a burden. But is doesn’t have to be this way.

When only Project Managers support the burden: desktop tools

In this situation, the project management tool is desktop-based and only accessible to the project manager. She needs to update the project, tasks and produce the reports on a regular basis.  In order to do the update, she relies on her team to give her the information in a timely manner. Then she must transcribe the information into the project management tool.

Once the reports are produced, she has to email them around. Team members and upper management cannot have up-to-the-minute updates when they want to, they depend on the Project Manager to provide the information. What happens when she’s on the road? Either she tries to squeeze in the updates somewhere between breakfast and her first meeting, or everybody waits.

This method begs the question, why can’t the team update their stuff in the project? Why can’t upper management click on a button and get the reports when it’s convenient for them?

The single-user project management tool is so old school. With fast networks and Internet access pretty much anywhere, there is no reason to keep working this way – unless the organization feels like bottlenecks are a good thing in the business process.

When everyone on the team shares the burden: online tools

In this situation, each team member updates his tasks, documents and worked hours in the project management tool. The project manager stays up-to-date on the project because she is alerted as soon as someone saves their changes in the project management tool. She can produce the reports herself and send them out.

Better yet, anyone who wants to get the reports can see them online, when it’s convenient for them.

The nice thing about the new school method is that it doesn’t add work on the team member –  they would still send updates to their project manager – while at the same time reducing the burden on the shoulders of the manager, and eliminating the bottleneck situation.

And everyone breathes easier.