Programs and projects form the core of operations for organizations. These have the potential to make or break the organization’s success, and growth metrics, and the ultimate results. Programs are crafted to ensure an organization’s vision as mission-related objectives are met and succinct, and a multitude of projects are orchestrated to ensure the program’s successful implementation. Thus, a well-planned strategized project management is key to holistic organizational success. We will be discussing the role of Smartsheet software in successful project management at length!
To manage projects successfully, it is imperative to understand the stages of the project life cycle.
Project Initiation – This is the very first phase of project management which holds utmost significance. During this phase, all the organizational stakeholders and key decision-makers collaborate to see how feasible the project is. In addition, a feasibility study may be undertaken to ensure the same. Once the project receives approval, a Project Initiation Document (PID) is crafted to outline all the intricacies involved in the project.
Project Planning – In this stage, the entire roadmap of the project is laid out and it is ideally the most time-consuming phase in the entire project management lifecycle. The critical tasks involved in this phase include identifying the technical requirements, developing a detailed project schedule, crafting an effective communication plan, setting up goals/objectives, etc.
The projects must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) and CLEAR (Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, Refinable). The project scope might be altered to ensure that the objectives are met; however, any change at this phase must be approved by the project manager or the key stakeholders. The project manager also has to make provisions for any unwarranted delays or roadblocks and see how to overcome them.
Project Execution – This is the phase where actual work begins. The project manager is entrusted with creating tasks, subtasks and establishing a robust workflow to ensure a smooth and efficient project execution.
Project Monitoring – This is the phase where project task deliverables start to come in, and those need to be validated from the quality, quantity, and other relevant aspects. This phase is closely interlinked with the project execution phase. The project monitoring phase doesn’t need to follow a sequential approach to the execution phase. Instead, project managers must establish Critical Success Factors (CSFs) or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) so that there are no scopes for ambiguity or deviations.
Project Closure – This is the final phase, which marks the closure of the project. Organizational stakeholders and the clients may come together to analyze the project outcomes and identify the gaps in understanding or execution so that these lessons can be leveraged for future project planning, management, and success.
Project Managers have to administer due diligence across all the above-mentioned phases to ensure greater success. And, in this quest, the Smartsheet software plays a pivotal role. This enterprise platform connects organizations on a flexible, no-code platform that empowers anyone to create the solution they need with the control and security IT demands.
Be it the management of a single project or a multitude of them, Smartsheet is a highly robust, resilient, and scalable platform to accommodate the same. It lets project managers create unlimited projects, create tasks, and sub-tasks, assign them to the team members. It also helps in keeping a tab on the time invested on each task, so that project managers can take judicious decisions in further streamlining the workflow. It also offers data-driven, real-time, insightful reports. It also supports end-to-end solutions for content and resource management, which also holds much more significance from the project management perspective.
Now, we will be discussing Smartsheet features at length.
Activity Log – Project managers have view access to the audit trail to understand how and when collaborators are taking action. The activity log can be filtered by date range, type of action, or collaborator and exported.
Admin Center – Project managers can easily view and interact with the admin tools in one centralized control console and establish streamlined navigation between User and Group Management, Usage Reports, and Enterprise Configuration Options. They also enjoy improved visibility of security and account settings and Smartsheet best practices.
Attachments – Smartsheet lets project managers store all relevant project documents in centralized, cloud directories such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and more. The best part is that these documents can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
API – Project managers can take the execution to the next level by ensuring secure data management, automation through webhooks, and high-end scalability.
Automation – This is one of the best offerings of Smartsheet. Projects often involve repetitive, redundant, and overlapping tasks and the automation capability offered by the project management Smartsheet application is geared to address the same through workflow automation.
Baselines – Project timelines are already set, and this feature of Smartsheet ensures that the project deliverables stay on track. In addition, any deviations or potential delays are flagged on time to help project managers take corrective action.
Bridge – This Smartsheet feature assists in eliminating repetitive, manual business processes so that quality deliverables are attained in an easy, quick, and seamless manner. It also offers deep, actionable insights into the overall project’s health, solving challenges with advanced workflows built from a no-code interface.
Content Collaboration – Project managers and the designated employees can plan, manage, and review content production, use automated alerts for being on schedule, allow stakeholders to access the content drafts, and provide relevant feedback via pinned annotations, conversations, and individual approvals. This is essential to avoid process bottlenecks and silos.
Some of the key benefits of Smartsheets include
- Improved planning
- Clear accountability
- Streamlined collaboration
- Enhanced visibility
- Faster decision-making
Top tips for Successful Project Management
Define The Project Scope – During the project initiation stage, the project’s scope must be established in its entirety, which will help the stakeholders understand what the desired project outcomes are.
Define the Timeline – Project timeline is critical. Project managers must anticipate the uncertain time needed to be invested in the project, in each task, and sub-task, and set the timelines accordingly. It is also important to allocate a buffer for any unforeseen glitches and resulting delays.
Project Plan – Once the complete project plan has been laid out, all the relevant stakeholders must be communicated about the project scope, timeline, available resources, task workflows, critical paths, etc.
Work Delegation – Projects involve humongous tasks, and subtasks and thus, the tasks need to be distributed and delegated with precision. Delegation should be administered while retaining visibility into each detail. For instance, project managers can delegate 5 tasks to 5 employees, but they need to retain individual visibility into all these tasks.
Project Progress Monitoring – KPIs need to be identified beforehand to monitor the progress of the project and its performance.
Project management Smartsheet can prove beneficial throughout the entire project management lifecycle.
The experts at Ignatiuz are just a few clicks away should you be interested in exploring more about Smartsheet!
Ignatiuz has been instrumental in offering B2B organizations cutting-edge, robust, and scalable tech solutions to assist them in their growth journey. Smartsheet tool is one of the key tech-enabled solutions offered by Ignatiuz that is geared towards ensuring easy, efficient, and hassle-free project management.