The internet has contributed in no small way to the advancement of the practice of project management; with web based project management, project managers can easily process information pertaining to a multitude of projects or different phases of a singular project.
Web-based project management software leverages the internet to help project teams create and monitor tasks, schedule activities, calculate critical paths and build timelines. They often come as an integrated package with the capacity to host millions of users all over the world simultaneously. This is made possible by the installation of the main software on a central server; this enables multiple users, have access to it.
The History of Web Based Project Management Tools
The job of planning, executing and monitoring a project is not an easy one. Experienced project managers would be quick to point out the series of complex activities that pave the road to the completion of any milestone. What you would also commonly find in the field of project management are the interdependencies of tasks. The Nest describes the concept of interdependency in the workplace as “The idea that two parties in a conflict need each other to complete their own tasks.” A situation where a worker’s deliverables rely solely on the completion of the task assigned to another worker within or outside the organization.
Often times, team members are geographically dispersed and effective collaboration would require the use of certain tools in order to achieve organizational objectives and web based project management software was a perfect solution to the dilemma.
As early as 2570 BC the practice of project management has been in existence as is evident in the historical Pyramid of Giza; fast forward to 208 BC where the world gets treated to another architectural wonder, the Great Wall of China. Both projects would have elicited a great deal of planning, implementation, and monitoring – the hallmarks of project management. However, it wasn’t until 1917 that we saw Henry Gantt come up with an exceptional scheduling tool to aid the practice of project management. That tool is what is known today as the Gantt chart.
Since then, the world has witnessed the birth of several other project management techniques and tools like the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and PERT just to mention a few. However, modern project management kicked off around the mid-80s when information technology witnessed a rapid growth spurt. Companies like Oracle and Artemis were the first to get on the train with the Scitor Corporation (now SAIC – a technology and engineering company) following closely. The internet facilitated the rapid exchange of information; email allowed people track project progress, documents were easily accessed and as the concept of remote working grew, we began to see more and more project teams collaborate on tasks from different parts of the world.
In 2008, project managers were introduced to the concept of Cloud-Based Project Management Software. This development was a very welcome one for the industry as it allowed remote teams to work more efficiently, simultaneously increasing productivity. Today, we see project management apps that allow users access information, track progress, send documents, approve costs etc., while on the go.
Advantages of Web Based Project Management Tools
Web-based project management tools are very advantageous to project managers; With these tools, project managers can:
- Collaborate with team members in real-time
Project management software serves as a platform for team members to easily communicate with one another in real time. The advantage of this is that updates are usually faster and team members are kept in the loop at every point in time.
- Drive Efficiency
Web-based project management software automatically optimizes an organization’s efficiency and productivity, drastically cutting down the amount of time it would take to accomplish certain tasks.
- Ensure Optimum Collaboration Amongst Team Members
It also lends a boost to the collaborative efforts of the team as it not only serves as some type of communication hub for team members or between an organization and its clients regardless of what niche they operate in, but it also assists in coordination, monitoring, and control of individual tasks.
- Reduced Cost of Operations
Organizations need not hire skilled IT personnel to download the software on any number of computers; expenses for web-based tools are only incurred based on the frequency of use and in some cases, the scale of use.
- Be Assured of Data Security
Web-based software is the best when it comes to the security of company data; this is because the information is usually stored on a secure server. These servers are often managed by cyber security companies whose sole job is securing clients’ information.
Web-based project tools help anticipate project risks, aid project scheduling, reporting, document sharing and are surprisingly easy to use.
How to Identify The Best Web Based Project Management Tools
Choosing the right software for your team will largely depend on the size of the team and your scale of operations. Nonetheless, there are some key features you may want to watch out for when deciding on what tool to use.
- Time Tracking – This is one feature you should not overlook; project teams become more efficient when they are not only able to accurately ascertain the time spent on tasks but make sure deadlines are met as well.
- Budgeting and Expense Management– With this feature, project managers are able to keep the project under budget. With Nutcache, for example, project managers can quickly get an overview of how much has been spent so far and it can be grouped according to tasks or by members.
- Online Invoicing – This allows you automatically send an invoice to a client when a milestone has been reached.
- Effective Collaboration – What is effective project management without collaboration? Whatever tool you get should be able to keep all team members connected. Clients should also be able to leave frequent reviews or comments on any task.
- Document Sharing – Any good web-based project management tool should support document sharing; you want to be able to quickly receive and send a document across for review or approval.
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