Project management toolkit


There are a plethora of tools available within the scope of project management, from simple post-it software to project portfolio management solutions to methodological frameworks. In the end, what level of tools is necessary for successful projects?


Structure your project approach

Going headlong into the action and immersing yourself until you have finished the planned work under the pretext of not wasting time is probably the worst thing to do. do to complete a project. And to imagine that the teams will organize themselves is completely reckless. The first thing to do is to clarify the objective, identify the tasks, their chronology, the actors involved in each of them, the expected completion times, the risks incurred, the associated budgets, set the organization in d ‘other terms. In other words, a job in its own right, that of the Project Manager.

However, and this is where the bottom hurts, some project managers believe that by putting the tools in place, everything will be organized by a miracle. Beautiful document classification trees appear on file servers, more or less complex tools are installed to manage schedules and monitor budgets.

Support the team in change

But has the verification of the team’s project management prerequisites been taken into account? To talk about wise PM, where does the team fit on the CMMI scale? Oops! It is more than common for team members not to master or know the fundamentals of project management.

They have been or are trained in the technique and their daily life boils down to finding technical solutions to production or design problems. And we stick them with sets of tools and rules which, seen from their window, seem totally abstract and restrictive more than interesting. From there to the fact that using these procedures and tools fall into oblivion quickly, more or less voluntarily, we are not far from real life scenarios.

Give visibility to all floors

In fact, tools don’t organize, they just support processes. It is also necessary that these processes be known and assimilated by the teams. Hence the recommended initial approach of measuring learning and training people in the methods and tools that support them.

It is fundamental to consider that the tools are not used to organize but are components of a more general process. The tools serve to provide visibility to project stakeholders. A Gantt is used to share the organization and progress of work, a Git is used to share versions and source reservations, a functional specification is used to share a common vision on a goal, and so on.

To provide this service expected to provide good visibility, it is essential that they are used by everyone to consolidate data and make it viable and reliable.

The right tools in the right place

The key is to position the right tools in the right place, not to overload superfluous, unsuitable or overly complex tool processes. Sometimes a few slides or a spreadsheet are better than a gas plant made up of computer applications, and a face-to-face or failing video meeting is a thousand times better than messages sent by email.

Initiate the implementation

The essential element is that it will be necessary to initiate the implementation of the tools with support for change with the teams. It makes sense to ensure that the process underlying the implementation of the tools is known and understood.

Then make sure that the tools chosen are not over-dimensioned in relation to the real need, which means having clearly identified the needs for piloting and reporting upstream.

In summary, there is no point in putting the cart before the horse. The evolution of the maturity model of teams in relation to project management is symbolized in the CMMI model, and things must follow milestones.

Written by team