Project Management

How to Build a More Integrated Project Management Plan

by Ron Ause, March 1, 2017

It’s becoming more and more crucial to have a solid integrated project management plan in place after the sales process is completed. New projects are complex, and with the ability to streamline and integrate various facets of the project management process comes the chance to accomplish more with the same time and effort. Here are four ideas to improve your integrated project management plan:

1. Start with a project framework each time

Don’t keep defining your projects from scratch each time you get a new one. Have an existing project template that allows you to have a set workflow that you can tweak as needed.

Each project is unique, but the framework is the same. Having a standardized starting spot for the project allows you to get the process moving more quickly. You have unique requirements and checklists for each type of project, and this way, you can stop performing the same work time and time again.

2. Don’t squander resources

Use resource management capabilities to their fullest extent. That means keeping track of your staff utilization and making sure you’re not stretched too thin or underutilizing them.

Capacity is an interesting nut to crack at times, but it becomes easier with a powerful resource management segment as part of a comprehensive integrated project management plan. Using time tracking to make sure your team is completing tasks as expected can help you anticipate any changes to the initial project plan. When you can prepare for the changes before it becomes a problem, less time will be wasted getting back on track.

3. Streamline communication

Communication is at the very core of integrated project management. As essential as communication is between your immediate team members, it’s also quite important between departments as well.

Take information that the sales team gains when it hammers out the deal. The team members can pass it along to you without a hitch, and you can increase your knowledge of the project and the client without much additional effort.

The same goes for accounting and any invoicing functions. When you and the accounting department can pass along information about a customer’s payments, it will make everyone’s life easier.

4. Make sure your reports are robust and cross-functional

Tying into the first aspect for integrated project management, reports that are robust are very useful. When you’re able to reuse a report for each future project, that’s an easy way to reduce the time required to produce the same information. Use customized reporting functions to create a report specific to the stakeholder and client base and then have it ready to run again when the time comes.

Within integrated project management, you can find software that integrates with third-party applications. This can be incredibly useful when combined with the robust reports that you’ve created. Take accounting figures, for instance. When you can run a report that gives you pertinent budget metrics without having to reenter data, that’s just an easy click of the mouse. You’ll have accurate numbers, and everyone can be satisfied.

Having well-thought-out integrated project management makes it easy for you and the other departments to work together. All of the information you need is in one easily accessible location, and everyone can be up to speed on the project status and direction.

 

About The Author

Ron began a career in the software industry at 13, while working with his father. He's become an expert in job cost and project management for creative teams.

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