Project Management & Planning Articles

Save Your Sanity – Maybe It’s Time for a Project Management Tool

by Christophe Primault
Published on 28 February 2012

online project management toolsMuch of the time when people hear the term "project management," it conjures up a visual of huge projects that take hundreds of people, lots of money, and a good bit of time to complete.

But the reality is, many projects are much smaller than those we imagine. Most small business owners juggle numerous projects at any given time. You may not think of the things that you do as projects, but consider this list for a moment.

  • Remodel your website
  • Develop a new marketing campaign
  • Create a new product offering
  • Hire an employee
  • Coordinate a joint venture
  • Plan a newsletter
  • Deliver client services

Any of those sound familiar to you?

Every Small Business Owner Is A Project Manager

These are just a few of the projects you might be involved in at any given point in time. And, most likely, you're juggling multiple projects at the same time.

That means you have to coordinate resources and manage deliverables for multiple items all at once. And the problem with that is things can fall through the cracks. It's simply impossible for one person to manage multiple projects without adequate project management tools to help you maintain your sanity during the chaos.

You've probably developed systems and processes that work for managing projects in your small business, but it may be time for a change. Technology is definitely your friend here. And the continuing sophistication of the internet makes transitioning to a different way of doing business pretty easy.

Take Time To Understand What Tool You Need

But don't just jump in feet first. Technology tools are developed to make your life easier, so you need to think about what you are looking for before you actually look. It might be tempting to just pick a solution thinking it will help save you some time. But that would be a mistake. Take time to clearly identify what needs you have and you'll be much more successful finding a tool that will make you happy.

Here are a few questions that can help you define your requirements.

  • How many projects will you need to manage at the same time?
  • Will there be multiple team members involved in a project?
  • Is it important to be able to prioritize projects?
  • Do you want to be able to track by client details?
  • What type of reports will you need?
  • Will you need access across multiple platforms?

This is just a small sample of questions you'll want to answer before you go shopping for a project management application. Think through what will make your life easier and it will help you hit the target - and save your sanity.

What other questions should a small business owner consider when seeking for project management tools? Please leave your suggestion in the comments.

Image courtesy of Flickr user wadem