It’s surprising how many IT service providers struggle with joining up their CRM and project management activities. Organisations find themselves in this situation for several reasons, which include issues with their own internal project management processes, lack of planning, and access to robust project management tools and systems. For many, bridging such issues usually plays out as by adding additional and expensive IT professionals. Whilst this may buy you some time, it can only get you so far, and those additional individual’s organisation skills will falter at some point, not to mention your profitability!
Having a dedicated IT services project management tool in place that is specifically designed to make your life easier, will lead to professionally managed projects and happier clients. So, instead of leaving your business and team at risk of getting overloaded with things they can’t handle, reviewing tools that are designed for your industry is the way forward. Here are a few things you might want to consider when evaluating IT services CRM/project management tools in the future.
- Seeing the big picture – Excellent project managers need to be adept at juggling multiple projects, whilst still understanding the details of each one and identifying what to focus on to keep everything running to plan. Ideally, your systems should support this by providing real-time dashboards; project status summaries and alerts. Project managers should also be able to drill into a project whenever it is necessary to understand the detail of what is happening.
- Joined up thinking – It is easy to look at projects in isolation, focusing on keeping each one running on time and to budget. Many project management tools encourage this approach, but this can mean missing out on some major advantages of a more joined-up view. By linking information from accounts, sales, and customer service teams, a project manager can better understand the risks and opportunities affecting their projects. And by comparing details of individual projects, the factors influencing success can be identified and incorporated into future deliveries.
- Getting your team on the same side – High performance teams are informed and on-top of their workloads. Having a project management tool in place means that everyone is able to see the details of their own tasks and link with others if they need to. It means that everyone is aware of what’s going on and can understand what is involved in each task much more quickly, and therefore work much more efficiently. It gives your team the opportunity to ask for clarification when they need it, which means there should never be a hold up on completing work on time. It also saves time and avoids stalls in the project if a member of staff is unavailable for a period of time, other members of the team can pick up their tasks and responsibilities easily.
- Always meeting your deadlines – As with any other business, a huge part of keeping your clients happy is providing a quality service that is delivered on time and within budget. Knowing how fast each individual in your team is working is key to improving how your team works and irons out any creases that are ongoing issues. It’s easy to never notice these types of issues unless you have a project management system in place.