When employees can easily share their ideas, stay up to date with what their colleagues are doing and understand decisions that have been made, the chances of completing projects on time and to budget are much higher. By providing a central space for tracking projects, PPM (project and portfolio management) tools allow team members to collaborate more easily and effectively.
However, many integrated project management solutions require extensive training before users can get real value from them. When systems are hard to use, employees will revert to tools like email for making project decisions and discussing deadlines. And this immediately introduces barriers to fluid and transparent collaboration on projects:
- Employees often find that integrated project management tools hinder, rather than help, them complete their tasks.
- Without project management training, Gantt charts and resource availability heat maps can feel impenetrable.
- The technology isn’t designed to fit around how modern employees work and interact with technology—in particular, it is rarely mobile friendly.
- Interfaces in PPM tools can be clunky; adding new tasks or viewing and allocating jobs is unnecessarily complex.
Many integrated project management tools are let down by a confusing UX (user experience) and are therefore much more likely to be rejected by your employees. Rather than battling with things like navigation and other processes, team members are more likely to continue using their tried and tested methods for collaborating and managing their time—in most cases, email or face-to-face discussions.
The pitfalls here are clear: if team members fail to collaborate in a central place, you have less visibility over project progress and decision making. Unsurprisingly, this increases the chances of misunderstandings, errors and delays.
An integrated project management solution, able to support the kind of easy-to-use interfaces that modern IT users have become accustomed to is therefore much more likely to be adopted by your users. By focusing on user experience, a well-designed and integrated project management tool will make sense to your teams, and more naturally become part of their day-to-day. This significantly increases the chance that your projects are completed on time and to budget.
Integrated project management with PS+
Integrated project management solutions are often incredibly powerful, yet incredibly complex. If you’re trying to run an agile project, where everyone can view the progress at any time, traditional tools often just miss the point.
PS+ was specifically built with this UX problem in mind. By providing an integrated project management solution (built on Microsoft’s Project Online), you have access to incredibly powerful PPM technology, which remains very easy for the uninitiated to use. PS+ gives you the depth and power of the most advanced Microsoft project management software, yet is designed to be especially easy for your teams to work with.
- A central repository
PS+ offers a central repository for all your projects and their progress and lets you drill down to individual tasks and actions. It provides a place for notes where you can collect lessons learned and you can also utilise the central repository where team members can store documents with version history.
- Positive user experience
PS+ is easy to navigate, meaning that even technophobes can rapidly understand what is happening in a project and immediately react accordingly. Because PS+ is highly customisable, it can be designed to fit with your organisation’s existing branding. But even stand alone, it looks and feels much like standard Microsoft cloud products so staff can begin using PS+ with little prior training.
- Add-ins and templates
For further customisation, PS+ allows you to introduce and deploy additional templates, designed by our experienced PPM designers. These provide you with best practice tools for managing specific types of projects, and mean you don’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel’.
- Mobile friendly
PS+ is cloud-based, making it immediately accessible without an installation. Being based in the cloud also allows your team members to access project plans wherever they are, whenever they need—right from their smartphone or tablet.
The importance of UX in integrated project management solutions
Good UX in PPM software can have a huge impact on the success of a project. When it takes users a long time to work out how to do what they want, they will likely reject the tool if there is an alternative. Employees will typically revert to email and face-to-face conversations (and even paper notes!) to ensure a project progresses to plan. And this means that the PPM tool does not get updated, and the project manager is constantly playing catch up, trying to work out what tasks have actually been completed.
PS+ is explicitly designed to avert this kind of scenario. By introducing an easy to use interface which is mobile and which fits around how employees want to work, PS+ makes it much more likely that staff will collaborate in a central place, boosting transparency and ultimately, increasing the chance of projects succeeding.
Sign up for your free trial today, to discover how PS+ can work for you and your business.