Every normally functioning company fulfills certain tasks during its business activities. There are no problems with them as long as they are not very complex and only one person does the job. Unfortunately, such a situation scarcely ever appears. The ideal thing would be to create schedules for the work that needs to be done and to choose people responsible for specific tasks. When creating such detailed plans of action, we can divide our work into smaller parts and assign them to different people. A company has to be very well organized in order to create such detailed schedules every time it is given a new assignment. Moreover, during the fulfillment of tasks, someone has to monitor if all the points listed in our schedule, especially the partial assignments, are going to be finished on time.
Many entrepreneurs follow the idea of fulfilling assignments or realizing projects in accordance with a previously prepared plan. These people are well organized; they carry out their business activities in an orderly way, and they want their subordinates to work in a similar fashion. However, this is not always possible to achieve. Some employees are unable to organize their work properly and need guidance from a manager in order to meet their deadlines.
There is no doubt that we are all different and that not everyone is a fan of order in private and professional life. Of course, an employer has the possibility to choose such candidates who show a high level of orderliness in their work. However, it has to be stated that many specialists and creative people whose knowledge and skills are invaluable to an enterprise do not know how to organize their work. Polish companies have serious problems with meeting deadlines. If a company is unable to finish work on time, it has to pay a fine specified in the contract with its client. Such situations can be avoided if we implement a simple yet effective system of realization of tasks.
Project management – the general form
The term “project management” means simply the division of a complex problem, assignment, or task in such a way that every member of a project team knows exactly what he has to do and when he has to submit his part of the job. Before we begin our work, it is worth to create a schedule that would include partial tasks which, when combined, would form our client’s assignment. Every member of a team should be assigned specific competences, tasks, and functions in relation to a given project.
If a project has to be fitted in a timeframe, the tasks that are to be completed each day have to be possible to fulfill during the eight standard hours of work time.
A task can be divided into stages. The completion of these stages would be preceded by a meeting of team members who would analyze if the task has been completed properly.
The main schedule and the partial schedules should be accessible all the time to all members of a team, and especially its leader. He or she should be informed about the progress of work in order to include the data in a schedule and implement some changes to tasks if a need arises. Of course, though everything can be written down on a piece of paper, it proves to be quite problematic in the long run. The disadvantage of managing a project on paper is that the person assigned with the task has to make sure that all partial activities related to the project are done properly. A team leader has to answer a number of questions:
Were all the tasks assigned for a given day successfully completed?
Do any of the team members have problems with realizing the assigned tasks?
Are there any obstacles on the way to finalizing our project that will delay its completion or render it impossible?
Generally speaking, while using a paper-based version of documentation related to managing a given project, we have to organize meetings with team members every day in order to talk about what has been completed or what was impossible to accomplish in a given period of time.
It is imperative that we maintain proper communication between members of a project team. A well-informed employee who is aware of the aims of his work is far more effective in his actions. Employees have to be given specific tasks because otherwise, if they are left alone, they work ineffectively. This results in not meeting deadlines and poor results in general.
Fortunately, today there are easier and far more effective methods of fulfilling tasks during business activities.
The institution of a project manager
A project manager should be assigned to every company task. The job of such a person is to keep an eye on the deadlines and the whole process of project realization. At the same time, he is the one who is responsible for the outcomes of his team’s efforts. It is often very hard for the project manager to impose on his subordinates the habit of creating schedules or making use of the ones he created. This is especially the case when the project manager is not a superior of different employees, but a person working at the same department and at the same organizational level.
The diverse characteristics of people who work at a company and the diverse nature of the projects they deal with make it necessary for the manager to be well, or even perfectly, organized. He has to ensure that the tasks are done on time, that they have been completed in accordance with some previously made assumptions, and that they meet the requirements of the owner of the company and, more importantly, the client.
Many companies do not have a person responsible for the management of projects, or there might actually be someone assigned to do the job, but he has too many other obligations to do this complicated task effectively. Therefore, a problem arises – who should effectively organize work in an enterprise? There already are some simple systems of project management that make it much easier to effectively realize even the most complicated tasks in a company. Effectiveness is a decisive factor in determining an enterprise’s position on the market. This is why every employee should strive to increase it. If effectiveness becomes associated with a given company, such an enterprise undoubtedly gains advantage over its competition.
Modern methods of managing the realization of tasks
The planning of task realization is a key factor determining a company’s success in fulfilling the needs and expectations of its clients. Proper planning, work organization, and flow of information between all employees regardless of their level of commitment to the task at hand are very important and influence the effectiveness of development of any projects in any enterprise.
Computer-based systems of project management help systematize the work of a project team, regardless of whether it works on a complex architectural project or a simple website. Every task can be divided into smaller ones that can be assigned to specific people by means of the computer application. In a computer management system, we can easily plan the whole process of realization of a given assignment step by step. It is worth to emphasize that every company works in a dynamically changing environment, therefore, the tasks should be organized in such a way that they could be adjusted to new conditions. Very often during the realization of a task, the team leader faces a situation which he could not expect. Such situations can be implemented into the project management system and to the general plans if a need arises.
Maintaining clarity in our schedules is very important. Every businessman who has worked on a project during his business activities knows that. A computer application makes it possible for everyone connected to a given undertaking to monitor the development of work and the changes in schedules. At the same time, the team leader and the owner of the company have the ability to monitor and follow which partial tasks are being realized during a given stage and, moreover, they can assess whether they are being done properly or not. They can check if something interferes with the work of their subordinates, and if there is a problem – they can find out why. In consequence, it is possible to detect any errors in the early stages of work, and this helps in their swift elimination or correction.
It has to be stated that access to the computer-based system of project management should be given to everyone engaged in the undertaking, to everyone who works on developing the idea. Undoubtedly, the data stored by means of a computer is easier to access than traditional pen-and-paper notes written down by a leader of a given team. There is at least one more advantage of modern systems of project management. Paper-based versions of plans and schedules can get easily lost or destroyed. The electronic versions are easy to store, copy, and distribute. The risk of permanent loss of data can be eliminated.
The multitasking of employees
Companies do not usually work only on one task during a given period of time. Most often, employees have to work on several assignments simultaneously and, in such a case, the division of tasks and time can turn out to be very problematic. There is always the risk that somebody will forget about something. In consequence, interference appears in the realization of schedules. To eliminate such situations, the computer-based project management system should remind every employee what he or she has to do during a given day and in what order. Thanks to good organization of everyday work, it is possible to successfully carry out every task that we encounter during our business activity.
If a team leader has easy access to the plans of work of his subordinates, he has the ability to control his employees and monitor if they fulfill the tasks assigned to them. If they do not do their work properly, he can take appropriate action. In the cases when all goes well and according to plan, he may think about making use of some motivational tools to further increase his subordinates’ effectiveness.