Get Ahead with Project Planning Tools
As much as movies and television tell us differently, improvisation is not the way to make your mark on the corporate world. Successful projects are defined by detailed project plans, not doodles scrawled on a napkin. Project plans need to loosely encompass the entirety of the project lifecycle and provide parameters like timelines, workloads, expenses, and resource utilization. Through every step of the process, a project plan acts like a guiding torch for how everything needs to proceed.
What standard project planning doesn’t always account for is how to monitor and course correct a project plan that is already in motion, or how to collaborate with other team members. Project planning tools account for these factors and provide time-saving alternatives that get your plan off the drawing board and in motion.
Reusable Project Templates
One of the most difficult aspects of project planning is simply outlining the process. While we often know what needs to be done to complete a project, rearranging those tasks in a linear order along a timeline takes a bit more time and effort. Likewise, we need to consider task dependencies and internal deadlines to ensure that progress is consistent and accountable.
Project planning tools like Kantata’s reusable project templates allow managers to automate and streamline the planning process. By providing standardized templates, project planners can simply add the parameters of their particular project to create a rough outline of a project plan. With all the pieces in place, it becomes easier to make adjustments and customize the plan without needing to start from scratch every single time.
Accurate Resource Forecasting
While a project plan is intended to act as a blueprint or roadmap for a project, project planners also need to be able to anticipate potential problems before they actually occur. The project planner can then provide alternative solutions and contingency plans that keep the project moving forward. When predictions are accurate, time isn’t wasted trying to devise a solution. The project can simply change directions.
Project planning tools that offer accurate resource forecasting can ultimately save projects time and money by anticipating and preventing delays and other issues. Human observation is invaluable when resource forecasting, but it isn’t perfect. Bringing in resource forecasting tools that can analyze large amounts of data from the sales pipeline can help project planners anticipate issues they otherwise may have missed.
A project plan is often designed like a relay race. When one task is completed, the project is handed off to another department or team member who then completes their assigned task. If one member of the relay is slow or doesn’t hand off the baton, the entire project timeline is in jeopardy.
Project planning tools like Gantt charts that feature progress monitoring help solve this by displaying the state of the project in real time. Managers can look at the project plan and see that one team is taking longer than anticipated, or that the project was handed off but the next phase hadn’t been started. Seeing these miscommunications or blocks allows managers to directly contact the source and see what needs to be fixed and act accordingly, whether it is a reminder to start a task, or restructuring the project workload.
Integrate Across Platforms
A project plan requires many different pieces to come together, oftentimes across teams, departments, and even platforms. Sharing information across these divides can be time consuming and complex, often resulting in key data or information being lost or forgotten about in the grand scheme of things.
Project planning tools that offer cross-platform integration help to solve for this lack of communication by providing a centralized hub that interacts with teams regardless of platform. Similarly, this simplifies the project manager’s job, as they can now refer to the hub for necessary data and project updates.
Make Project Planning Easy
Kantata’s suite of project planning tools is designed to simplify the planning process while providing real-time insights into project progress and roadblocks. Do all this and more with project management software by Kantata.