In the current business ecosystem, the markets are volatile and the path to remain afloat and successful is highly evasive. The clients or the consumers are constantly pushing the boundaries of their expectations from a product or a service in terms of quality and customer support. Therefore, when it comes to survival in the market, the companies irrespective of its market size mimics the best industry practices. In the case of the large enterprise, there is an allocated budget for IT Spend, market research & innovation. This becomes all the more challenging for small and medium-sized businesses to work with sizeable manpower and limited budget. In such a restricted scope, there is no room for misuse, misinterpretations, and mistake.
Challenges faced by SMBS in Project Management
For the SMB’s, the greatest challenge is to maintain a steady clientele through robust customer relations so as to constantly remain as a recognizable market player. In order, to remain on the top of this situation, one has to break down the ‘big deadlock’ into smaller identifiable challenge blocks for a focused action plan. Some of these are:
- Lack of defined goals -A project can fall flat due to lack of concrete goals and it’s clear communication. Vague goals lead to wastage of time and money ultimately increasing the review cycles and triggering client dissatisfaction.
- Floating project deadlines- Setting the expectations clear and correct is extremely important. Otherwise, the project managers and the entire team persistently struggle to deliver as per the unrealistic deadlines thereby, allowing scope for a compromise in the quality.
- Scope Creep- This is one of the most deadly of the challenges plaguing the project managers. The lack of project tracking software to track the changes in the project scope and measuring the progress time to time can put the entire project at stake. Too many small changes over the period of time owing to an expansion in the project scope lead to project failures.
- Lack of skilled manpower- The challenging business ecosystem often puts tremendous pressure on the smaller businesses to perform and deliver at the same pace as large players. This often leads to hassled recruitment of resources on board whose skill sets and expertise exactly do not map with the project requirements in terms of knowledge and training.
- De-centralized and scattered communication- The lack of communication flow can play havoc with the project’s progress. Developing communication loops is super critical to the exchange of feedback and project critical communication to relevant team members.
- Lack of automation- A project can be bifurcated into multiple smaller tasks with each task equally important. The lack of automation can severely impact the productivity quotient. This is because the tedious manual backend work ends up consuming most of the time and push the priority tasks on the back burner.
- Lack of coordination between the team members – With diverse and cross-functional teams working on the same project, it is a daunting task to bring all the members together with a common sense of a mission. With many resources working remotely, it becomes even more challenging to usher in seamless coordination and a common understanding of the project workflow.
Benefits of Implementing Project Management Software
Automating back-end processes usher productivity at multiple levels. Let’s deep dive and understand in details the benefits of process automation and superior planning. Project management software suite ensures:
- Planning and defining of project goals and its clear-cut communication to the multiple stakeholders in the project.
- Setting clear delivery deadlines and communication of the roles and responsibilities of each team members towards the same.
- Channelizing communication across the multiple teams across multiple locations through a centralized communication mechanism.
- Tracking projects and their progress, and communicating the same across the entire team.
- Prioritizing tasks at each level for greater efficiency and clarity.
- Automating back end and manual processes and thereby empowering teams to focus on priority tasks.
- Sharing documents, presentations and relevant communication for better collaboration amongst the cross-functional teams.
- Creating a scope for task ownership through cleverly designed workflows.
From a bird’s eye view, the project management tools and technology directly impacts the SME business from two angles. First, improving the workforce productivity and second, bridging the gap between the strategy and execution. Additionally, investing in employee project management system can prove to be profitable. Automation of certain business processes within the project can save a lot of revenue and unnecessary investments. This savings can be further re-invested in other mission-critical areas.