April 29, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Project Management Software: How to manage Project Issues better?

By Sharon Thomson

project issuesDuring project execution there are typically a number of issues that need to be resolved. It is important to involve like-minded individuals who can share their knowledge and experience and provide valuable inputs for a breakthrough in resolving an issue.

Why is there a need to hold a discussion over an issue?

An issue that is creating a problem for the project needs an in depth understanding and analysis. Some issues are too complex to come up with an easy solution. Some issues are specific to individuals working in a particular department like marketing, procurement, etc.
For example, a marketing project that is launching a new product into the market require input from people who have the experience in the marketing field to resolve issues. These type of issues need to be addressed fast enough, so as not to delay the implementation of a project.

With many modern day projects having virtual teams who are distributed geographically, it poses a challenge as to how to bring them together on the same platform in order to have a discussion accurately and timely.

Technology comes to the rescue here. Project management systems are specifically designed to enable team members to collaborate over a common issue instantly and spontaneously. The centralized structure of a project management system allows a project issue to be discussed actively by the project members and in a fool-proof manner.

A project management tool allows people to be looped into the project. They can receive email notifications about their expected role in a project and how they can contribute to the project. They can express their willingness to join a project through email. Once their reply is received, they get connected to the project automatically and can start contributing to the discussions. Since certain stakeholders will only participate to help resolve project issues, their security access will be limited. The discussions feature promotes communication amongst small teams comprising of some selected members who are involved in discussions over an issue.

Project discussions can be categorised into two types. The first category is where every member of a project is involved and the other category is where only a few selective and knowledgeable individuals can participate. By applying this structure overloading of shared information can be avoided. Any type of discussion can be initiated depending on the need, scope and sensitivity of the issue.

The facilitation of issue discussions is done effectively by a project management system like ProofHub allowing users to deal with issues faster, contributing to a successful execution of a project.

About the Author:
Sharon Thomson is an author who likes to write on themes and issues related to project management. Through her write-ups she provides tips and suggestions for businesses, so they can better manage their projects and duly achieve their business objectives.

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Project Software Selection Criteria for Non-Profit Organizations

By Sarah Clare

project-software selection criteria Non-profit organizations have special needs when trying to manage the resources to meet their goals. Unlike for-profit organizations, they primarily rely on a “staff” of volunteers, and the majority of their funding comes from grants and donor funds. Project software must have special characteristics to help non-profits meet their goals.

Here are just a few selection criteria that non-profit organizations can use when choosing the right project management software for them.

Ease of Use

A large staff of volunteers may not have much technical expertise or feel comfortable learning complicated software systems. Any project management software that you choose, must be easy to use and learn. Basecamp is one example of an easy-to-use program that allows you to track projects and tasks in an online system.

Ability to Handle Grant Applications and Monitoring

Grants and donations are the lifeblood of non-profit operations. Without them, the organization would not be able to go on or complete its goals. It is critical that any project software you choose have the ability to handle grant applications and monitoring.

The software program, AwardVision, allows you to monitor your grants, including restrictions on use, tracking in multiple currencies, and creating and managing sub-awards.

Ability to Manage Volunteers

After fundraising, recruiting and managing volunteers is one of the biggest tasks that non-profits face. Project software should make that job easy by allowing you to monitor all your volunteers in one database. Podio is one useful system that allows you to collaborate with your team, monitor tasks and projects, and monitor your recruiting efforts.

Free or Low Cost

Non-profits are always working on a budget, and being at the whim of grants and donations makes it especially important to find ways to cut costs. There are a few options for free or low-cost project management software, like Basecamp, and Huddle. Explore these options to find one with the best features to meet your needs. Cost shouldn’t be the only factor, even though it’s an important one!

Project software can help you to better track your goals, manage the work of your volunteers, manage recruitment, track grant application and expenditures, and much more. It is important to keep these criteria in mind when shopping for project software, including trying to find some free or low-cost options to meet your budget.

What other criteria did you use when selecting project management software for your non-profit? Share your picks in the comments!

Sarah Clare is a writer and researcher for projectmanagementsoftware.com, which offers advice and reviews of project management solutions.  She has recently been researching project planning software. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys cooking and scrapbooking.

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