With help of project management software businesses and teams can plan, manage and track projects from conceptualization and launch to implementation and termination. You can use PM programs to create tasks, schedule events, keep track of progress, measure performance and report on results achieved. Advanced examples of project management software, such as CentriQS, can be integrated with existing systems in your business environment to make possible for your company to synchronize business processes with new projects and customize workflows.
Task Creation and Scheduling for Effective Project Planning
Effective project planning usually involves breaking down larger activities into smaller tasks and jobs that are easier to schedule, do and manage. Tasks provide the lowest level of detail in work breakdown outline and represent individual and group assignments for personnel. A project manager needs to identify, capture and create all significant tasks from the very beginning in order to ensure a comprehensive project plan.
Tasks can be defined as the smallest units of work that must be done within preset time frames. Time will be regarded as a key measure performance that shows how well the team carries out their assigned jobs and whether the entire project is being done according to the plan. Task scheduling and management will help you set time frames or duration for each task of your project and create schedules that represent individual and group assignments.
Task creation is made easier with help of CentriQS PM solution. The software allows you to create and manage tasks in the Tasks view. Larger tasks can be broken down into smaller subtasks. "Due date", "Estimate", "Remain", and "Actual" can be set for parent tasks and their subtasks to schedule activity durations within the project planning process. Different kinds of priority (numeric priorities, levels, and urgency-importance matrix) will help you order and organize your tasks according to their ranks. Also you can set predecessor-successor relationships to sequence dependent activities and define how one task precedes or succeeds other tasks.
Project Event Scheduling
CentriQS’s Scheduler view allows you to plan appointments, tasks and other project events on one or multiple calendars. You can drag, drop and resize items on Scheduler to manage the content of user calendars and set event durations. The timeline mode on the Scheduler view will help you get a big picture view of your project’s timeline for better planning. Daily, weekly and monthly modes will let team members get the best display of tasks and events on their calendars. They can also use Date Navigator to immediately switch to needed date and select custom date ranges.
Progress Tracking and Reporting
Progress tracking and reporting are two important processes in managing projects and programs successfully. Tracking provides a way to measure your progress towards the goals and look for continuous improvements. Reporting allows you to communicate project state to the team and other stakeholders. Common examples would be tracking of resource usage (labor, time, finance, materials), measurement of task performance, detection of issues that impact work progress, reporting on broken deadlines, etc.
Project Analytics for Better Tracking and Reporting
Both processes can be carried out with help of CentriQS that provides a powerful analytics tool. The software lets you create and customize the Project Analytics view that lets keep your project on the right track. For example, you can track team performance against time by creating a pivot table that shows how the progress of tasks in terms of time-related properties such as "Estimate", "Actual", and "Remain". This performance analytics helps you figure out whether your time estimates have been set right and whether your team has met these estimates. The "Deviation" property lets you judge about the risk of delay and also plan for necessary adjustments in the estimates. All the data created in the Project Analytics view can be visualized on the Chart panel, shared among your team members, and also exported into popular file formats for creating paper reports.
Integrated Project Management Software
PM is not a standalone discipline but is closely linked to other management areas that compose a framework for managing business successfully. Projects can be integrated with sales, customers, suppliers, documents, human resources, strategies, or other 'entities' that characterize the business activity of an organization. Integrated project management makes it possible for employees from different depts. and teams within the same company to work and collaborate on shared projects and workflows.
For example, integrated PM means that sales reps, field workers, technicians and IT guys can work jointly on an ERP system implementation project. These people can access the database of CentriQS project management software over LAN and Internet to collaborate on shared tasks, view job schedules and deadlines, discuss implementation issues, agree on training assignments, develop project templates, and more etc. The basic solution of CentriQS desktop software allows integrating project management with a number of default entities (including Task, File, Appointment, User, and more). The Projects view shows all of your projects in a single spreadsheet-like list. When you select and open your project from this list, you get a detailed view of the items related to and integrated with the project.
Database Customization and API for Complete PM Integration
CentriQS features Configurator database customization tool that enables you to set and configure your database according to your specific needs. In particular, you can customize entity 'Project', add new properties and workflows, and relate other custom entities, so that the way your personnel do project management in your company will be more integrated into and tuned for your business activities. Database customization will help you deepen PM integration and turn the database into a centralized repository for retaining, using and updating business data. Configurator has a user-friendly interface with easy-to-use customization tools that let quickly relate entities of your database to entity 'Project', and vice versa. So you don’t have to be an experienced programmer in order to customize and configure the database in Configurator for PM integration, according to your business needs. If you want to integrate the software with your existing systems, you can use CentriQS application program interface (API).