The way we work is consistently evolving, and one of the effects of this is the creation and growth of the project manager role. This rise in demand illustrates the importance of project management for any organization in today's fast-paced world. Despite statistical evidence that efficient project management can boost the performance of any organization, only 46% of organizations place importance on project management.
Why is project management important?
Efficient project management = Better results
When done right, project management positively impacts productivity at an organizational level and in turn helps the businesses run more smoothly.
We can avoid delays and ensure work is delivered on time with the proper process in place. A clear and organized plan also paves the way for better collaboration.
Good project management helps every team member stay on the same page and focus on work that matters. It also helps ensure the entire team strides efficiently towards a common goal and delivers their work on time, despite the obstacles.
One other significant advantage is that with project management in place, we can avoid bottlenecks, forecast risks or issues early, and arrive at smarter, data-driven decisions.
How can Cliq simplify project management for your team?
Proper scheduling, delegating tasks within the specified timeframe, following up with your team, tracking results and the progress of the project, and managing multiple projects becomes thoroughly impossible when you have to use multiple different tools to collaborate on projects. One requisite for efficient project management is to have a tool that brings all your people, projects, and workflows together.
The phases of a project management cycle may moderately differ for every team and organization. But typically, there are five main stages in any project management process. Let's look at these five stages and how Zoho Cliq can help your team be more efficient and productive in each.
This stage is where we initially discuss the project and visualize as a team what we want to ultimately achieve, find out who the stakeholders are, and analyze and define the project's scope. One critical point to check is whether the new project is aligned to the common goals or objectives of the organization and/or team. This helps ensure we don't arbitrarily take and execute projects without strategic purpose or intent.
How can Cliq help?
- Channels in Cliq: Improve visibility and knowledge sharing for everyone in your organization.
You can collaborate better with more transparency and keep your conversations organized using Channels.
Say you want to initiate a discussion and identify the scope of a new project you have in mind. You can instantly create a channel, title it something like #new-project-initiation, and start collaborating.
Also, to communicate announcements or project updates to your entire organisation or team, you can set up an announcement-only channel where only approved members can send messages or share files.
- Video Collaboration: Get on a quick brainstorming session
Sometimes messages are just not enough, and especially now that many employees are working from home, the need for video collaboration has increased significantly.
You can quickly initiate a group call right from within a channel to engage in a brainstorming session and set an initial plan or process for any project.
This stage is crucial in the project management process as this is where we set a concrete base for the project life cycle.
The planning stage is where we finalize and document the project flow or plan, analyze needs, define deliverables, forecast risks or obstacles, and set a proper schedule.
How can Cliq help?
- Whiteboard: Share your ideas and project flow structure with your team
Say, for instance, you're the project manager responsible for helping your team members understand the project flow and set timelines.
Or, if you've separately documented the project flow structure and timeline, you can send it as an attachment in any conversation. This way, you can ensure these resources are accessible for everyone in the team. You can attach files either from your device or from cloud storage.
- Zoho Projects integration for Cliq
Zoho Projects is a project management tool that helps plan your project life cycle, track results efficiently, and collaborate better with your team.
With the Zoho Projects integration for Cliq, you can designate project owners, create and assign tasks to team members, set deadlines, document process flows, map the project to a channel, and more. You can also get instant notifications in a specified channel when a project owner is updated, or a task is added by mapping it to a particular project.
- Other Integrations
If you're already using other project management tools like Asana, Trello, or Wrike, you can easily integrate it with Cliq without interrupting your workflows.
Cliq helps bring all your apps together in one place and saves time by eliminating the need to switch between different tools for managing a single project.
For instance, let's take a look at the Asana integration for Cliq.
If you're already using Asana for your project management, you can easily integrate it with Cliq by installing the integration from the Zoho Cliq Marketplace.
Once installed and set up, you can find the Asana bot and widget in Cliq.
The Asana bot will promptly notify you when a new task is assigned to you, and you can also create a new task, configure notifications, and pull out a list of all your tasks right from within the chat window.
The Asana widget is where all details regarding your project portal will be listed. You can perform actions like View comment, Add comment, Mark as complete, and more directly from the widget. Also, you can modify and configure a different project or portal any time you need.
You can even pull task info into any conversation window using the slash command /asana. This will pull out all tasks assigned to you or your colleagues.
This is the implementation stage where the project life cycle we put together in the planning stage is put into effect. This usually is the most prolonged phase where the entire team works together as planned in the initial stages to arrive at the desired results.
How can Cliq help?
This stage is where all project team members collaborate and individually adhere to schedules and plans made in the initial stages.
Here are three ways to use Cliq to be more productive, effectively manage time, and stick to deadlines.
- Star messages: You can star critical messages sent in any conversation under categories like Important, To-do, Note, Boss, or Follow up to stay on top of them.
Say, for instance, your project manager has sent an important message directly to you regarding a deadline. You can star that message under any category for easy access and make sure you don't miss it.
- Calendar events: While collaborating on a project, there will obviously be dependencies for your task. If you need to set up a call or meeting with your other team member(s), you can schedule it from Cliq based on their availability. Scheduling calendar events helps ensure you don't forget or run late for an important meeting.
- Reminders: You can set reminders for any particular message, assign reminders for yourself or others, and set reminders for any conversation.
For instance, if your supervisor has sent you an important document to go through and report, you can set a reminder for that particular message.
Likewise, if you want to remind everyone in a project management channel about a task or deadline you discussed before, you can set a reminder for that conversation using the option Set a Reminder from the actions menu.
Additionally, you can assign reminders for yourself or others and get to see the list of all reminders set by accessing the Reminders option in the top toolbar.
Every single task we do individually or as a team will have an objective, and it's critical to track whether the desired result was achieved or not.
A project management cycle does not end successfully with just the implementation stage. The tracking stage analyzes project metrics, such as timely delegation of tasks or delays, optimum use of resources, and more.
The purpose of this stage is to compare the performance expectations we initially set with the actual performance.
How can Cliq help?
Suppose you've integrated any of your project management tools or software with Cliq. In that case, you can easily track every individual team member's performance and the tasks accomplished by them.
If there are any delays or lags, you can quickly follow up on those and set deadlines from Cliq.
Overall, Cliq makes it easier to report on how the team performed and discuss any areas to improve for future projects.
This is the last stage in the project management cycle where, as the name suggests, the project is officially closed.
Once we have monitored our overall performance in the previous stage, we can officially close the project.
In Cliq, if you've created channels specifically for a project, then you can delete or archive those channels in this closing stage. You can also mark the project as complete in integrations like Zoho Projects, Asana, or Wrike.
In a nutshell
Good project management is crucial for any team or organization to succeed in their projects consistently. It is equally important to employ an efficient communication and collaboration tool like Zoho Cliq to bring all your people, projects, and workflows together in one place.