Death to Spreadsheets: 3 Ways to Increase Your IT Project Visibility

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Lack of visibility is one of the top frustrations reported by IT project managers. Can you relate? Managing projects in scattered tools like spreadsheets and task management tools, without visibility, inevitably leads to increased project failure, wasted money and time, disjointed teams, and a world of frustration. But there are things you can start doing now to get visibility like you've never seen before.

Text of Death to Spreadsheets: 3 Ways to Increase Your IT Project Visibility

AtTask_IT-PMO-Death-to-Spreadsheets

Death to spreadsheets

3 Ways to Increase Visibility Into IT Projects

Why visibility matters to enterprise it teams

WHY VISIBILITY MATTERS TO ENTERPRISE IT TEAMSOften have shifting business needs and demanding stakeholdersTeams heavily rely on data management and need to be able to track and provide hard numbers and facts with little noticeExpected to comply with industry standards, which requires lots of documentation and auditingIT projects have low success rates if theres no way to identify a failing project early

WHY VISIBILITY MATTERS TO ENTERPRISE IT TEAMSIT teams receive tons of new project requests dailySensitive time, budget, and scope constraints that need to be monitored accurately and regularlyIT teams rarely have enough resources and thus must use what resources they do have wisely

5 main reasons enterprise it projects lack visibility

Most enterprise IT departments employ multiple tools to manage different stages of a project:

Spreadsheets MS project (complexon-prem tools)Light task management toolsWhite boards/sticky notesGoogle docs/doc sharing tools, etc. presentations

The Result:

Spreadsheet wars (my spreadsheet is better than yours)Scattered/varying project informationWasted time gathering and entering data manuallyDifficulty keeping the team on the same page

USING TOO MANY TOOLS

When each team member uses his/her own tool(s) to organize their work (i.e. task management apps, personal spreadsheets or Google docs, etc.), you end up with:

Islands of project dataImportant updates getting lost in translationEveryone with different informationAn un-synced IT team

TEAM MEMBERS USING DIFFERENT TOOLS

DOING TOO MANY THINGS MANUALLY

Manual processes are a direct result of using too many (and different) tools. Scattered updates and project data means:

Manually having to keep schedules and spreadsheets up-to-dateWasted man hours from manual data entryUnnecessary frustrationOnly being able to hope that your manual reports are accurateIncreased difficulty giving team members, executives, and stakeholders the visibility they each need

LITTLE-TO-NO COLLABORATION

There are so many IT teams working in silos (especially distributed teams) because they have no real way to collaborate on their IT projects. (And no, email is NOT a collaboration tool.)

The Result?Inability to assess where dependencies lieIncrease in unproductive, time-sucking meetingsSpending too much time in long email chains just to figure outwhats going on

LITTLE-TO-NO ACCOUNTABILITY

Many IT teams have no real system in place to help team members take ownership of their work or be held accountable for the work they do. The Result?Excessive finger pointingProcrastinationVague updates like Im 80% done.Team members are disengaged with their workNo visibility into what anyone else is working on

THE ULTIMATE RESULTS OF NO VISIBILITYIncreased project failure (over budget, past due, scope creep)Wasted moneyWasted timeWasted resourcesDisjointed teams (nobody on the same page)Difficulty proving IT teams valueLoss of years off your life from increased stress, frustration, and caffeine intake

3 ways to get better visibility into your it projects

ESTABLISH A CENTRAL SOURCE FOR PROJECT INFORMATIONHow?Consolidate. If theres not one tool that can help you manage every stage of a project, then at least use the least amount of tools possible. Cut out excess.Share. Make sure everyone on your team has access to the tool(s) you do decide to use. And the more collaborative those tools, the better. (Look for commenting/feedback functions, editing rights, etc.)Sync. Get all team members using the same tools and following the same processes for managing their work.

ESTABLISH A CENTRAL SOURCE FOR PROJECT INFORMATIONThe Result?The entire IT team has access and visibilityDecreased manual processesAll project updates, data, documentation, and tasks live in one placeEveryone stays on the same pageIncreased communication

BECOME MORE COLLABORATIVEHow?Embrace social. 83% of project managers agree that social media and enterprise collaboration tools can or do improve the way they manage projects. Use social media tools to your benefit and incorporate them to make projects more collaborative.Talk face-to-face. Working on a distributed team? Thats what Skype, Google+ Hangouts, Facebook video chats, FaceTime, etc. are for. Even if you cant be there in person, include your entire team in meetings using the tools available to you. Include the team. Spend time brainstorming together with your team. Include them in the project planning process.

BECOME MORE COLLABORATIVEThe Result?Save time gathering, compiling, and reporting Data is easy to access and readily availableUpdates come with conversational contextEliminate unnecessary email chains and status meetings Communication and visibility happens in real-time, in one place

INVEST IN INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM ACCOUNTABILITYHow?Make everyones responsibilities and commitments visible to the entire team. Use social/collaboration tools Collaborative task/project management toolsGoogle docsBe creative is there a better way?

INVEST IN INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM ACCOUNTABILITYThe Result?Decreased finger pointingTeam members will hold each other accountableIncreased commitment to IT projects from team membersEveryone is more engaged in their work

About attask enterprise work management software

AtTask solves the visibility problem by providing enterprise IT teams with the following:

A SINGLE TOOL THAT COVERS THE END-TO-END IT WORK LIFECYCLEWith AtTask, you get one tool to manage every phase of your IT projects, from initial request through to completion. Its a central location for all your project and non-project work available to all team members and stakeholders.

A UNIFIED SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT TOOL AtTask is an intuitive work management solution with an easy-to-use social media-inspired interface that enables collaboration, the gathering of real-time contextual updates, increased visibility, and accountability for all team members.

TRUSTABLE VISIBILITY FOR EVERY LEVEL OF THE ORGANIZATION AtTask delivers real context in real-time that equips senior managers, project managers, team members and stakeholders with project and work data they can be confident in.

USING AtTASKUsing AtTask can help you save time, save money, manage resources more efficiently, catch troubled projects early-on, collaborate, get real context, keep all your data in one place, eliminate excess tools, keep everyone informed, appease your stakeholders, create/deliver reports quickly and easily, prove your teams value, and ultimately, get visibility at all levels that everyone can trust.

Visit www.attask.com/it-pmo for more information and to view a free demo.