What role can enterprise mobility play in project management? In order to answer this question, think of how project managers define success. Some state that success is contingent upon their ability to complete a given project on time. Others focus on maintaining the overall budget of a project, while others concentrate on exceeding the expectations of each customer. Still, others might state that success is defined by how well the project is managed. Manage it properly, and the rest should follow. So, if success is defined by all these criteria, can project managers better manage their projects when they have the right enterprise mobility solutions? They most certainly can! However, it is not merely about having a software platform that can track the progress of a project in real-time, but ultimately about ensuring that all team members are mobile or have access to rugged mobile devices. This allows them to reduce on-site costs through a myriad of improvements. Interested in knowing what these improvements are?
- Reconcile onsite materials:
- Real-time tracking of collaborative efforts:
- Schedule and issue tracking improvements:
Managing a project means to not only manage the team itself, but to manage onsite materials as well. The ability to accurately reconcile onsite materials can never be ignored. Project managers and team leaders must be able to identify possible material and part shortages, and use that information to make adjustments on the “fly”, so to speak. Today’s enterprise mobility solutions provides project managers with the ability to access vendor delivery statuses in real-time, and to coordinate these deliveries with coworkers back at the warehouse. Purchase too much, and the project exceeds its budget and must backtrack with vendors. Purchase too little, and the project’s timeline is blown. It’s about identifying the critical and non-critical paths to project completion and reconciling onsite needs with the realities of what’s available at the warehouse. Mobile devices can do this, but manual procedures can not.
Most of today’s project management software focuses on improving real-time tracking of collaborative efforts. However, this ability is further expanded when all team members have rugged mobile computers. Not all projects will be managed in-house. Not all projects will be replicated based on prior experiences. A large number of these projects will include one-off designs and complicated integrations. Tracking collaborative efforts at the office is one thing, but to track those efforts on-site, at the customer’s location, is something else entirely. Managing a project at a customer’s location means all members must have access to mobile devices. After all, it does no good if one member is up-to-date when the rest are not. The best solutions accentuate their collaborative efforts tracking with historical tracking. The project manager can bring up this historical data with his or her mobile computer, without having to wait for information from the head office.
Managing a project onsite requires the ability to make immediate schedule adjustments. Issue tracking is also important as it helps team members and leaders keep everyone abreast of material shortages and damaged parts. Project managers must be able to delegate multiple responsibilities. To be successful means all team members must have rugged mobile computers, computers that are able to withstand the harshest treatment. Onsite project management is often a dirty process. It’s not conducive to taking time to make decisions. Often these work environments are as harsh as the elements themselves. A rugged handheld computer able to withstand these environments is essential. Frigid weather conditions, rain or extreme heat, aren’t things that can be scheduled or put aside. They must be dealt with head-on. Schedule and issue tracking simply won’t work if these mobile devices aren’t functional.
It’s not hard to imagine the damage that can be done when project managers don’t have the best tools. Yet some companies still insist on using time-sheets to track labor, expenses and purchases. Next, they try and reconcile these transactions via excel sheets and tables. Others have a fantastic project management software at the office, but no way to link it to their enterprise mobility network. More importantly, they can’t track what’s happening on-site in real-time. In essence, it’s nothing more than a glorified excel sheet. This forces project managers to manually update the software when they can. Bottom line, if your company has decided to move forward with a project management software, then take the next logical step and integrate your enterprise mobility network into that software by giving all team members rugged mobile computers. It will improve how your project managers manage their projects.