A project is an endeavor designed with actionable outcomes to be carried out by an individual or collaborative group by investing time, energy, and resources to achieve the outcome.
Basically, the success of a project is indicated by achieving the goals, which signifies the end of the project with practically negligible attention being paid to the steps taken to achieve the success. Substantially, the success of a project is dependent on the various tasks carried out by various sections of the team.
In the book PROJECT MANAGEMENT DEMYSTIFIED by G. Reiss, project management is defined in the words; "Project management is like juggling three balls – time, cost and quality.". By that definition, three very important reasons for project success are;
Low Punctuality Concerns; A successful project is always delivered on time. Hence its results are readily available for implementation in problem-solving, decision making, etc. or even embarking on a new project.
Profitability; A successful project is usually cost-effective. The implementation of the output of a concluded project must be profitable when compared with the resources invested to achieve the results.
Production of a functional outcome; The outcome of a successful project is always actionable. Normally, a project is embarked on to achieve a goal or gain insights (such as research projects). The outcome obtained from a successful project should positively impact the strategic goals of the organization embarking on the project.
Aspects Influencing the Success of a Project
To achieve a productive outcome from embarking on a project, the project manager has to consider certain important aspects of the project development while designing the structure of the project.
1. Aspects Influencing the Success of a Project
The goal of a project refers to a combination of both the desired outcome and the duration expected to achieve the outcome. This aspect of a project emphasizes the expectation of the actionability of the project's final outcome.
To set an achievable productive goal for a project, the project manager has to identify the important features of project goals. A great project goal should be defined to serve as a link holding the outcome of the project with the expectations of the funding organization together. Furthermore, it must provide a concrete description of the impact level of the outcome on the plans of the organizing body.
2. Segmentation of Teams and Roles
In executing a project, segmentation of teams and assigning roles to each is the foundation of achieving project success. Project work usually requires various skills to be completely carried out. The project manager is supposed to identify tasks involved in the project, segment his staff into individual/collective teams based on their skill-sets, then assign tasks for them to carry out.
Each project team is expected to contribute to the project's overall success by executing the roles assigned to them and delivering results within convenient time to form a powerful workforce that can take on all required functions.
A productive team is made up of collaborative individuals; each of them understands the requirements of the project and is willing to devotedly carry out responsibilities assigned to them to achieve the project's purpose.
3. Defining the Scope of the Project
The scope of a project involves the general characteristics that make up the project. The scope is determined by the tasks involved in the project, the financial requirements, the deadlines for the successful completion, the assumptions to be made and the constraints of the project span.
Defining the goal of a project is critical for every step to be taken from the planning to the actual execution of the project. To perfectly define the scope of the project, some factors must be considered.
The essential factor to be considered is the desired goal to be achieved in the project because it is the basis for every other factor.
Next, the project manager has to consider the possible obstacles in order to draft contingency plans in case of uncertainties.
Then the project manager has to look at the available resources (financial, machines, human, and time available) and compare with the possible requirements for the project.
4. Synchronization of Teams
Teams need to share both resources and ideas in order to work together effectively. Communication between teams incorporates collectively brainstorming problems and spreading a sense of accomplishment across members of the teams. Team collaborations usually result in unanimity, faster tasks accomplishment, reduced concerns about effective communication between teams and the administrative body. Along with improved productivity, team communication also promotes transparency among team members. At the planning stage of a project, the project manager should foster the idea of communication by facilitating (allocating time and resources) meetings among teams.
5. Higher Management Support
Effective high management involvement will significantly improve the possibility of achieving project success. High management support is a situation whereby senior managers actively get involved in the realization of the project's goal. Some ways senior managers support projects may involve; removal of obstacles, coaching the teams to perform tasks, reducing the workload on team members, and resolving possible conflict among junior staff.
6. The Budget of the Project
The budget of a project is the total financial requirements needed to execute the tasks involved in a project over a defined period. It is cost estimation to accomplish every phase of the project. The total cost estimate has to include the cost of human resources for labor, cost of material procurement, and expense of other miscellaneous activities. In order for a budget to meet the financial needs of a project, before drafting out the project's budget, the project manager must thoroughly examine the possible cost of the budget. Some influential details involved in building a reliable budget can be achieved through reflecting on data of previously accomplished similar projects, reaching out to budget creation experts, or gathering online historical data of accomplished similar projects.
7. Sprint Planning and Timeline Views
A project timeline is a physical list of the activities to be carried out arranged sequentially, to help the project manager track the progress of the project. A project timeline is typically a chart created using a time tracking tool. Each activity is listed next to the specified period when it is expected to be carried out. The evaluation of a project timeline involves outlining the scope of the project, breaking the activities involved in the order of time, defining the deadlines, and setting achievable sequential milestones. The process of timeline reviewing requires good time tracking software.
Sprint is a short, time-boxed period of time during which a Scrum Team strives to completely carry out a stipulated amount of work. The project timeline is broken into sprints, using a time tracker, and worked out sequentially. Breaking project plans into sprints enables team members to focus on a particular goal at a time. At the conclusion of a Sprint, the project manager calls a sprint review meeting to present the outcome to be reviewed by both team members and stakeholders. If the outcome is perfect, details of the next Sprint will be decided based on the project timeline data derived from the time tracking tool.
8. Sprint Planning
A sprint begins with a distinctive meeting between the project development team and the owner of the project to strategize and plan the next Sprint. In this meeting, both parties brainstorm and decide on which Product Backlog Items out of the Product Backlog are to be sent to the Sprint Backlog and processed during the Sprint and how the development team will achieve the expected goal
Sprint planning meetings serve as opportunities for the project owner and manager to conductively meet with the team members. There will be other daily Scrum meetings during the Sprint, each will consume less than 15 minutes and this time, it is not necessary for the owner of the project to join the meetings.
The role of timeline review in project accomplishment.
Timeline reviews are fundamental in the actual facilitation of projects. Their support may not be found in the project planning process, but they are influential in carrying out to completion. Time trackers help the team members to follow the project's roadmap, to know where they are and where they are meant to be in the project. In other words, timeline review facilitates instantaneous success monitoring. Seamless timeline review can only be achieved using time tracking tools like time tracking software.
How Time Tracking Software Can Solve Crucial Project Development Problems?
The main purpose of using a time tracking tool is to enable the project manager to precisely decide the time allocated to several spans of the project. Time trackers support more effectively in project development when data can be derived from the time tracking tools. Hence, a project manager needs to adopt time tracking software. Good time tracker apps like 500apps Clocky time tracker can be used to track all team activities, handle expenses, and store important data. In addition to that, Clocky time tracking software guarantees that every detail is taken care of in due time, the other benefits of using Clocky time tracking tools include;
A. Productivity tracking: A great advantage of using time tracking tools is that they allow the employees to self-evaluate their productivity level. The time they spend on a task lets them know if they are lagging behind. They can either buckle up or seek an extension on the deadline so as to avoid disappointing the managers.
B. Project budgeting: The best time tracking tools also allow project managers to plan and monitor resources for projects, support in recording all expenses, as well as invoice creation. The time tracking tool helps project managers to deliver on time and within budget.
C. Employee Shift Scheduling: Clocky time tracker software, manages employee shifts and reports attendance data to project manager. The assignment of shifts is made flexible as team members can easily announce sick or leave days on the time tracking software. The time tracking software also records employee time for the payroll department.
D. Payroll management through online timesheets: Some time tracker systems do not track just employee time, they also create online timesheets to be used for payroll purposes. Most companies have received one or two complaints from employees about not receiving the expected amount of pay. Clocky time tracker software completely eliminates that challenge. This is perfect for companies that have some of their employees working overtime and shifts.
E. Integration with other project management tools: Finally, it is essential to consider the ability of a time tracker app to integrate with 3rd party project management applications to combine features. Integrations are important, because sometimes a need may arise for the time tracking software to sync with data from other project-related software that is already in use at the company. For example, time tracking softwares integrating with the team collaboration tools in CRM software.
Time trackers are critical to ascertaining how time, money and human resources are spent to actualize a project. Time tracking tools are used to determine the profitability of a project. Time tracking software presents an exclusive form of time trackers as essential features are now being added to the structure of the time tracker.
Selecting the right time tracking tool for a company requires considering a lot of factors as there is a lot of time tracking software in the market with impressive efficiencies also. In this article, we have narrowed down your list of available effective time tracking tools to just the 500apps' Clocky time tracker. For more information on Clocky time tracking tools, visit their website.