2023 represents an excellent opportunity to refresh and reinvigorate your project management strategy. There are various factors that mean this year could make all the difference.
There’s the meteoric rise of remote work and its impact on managing and monitoring team members virtually. Not to mention, there’s a torrent of project management tools entering the marketplace serving specific use cases and allowing you to streamline current processes.
Then there’s the elephant in the room: AI. Off the back of the hugely successful launch of openAI tool ChatGPT in 2022, there are endless conversations about how AI can automate processes and boost operational efficiency.
So just how can you make the most of the various tools at your disposal and the current climate to refresh your project management strategy heading into 2023?
Take Stock of the Current Situation
Before you can dive into the exciting innovations that 2023 has to offer for project management strategy, you should take stock of where you’re at right now.
A refresh will only work if you’re able to accurately diagnose the current issues within your project management strategy and identify areas for improvement.
One of the biggest challenges you’ve probably recently encountered is altering your workflows and processes to suit a remote work environment. Even if your team is back in the office now, there was likely a period of time when you had to adapt to a work from home dynamic.
In certain industries, it’s only a matter of time until a remote or hybrid model becomes the predominant way of working, so this should inform how you analyze your current project management strategy.
So how exactly do you carry out an audit of your project management strategy?
1. List and evaluate the tools you currently use
It isn’t true to say that a project manager is only as good as their tools, but it’s reasonable to suggest that tools have the power to make a significant impact on how they perform their job.
Tools don’t just help a project manager simplify and streamline, but they also empower team members to be more productive and spend more time on meaningful activities.
As such, the first step in your project management strategy audit should be to list out the tools you currently rely on and evaluate their effectiveness to the best of your ability.
One way to measure how useful an application is would be to use time as a metric. When you monitor web activity, the time data you collect on employees isn’t just useful for measuring work productivity - it can also help you identify which apps offer the best ROI.
Insightful, a time tracker for work, allows you to see which apps individuals and teams spend the most time using, and from there you can see whether time spent in an app translates to greater productivity. Managers monitoring employees can run experiments with various apps and use time as a metric to monitor how much of an impact each app has for the team or individual.
You can broadly classify the apps you use as:
- Time sinks that offer little return on productivity
- Productivity boosters that help your team accomplish more in less time
2. Review Team Collaboration
How your team members collaborate is a cornerstone of any project management strategy. If you’re keen to explore how you can refresh it for 2023, then it’s worth exploring how your team members interact, pass tasks to one another, and work together to expedite project completion.
Collaboration is one facet of project management that has changed a lot in the past few years.
Whereas it used to be the case that teams would huddle together in the meeting room to exchange thoughts on projects and stick post-its on a whiteboard, it’s now more common to communicate and collaborate through multi-channel chat solutions and project management tools.
Here are a few ways to audit your current collaboration measures and assess whether or not they’re effective:
- Survey your team - The easiest way to find out if your team collaborates well is to put the question to them. Ask team members if they feel like they can easily resolve issues, reach the right person when they need to, and get input from their coworkers when they need it.
- Assess approval and task dependency processes - Red tape can often be a big hurdle to effective collaboration. If a task has to pass through several people before it can move on to the next stage, then examine your current processes for approval and task dependencies, as they could be slowing your team down.
- See if team members are productive at the same time - With pc monitoring software, you can start tracking employees working from home and identify productivity trends within teams. If you notice that employees are rarely productive during the same time periods, it could be that they aren’t able to effectively collaborate on projects and some team members are left waiting on others to begin their work.
3. Analyze Task Management and Productivity Metrics
The way you manage and prioritize tasks is crucial for completing projects in a timely fashion and identifying performance levels across your teams. With this information, you can enhance employee performance from a data-driven perspective.
Take stock of your current task management system and the metrics you use to measure individual and team productivity.
Here are some task management frameworks for reference:
And here are some productivity metrics:
- Projects or tasks completed
- Conversion rate
- Customer satisfaction
If you feel as if your current system isn’t yielding results that align with your strategic goals, it could be time to experiment with different ideas and frameworks.
How Employee Monitoring Software Supports Effective Project Management
Whichever actions you decide to take to refresh your project management strategy for 2023, you need a way to track their impact on the workforce.
For example, changing your task management system from the Eisenhower Matrix to a Kanban board can be a tough transition.
While it could produce better results in terms of productivity, there’s also a chance it might not work out. The only way you can know for sure is to track employee time data and leverage it to build a clear picture of individual and team productivity.
With tracking software for PC and Mac Insightful, you can do just that. As software to track employee productivity, you can use Insightful to harness all the time data you collect and determine whether an implemented change has been successful.