Suffering from Information Overload? Try This Different Approach to Project Management
Tell me if the following sounds familiar to you. Your wife or friend wanted to have breakfast with you and you don’t want to leave her/him hanging again…and you said yes. Or better… let’s say you’ve been to a business meeting in the morning and you came half an hour late. You stepped into the office and there it is… an overload of information. Bunch of emails, voicemails, text messages and everything else “sitting” at your desk waiting for your action. And you were only half an hour late. Just Imagine if you were 1 hour late. You are well organized and very efficient when it comes to this. I know because I am, too. Sometimes things are not going according to plan and you are struggling to choose what’s your top priority. Where do I start?
What Information Overload Means for a Project Manager
Everything you can think of at this moment. If you were dealing with a bunch of unanswered emails and voicemails you can’t imagine how it’s like at the project manager’s office. He doesn’t know where his head is at the moment. Managing a construction project means managing the schedules, tons of documents, subcontractors, budgets and many other complexities. That’s not a simple thing to do when the amount of data is associated with the number of projects that continue to rise. I can literally see your facial expression right now. I know you work hard, but do you work smart?
Working smart is the key and here is what it means. Optimizing and prioritizing the resources is not helpful anymore because everything happens fast and needs to be reassigned day in and day out. This leads to changing our priorities as soon as you have set them. Now, I know that you are thinking these resources need to have a base in real time, constantly to be informed and be able to change information. This is where technology comes to save the day.
Have you heard about Managing By Exception (MBE)? It largely means to identify those things that are exceptionally important, time-sensitive, exceptions to the norm, etc. Getting information about all of this gives you the bright picture of your next project related decision. You will act smarter when it comes to directing the resources and efforts. The information management tools you use should also help you identify these exceptional situations in your business and more importantly in your projects. They fall into 2 categories: Push and Pull.
The Push tools use the rules you’ve set to sort through your large pile of information and then “push” the alerts to the ones you decided or to you. You are the person behind the settings of these pushed alerts. They are summaries that keep all the exceptional situations and most of the times provide a certain path to related info and suggestions for further actions.
On the other hand, the Pull tools let you build your own views of the project data. They keep you updated about the key performance indicators at all time. It’s like creating a briefing report that comes from your point of view. They will keep updating you on what you’ve already “flagged” as a most important aspect of the work. The pull tools will keep your focus on what is the most important giving you the opportunity to work efficiently.
Going with the Perfect Construction Software
Focusing on the functionality and the features of the software is really important. However, there is a third player in the whole “picking up the right software game”. It’s the software’s behavior. Monitor how it behaves, how it gives you its options to push and pull and most important is the possibility of viewing your information. The solution is not only to invest lots of money into new software. It has to live up to your expectations and the money. This software I’m talking about needs to have really smart tools to keep up with the environment you are working in. And you know things can get very complicated over time in that environment. Be extremely careful when you are picking up your project management software.
Start managing your projects the right way by first understanding the importance of software implementation in your construction company. Check out some unbeatable benefits of using a construction project management software. For overall improved productivity in the construction site, download the free ebook.