Feeling Disconnected? Streamlining Disconnected Apps for PPM Productivity is as Easy as 1, 2, 3

PPM leaders already have enough on their plate delivering business value that will promote innovation and drive business growth. If you throw disconnected systems that house critical data in order for them to make the right business decisions into the mix, you are introducing a constraint that will hinder maximum productivity.

It’s now 2018 and it’s the right time to make changes to close the gaps that we often fall through. If you want to take the right steps to efficiency but aren’t quite sure where to start, take a look at our top 3 tips for streamlining disconnected apps to maximize PPM productivity.

  • Choose the right tool for the job.

If your struggling with your PPM solution and/or work tools, you most likely will need to make some changes to ensure your tools are giving you more time – not taking it away. We all need more time! Your PPM tools should be easy to use, should accommodate all work that needs to be done to complete your projects, and should empower collaboration within your teams. If your tools are disconnected, streamlining productivity becomes hard to accomplish. Here’s an example leveraging Microsoft Project Online and Project Connect:

Scenario: You are leading an effort to migrate your internal product apps online to Microsoft Azure. You have built a project schedule in Project Online where you can see all the tasks necessary to complete the initiative. You find out from the Development Lead assigned that the tasks he is required to update through Project Online are not in-line with the tasks he has currently updated in Jira through his current sprint planning session. You spend an hour with your development lead going through each task and reworking the project schedule to align. BAM! You just lost an hour. In addition, you have frustrated one of your resources by creating rework. Not cool.

Answer: Ensure your tools can connect to bring all work together in one solution. If you have the right tool in place, integration will be a snap and before you know it, you’ll be able to see development’s tasks in the same view as all other work in your project schedule. It’s a bimodal world – if your tools don’t connect, your tools are out of date.

  • Automate.

If you are experiencing a loss of productivity, there is a significant chance that automation could be the right answer – or at least part of the solution. The problem is automation gets overlooked because automating something requires time. Take that excuse out of the equation and look at the example below:

Scenario: You’re noticing that on Fridays every week, the tasks that are scheduled to be completed are always behind. Your project team is complaining because it takes them nearly two hours to complete their status report every week because they have to dig up the data in multiple systems (hence the late tasks).

Answer: Now, imagine if you were able to automate a process within your organization that saved each individual over an hour on this process. This could be a simple pre-built report that automatically delivers project data (from all systems) that would generally need to be compiled at the end of every week for status report delivery. Now, add up the dollar amount you would save per resource per hour. Let’s make it simple. 30 resources at an average of $38 per hour. That’s $1,140 a week, not to mention the fact that you can now see real time project status at any time to ensure your project is on track. The dollars can add up pretty quickly. In this example, you would be able to save your organization $4,560 per month. Setting the increased productivity aside, imagine what you could do with $4,560 a month to make your team work smarter!?!

  • Streamline communication.

Today’s workers are on the go. Throw into the mix disconnected systems and now you have an even bigger challenge. Find a way of collaborating in a centralized fashion and ensure the collaboration tools are available on the go.

Scenario: Your project teams travel a lot from one client to the next. Working on tasks, documents, and collaborating with the team isn’t always easy while on the go. You notice that most of the time, when resources are away from their desk, the only way to collaborate with them is via phone. The simple fact is that team members don’t know how to collaborate in the most effective way throughout their work day while away from their desk.

Answer: Send your teams tips and tricks on collaborating more effectively. For example, send them instructions on downloading Skype and Yammer to their mobile devices. We just recently had an offsite with our Wicresoft team.  Before the event, we sent all attendees a request to download the Yammer app to their phones, letting them know that that would be our primary method of communication while onsite at the event. We saw an immediate spike in team collaboration and in addition, our teams felt like they were a part of the event, not just an attendee. Same goes for your projects, collaborating with the team, sharing ideas, statuses and even challenges, are great ways to keep your teams connected and working well together.

2018 here we come!  Let’s start working smarter and say goodbye to disconnected systems and processes.  It’s going to be a great year!