Are you new to Project Management? Here are few tips.

We get requests from customers asking if Skylight will work for their business or if they need project management at all? Well, the thing is, you are already managing projects through your sales, customer interactions, major milestones or planned goals.

For instance, Judy from Canada uses Skylight projects to manage her services at the church; Collin from Spain manages his coursework while Clark Fencing uses it to log time on each Sale and bill for time and one-off invoices. Mathew Dix from South Africa is using Skylight to manage all his tasks for individual jobs at his growing design agency. The list goes on and on.

So, you get the idea; you are just surrounded by projects. Here are some basic pointers to help you.

Define the Scope of your Project

Before taking on any project, make sure you know what the project objectives and milestones are. Clearly define what you need to accomplish, and what elements are under the scope of your particular project. Remember; try not to take on too much at once!

To do this using Skylight, you can create Tasks; segment them into Task Lists and use ‘start’ and ‘stop’ timers to log all your billable items which you can later bill as an invoice.

Know your resources

What does the budget of your project look like? How big is your team? Is there room to improve your budget, your team or billing process? How will you divide the tasks in order to complete your project by its deadline without going over your available resources? Is the deadline realistic given the amount of work that needs to be done? Even if the resources are not directly in your control, you still need to have an idea of how to manage them.

However, sometimes these finer details are not necessary. The project might be small and you just want to keep all the project related information in one place. For instance, communication with the client or the number of tasks you need to complete the project. Maybe you just want to invoice the client and keep tabs of which project the invoice was intended for.

Eventually it all comes down to your individual needs.

Check your calendar and assemble your team

How much time do you have to complete your project? Can your project feasibly be finished before the deadline? Will you or any member of your team have to put in overtime to ensure project completion? Do you need to hire more freelancers to complete the job on time? If overtime is needed, will the budget cover it? Should you have charged more for the job?

Make a List and check it twice

Define what the project’s main goals are, and on what sort of time- frame they need to be completed. After you have that, you can begin breaking them down into smaller steps of smaller tasks that need to be done in order to complete the main goals.

Once you finish your lists, go over them again yourself and with your team. Make sure all your bases are covered and ensure that you are not leaving out anything. While you’re at it, brainstorm with your team, perhaps someone has a better way of accomplishing one of the smaller goals.

Using Skylight Tasks, you can collaborate on each individual task or project with your team by posting comments, which keeps the thread of that conversation in one place. This gives you and your team an accessible way to collaborate and discuss each segment of your project.

Develop your plan

What tasks need to be completed first? How can you accomplish that in a timely manner while not sacrificing the quality of your work? Can more than one smaller goal or milestone be accomplished at once without being too taxing on your team or your budget?

Make sure you are leaving enough time to complete all the smaller tasks as well as the larger ones. Adjust schedules accordingly. If there is absolutely no way you can make the project work with the resources, do not be afraid to ask for additional resources.

Keep an eye on your team

When working with teams, treat everyone the same, and make sure they are doing everything they possibly can to move the project along.

The charm of online project management on Skylight is that it provides you with a quick and easy way to see who did what and get notified when tasks are completed. In addition to this, you can generate reports according to your project management needs. This is important when checking if things are on track.

Also, make sure to keep them motivated; building a rapport and interpersonal skills is essential for your team and you.

You will after all be managing relationships with team members (project participants) and suppliers and it’s always good to have a good rapport with the people you manage so that you can be sure that they will do the best they can for you.

Be willing to make changes

Just because your plan says one thing doesn’t mean that it can’t be flexible every now and then, as long as things aren’t being “let go” or “overlooked”. Sometimes, even the best laid plans get changed, and sometimes it’s just more feasible to put one aspect off while working on another one, and who knows, perhaps the one you push back will be made easier by doing another one first.

Bring everyone in on the same page

Let your team know where they stand in the project. Also ensure that your superiors know when milestones are completed or if you run into any problems. That way, no one feels like they are being kept “out of the loop”.

Document, Document, Document – WHERE the #u5t is that file!

Keep all the project related files, images, designs in one place and organised.

Think about all those hours one loses when looking for a specific version of the file that was sent in a particular email? Keep documents organised as this saves time in long run.

Attach files to tasks, projects, comments and messages. Tag files with your custom tags. These are just a few of the options you need to keep all your project related files in one place.

At Skylight, we recommend that you work with your Google Drive for real time collaborate on MS Word files, Excel files, and PowerPoint presentations. File version tracking, permissions and Google features are available though Skylight interfaces.

Skylight project management can cover the above needs and more. In addition to this, the introduction of our modular permission system enables you to remove or disable parts of the functionality for yourself or others who you are collaborating with. This saves you time and Skylight constantly updates team members via email notifications. Once they login, they will immediately see what is completed and what needs to be done to complete and deliver a project.

We hope these tips simplify day to day tasks at your enterprise.

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