Consultant at SoftwareSupp
Software to automate project management:
1. Monday - project management software to structure and manage projects better
2. Typeform - software to collect form responses
3. Pipedrive / Salesflare - CRM system to manage contacts and sales better
4. Google Drive - online storage to manage documents more effectively
5. Toggl - software to track time spent on projects
What is project management and project management automation? In Wikipedia definition, you might learn that it’s initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the work of your team. In my opinion, however, project management is all about the communication.
Most problems in running a project arrive due to a poor or infrequent exchange of information between co-operating parties, no matter whether internal or based on team-client relationship.
By fixing this issue you should be able to fix most of the problems related to project management and using appropriate tools is a crucial part of this success.
Monday is one of plenty project management SaaS apps out there. What I like the most about it is the plethora of customizable elements.
Want to create an article posting calendar? Just select and adjust the template. Looking for a way to visualize your milestones’ deadlines? Show it to your team on built-in Gant charts.
Customization is a king and as your business grows, you will find it priceless to have all types of projects run within one app, without a negative impact on the team’s communication.
Soon after I had started to use project management apps, I discovered that I tend to include information from other applications within the projects, so automating the flow of data between different applications has become quite important to improve my efficiency.
So can you do a complete project management automation? No, but you can automate the related manual tasks, at the same time keeping the project management human.
Automatic exchange of information between different applications can definitely improve your team’s productivity and positively impact transparency and communication.
Imagine notifying your team member about the status updates every time you do something related to the project. Why not put it on autopilot so that everybody stays up to date with your work?
So are you gathering any data from your users (if yes, you might also check your compliance with GDPR)? Wouldn’t it be better to keep all the information in one place to trigger any related activities?
Typeform is a simple app, helping companies set up well-designed and user-friendly forms, collecting the data from their users or customers.
E.g. in SoftwareSupp, we collect applications from SaaS software vendors using the Typeform app. This information is then, automatically sent to our Monday application, and we then handle researching and testing the products within our SaaS research board.
Project management automation tip! After the data is transferred from Typeform, you’d need to set up the person for handling them or assign a responsible person for each customer data.
Do you have a sales team handling the sales part of the business and then need to initiate particular actions once the contract is set up? Why not do it automatically?
Pipedrive and Salesflare are simple online CRM applications, which can help you manage your sales process and relations with customers/partners.
In SoftwareSupp, we’ve automated our workflow, so that every time a sales is made, our project team sees the new project starting on the board.
Project management tip! It’s not worth to set up a stiff structure for each new project. Every project has a different flow and it’s worth to give your team flexibility in the way they handle them.
“Hey! I’ve just prepared a proposal.”, “Hi! Have you already taken a look at the materials for our new client?” Chatting is nice and establishing a personal communication is necessary for company’s success but constant questions about updates from everybody probably drive you nuts, so why not automate any updates to the projects so that everybody stays up to date?
Slack’s integration with Monday lets you send any updates included in your projects on Monday to your team via Slack channels. It’s super useful when somebody to automatically notify somebody about him/her assigned to the project, via Slack.
Project management tip!Don’t SPAM your team with every update in the project management app, because then, they will start ignoring the notifications. Choose the most important boards/elements/triggers which require sending the update to your team in Slack.
The discrepancy between the project management and documents’ storage has always been an issue, in all the companies I’ve worked for. Keeping the documents within the project management app is not always the best option (e.g. might be difficult to find the documents later).
Most of us already use Dropbox or Google Drive in their daily workflow, so it’s very handy to automate the process of documents’ management with the flow of your projects. Every time you add a new project board, you can automatically create a new folder in your Google Drive to put any documentation on your online storage space.
Project management tip!It’s good to put links to most important GDrive documents in your project management app, to easily let every member access crucial documents.
Are you reporting the time you spend on the projects to clients or your manager? Writing down the time you spend on each task using Excel or paper is probably not the most efficient solution invented.
Toggl is a simple online app, designed to easily track the time spent on projects or simply your computer.
If you’d like to measure the time you spend on particular activities, it’s worth to keep the information in one place. You can do it by connecting your Toggl app with project management process in Monday.com. In SoftwareSupp, we find it particularly useful when working with our clients on an hourly-charge basis.
Project management tip! Do not micromanage the time spent on particular activities. You all should be aware of how much time everybody spends on particular projects. However, analyzing how much time each person spends on small sub-tasks is too time-consuming and might demotivate your team.
Connecting other apps with Monday project management app is not the most difficult job, ever. You can do it by yourself, using apps like Integromat or Zapier. It is, however, quite time-consuming to set up and keep the integrations updated.
You might say it’s not worth the effort but you will enjoy the full benefits of it in the long-term, as soon as you realize that the more manual tasks are on autopilot, the better you run your business. Start to automate now and use your saved time on growing your business faster.