Globally, traditional businesses have long recognized that digital transformation is the way forward to thrive in a fast-paced world.
Digital transformation refers to the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business. It fundamentally changes how one operates and delivers value to customers. It improves efficiency, increases transparency, provides better customer experience, employee engagement, and culture, and saves time and costs.
Digitalization has become even more crucial in the post-Covid-19 era as the pandemic has disrupted traditional business processes. As a result, more and more non-IT companies are aggressively digitizing their traditional process and restructuring products and services.
There are many great examples of companies that immensely benefited from digitalization. Best Buy is a case in point. About nine years ago, when the company struggled, most people, including its employees and customers, thought it was dying and that it wouldn’t survive in a market dominated by the likes of Amazon.
However, digitalization turned around Best Buy’s fortunes and transformed it into a digital leader in technology from just an online platform to buy CDs. Best Buy’s story shows that digitalization can create wonders.
There are virtually no areas that digitalization has not touched or transformed an organization. Be it communication, marketing, business development, or product development, it is playing a crucial role in a company’s growth.
Project management is another critical area in which digitalization has brought in great outcomes. Modern digital tools have taken the project management process to a new level.
With that in mind, here are the five key things that digitalization has done to project management.
Collaboration has Become Easier
Modern task management tools have made collaboration between team members easier. With the right tool in place, project managers can assign tasks to team members, who can, in turn, add comments, set alerts, and organize dashboards, etc.
This deep level of collaboration leads to better results and helps foster a cooperative, synergistic environment.
Now, the team has better access to content, and managers have a better overview of the entire process. Managers are also able to assign work to the relevant employees and include detailed information about what needs to be done in the task itself.
“We use MeisterTask for departmental projects, as a basis for our Monday meetings, for shop floor management meetings, and much more. In these meetings, everyone reports current to-dos and progress. The documentation aspect is very important for us. When we put information in tasks, nothing gets forgotten or lost,” said Torsten Schlegel, Process Coordinator at Ritter Sport.
The Process has Become More Results-Oriented
Traditional project management tasks like scheduling have become automated with the adoption of digital tools. This has considerably reduced project managers’ time and efforts. This means they can now turn their focus to their core objectives: strategy optimization and project delivery.
In addition, project managers can also align each project with the organization’s strategies and goals. This allows them to deliver more successful outcomes.
Team Communication has Become Efficient
A vital area where modern digital tools are redefining project management is communication. With physical meetings and huddles becoming near-impossible in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, real-time virtual communication has become essential.
Until recently, email was used as a major tool for team communication. However, emails proved inadequate when it came to collaboration. They are not designed for real-time dialogue. Messages may be left unread or unattended, especially if multiple emails hit one’s inbox and if the network has not integrated an email alert system. This often leads to miscommunication and misunderstandings.
The arrival of collaborative work management tools like Slack and Chanty has enhanced the communication process. These tools allow team members and co-workers across departments to engage, connect, and interact in real-time. They also make file and document sharing (written, image, and video) easier and faster.
This has significantly cut down on email clutter and saved loads of time for those working in the project management teams.
Enhanced Remote Communication
With many parts of the world still under lockdown in one form or another, organizations have asked employees to work from home. This has significantly affected the way people communicate with each other.
The advent of new-age, real-time communications tools has changed things for the better and colleagues can now connect and collaborate from around the world.
However, from a project managers’ standpoint, this has brought in several challenges, like how to manage teams across large distances, allocate resources accordingly, communicate with remote workers, and check on the progress.
Resource management tools have helped project managers to address these challenges to a great extent. Such tools can provide full visualization over resources spread over large distances in real time. This way, they have better control of the team.
These tools also enable them to see what is happening where and why; and if something goes wrong, they can act immediately. Project managers can also communicate changes in the project schedules and processes to their team members instantly.
Cloud-based video-conferencing solutions are the other tools that have made a project manager’s life easier in the post-Covid-19 era. Many of them have user-friendly features, accommodating tens of people at a time, and allowing the scheduling of meetings.
The digital project management platforms, combined with videoconferencing, have meant a large increase in remote work.
Helps in Making Data-Driven Decisions
Digitalization of the process means project managers can now track and quantify everything their team members do. Better analytic reports help them keep projects on track and budget the cost and labor analyses effectively.
Data sets can also be easily broken down for stakeholders and executives. This gives project managers better insights into business impact and ROI on every project. This allows them to plan future initiatives and make critical strategic decisions.
This ultimately enhances project outcomes and success rate.
Modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence also help project managers use this data more creatively.
Digital transformation is more than just a buzzword. It is one of the megatrends that is significantly changing business right now. Project management is not except from this trend.