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Jan 3, 2018

5 Reasons to Avoid Project Management Tool Overload

by Síle Cleary

Project management

There’s a reason the old adage “time is money” has stuck around. Now more than ever, we’re expected to do more with our time when we’re working. It seems like everything needs to be done yesterday and we’re more time poor than ever with an ever growing to-do list. To deal with this, workers are turning to project management tools to help them be more organised, efficient and effective at their jobs.

But with so many tools to choose from, it’s difficult to know what will work for you, often leading to project management tool overload. 42% of marketers are said to use 6­–10 different software programs during the course of the day. There’s one tool for portfolios, one for task management and assignment, another for workflows and another and another. But when you become overloaded by project management tools, they can swiftly become more of a hindrance than a help. Here’s why you should avoid project management tool overload. 

Delays

Overly complicated project set-up as a result of project management overload can have a damaging impact on project efficiency from the get go by over-complicating processes that should be smooth and clearly outlined. A good project management tool that covers everything you need in one place will allow you to effectively implement best practice ways of working for teams to follow, which will positively impact the speed of your project set-up and inturn, its delivery.

Poor Collaboration

Collaboration is key when it comes to effective project management and when a high number of tools become involved in the process, it can get messy and confusing at alarming speed. Having too many tools on the go at once can mean that things are missed as focus is concentrated on different tools rather than the project itself. A badly governed request or briefing process results in inefficiency and mistakes. Establishing a smart process which involves the right people at the right time, who are presented with the right information to drive projects forward will quickly make teams more efficient and better prepared for their work.

Bad decision making

Those responsible for decision making need full visibility of all project aspects at all times. If project leads don’t have a thorough understanding of resource capacity, project progression, timelines and current output, it’s impossible to make informed decisions about how your team need to move forward to effectively complete the project. Without the whole picture, it’s likely bad decisions will be made, with damaging consequences. An effective project management tool is a bit like a crystal ball - you can see who is doing what, when they’re doing it, why they’re doing it, how they’re doing it, and what the impact is on the overall project - and most importantly, you can do it without trawling through a bunch of tools and scraping together information from a variety of places. 

Poor visibility

If you want to catch issues early, prioritise strategically and reduce business risks, you need visibility across all projects. If you’re using multiple tools it’s impossible to get good visibility easily. You’ll see more emails, spend more time in meetings, you’ll spot issues when it’s too late and you’ll constantly be chasing for updates. Easy visibility across all projects in an organised way is crucial for effective project management.

High Costs

If you’re using multiple tools, you’re likely paying for multiple tools too. Not only that but all of the other reasons for avoiding tool overload we’ve mentioned can result in high costs for the project - in both direct and indirect ways with long lasting impact. Lack of clear guidelines can result in the completion of unnecessary work, while rush fees and overtime can have an impact on budgets too. Non-financial costs include the risk of employee burnout, loss of confidence and trust within teams and neglect of other key projects all of which have knock-on effects on overall business.

One comprehensive tool can eradicate the need for multiple tools and tool overload. That’s why we created Screendragon. Screendragon is not just for the black belts within the organization, it has been designed so that the whole team can contribute, collaborate and share. Our visual design, combining process flows with project management tools allows everyone on the team to better understand where they are in process and what they need to do - without using more tools than one brain can possiblly cope with.

If you want to know more about Screendragon and how it can help to streamline your operations, contact us today and book in for a free personalised demo of our software.  

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