When you talk about the return of a project, your mind immediately thinks of the economic benefit to be obtained. But return is a broad concept that, depending on the type of project, may include more qualitative and intangible aspects, such as the acquired knowledge, the achieved operational improvements or even the “social return”, derived from those benefits that a project can bring to the environment where it is developed. For instance, that can be especially relevant in solidarity projects like those developed by NGOs within their social function.
However, no doubt that, in many projects, there is an essential explicit goal to achieve profitability. The clearest example that we can find is one in which a project is developed based on a price. This price can be either previously agreed with a client or established as the budget of the project by the organization that is undertaking it.
We have already talked about time management in previous posts, as we believe that it is one of the main challenges any worker faces in his or her day to day work. We can summarize the rules or tips to achieve the goal of managing time in an optimized way in 3 points:
A project, contrary to what one might think, is not a simple, lineal sequence of tasks. There are often overlapping tasks within a project or even between different projects. In these cases, it is essential to have clear criteria to help us choosing in which tasks should we focus our efforts in every moment; that is, we need a way to analyze the priority, urgency, status and progress of the different tasks.
Priority and urgency are concepts that sometimes are confused but which are related to very different issues. Urgency –a clearer concept– has to do with the existing time restrictions (ie. the estimated time to fulfill it) and the need to meet deadlines.
On the other hand, priority is a more complex variable but it’s also more important. When setting the priority of each task, different aspects should be taken into account:
Many times we look back to see if we have made good use of our time, whether in our leisure moments –as when we’re back from a trip–, or in our work. But, when speaking about projects, why is it so necessary to know how I spend my time?
Having this information will be very useful at different stages during a project development. In this regard, we can emphasize 3 big benefits:
So far, we have written about our new application and about the model in which it is based. Why is it important for a company to have a tool to manage its projects? Given the current situation of all companies, we all find the necessity of working harder, faster and in several projects at the same time, optimizing expenses in order to obtain the best profitability possible. To achieve this goal the best movement is to learn how to organize our resources and employee time to maximize the functionality of our company. This is not easy though. When a company deals with several projects at the same time, and is possibly composed by a multidisciplinary or geographically distributed team, communication issues may arise. E-mail, telephone, meetings can be used to improve the situation but they aren’t necessarily the best possible way.
This issue is addressed by a number of software solutions such as video conferences, instant messaging, synchronization tools, social networks, etc. However today we want to comment on a tool that is gaining a lot of traction lately: the project management software on demand.
As you know, our tool Doolphy is based on the SaaS model. Let’s get some insights into what this model means since it is getting a lot of buzz lately.
There are many definitions of SaaS, but this one is the preferred by us:
SaaS is a software distribution model by the means of which an information technology company (IT) provides the services of maintenance, daily operation and user support for certain software
With this model, the traditional concept of software license disappears and users subscribe to the service. In that sense, the customer just pays for the use of the service not having to incur in expenses related to hardware or software maintenance. The first direct benefit from this is that it is possible to keep the software expenses to a constant level, and some times these expenses are lower than in traditional software.
With this post we complete the series about how different kinds of organizations make the best use of Doolphy to manage their projects. Today, we want to talk about NGOs, any kind of nonprofit organizations, charity institutions and socially aware foundations.
A “social project” has many common elements with projects that are developed in different environments, such as the business world. The good use of the resources that are available is the key to achieve the planned goals. To do so it is necessary to have a plan, a non-interrupted internal communication and keep track of the project development.
Some days ago, we celebrated Saint Valentine’s Day and we are more romantic than usual. So, we’d like to dedicate the post of this week to list the reasons why we can fall in love with our project management software: