The 3 Most Important Tools in Project Management

Project Management is such a huge topic and everybody has their own perspective, but each Project Manager is primarily concerned with three essentials:

  • Get the job done right
  • Get it done on time
  • Get it done on budget

And if you are a Project Manager, what are the three essential tools that you need to achieve those goals?

Number 1:  Project Plan – Statement of Work – Job Description – Contract

Whatever you call it, you need that written confirmation that defines the job. As a Project Manager you need to be acutely aware of what the job is. Don’t embellish it. Don’t diminish it.

In the Spitfire Project Management System, this signed agreement is available to you anytime, anywhere from any device. Being catalogued in a web-based product, your files are accessible from your workstation, your tablet or your smart phone.  You can just open your browser and enter the URL to your Spitfire site. If your company is using cloud storage (Box, Drop Box, etc.), your Spitfire files can be accessible in your cloud storage site. Cloud Storage is great functionality, but it lacks tracking and monitoring of changes—two functions that Spitfire provides for every file you upload to Spitfire. By integrating your cloud storage with Spitfire, you get the best of both: sharing files in the cloud and seamless file management tracking changes and versions of your files.

Number 2: Budget 

Breaking the job down into its cost components is essential to knowing if the job is even possible. Without a budget, you do not have a map for getting the job done.

Spitfire does monitor and track your budget, but it also gathers data from other functions and displays it line by line alongside your budget. When you view your budgeted dollars, you’ll also see the dollars already spent and the dollars already committed to subcontractors or suppliers. Your Spitfire Budget gives you the whole picture, not just your original planned budget, but your current budget and all of your actual and committed expenses. When you open your Project Dashboard, you see your budget numbers vs. your Actual + Committed numbers side-by-side, and you have the tools to drill-down and see all the details for those numbers.  It’s your roadmap with all the side trips, toll booths, and pot holes along the way.

Number 3: Change Order

Change is inevitable. This is the Project Manger’s survival tool. Without it, you cannot achieve the essential goals of “done right, on time, and on budget.”

When changes happen, this is your get-out-of-jail-free card. Most jobs, even ones with meticulous plans and budget, run into a change. It could be a new city ordinance, or a discontinued product, or even a customer with a color choice. And Spitfire is where the you can manage and track those changes.

Spitfire’s Change Orders are flexible. They can handle the usual up-charge to your customer, but they can also handle an internal, non-billable change and schedule change. The Change Order will also update your budget and create Sub Change Orders, too.

For Project Managers, Spitfire handles all three of the PM’s Most Important Tools. If you would like to schedule a free demo, contact us.

This entry was posted in Project Management by Dorothy McGovern. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dorothy McGovern

Dorothy McGovern (VP of Client Services at Spitfire) has been with Spitfire since Day 1. Prior to Spitfire, Dorothy worked at IBM and the National Aero Space Plane group at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (where she made a hole in one on the 18th hole on the same day she fell out of the golf cart. Since it was the 2nd time she had ever played golf, it seemed like a good day to retire from that sport.) The postings on this site are her own and don’t necessarily represent Spitfire's positions, strategies or opinions.

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