Using Project Automation Wisely

From time to time we like to talk about automation in our client webinars because we believe that a system such as the Spitfire Project Management System can make the job of project managers much easier. Why work harder when you can work smarter?

The automation features in a good project management system can help in a variety of ways, for example:

  1. To save time: If there are documents that always have to be created at the beginning, middle or end of a project, it is helpful to have these documents created automatically as much as possible. Workflows can be set up to include certain documents when needed, and repetitive information can be copied as appropriate. This prevents that awful oh-I-forgot-to create/start/include that-document! feeling that could otherwise arise.  And it frees time that would otherwise be spent on straightforward tasks.
  2. To include all project participants: Project managers are generally good at bringing matters to the attention of those who need to know. But mistakes can happen, and forgetting to include someone in the bigger picture can mean a holdup in decision-making or a breakdown in collaboration (“Well, no one told me!”) Having certain types of documents go to all the right people automatically prevents oops-I-forgot-to-tell-him! moments.
  3. To keep you ahead of the game: As Luther talked about in last week’s post, projects are full of due dates. Setting up Alerts that will trigger automatically when certain dates approach or pass means being aware of everything that might go off schedule. Early awareness can lead to corrective or preventative actions so that the project stays on track. This, in turn, can save money.

Of course, a system could never replace the actual project manager. A project needs someone who can use available tools to simplify certain aspects of the job, while making decisions based on what actually happens during a project. It takes a wise project manager to know when exceptions need to be made in regards to both people and documents, and to know how to best handle “overdue” alerts.  But a good project manager, who wisely uses a project management system, can save time and money by working smarter, not harder.