Are We Using Assets Available to Us?

Contributed by Brad Egeland

An incident in my family today made me very thankful for our technological advances and yet also made me question if we are using what is available to us wisely…especially in expensive business situations.

On my way back from the park this morning with my two 5 year olds, my 3 year old and my 2 year old, we had a berry-eating incident.  My 3 yr old son, who will eat just about anything at any given time, apparently ate a berry off a bush. This plant is all over our neighborhood and the berries look just like blueberries – which he loves – only a little firmer.  We got home, I called poison control who recommended that I call a plant nursery to identify what plant it is.  I contacted the nursery and while I had them on the phone I sent them a picture of the plant and they were able to identify it and tell me that it was, indeed, not poisonous.  Yeah for smartphones, yeah for multi-tasking smartphones, and yeah for modern technology, in general.  Without having to call or drive to my pediatrician or ER or even the the nursery, I was able to find out very quickly that my son was going to be fine.

So now I’m thinking, are we using assets available to us on our projects?  We check Facebook every 5 minutes on some days, yet could we also be using it professionally?  We Skype with old classmates in Australia, but could we be using Skype on projects – for free – to do individual face to faces or even team meetings quickly?  And are we using the old over priced tried and true MS Project for our project scheduling software because we always have?  Is there something better – especially more collaborative – that we could be using instead?  The answer, of course, to all these is “yes” we could be doing more, doing more for free, and experiencing better collaboration by ensuring we’re using the right software for our needs.

Social media.  We check our social media often.  It’s an ego thing sometimes – to see how many “likes” the picture of our new baby has so far.  Or that joke we posted – has it been reposted by others?  And some like to just post everything that they are doing on any given day.  Affirmation?  Ummm…yes….daily.  But could we be using social media to the advantage of our team, our customer and the projects that we manage?  Yes.  And I have.  Some project management software tools even have social media tie-ins or toolbars of their own.  My personal social media experience on a project involved setting up a closed Facebook group for me and my team members to use to quickly to reach out to each other to share information or get questions answered.  We used it constantly and it was of great value for our geographically dispersed project team.

Software.  What are we missing software-wise?  Are we using the right type of project management software?  Do you need file storage and sharing?  Collaboration?  Should your PM software solution tie in to your customer relationship management (CRM) software solution?  Should it tie into your accounting system?  There are now literally hundreds of PM software options and some can do more than others…and you’ll pay for those features.  The key is to review what’s available, check some of the feature comparison sites that are located on the internet, and test some options out for yourself – as nearly every software vendor offers a 15 day or 30 day free trial.  MS Project is not the only game in town anymore.  Likely, your team and your project could be benefiting more from a different software solution or combination of solutions than what you are currently using. Look at your assets, and see where you can use diffferent tools to make your project more successful.

 

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Brad-bio66Brad Egeland is a Business Solution Designer and IT/PM consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management, and project management experience leading initiatives in Manufacturing, Government Contracting, Gaming and Hospitality, Retail Operations, Aviation and Airline, Pharmaceutical, Start-ups, Healthcare, Higher Education, Non-profit, High-Tech, Engineering and general IT. Brad is married, a father of 9, and living in sunny Las Vegas, NV. Visit Brad’s site at http://www.bradegeland.com/.

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