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Types of Construction Contracts: Pros, Cons & Best Practices

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

What Is a Construction Contract?

In simple terms, construction contracts are legally binding agreements that explain the work to be performed by a general contractor and the payment that will be made by a project owner. They play a very important role in construction management.

However, construction projects vary greatly in terms of complexity and size, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to construction contracts. That’s why several types of construction contracts have been developed over time, such as lump sum, cost-plus, time & materials (TM) and unit pricing contracts.

Whichever type you use, ProjectManager is project management software that can help you manage your construction contracts. Our unlimited file storage and real-time collaboration tools are ideal to keep track of your construction project’s documentation and stay connected to sub-contractors, vendors and suppliers. Get started for free.

ProjectManager's board view is ideal for helping create and organize construction projectsProjectManager's board view is ideal for helping create and organize construction projects
Our board view updates in real time to create and organize construction projects and contracts. Learn more

Why Is a Construction Contract Necessary?

Construction contracts protect both parties in the agreement. These documents detail what work will be completed, when it will be completed and how much it will cost. They also outline methods of communication and how disputes will be handled if they arise.

By including information about communication and changes, construction contracts streamline the decision-making process. Ideally, project risks have been anticipated and the contract outlines how best to proceed. A construction contract is, first and foremost, an agreement, but it serves as a roadmap of sorts as well.

Who Is Involved in Construction Contracts?

Construction contracts involve two parties; owners and contractors. Owners need a job outsourced and the contractor executes the job. The two parties work together to draw up a contract and agree on the terms of completion and payment.

Owners contract builders when they need to execute a specialized job they cannot perform on their own. They may also contract builders when the scale of the project is too large for them alone. Construction projects, in particular, often require owners to hire several different contractors. In this case, thorough construction contracts are crucial to the successful management of the project.

Types of Construction Contracts

Because construction projects take many forms, different projects require contracts with different characteristics. All types of construction contracts define a timeline, budget, quality requirements and other aspects that need to be defined in every construction project. The two main differences between these types of construction contracts are the way in which the disbursement is going to be made and the risks and rewards that are assumed by each party.

Before creating a construction contract, it’s important to know the type of contract that best suits your needs.

Lump-Sum Contract

A lump-sum contract (also called a fixed price contract) names a total price for the entire job. This price accounts for all time and materials regardless of changes or issues. This type of contract protects owners against unforeseen changes and setbacks.

Lump-sum contracts can seem as though they favor the owner over the contractor, but there are ways to balance the scales. Many contractors charge an additional percentage for signing lump sum contracts, as they will be taking a higher risk. Additionally, incentive programs are often put in place by owners to reward jobs being completed early.

Cost-Plus Contract

Cost-plus contracts are made of two parts: a predetermined fee and accumulated costs. This fee is the agreed price owners will pay contractors. It can be a dollar amount, a percentage of the total project cost or another form of payment. The defining characteristic of a cost-plus contract is it reports expenses as they occur rather than deducting costs from a set budget.

A cost-plus contract is used when construction project expenses are uncertain. While this can seem like a liability, cost-plus contracts often include incentives for coming in under budget and set caps on expenditures. This avoids conflict and ensures contractors are paid a fair overhead.

Time and Materials Contract

Time and materials contracts are a fitting choice when the scope of a project is completely unknown. In this case, contractors charge an hourly rate for labor and for materials as needed. Because this leaves uncertainty, these contracts must be specific and prepare for almost anything. An owner should include incentives for construction projects completed ahead of schedule and/or under budget.

A time and materials contract is a good choice for small projects as they require close supervision. For example, all costs must be carefully monitored and classified in order to document them and ensure contracts are followed. As you can imagine, this becomes increasingly difficult the larger the project. The advantage of choosing a time and materials contract is it protects owners from overpaying contractors.

Unit Pricing Contract

A unit pricing contract is used when an owner wishes to buy a large quantity of a certain product. Each product is a unit and costs a set price. These items can also often be charged in bulk quantities for a reduced price.

Unit pricing contracts are advantageous when an owner knows exactly how much of a specific product they need. Using this type of contract and buying all the units at once is also a good way to protect against potential future inflation of material prices. By buying all of the items at once, owners generally pay less than they would in the future and don’t have to worry about drawing up future contracts.

Design-Build Contract

In most cases, project owners receive completed designs during the construction bidding process. However, in a design-build contract, the design and construction are done simultaneously and handled with just one contract, as opposed to traditional methods.

This type of construction contract allows for increased communication between the designer and construction team and speeds up the bidding and construction process.

Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) Contract

A guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contract defines the maximum price that a project owner will have to pay for a construction project. In the event that the costs exceed said guaranteed maximum price, the general contractor will cover all the additional expenses.

For that reason, this contract type requires that general contractors create the most accurate construction estimate possible. It might sound risky, but it doesn’t have to be. General contractors can easily create estimates using construction estimating software like ProjectManager or hire a specialized construction estimator to create realistic and profitable estimates.

Incentive Construction Contracts

Under an incentive construction contract, the project owner and contractor agree on an extra payment fee that’s given to the contractor depending on whether the project is delivered on time and under budget.

If the contractor misses the timeline or exceeds the budget, they still need to complete the project and meet the owner’s requirements even without earning the extra payment fee.

Integrated Project Delivery Contract

This type of contract is mostly used for large, complex projects. Similar to the design-build contract, it uses a single contract for design and construction, but it also involves a multi-party agreement between owner, builder and designer where they share risks, agree on costs, set waivers and follow lean principles.

The main purpose of this construction contract is to provide a detailed framework that spreads the risk and rewards evenly among the parties. For example, an IPD construction contract involves a lump sum profit that’s divided among the owner, designer and builder if the project achieves financial results.

Construction Contracts Best Practices

No matter what type of construction project you’re planning, these best practices ensure your contract is a clear, detailed arrangement:

Include Incentives

One of the best ways to set a construction project up for success is by creating incentives. Incentives are useful when the scope is undetermined and the budget, time and labor costs are up in the air. Incentives encourage both contractors and owners to work efficiently and complete a project on time and under budget.

Clearly Outline Expectations

Be clear when conveying expectations on how expenses will be reported, how communication will be maintained or how any other aspect of a construction project is managed. Outline a contract and break it into key points to which the contractor can refer back.

Create Contingencies

The best construction contracts have contingency plans. More often than not, something unexpected will happen during a construction project. When construction contracts have contingencies, both the owner and the builder have a roadmap of what to do when something goes wrong.

What to Avoid When Writing Construction Contracts

Here are three common mistakes to learn from and avoid in your construction contracts.

Not Being Specific

One common mistake is to generalize rather than specify. The point of a construction contract is to detail the exact terms of agreement between an owner and a builder, and there should be no room for interpretation. There’s no such thing as an overly detailed contract.

With this in mind, construction contracts should remain clear and unclouded by unnecessary details. Find a balance between anticipating everything that should be included and editing down information that dilutes the key points. Our construction management templates are a great place to start creating your construction project documentation.

Not Establishing Communication

When writing a construction contract, specify exactly how and when a contractor should communicate. This communication can be in the form of regular check-ins or only in the case of significant changes, but both parties must know when to run something by one another before making decisions.

Lack of communication is detrimental to construction projects. Because there are so many moving parts, everyone must understand their role in relation to one another. A well-written construction contract sets up a system of communication and makes it clear where to direct questions and updates.

Not Detailing How to Manage Changes

Changes are inevitable in any project, but never more so than in construction projects. Construction projects have countless moving parts, involve many individuals and many different contractors. This means adjustments are a natural part of the project.

A detailed construction contract means these changes don’t have to be bumps in the road. When contracts stipulate exactly how changes should be made, who makes them, and how the process looks, everything runs smoothly. On the other hand, when these details are not clear, contractors won’t know how to make changes, who to go to for approval and how to document what changes were made.

ProjectManager & Construction Contracts

ProjectManager gives you the power to manage construction projects from start to finish, on the go. Create a comprehensive project plan, complete documents and assign tasks from the job site or anywhere else you get work done.

Interactive Gantt Charts

We have an online Gantt chart for you to plan your construction project from start to finish. Add durations to your tasks and a bar chart is generated. If any tasks are dependent, they can be linked while milestones can be set across the timeline.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart, showing a construction project scheduleProjectManager's Gantt chart, showing a construction project schedule

Resource and Team Management

Managing resources can be complicated, but our online resource management software gives you the real-time data you need to make informed decisions. Categorize your teams, supplies and equipment and add hourly rates. When hours are logged, the actual cost is automatically compared to the planned cost.

ProjectManager's workload features help construction crews work better togetherProjectManager's workload features help construction crews work better together

Timesheets

As your teams log their hours, our time tracking feature automatically updates when workers finish their tasks, making payroll a breeze. You can also track your team’s progress on the real-time dashboard, which displays key project KPIs in scannable graphs and charts.

ProjectManager's timesheets, a great construction project management toolProjectManager's timesheets, a great construction project management tool

ProjectManager is construction project management software that has the tools you need to manage your construction project. Our robust features make planning, scheduling and reporting down to the last task more efficient and effective. Plus, the data you get is more accurate because it’s updated as your team works. Try ProjectManager free with this 30-day trial offer.

Related Posts

Commercial Construction Management: A Quick Guide

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Construction project management covers a massive number of projects and there are all sorts of builds associated with it. Most people think of the housing market when they think of construction, especially single-occupancy homes, but that’s only a small fraction of the industry. Commercial construction management, for example, is huge.

Consider that commercial construction management entails everything from offices to retail shopping malls and medical centers. There are big, complicated projects that require project management software to organize all of the moving parts. Let’s look at what commercial construction management is, what processes it uses and the responsibility of the commercial construction project manager.

What Is Commercial Construction Management?

Commercial construction management is the process of designing, renovating and building commercial structures. These are usually large projects that include the use of heavy machinery and are funded by developers that also receive funding from local and even national governmental offices.

Commercial construction projects are awarded by contracts that’re won through a competition involving developers and contractors who submit proposal bids. Contracts are awarded to those who not only offer competitively priced bids but also include detailed plans that accurately forecast costs and scheduling.

Pricing for the commercial construction project is based on the size of the build, the budget and the scope of the project from design to breaking ground and completing the build. Value engineering is a process that looks at how to improve functionality and keep costs down and is often used to determine a more accurate, cost-effective plan.

Commercial construction management is a huge industry, accounting for nearly $100 million a year in the United States alone. As the need for commercial spaces increases, so does the demand for construction project management software that can execute work more efficiently. ProjectManager is work and project management software that offers multiple project views so managers and crew can use the tools they need to plan and execute their tasks. Our interactive Gantt chart links dependencies and sets a baseline to monitor progress in real time. It even filters for the critical path. Get started with ProjectManager for free today.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager helps you plan commercial construction projects with online Gantt charts. Learn more

Residential vs. Commercial Construction Management

As noted above, residential and commercial construction management aren’t the same, though they do share many similarities. For one, the materials used are often different. Residential homes are usually framed in timber, which is more cost-effective and suitable for smaller buildings. Larger, more complex commercial construction projects require steel frames because they can support the weight of bigger buildings and have a longer life span.

The rules also differ between the two. There are strict regulations in commercial construction regarding materials, techniques, electrical systems, plumbing and design. Construction project teams need to know and conform to all these rules. Residential construction is not without regulations; while there are codes and standards it must meet, the compliance standards tend to be simpler.

Construction budgets and costs are other variables. Commercial projects are larger and more expensive than smaller residential builds. The commercial material selection, maintaining compliance and paying for a more skilled crew are all more expensive in commercial projects. There are also general labor costs that can be more expensive than residential costs due to tight schedules. Meeting those project deliverables can increase labor costs.

The way that commercial and residential construction teams interact with their clients is also different. Residential construction projects usually require working directly with an individual who will reside in the house when it’s complete. As you can imagine, this party might try to micromanage the process. Commercial projects are not without their difficulties, but they involve stakeholders who work on commercial construction projects for a living. While they too must be managed, they understand metrics and milestones, especially if you’re communicating regularly with them.

The Scale of Commercial Construction Projects

Not all commercial construction projects are the same. Commercial construction projects encompass many types of buildings including small, medium and large projects. Small-scale projects are often rebranded, such as updating the interiors of buildings. These projects can be as simple as a new paint job, new flooring or technological upgrades.

A medium-scale commercial construction project is usually an owner expanding or remodeling a building. This could stem from a company growing or a restaurant redesigning its interior. A larger-scale project is one built from scratch. There’s no foundation, no structure to build from which requires a more professional team with considerable building experience.

Other examples of commercial construction projects include restaurants, which require local permits and must follow specific regulations due to working with food. There’s also retail construction, which can be a grocery store or shopping mall. Medical facilities have their own requirements and need to have intensive plans for plumbing and electrical systems as well as critical equipment related to healthcare.

There are also office buildings of various sizes and configurations, hotels and other lodging facilities. Institutional buildings run the gamut from high schools and colleges to universities, libraries and other learning centers. Industrial structures include factories and warehouses while sports facilities are large arenas. stadiums, smaller fitness centers or even school gymnasiums and play areas.

The Commercial Construction Management Process

Now that we have a better picture of what commercial construction is and the types and sizes of structures it builds, let’s look at the process that controls commercial construction management.

Development and Planning

The first thing is to find a location, whether that’s an existing one that needs renovation or a new site to erect a structure from scratch. Both costs and zoning requirements vary depending on the type of building that’s being built. Make sure there are utilities that will meet the building’s needs. When you decide on a site, there are studies of the soil that will determine if the ground will require additional reinforcement to support the building. There’s also a boundary survey to certify the site’s elevation.

With the site determined, you next need to set a budget that outlines your hard and soft costs. This requires researching prices for similar buildings and the cost per square foot will vary widely depending on where you’re building. Using historical data and other research helps to provide a more accurate forecast of the project cost. This work is done by the commercial construction manager who handles the planning phase of the project. They oversee all the various crews, subcontractors and vendors to keep the project on schedule and within the budget.

Pre-Design

The pre-design phase overlaps with some elements of the development and planning phase. They both deal with outlining objectives for the project and a lot of what’s called pre-design could fall under planning. How this is broken up depends on the project, manager and organization. This is when the timeline, building size, orientation with roads and utilities, materials and equipment costs for the project are determined.

Design

Once decisions on the build are made, the drawings and schematics have to be created. This involves engineers staying in compliance with codes and making sure the structure has integrity. There’s also the employ of a mechanical engineer to verify the plans in terms of their internal structures. Structural engineers, electrical engineers and civil engineers are also critical to this stage of the project.

Pre-Construction

This is when you’ll pull permits for the job and get insurance for your on-site crew. The vendor bidding process also takes place during this phase to make sure your procurement meets your budget expectations. The field team for the project site will also be assembled.

Procurement

Now you’ll secure the materials necessary for construction, a critical stage in maintaining your budget. You need to keep within the costs that you estimated in the planning phase, but that doesn’t mean cutting corners. You need to have professionals working for you with quality materials to ensure the successful completion of the construction project, including your subcontractors. You’ll also want to make sure you have clear communications with the various parties involved to achieve the quality necessary for success.

Construction

This is the stage that most people think of when imagining what a commercial construction project is like. Everything you’ve done prior to this stage is essential to the successful build of your structure. The better your plan and risk management, the less likely you’ll experience delays and run overschedule. Part of this phase is site preparation where you turn the lot into a workspace. This means establishing guidelines for workers, storage for equipment and maintaining quality.

Next comes a groundbreaking, erecting temporary work buildings and storage facilities. Any vegetation must be removed and proper drainage established. You need to lay out utilities and prepare for water, waste and power connections, all of which must pass inspection in order to move forward with the project.

After this, construction can begin in earnest. That means pouring concrete to lay the foundation, building the frame of the structure and adding the roof and siding. Before the internal walls are built, the electrical and HVAC ductwork needs to be installed. Then the walls can be completed and the floors, windows and doors added. Lighting fixtures and paint are also part of this stage. The last part of the construction phase is landscaping.

Post-Construction

The commercial construction project isn’t complete until the general contractor walks the client or developer through the building to evaluate the quality of the project. A punch list is created to collect any problems that require fixing before the site is open to the public. After this, a final inspection must be passed and the site is finally complete.

Responsibilities of a Commercial Construction Project Manager

The commercial construction management process is supervised by a commercial construction project manager. They’re responsible for planning and overseeing the entire project. Some of the work they do involves negotiating contracts, securing building permits and working off and on-site to make sure the team is working according to the schedule and has the resources they need to do their jobs.

Other responsibilities include hiring staff and contractors, offering guidance as needed, monitoring progress and performance and making analyses and reports for stakeholders. They must also ensure that the project is compliant with all building, safety and governmental regulations.

When looking for a commercial construction project manager, you’ll want someone who has at least a BA in construction management, architecture or engineering. It’s often helpful if they have some professional certification and an advanced understanding of the construction process, principles, materials and tools. Naturally, you want a good communicator with leadership qualities.

Construction Project Management Templates

The commercial construction project manager needs to have a good crew working on the build, but also the right tools for themselves and their teams. Almost all commercial construction management projects use project management software, but if you’re not ready for that upgrade, ProjectManager has dozens of free construction project templates that can help you through the commercial construction project’s life cycle. Here are just a few.

Construction Estimate Template

The ability to accurately forecast your project costs is one of the most important factors in delivering your project within its budget. Our free construction estimate template for Excel is broken down into phases with details for labor and material costs to help you get a clear picture of your project costs.

Construction Schedule Template

Your commercial construction schedule acts as the framework of your structure, holding everything together. Our free construction schedule template for Excel helps you manage your deliverables, resources, allocations, milestones, tasks and more.

Punch List Template

As discussed above, the punch list is one of the final tasks of a commercial construction project. Our free punch list template for excel has everything you need to identify and correct issues in your final walk-through, from assigning tasks to tracking their status.

ProjectManager Helps Manage Commercial Construction Projects

Templates are suitable, but they’re static documents that require a lot of manual labor to update. ProjectManager is commercial construction project management software that delivers real-time data automatically, streamlines work processes and helps you make more insightful decisions.

Monitor Progress and Performance in Real Time

Our Gantt chart helps you plan and estimate the project, but without tools to monitor your progress, you’re managing blindly. Our real-time dashboard offers a high-level view of six project metrics from costs to time, and health to workload, all generated automatically from live data. You can track progress and performance and adjust your scope as necessary. There’s no setup as with inferior products, simply use it when you need it. Then, use one-click reports for a deeper look into the data, allowing you to filter and share with stakeholders to keep them updated.

ProjectManager's dashboardProjectManager's dashboard
Manage Team Schedules and Resources

Use our resource management features to keep your crew working at capacity. We give you tools to chart their availability, skill set, cost and allocation. In addition to tracking your human resources, ProjectManager also allows you to track your construction materials in real time. For example, our workload chart allows you to monitor who is working on what, and itt’s easy to balance your workload by reallocating resources from that chart. You can also manage construction equipment rental costs to help you stay on budget.

ProjectManager's workload chartProjectManager's workload chart

ProjectManager is your one-stop shop for all commercial construction management needs. We have secure timesheets, multiple project views and a collaborative platform to share files and comment at the task level. We connect your crew, whether on-site on in the office to foster greater productivity.

ProjectManager is award-winning work and project management software designed to connect hybrid teams and streamline processes with automation to help you work better. Get organized, see your work in real time and gain the efficiencies you need to succeed. Join the teams at NASA, Siemens and Nestle, to name only a few, using our software to deliver successful projects. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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Best of PMTimes: 5 Secrets To 5% Increased Profit On Your Next Project

PM Articles by Project Times. 

All resources matter on the project.

Without all resources working cohesively and effectively together, it can become nearly impossible to effectively and successfully deliver on the project. But beyond that – looking to the revenue level and the profitability on the project… everything affects it, but close management and oversight of it comes down to the project manager. No one entity on the project has the insight, access to info, and overall project knowledge from that standpoint to effectively manage how healthy the project financials are.

Also, not only can the project manager help keep the project stay on track financially, they can also help increase project revenue and profitability through effective financial management, scope management, and customer and team management. Many things do affect all of this – well beyond my list below, I know – but for me it starts with regularly performing these five tasks… my secrets to keeping project revenues high and project profits hopefully higher than expected. Let’s discuss…

Discuss Financials Weekly With The Project Team.

One of the best ways to get the team aligned on managing their own time charging well and accurately on the project is to just let them know it’s very important to you and to the bottom line of the project. Many don’t realize that and they’re just trying to account – usually at the end of the week – for all their time. They know they put in 65 hours on various projects and they are tired and throwing hours down on a time sheet that means very little to them other than a task that is due Friday afternoon or Monday morning. It’s not daily tracking as it should be – in reality it’s Friday afternoon guess work when they would rather be doing anything else.

So, discuss the project financials at each weekly team meeting. Make sure they know how much time charging is expected of them for that week and the following week from your resource forecast and ensure that the two match up. I realize this one action may not add to the profitability of the project very much – but it can keep it from being the rollercoaster ride it often is and can definitely keep the project from unexpectedly going 50% over budget leaving the project manager wondering what went so horribly wrong.

Limit PM Travel.

Believe it or not, not all project customers see PM’s as a vital expense on the project. I had one project client in Texas who just didn’t see the need or value from Day One. Even my lead tech – who was mostly working onsite with the client – said “how can you not like Brad, you don’t even know him?” I got to the bottom of this PM disdain on their part and they were mostly concerned about budget and questioned the need for my $150 per hour project hit. So I immediately looked for ways to manage from afar. I eliminated my travel and reduced meetings to conference and video calls and they loved it. Best of all it added to the profitability of the project without affecting my management of the project or our performance level on the project.

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Limit Team Travel.

Beyond the PM travel, look for ways to limit team travel as well. If the plan calls for onsite quarterly meetings with the customer re-think that. Does the customer care if you do it with a video call, thus saving thousands and adding to the profitability of the project? I realize that some travel can’t be avoided and the customer will need it to maintain a level of confidence and overall happiness in most cases. But it can be kept in check – I’ve worked too many projects where it seemed we were traveling way too often and making the rest of our “productive time” and effort on the project suffer when we could be effectively delivering on the next phase instead of wasting important dollars on what has already been accomplished by traveling just to review it.

Manage The Project Scope.

Scope management may be the best overall way to help ensure project profitability. Too many projects go by with extra work added without the necessary change orders in place to cover the work, add the necessary revenue for that work and keep the profitability of the project in place. Those change orders can add nicely to the project profits – I once added $100k in revenue with a high profit margin by selling the need for an onsite business analyst to the project client. The customer loved it, project revenue skyrocketed and profitability took a nice jump as well. Look for ways to do things like this when managing scope.

Tighten Resource Management And Forecasting.

Making your team aware, watching scope, limiting travel, etc. are all great ideas. But the real profitability boost comes from you – the project manager – effectively, efficiently and relentlessly forecasting resources accurately throughout the project engagement. Don’t just come up with a resource forecast and let it sit. Revisit it weekly. Maybe you no longer need an expensive business analyst during weeks 32 and 33 on the the project. Discuss removing the resource from the project for those 80 hours – thus possibly saving the project as much as $12,000 during that downtime for the resource. If you are working on a time and materials basis with the client it may not help revenue and profitability much. But if you are charging more on a fixed price or deliverable basis, your profits could increase dramatically

Summary/Call For Input

You’re the project manager. No one else can keep costs on track and profitability high like you can. Never just phone it in when managing anything that affects the project $$ bottom line. Even one hour a week spent analyzing project financials and re-forecasting the project financials and resource usage can reap huge dividends in the long run in terms of profitability on the project.

Readers – what are your thoughts? Do you agree with this list? What are your secrets and tricks for keeping project revenue and profitability in check and adding to it throughout the project? What frustrates you the most with revenue planning and profitability on the projects you manage?

Brad Egeland

Brad 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, Creative Design, Gaming and Hospitality, Retail Operations, Aviation and Airline, Pharmaceutical, Start-ups, Healthcare, Higher Education, Non-profit, High-Tech, Engineering and general IT. He has been named the “#1 Provider of Project Management Content in the World” with over 7,000 published articles, eBooks, white papers and videos. Brad is married, a father of 11, and living in sunny Las Vegas, NV. Visit Brad’s site at http://www.bradegeland.com/.

Records Management: A Quick Guide

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Whether you’re managing a traditional, agile or hybrid project, they all have one thing in common: documentation. Depending on the methodology, project management requires a lot of paperwork, which is why records management is so important.

Records management helps control your current project and set the stage for future projects. Let’s define what records management is, explore the role of a records manager and outline the life cycle of records management. After this quick guide, you’ll be able to better manage any project.

What Is Records Management?

Records management is the creation of project records and maintaining and storing them properly. It’s a systemic process that gives people access to the project records for future use through organization, planning and tracking throughout the project execution. Records are documents that outline the details that are relevant to the project and require monitoring to manage the project.

When approaching records management, you need to determine the type of information that should be recorded as well as a process for recording data. You’ll need to know how to handle and collect the records and the time period for retention and storage of those records. There are also disposal or protection records that relate to external events.

Generating project records is part of the records management process. ProjectManager is work and project management software that has one-click reports that capture project data in real time. Generate reports on cost, time and much more. All reports can be filtered to show only the information you want to see. These reports are easily shared with stakeholders and stored on the software thanks to our unlimited file storage. Get started with ProjectManager for free today.

ProjectManager's status report filterProjectManager's status report filter
ProjectManager has detailed reporting to record your project’s progress and performance in real time. Learn more

How to Maintain Project Records

The creation of a compliance requirement document is necessary to outline the procedures that the project team must follow to make sure everyone is compliant. A file plan is needed to know what kind of records are required for the project. There should be a method to collect outdated documents across all record sources, as well as a way to capture and audit the records. This includes a system that can monitor and report on the records.

Not all project documents are records. Records, according to project management, are documents that are kept to show that a particular action was taken. A records management system is a tool that allows you to sort records and non-records, such as duplicates and rough drafts. Examples of records include project requirements, project scope, schedule, budget, progress reports, contracts, etc.

The Role of the Record Manager

The record manager is a project management position, and this person is responsible for organizing and managing the physical and digital records related to the project. Records managers are responsible for accurately, securely and effectively managing information received and produced by the project. Not all projects have a record manager and in some organizations, the record manager is also the project manager. It could also fall into the information science or management role, IT manager or regulatory affairs manager or archivist.

Depending on the project and the organization, the record manager will establish and oversee a records management system. They also develop, maintain, verify and evaluate existing systems, producing various reports as necessary to thoroughly record the management of the project.

A record manager is usually the point person for inquiries and requests for information that come from either internal or external clients. They are responsible for following the financial, legal and administrative requirements and regulations. It’s also their responsibility to archive or destroy records and make sure saved records are accessible.

Related: Free RFI Template for Word

Records Life Cycle

The records life cycle is the stages that a record goes through as it’s managed during its lifespan. There are three major stages of a records life cycle: creation or receipt, distribution, and use and disposition. The first phase is the reproduction or production of recorded or documented data. For example, generating a report, budget or the project scope.

Next is the distribution and use stage. Once the record is created, it’s distributed either internally or externally. The record will be used often at this stage in its life cycle and should be easily accessible. The duration of this stage varies on the type of project and can be anywhere from hours to years.

The final stage is a disposition in which records are destroyed or archived for use as historic data when planning future projects that are similar in scope to the one that has just been completed. In some cases, inactive records’ retention periods expire, signaling the end of their life cycle. At this point, the records manager will determine whether the records are destroyed or archived.

Classification of Records

Records can be classified in many ways to help organize records. For our purposes, we’ll look at three classifications of records that apply to physical and digital records.

  1. Enterprise Records: These records are related to everyday business activities and are common among most enterprises. They can include everything from team management, stakeholder engagement, purchases, sales and contracts.
  2. Industry Records: Records of this type are also common but only apply to a specific industry. In the case of project management, they are records unique to the industry that wouldn’t be found in other businesses.
  3. Legal Hold Records: Records that are mandated by legal counsel or compliance personnel and are required to be held for a certain amount of time by the government or the enterprise are called legal holds. They’re related to issues around compliance audits or litigation.

Related: Legal Project Management – A Quick Guide

Managing Physical Records

While project management shares with most industries a transition from physical to digital records, there are still physical records that must be managed in most projects. While digital files might be easier to share and store, physical files can be effectively managed with the right file management tips.

Physical files take up space and can be expensive. In some cases, you need to be selective about which files you save. Make sure you’re not filing away anything that’s redundant or unnecessary. For the records that you do file away, make sure they’re consistent in how you name them. Keep like-minded documents together, such as all of the paperwork for one project. This will make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

When you’re sorting your files, you also want to separate them by ongoing and complete. For example, completed projects can go in one filing cabinet drawer while projects that are still in progress should be collected in another. Create subfolders to better organize your papers, and it doesn’t hurt to make digital copies of your important paperwork even if you prefer physical records, just so you have a backup.

Electronic Records Management

The majority of businesses, however, will have digital files. How do you manage your electronic records? First, you have to have a system that does regular back-ups in case there’s a technical issue that could delete or corrupt your data. That includes a disaster recovery plan.

As for storage, you can maintain your files online, near-line (in a department document management system) or offline. Online can be expensive, of course, and security is dependent on the service you employ. When files are online, they’re instantly accessible from wherever you have an internet connection, which is useful for remote work.

Online and near-line storage can be a secure place to keep your records. Offline storage on magnetic tape and optical media can degrade without care and there’s always the threat that changing technology will result in your files becoming inaccessible.

Records Management & ISO

The ISO, International Organization for Standardization, is a global federation of national standards bodies. It’s a nongovernmental organization that comprises the standards for many countries around the world. ISO 15489 records management is the first global standard for records management and was published in 2001 and adopted by over 50 countries and over 15 languages. Review and consultation lasted three years and a revised version was issued in 2016.

The core concepts and principles of the standard include records, record systems, policies, responsibilities, monitoring and training for effective management of records. It applies to the creation, capture and management of records in all types of businesses and technologies. It’s available for sale on the ISO website.

How ProjectManager Helps With Records Management

If you’re looking for a digital tool that can organize, monitor and report on your projects but also acts as an unlimited and secure records management system, then you need ProjectManager, work and project management software. Our online tool can generate and store the records you need to manage your project and access them when planning for your next project.

Record Schedule and Budgets With Online Gantt Charts

Some of the most critical records for your project are the plans that outline your schedule and budget. Our interactive Gantt charts make it easy to organize your work, link dependencies to avoid bottlenecks and set a baseline to measure your project variance in real time as you execute the plan. Gantt charts are easy to share with the whole team, showing the entire project on a visual timeline, which can then be saved for important guidance when planning your next project.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
Manage Records on Robust List View

The Gantt chart is one of the multiple project views that allow you to manage your records with the tools you want. There are kanban boards, sheet and calendar views. There’s even a list view, which makes it easy to capture all your project records, see their status as you’re expecting the project and even attach files and comments to foster better collaboration with teams both in the office or working remotely.

Task list in ProjectManager are ideal for records management

Task list in ProjectManager are ideal for records managementHaving a central hub for your project records that doubles as the tool you’re using to manage and execute your project helps you work more efficiently. Our global search feature makes it quick and easy to find what you’re looking for by files, project, task and more. Get results in real time, which means you’re looking at what’s currently happening and not a snapshot of the past. Add workflow automation, task approvals, resource management and more making our software the one-stop-shop for all of your project management needs.

ProjectManager is award-winning work and project management software that connects hybrid teams on a collaborative platform with one source of truth to keep everyone working better together. Organize work, monitor progress and report on performance, saving all your project records with our unlimited file storage. Join the teams at NASA, Siemens and Nestle who are delivering success with our software. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

Related Posts

Best of PMTimes – Project Karma: What You Think, Say And Do Matters

PM Articles by Project Times. 

Projects are the vehicles for making things different. It is natural to want things to be different than they are.

Things can be better. Progress and improvement arise out of this desire. So may pain and suffering. Choosing the right projects and performing them well make the difference.

Projects are actions to effect change – to make more money; improve people’s lives. They deliver new and modified products, architectural wonders, events, and processes which impact both the environment the project work takes place in and the environment that receives the results. Within those environments people’s lives, the way they think, their values and how they relate with others are changed.

The Law Of Cause And Effect -Karma

Every action, whether to make things better or not, creates a ripple effect. The effect may be short lived or last for years, if not lifetimes. It may be felt near or far. Knowing that there is this ripple effect motivates one to be careful about what one does, what one says, and even what one thinks.

This is the Law of Karma or the Law of Cause and Effect. Every action has an effect. Everything is caused by something. Sometimes the effect is very subtle and minor; sometimes near and sometimes far. This is the foundation for process thinking and quality management.

Consider the project of planning a wedding. The way the planning and preparation are carried out influences the relationships among the stakeholders. The over controlling parent can turn-off the bride and groom and the other parents. An over controlling or over emotional bride can change the feelings of the groom and/or her friends and relatives. Even the decision of who gets to sit at which table can reverberate for years to come. One conversation can make or break a relationship.

A project to implement a new process for an operational group can disrupt the organization positively or negatively. It can cause ongoing conflict between management and labor, and either make for better ongoing performance or degrade performance depending on how well the project is executed and how the new process performed and maintained overtime.

A project to lay a pipeline across virgin territory can contribute to the pollution of the environment because of the immediate disruption of the construction project or a decade later when a leak spews oil into the land and water. The project can also result in profits, lower energy costs, and conflict among promoters, resisters, and supporters. There are any number of unforeseeable possibilities.

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Decisions And Actions

A decision to ignore or dismiss testing results or concerns raised by project staff can lead to a disaster, as it did in the Challenger explosion, killing the crew, costing millions of dollars and destroying the reputations of NASA management because of their faulty statistical reasoning.

Intentions, biases, values, and beliefs are the drivers of decisions. Decisions drive behavior. The way decisions are made influences relationships and outcomes. For example, being overly aggressive or using underhanded methods to get one’s way can cause distrust and anger that clouds relationships going forward to other negotiations.

Working With Karma

There are a number of strategies to apply this concept of cause and effect to promote optimal performance.

Some people ignore the Law of Karma entirely. They act as if there were no consequences and then are surprised by the results of their behavior. Some of these do, in fact, know about the Law of Karma, others are ignorant of it. Either way, there are consequences.

Some others fall into analysis paralysis. They spend so much time analyzing and worrying about what might happen that they miss the opportunity to act.

Others take a middle path that considers the question from multiple perspectives. They balance their analysis with intuition. They consider the time factor, uncertainty. They realize that there may not be a “perfect” solution.

Take A Beat

This last strategy is one to aspire to. When faced with a decision take a beat.

Relax, pause, breathe and think about what you are going to do. Just reactively diving-in, risks unforeseen consequences. So take a beat. Respond after the due diligence of assessing from multiple perspectives the pros and cons, risks and rewards, ripple effects, alternatives, etc.

Make the duration of the pause and the nature of the decision process right for the situation. Do you have an hour, a day, a month or does the response have to be in the moment. In project work, immediate response is not usually required.

The way a soldier or police officer reacts in a life-threatening situation requires a well-trained reaction. Yet, even in those situations, it is easy to get lost in emotional reactivity. Reactivity does not allow for a step back to think about one’s actions and their consequences. We have seen many instances of inappropriate reactivity leading to unnecessary deaths and ruined lives.

Most project managers have at least a moment to step back and consider the ripple effect of what they do or say. It is only lack of mindful awareness that keeps some from realizing it.

Responsiveness

With training in the cultivation of mindful self-awareness there is the possibility of a natural process of letting things unfold. Not in a sloppy, lazy way, but by being in flow so as to allow one’s skills, intelligence, analysis and intuition to emerge in perfect alignment with the needs of the situation.

Short of that, objectively observe what is going on internally and externally to create the platform for what to do next.

In any case, living requires decisions and actions. Actions include the actions of not acting, and of expressing oneself by speaking, writing, or with body language.

Responsiveness means making conscious decisions. Discerning whether they are unbiased or are really justifications or rationalizations after the action has been carried out. When reacting there is no conscious decision making, only the outburst or withdrawal.

No matter whether action stems from a well thought out decision or not, there is the ripple effect.

Picture dropping a stone in a still pond – the effect is ripples radiating out in all directions. Now imagine the stone falling into an already rippling pond into which many stones of different sizes are being continuously dropped in different places. That is more like our world. Complexity and volatility leading to uncertainty.

Sometimes in that kind of pond, the ripples from your stone, your action, are barely visible, sometimes they are operating under the surface to take effect later. Sometimes they don’t much matter. In any case, be mindful enough to remember the Law of Cause and Effect and responsive enough to choose what you do, say and think wisely

What Is Business Impact Analysis & Why Is It Important?

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Businesses go through a lot. Managers must always be aware of the internal and external factors that can impact their business growth such as economic fluctuations, new competitors, new market trends and more. One of the most common threats to any company is called business disruption.

Business disruption happens whenever a radical change occurs and affects how companies compete in a given industry. An example of business disruption could be the development of a new technology that renders the current methods useless. In this case, what can business managers do? Execute a business impact analysis (BIA).

Business impact analysis is an important tool to help plan for the inevitability of consequences and their cost. BIA is a versatile process that’s used for risk assessment, business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning. Risk is always on the horizon and the better-equipped businesses are to prepare for risk management, the more likely they’ll be able to continue doing business in the future.

What Is Business Impact Analysis (BIA)?

Business impact analysis (BIA) is a method to predict the consequences of disruptions to a business, its processes and systems by collecting relevant data. This data can be used to develop strategies for the business to recover in the case of an emergency.

ProjectManager is project management software that’s equipped with planning tools for business impact analysis, business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning. Our project reports and real-time cost and workload dashboards allow managers to plan more efficiently and communicate key information to clients and stakeholders in minutes. Get started for free.

ProjectManager's status reportProjectManager's status report
Get real-time data for better business analysis with ProjectManager’s reporting tools. Learn more!

Scenarios that could potentially cause losses to the business are identified. These can include suppliers not delivering, delays in service, etc. The list of possibilities is long, but it’s key to explore them thoroughly in order to best assess risk. It’s by identifying and evaluating these potential risk scenarios that a business can determine a plan of investment for recovery and mitigation strategies, along with outright prevention.

What Does BIA Address?

The business impact analysis analyzes the operational and financial impacts of a business disruption. These impacts include lost sales and income, delayed sales or income, increased expenses, regulatory fines, contractual penalties, a loss of customers and a delay of new business plans.

Another factor to take into account is timing. The timing of a disruptive event can have a major impact on the loss suffered by a business. If your store is damaged by a natural disaster before a big sale or large seasonal holiday, the impact is greater than during a slower period.

The business impact analysis operates under two assumptions:

  1. Every part of the business is dependent on the continued operations of the other parts of the business.
  2. Some parts of the business are more important than others, requiring more allocations when disruptions occur.

BIA vs. Risk Assessment

BIA and a business risk assessment are similar, but the main difference is that a BIA is more specific as it focuses on the business continuity requirements, resource availability and the impact of a business disruption.

On the other hand, risk assessment focuses on the severity and likelihood of potential business risks. This is done to prioritize the risks and create mitigation strategies to solve them.

BIA vs. Business Continuity Planning

Business impact analysis is a component of business continuity planning because a BIA is meant to provide important data for a business continuity plan. How does this work?

A BIA is conducted to determine the most critical business processes, the impact of business disruption in those processes and the resources needed to restore them.

These are all fundamental variables to factor in when creating a business continuity plan, which will act as the course of action that’s taken to ensure that a business will be able to recover from a business disruption.

BIA vs. Disaster Recovery Planning

Similar to the relation between BIA and business continuity planning, BIA is also a useful tool when creating a disaster recovery plan. The BIA identifies failure modes and the costs associated with them. The information obtained from the BIA report is then used as input to create a fully-fledged disaster recovery plan.

How to Conduct a BIA in 4 Steps

While there’s no set way to conduct a business impact analysis, the process follows the general path outlined below.

1. Get Approval

The first step is to initiate the process by getting approval from senior management for the project. To begin, define the objectives, goals and scope of the business impact analysis. It should be clear what the business is seeking to achieve.

Then, it’s important to form a project team to execute the business impact analysis. This can be existing staff as long as they know how to conduct a business impact analysis, but this team can be outsourced to a team that’s skilled in this process if the business doesn’t have people for this task.

2. Collect Information

The next step is collecting the information needed to make the analysis. This data can be gathered in a number of ways, from interviews to a business impact analysis questionnaire, which is the most common tool.

The questionnaire is a detailed survey that’s been developed by the business impact analysis team and has targeted questions that are designed to get answers that assess the potential effect of a disruption to the business.

People that should be interviewed or given the questionnaire include managers, team members, supervisors and others who are knowledgeable about the business processes. It can also include business partners and those working outside of the organization as long as they have sufficient insight. In other words, consider who your stakeholders are.

The information that you collect for your BIA report should include the following:

  • The name of the process
  • A detailed description of where the process is performed
  • All the inputs and outputs in the process
  • Resources and tools that are used in the process
  • The users of the process
  • The timing
  • The financial and operational impacts
  • Any regulatory, legal or compliance impacts
  • Historical data

3. Review the Information

All of this collected data must be documented and reviewed before the information is analyzed. This can be automated by computer or done manually, depending on which is easier, more reliable and practical in terms of formulating a conclusion.

This review accomplishes multiple objectives: it creates a prioritized list of business functions or processes, it identifies the human and technology resources needed to maintain an optimal level of operations and it establishes a recovery timeframe in which to recover the process or function and return it to normal.

4. Create the BIA Report

After this, you’ll want to document the findings. This is when the business impact analysis report is prepared. While the format is not regulated, it often follows the following structure:

  • Executive summary
  • Objectives and scope
  • Methodologies used to gather data and evaluation
  • Summary of findings
  • A detailed finding on each department of the business (including their most crucial processes, the impact of disruption, acceptable duration of the disruption, tolerable level of losses, cost of recovery, etc.)
  • Supporting documents and
  • Recommendations for recovery

This document is then presented to management. The decision on how to proceed is in the hands of senior management, so they’re the ones who receive the report. Note that the business impact analysis is not set in stone. Technology, tools and processes change, and the business impact analysis must evolve with them.

Why Business Impact Analysis Is Important

The reason that every business should include a business impact analysis is that it’s a part of any thorough plan to minimize risk. All businesses can be disrupted by accidents and emergencies including a failure of suppliers, labor disputes, utility failures, cyber-attacks and not to mention natural or man-made disasters.

Plan Ahead

It’s not ideal to produce a response when one is in the midst of a crisis; a smart business has already prepared for these risks. A response created in dire straits will likely be arbitrary or random, and it will almost certainly be less effective.

With the due diligence of a business impact analysis in hand, a business has a well-thought-out plan of action to recover from adversity. It gives management more confidence in their decisions and judgments when responding to these events.

Prioritize Accordingly

The business impact analysis with allocation instructions prioritizes which operations need immediate recovery and which can wait. It also provides a set of criteria to test the recovery plans. Furthermore, it should identify lost income from the disruption, higher costs the business is likely to accrue if there will be any expenditure on fines and penalties, and the erosion of the business’ reputation and customer base.

All of this information is critical to a business’ success. Problems are part of the business landscape, and ignoring the possibility of some disruption to the process threatens solvency and long-term survival.

Business Management Templates

ProjectManager is project and work management software that’s great for businesses and we offer dozens of tutorial videos and blogs, templates and guides for your business management needs.

SWOT Analysis Template

A situational analysis or SWOT analysis is a great tool to assess the current state of any business. It allows managers to understand the internal and external factors that make up their company’s business environment.

Business Case Template

Our business case template is a versatile document that helps business managers, project managers and entrepreneurs to communicate their business ideas to stakeholders and clients.

Executive Summary Template

Our executive summary template is a great tool to summarize your business plans and project proposals so that you can quickly show project stakeholders and clients the value of your projects.

Turn BIA into Action with ProjectManager

Now that you’ve done the impact analysis, what’s next? The plan is the foundation of any successful project, but a plan needs tools to organize all of its different parts into a working whole. ProjectManager is an online work management software that’s built exactly for this purpose.

Once you have approval, you need to break down the project into tasks. Those tasks will each need a deadline, and they should be assigned to a team member to execute them. ProjectManager gives you multiple ways to initiate your project plan, from the more structured Gantt chart for long-term planning to the visual workflow tool of a kanban board.

But how do you get your spreadsheet into a project? With ProjectManager, that’s easy. You can upload your tasks and it opens as a new project. From the Gantt view, your tasks are plotted on a project timeline to give you the big picture and allow you to link dependent tasks while breaking the project into phases or milestones.

ProjectManager Gantt chartProjectManager Gantt chart
Create timelines and phases for your projects with online Gantt charts.

You can assign tasks from any project view and teams can work how they want to work. Team members like kanban boards because they have the necessary context and resources to work on what matters. Managers like the transparency kanban boards provide, showing them who is working on what.

A screenshot of the Kanban board project viewA screenshot of the Kanban board project view

Business impact analysis gives the project life, but ProjectManager gives that life a means to success. Practical and easy to use, projects are productive, making the work that you put into the analysis pay off.

A business impact analysis is a great tool to assess risk and set up a plan of recovery if and when it occurs. That sounds like a project. ProjectManager is project management software that helps you plan your business impact analysis and monitor and report on it when you need to execute it. There’s no risk to taking this free 30-day trial.

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Program Manager vs. Project Manager: What’s the Difference?

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Project manager vs. program manager. The two roles often differ in their day-to-day tasks and the overarching approach to their role. Program managers are more strategic in their thinking and deliverables, while the project manager is often working on day-to-day task management on a more cellular level.

But before we compare the roles of a program manager and a project manager in-depth, we must first understand the difference between a project and a program.

Understanding Projects & Programs

Here are two quick definitions of project and program in project management.

Project

A project is a set of tasks that are completed in a sequence to achieve a particular goal. To plan and execute a project is necessary to assemble a project team, create a project plan and secure resources.

Program

A program is a set of projects that are executed simultaneously to achieve the strategic goals of an organization. The purpose of a program is to achieve efficiencies of scale by sharing the organizations’ available resources for the execution of multiple individual projects.

Whether you’re managing a project or a program, you need project management software. ProjectManager is work and project management software that allows you to manage both projects and programs in real time for more insightful decision-making. For example, our real-time dashboard captures six project metrics automatically and there’s no setup required. You automatically get a high-level view of the project in easy-to-read colorful graphs. You can also get a portfolio dashboard that compiles and calculates data across a portfolio or program of projects to help you make strategic choices about how you’ll allocate your resources. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's dashboard viewProjectManager's dashboard view
ProjectManager’s real-time dashboard gives you a high-level view of your project or program. Learn more

What Is a Program Manager?

A program manager is a project management professional who oversees the life cycle of a program. To do so, this person has to collaborate with project managers, portfolio managers, teams and stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities of a Program Manager

  • Overseeing multiple projects
  • Managing multiple project teams (and sometimes project managers)
  • Delivering successful program outcomes
  • Overseeing the creation and execution of a program management plan

Top Program Manager Skills

  • Communication skills: A project manager must interact with many people, including the project team members and stakeholders
  • Leadership skills: A program manager must oversee the performance of several team members, such as project managers, project sponsors and key employees
  • Project budgeting: A program manager must keep track of several project budgets
  • Resource management: A program manager must be able to allocate, reallocate and keep track of program resources across projects
  • Risk management: A program manager is responsible for the success or failure of a program. That’s why this role requires excellent risk management skills

What Is a Project Manager?

A project manager is a project management professional who oversees the project life cycle. To do so, the project manager has to create a project plan, manage the team’s workload and keep track of project constraints.

Pro tip: Though not a program manager, the project manager has a lot to do with what’s happening on the program, such as delivering the project on time and within the allotted budget. It’s important not only to know the differences between the two roles but where they overlap.

Key Responsibilities of a Project Manager

  • Managing the project constraints, including cost, time, scope, quality, risk and resources
  • Assembling and managing the project team and their performance
  • Delivering successful project outcomes (ensuring it is on time and under budget)
  • Overseeing the creation and execution of a project management plan

Top Project Manager Skills

  • Communication skills: Project managers must communicate with their teams and stakeholders on a permanent basis
  • Negotiation skills: Project managers are the liaison between stakeholders and the project management team. It’s important that they can establish realistic goals and expectations
  • Project scheduling: Project managers must be able to create realistic project schedules that support effective task, time and resource management
  • Task management: Project managers must define the project scope, manage their team’s workload, set task dependencies and create a project schedule that fits all project activities

Program Manager vs. Project Manager In-Depth: 4 Key Differences

Now that we’ve reviewed the roles of a program manager and a project manager, we can easily conclude how they’re different. Here are some of the main differences between them.

  1. A program manager manages multiple projects and sometimes multiple programs while a project manager manages the teams responsible for fulfilling an individual project and achieving its deliverables.
  2. Program managers and project managers are both project management professionals, but their certifications are different. The most common certification for program managers is the Program Management Professional (PgMP) certificate from the Project Management Institute (PMI) while project managers usually get the Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI.
  3. Program managers have a “strategic mindset” while project managers have a more “operative” mindset. That’s because the program manager makes high-level resource management decisions that impact multiple projects while the project manager is only responsible for managing a single project at a granular level.
  4. Programs are much longer in length and are more complex than a single project, so program managers will have a longer timeline to successfully deliver a program. On the other hand, project managers work on smaller projects, which are shorter in duration.

Want more information? Jennifer Bridges, PMP, further explains the difference between program manager vs. project manager below.

While the tools may be similar, the roles of a program manager and a project manager are different. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, explains the difference in this video.

Related: How Program Managers Use Software to Manage Project Portfolios

difference between program managers and project managers explaineddifference between program managers and project managers explained

PPM Tools

Generally speaking, a program manager has broader responsibilities than a project manager. This means that the program management tools they use are focused on either the macro, for the program manager, or the micro, for the project manager.

But that doesn’t mean they need to use different tools altogether. Luckily, project portfolio management tools or PPM tools can be used by both program managers and project managers.

ProjectManager Is the Ideal PPM Tool

ProjectManager is a great tool for both program managers and project managers. It’s project management software that offers PPM tools such as Gantt charts, roadmaps, kanban boards, task lists and much more.

These tools are robust enough for program managers and specific enough for project managers.

Gantt Charts and Roadmaps for Project and Program Management

ProjectManager’s Gantt chart can keep track of a signal project or act as a roadmap to help you manage multiple projects. You can use it to create a project timeline, assign tasks, manage your team’s workload and communicate with team members across projects in real time. It filters for the critical path and sets a baseline to capture your planned effort so you can track it against your actual effort and stay on schedule.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart works for both program managers & project managersProjectManager's Gantt chart works for both program managers & project managers

Real-time Reporting & File Sharing

ProjectManager offers unlimited file storage that allows program managers and project managers to generate project management reports in minutes and create a central hub for all project documentation. Simply create your project reports and share them with team members and stakeholders in real time. Every report is filterable to focus only on the data you want to see.

ProjectManager allows you to create project reports for program and project managementProjectManager allows you to create project reports for program and project management

Video Transcription

Today, we’re talking about the difference between a program manager and a project manager. So even though some of the tools and techniques may be similar, their roles are different. So let’s start by taking a look at the program manager role for an organization.

So a program manager is responsible for managing multiple projects and, in some instances, multiple programs. They also interact with multiple project teams, but they don’t necessarily manage those project teams, the project manager does.

They’re responsible for the program outcomes, so their focus is on the broader view of what’s happening in that program. If you look at their dashboards, they’re looking at what’s happening within each of these projects that make up the program that may impact the program being on time or returning the ROI.

So if you look at a graphical depiction of a program, again, it’s made up of multiple projects that are related to that program. And ideally, in the organization, a project manager manages each one of these projects and reports into the program manager.

So if you look at the project life cycle for a program, the program manager’s responsible more for the people, navigating any politics, and negotiating, maybe, between different organizations, different projects that are interacting among this program.

They deal more with strategic tasks, so they’re working with the organization to align the program to the business strategy and the strategic goals of the organization. They also deal with the business strategies and, again, they’re responsible for ensuring that that program delivers the ROI, or the return on investment.

Separately, the project manager has a different view. They’re responsible for a specific project, and the project team members and what’s happening, and whether they’re delivering on the activities they’re responsible for.

They’re also responsible for the project outcome, so they have a deeper focus on what’s happening on the individual project that they’re managing. So a project manager typically manages one or multiple projects. Their focus in the project life cycle has to deal with the scope, schedule, and resources for that project.

They perform more technical tasks for the project, and they deal with project requirements. They are the ones who are responsible for delivering that project on time and within budget for the organization. So as you can see, the project manager has a lot to do with what’s happening in the program.

If you need a tool that can help you manage your project or your program, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.

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What Is Project Accounting? Principles, Methods & More

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

To stick to your project budget, you have to track costs. Project accounting, as with general accounting, is a method by which project managers can manage project finances.

Project accounting is not the same as balancing your checkbook or even seeking the service of a certified public accountant as it’s unique to project management. Let’s look at what a project account is as well as its principles and methods.

What Is Project Accounting?

Project accounting refers to all elements related to financial transactions in a project. This includes everything from project costs, billing and revenue. Project managers and accountants use project accounting when executing financial tasks on projects. Management receives regular reports on its progress and whether or not the project accounting is successful.

The use of project accounting is essential in managing a project budget; project managers use it to stay updated on the project’s direct costs, overhead costs and revenue. Just as a project manager monitors the project’s schedule and scope, they also track these financial transactions to ensure they’re on budget and make necessary adjustments to avoid overspending.

To do this, a project accounting plan must be created during the project planning phase. The plan outlines all costs and schedules how to monitor and track those costs during project execution, including money spent on resources such as the project team, equipment and more.

When creating a project plan, you need project management tools to organize costs related to delivering the product or service on time and within budget. ProjectManager is work and project management software with interactive Gantt charts that help you plan every step of your project on a visual timeline. There are features to plan and manage costs and resources, both human and nonhuman. Set the baseline to track planned costs against actual costs in real time. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s interactive Gantt charts help you plan and manage costs. Learn more

How Does Project Accounting Work?

Project accounting works by creating a detailed plan of your project costs and managing them throughout project execution to make sure you’re on budget. This is done by monitoring project costs and tracking the variance between the planned and actual costs.

Documentation is required to record the project costs that are incurred throughout the project. As noted, tracking the actual expenses and revenues of the project helps compare them to the costs you have set in your plan, but you’ll also look at future-based costs of contracted delivery schedules and completion dates.

Project accounting includes documenting the date legal agreements are signed with a customer, tracking earned revenues from sales agreements and identifying the costs related to each project phase. In short, project accounting follows the money from the project plan through execution with detailed documentation and adjustments to help you stick to your budget.

Project Accounting Principles

As in any project management method, there are principles to help initiate, plan and establish metrics for accounting in projects, how to execute contracts, avoid scope creep and close out projects. There are eight main project accounting principles that we’ve outlined below.

  1. Cost Principle: When recording the project costs, use the original value instead of the forecasted market value. You want to capture the cost you spent, not the potential cost.
  2. Matching Principle: Revenues and expenses should match the appropriate costs over time. When assigning expenses incurred during project execution, make it the period in the project when the team has incurred the expenses.
  3. Consolidation Principle: To make the overall project cost consistent, group any related project work together. Accomplish this through a systematic process of determining revenue and costs with other parties to consolidate financial activities for the project under one account.
  4. Full Disclosure Principle: You want to record everything of significance in your financial statements to provide transparency into your project finances. This helps with accountability with project stakeholders.
  5. Prudence Principle: This principle requires that you state the amount of revenue and expenses that represents the best estimate of how much revenue or costs might actually occur over the course of the project.
  6. Liability Principle: Make sure to acknowledge all costs related to the future obligations of the project. This can include any contract penalties and liquidation damages associated with the breach of a contract. In other words, you’re liable for these costs if they incur.
  7. Control Principle: You must apply procedures and processes when monitoring the financial activities of the project to make sure you follow regulations. This allows managers to track the actual costs of the project and adjust nonrecurring events to keep to your budget.
  8. Resource Allocation Principle: This principle states that resources can be allocated to more than one project. Project managers can allocate the same amount of resources to different projects if there’s a financial benefit and little risk involved rather than continuing to reallocate money over time into projects.

Project Accounting vs. Financial Accounting

Project accounting and more general financial accounting share many things in common but they’re not the same thing. Yes, they both deal with costs and expenses, but the context and the execution differ enough to make it worth exploring some of those differences.

For starters, there’s a different timetable for project accounting and financial accounting. Project accounting deals with a project, which has a start date and an end date. This means the accounting work ends when the project is completed. Financial accounting works on periods throughout the financial year, which is different across businesses.

The reporting is also different. In project accounting, reporting is based on deliverables. Financial accounting has reports, too, only they look at other aspects of running a business. They’re more concerned with profit and loss, which is not relatable to project accounting.

There are also cost hierarchies that diverge. For example, project accounting cost hierarchies are based on tasks and projects while financial accounting hierarchies are based on departments and cost centers.

Comparative analysis is hard to do in projects but easy in financial accounting. In fact, the levels of understanding are different as well. Stakeholders and sponsors of projects don’t often understand how money is spent on projects, but lenders are clear about financial accounting principles.

Project Accounting Revenue Recognition Methods

Revenue recognition in project accounting is based on when a client should pay, whether upfront, in the middle of the project or when the final deliverable is complete. Revenue recognition only counts revenue once the money has been earned. There are several methods of project accounting revenue recognition, the most common listed below.

Sales Basis

This method recognizes revenue once the sale has been made. That is, at the point of purchase you recognize your revenue. This can be done with cash or credit on the delivery of goods or services. This is commonplace in retail stores but can also apply to project deliverables.

Installment

The installment plan is familiar to anyone who holds a mortgage or has bought large machinery and paid for it over a period of time. There is risk involved as it’s not certain that payment will be delivered regularly. This method means you recognize revenue as it’s delivered as a percentage of the total revenue. This could be over a period of months or even years.

Percentage of Completion

This method is often used with large or long-term projects. It allows a company to recognize revenue by milestones that indicate progress in the project. Contracts for this method are detailed to make it clear when revenue recognition takes place. This allows you to recognize revenue as it comes in instead of waiting until the end of a long project.

Completed Contract

Here, you realize revenue after everything has been delivered and stakeholders or clients are satisfied. This is mostly found with short-term projects or when an extended warranty is involved. It can also end up as a default method when others, such as the percentage of completion method, fail due to lack of clarity.

Cost Recoverability

When you can’t estimate the cost of goods and services in the contract, it’s called cost recoverability. A more conservative approach to revenue recognition only comes to fruition after you’ve recoupled all costs associated with the project.

The Role of the Project Accountant

Project accounting is usually done by the project manager and the project accountant, depending on the size of the project and the organization hosting the project. Project accountants are responsible for monitoring the process of the project, tracking variances and approving expenses.

Project accountants also ensure that project billing is done correctly and delivered to the clients as well as making sure payments are received. They are often in charge of project reporting and maintaining all relevant income and expenditure for the project while also overseeing project records and contracts to ensure they’re followed.

In addition, project accountants review processes for managing accounts and work with auditors. It’s the project accountant’s responsibility to develop financial systems with the IT team in order to be more user-friendly.

Project Accounting Benefits

The importance of project accounting is clear; cost is one-third of the triple constraint and managing those finances is key to delivering a successful project. Knowing how much you’re spending will help you keep to your budget, therefore, understanding the workflow of your costs is crucial to controlling them. Here are some other benefits to project accounting.

  • Get insights into costs, bids and scope for new projects
  • Improves resource management
  • Stay updated on project progress and profitability
  • Helps identify issues with projects to respond quickly
  • Educates project team on project cost and profitability
  • Improves financial management of the organization
  • Reduces risk and improves overall project management

How ProjectManager Helps With Project Accounting

The benefits of project accounting are clear, but many cannot be achieved without the proper tools. ProjectManager is work and project management software that captures real-time data for more insightful decision-making. Organize costs and resources and monitor them in real time to better manage your budget and deliver success to your stakeholders.

Streamline Payment and Track Time

Use our timesheets to help you manage your resources. Once a timesheet is submitted, it is locked until an authorized manager can provide approval. It also tracks who is working on what and showcases outstanding tasks and overall workload. You can see who is busy and who has the capacity for more tasks, all of which are important for capacity planning and expense tracking.

ProjectManager's timesheetProjectManager's timesheet

Get a High-Level View of Costs and More

While lightweight software tools require manual dashboard configuration, ours is ready to go when you are. It automatically captures and calculates project data that’s displayed in colorful graphs and charts. You can track costs in real time along with five other project metrics. For more in-depth data, use our one-click reports on timesheets, costs and more. All reports can be filtered to show only the information you want to see and easily shared with stakeholders to keep them updated.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a projectProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

ProjectManager lets you make a cost management plan, organize tasks, resources and more. You can set your budget and track it in real time, creating detailed reports to help you stay on schedule and within budget. All your project accounting needs are built into our myriad of features which help you plan, monitor and report on every aspect of your project. Take account of your project with the only project management tool you’ll need.

ProjectManager is award-winning work and project management software for hybrid teams. Our collaborative platform helps you work better together, no matter where, when or what department. There’s a single source of truth that keeps everyone on the same page. Join the tens of thousands of teams using our tool to deliver success at organizations as varied as NASA, Siemens and Nestle. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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What Is Expected From Businesses In a Post-Pandemic World?

PM Articles by Project Times. 

PMTimes_June22_2022

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic represented an era-defining paradigm shift for the world of business. Even though the most noticeable impacts of the pandemic have now abated in many parts of the world, the changes it has brought about in the way businesses operate are unlikely to be undone.

The dramatic changes to regular working patterns brought about by pandemic-era lockdowns, combined with a renewed focus on health and wellbeing, have dramatically shifted expectations of what professionals want from their roles. At the same time, customers now also expect a more flexible and conscientious approach to service delivery and are willing to favor companies who are able to provide this.

As such, every organization needs to adjust the way it operates to accommodate these changing realities. By implementing the necessary changes as part of an ongoing process of business improvement, companies can put themselves in a position to capitalize and thrive.

Shifting attitudes and expectations among workers and clients

Many of the changes that the pandemic has brought about can be explained by clear practical requirements – namely, businesses were forced to be a lot more creative and flexible in the way they operated during lockdown, and their employees and customers are now reluctant to give up that flexibility.

For employees, this means that staff have gotten used to being able to work from home and adjust their own working patterns or are keen to retain the additional health and wellbeing benefits they may have received during the pandemic. Expectations among customers and clients, meanwhile, have evolved in complex ways: some have grown accustomed to receiving more flexible terms and conditions, or improved remote access to services, while others may have become frustrated by the lack of face-to-face interaction with customers, and would prefer to return to pre-pandemic ways of working.

There are also an ethical or value-driven dimensions to this evolution, as the pandemic has made many people aware of existing failings and issues of unfairness with the previous status quo. Management can no longer expect to monopolize the highest salaries, while offering only limited flexibility to the workers responsible for generating value, without a risk of undermining their own recruitment capabilities or alienating socially conscious consumers.

As such, the challenge for organizations operating within these rapidly evolving markets is to show they can reflect and operate by the changing values of society. If they fail to do so, they risk being left behind.

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How must businesses change to adapt to post-pandemic realities?

With all of this in mind, it is essential for companies to regularly review and implement necessary changes to their operating practices and service models, committing to an ongoing process of business improvement to ensure they are meeting the expectations of modern professionals, consumers and clients.

Here are some of the key areas in which we have seen businesses committing their efforts and resources in the wake of the pandemic:

  • Developing new core business values and principles that can be closely aligned to post-pandemic norms and expectations, and working to ensure that every member of the organization has bought into these goals and can exemplify them in how they work
  • Enshrining workforce wellbeing, engagement & stability as a central business value, by embracing of flexible working models, strong staff support, and opportunities for progression, to ensure the organization can attract and retain talent
  • Mitigating actual & perceived biases that could contribute to systemic unfairness or barriers to success, by viewing decisions from different stakeholder perspectives
  • Focusing on true customer-centric value and service flexibility, aligning with modern market expectations, to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace
  • Maximizing the use of diverse marketing channels to capitalize on current trends, while acknowledging the need for mindful content and socially conscious messaging
  • Adopting agile business strategies and approaches, informed by the lessons of the pandemic regarding how quickly circumstances can change
  • Creating and maintaining financial liquidity to provide future flexibility, giving the organization greater protection against unexpected shifts in the market
  • Driving value for money & profitability, while sensitively managing concerns around doing so, as businesses can no longer be seen to be cutting corners simply to protect the bottom line
  • Using societal appetites for progress to help accelerate the adoption of necessary change within the company, and to challenge conversated or risk-averse viewpoints within the organization

Not all of these changes can be implemented with immediate effect – some will involve a long-term process of change management, which will require the business to holistically review its current processes and operations to chart a gradual path of transformation, as measured by definable metrics and achievable milestones.

This can be difficult and time-consuming to achieve, but as the post-pandemic era continues to take shape, it will be an essential step for organizations across multiple sectors. Professional expectations and customer values are evolving quickly – and companies must do the same to remain at the forefront of their respective markets.

What Is Organization Design? Types, Principles & More

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Most people think integrity means being honest. While this is true, the word has another meaning that’s important to project management: the state of being whole and undivided. In a sense, you could call organization design the approach to creating integrity in your organization.

For example, a building that has no integrity cannot stand. In the same way, a project that isn’t part of a larger organization design may struggle to succeed. Let’s define organization design and its different types and principles.

What Is Organization Design?

Organization design is a process for structuring and running organizations. It takes a holistic approach to the work done in an organization including team formations, shift patterns, reporting, decision-making, communication methods and much more. The purpose of organization design is to help an organization excel at what it does and help meet its goals. That can mean everything from a large-scale reorganization to subtle shifts in structures and systems.

Organization design often comes into play as an organization is growing or, conversely, if it is downsizing. Either of these shifts requires a company to reexamine how it does business. Other reasons that prompt organization design include a change in leadership, strategy or the marketplace in which the organization operates.

Why organization design is implemented is simply to improve how the organization works. That can mean everything from pinpointing inefficiencies to making better, faster decisions. Organization design can improve the quality of the goods or services that an organization produces, increase profits and strengthen relationships with its customer base. Internally, it can make for safer working conditions, a happier, more motivated workforce and better prepare the business for future challenges.

Creating and implementing organization design is considered to be a project, something that is more successful with project management software. ProjectManager is project management software that helps organize, monitor and report on project planning. Our Gantt charts collect all of your tasks, link dependencies to avoid bottlenecks and even filters for the critical path. You can set a baseline to track your actual progress against your planned progress in real time to keep on schedule. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s Gantt charts help you implement organization design. Learn more.

Principles of Organization Design

You only have one chance at organization design and it takes a lot of time and effort. If you don’t get it right, you’re not going to reap the rewards and you likely won’t get a second chance. This makes it important to know the principles of organization design and how to move through the process correctly.

Every organization is different, of course, but they all share certain things in common. While these 10 guiding principles may alter slightly depending on who is applying them, they remain a fair roadmap for leaders who are looking to recalibrate their organizations to attain some of the many benefits possible from organization design.

  1. Free Yourself From the Past: The organization has to look reflectively at itself, its purpose and how changes to those foundational pillars will affect clients, employees and investors. As you begin to explore changes, think about how they can differentiate you from the competition and how these changes will play out over the next few years.
  2. Design With Knowledge of Your DNA: In order to know what to prioritize in organizational design, step back and identify the universal building blocks of your organization. All organizations can be divided into tangible or formal elements such as how decisions are made, how data is processed and how work is divided. Businesses also have intangible or informal elements such as how people act and are inspired to contribute.
  3. Fix Your Structure Last: The organizational chart of the company might seem like the logical first step, but you want to create a bridge that will carry the organization from the old ways to the new ways. It’s a common mistake to think that you can simply jump from one structure to another. That structure is the final step after you’ve done everything to support it and the changes it will initiate.
  4. Use Your Top Talent: You make a change by empowering the people in your organization, so no matter what structural changes you plan on making, you want to identify the strengths of your key performers and make sure they are empowered to collaborate and facilitate those changes. The leadership team is responsible for successful organization design.
  5. Know What You Can Control: It’s important to list the constraints that are slowing you down as an organization and the sacrifices that you’re always making. Know your limitations before any attempt to execute a new organization design. You should also be aware of the regulations, supply shortages and customer demand that are out of your control but don’t spend too much time focusing on the things that you can change.
  6. Promote Accountability: You want to keep everyone accountable for their jobs which requires transparency and clear communications, not micromanaging. This is likely the single most important change you can make to your organization. If communication flows without obstruction and everyone is taking responsibility for their work, the structure you design is going to work better.
  7. Benchmarking Isn’t As Important As You Think: There can be problems with tracking what competitors are doing. While it can help optimize your design and expose hidden issues, it also short-changes your unique capabilities. It’s not productive to compare your organization to others that might have a different value proposition or capabilities. If you must benchmark, focus on select elements rather than the whole organization.
  8. Organization Design Should Fit Company Purpose: Every organization is different and the right structure for your organization will likely not fit another. When designing the organization, make sure it aligns with your purpose and is consistent across the organization.
  9. Don’t Neglect the Intangible Elements: It’s easy to focus on the tangible elements of organization design, such as decision rights and the organization chart, but that won’t get the results you want. Instead, balance the tangible with the intangible if you want to get things done. The tangible is important but without addressing how people think and act in that structure, you won’t change anything.
  10. Build on Your Strengths: One of the best ways to implement successful organization design is to build on your strengths. Often the organization’s design is so far from the organization’s core values and strengths that it’s destined to fail. Make sure to find the organization’s strengths and build on that foundation.

Related: Free SWOT Analysis Template

Types of Organization Design

Just as there isn’t one type of organization, there isn’t one type of organization design. These various organizational structures are a framework for the organization to distinguish power and authority, roles and responsibilities and determine how the information will flow through the organization. Let’s take a look at some of the more common organization design structures that support organization design.

Hierarchical Structure

This is a pyramid-shared organizational chart with the CEO or manager on top and each level descending in the chain of command until the base is entry-level employees. This defines authority, shows everyone to whom they report and clarifies the career path. However, a hierarchical structure can slow down innovation and make those at the base of the pyramid feel as though they are outside the process.

Functional Structure

As in the hierarchical structure, those with more authority and responsibility are placed at the top of the chart and it then descends by responsibility. However, the organization is determined by skillset and function in the company, with each department managed independently. This gives departments a sense of self-determination and the structure can be easily scaled. But a functional structure can also create silos in the organization and block interdepartmental communications.

Horizontal or Flat Structure

The opposite of a hierarchical structure, the horizontal structure is popular with startups and other organizations in which there is not much distance between management and employees. It encourages less supervision and more involvement from everyone in the organization. Employees feel ownership and take more responsibility. It fosters communication and speeds the delivery of new ideas. However, there can be a lack of supervision that causes confusion and is difficult to maintain at scale.

Divisional Structure

As the name implies, each division in the organization controls its own resources as if an independent company within a larger organization. Each division has its own marketing, sales and IT teams. The structure lends itself to larger organizations and allows them to be more flexible, quickly responding to market changes and customer needs with a customized approach. It can also create duplicate resources, wasting time and energy. Communication can be difficult between divisions, too, leading to internal competition within the larger organization.

Matrix Structure

This grid-like structure is great for cross-functional teams that are created to serve special projects. This structure helps connect otherwise disparate parties. The matrix structure also helps managers easily find team members for whatever project they’re leading and provides a more dynamic view of the organization. Employees are encouraged to use their skills beyond those applied to their original role. It can create conflicts between managers in different departments.

Team-Based Structure

As the name suggests, this structure organizes employees by teams. This is against what’s considered to be a traditional hierarchical structure and is ideal for a more problem-solving, collaborative environment where employees have more control. This can boost productivity and performance, breaking down the silo mentality in favor of more transparency. It also allows for lateral moves throughout the organization and provides less managerial supervision. It’s a great fit for agile project management and scrum teams. It does tend to make promotional paths less clear.

Network Structure

This structure works well for organizations that don’t have their services centralized. They work with vendors, subcontractors, freelances, offsite locations and satellite offices. To bring some order to this seemingly chaotic mix, a network structure helps open communications between those involved over an old-fashioned hierarchy. It visualizes the various onsite and offsite relationships in the organization, fosters a more flexible environment and helps everyone understand the workflow so they can collaborate more freely. It can still be complex, though, and makes it difficult to know who has authority over what.

How ProjectManager Helps After Organization Design

Regardless of what type of organization design you apply in your company, ProjectManager is the one work and project management tool you’ll need to connect your hybrid teams and help them boost productivity. Our multiple project views mean you can work how you want to, whether in a more traditional, hierarchical structure, a flat, agile structure or a hybrid version.

Visualize Workflow With Kanban Boards

We’ve already shown you the Gantt chart which is great for a hierarchical structure, but that’s only one of our multiple project views. For a flat or team-based structure, you’ll want to use kanban boards to manage backlogs and collaboratively plan sprints. Managers get transparency into the process and can reallocate resources as needed to avoid bottlenecks and keep teams working at capacity.

A screenshot of the Kanban board project viewA screenshot of the Kanban board project view
Track Progress and Performance in Real Time

It’s not enough to have the tools to fulfill the dictates of the organization design you have, you need to monitor your work to make sure it’s meeting your expectations. Our software delivers real-time data for more insightful decision-making. Get a high-level view with our live dashboard which tracks six project metrics. There’s no setup required and the dashboard automatically calculates data for you. For a deeper dive into the data, there’s one-click reporting, which can be filtered to show only the information you want to see. Then, share it with stakeholders to keep them updated.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a projectProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

Whatever organization design you use, communication is key. Our software is collaborative to the core, making it simple to share plans, files and more. You can comment on tasks and get notified by email and in the app when anything is updated. There’s a single source of truth that keeps everyone working together and productively.

ProjectManager is award-winning software that connects hybrid teams and fosters greater efficiency. It facilitates organization design of all types, whether teams are together or distributed, regardless of skill set or their department. Join teams at NASA, Siemens and Nestle delivering success with our tool. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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