Project monitoring: evaluation tools and methods

Project monitoring is a critical part of project management because it helps companies monitor progress, evaluate the effectiveness of efforts, and make informed decisions.

This article will shed some light on this topic by discussing popular evaluation tools and methods.

What are project monitoring and evaluation?

Project monitoring and evaluation are systematic processes that entail collecting, analyzing, and using data and information to track a project’s progress and gauge its performance.

Monitoring a project, therefore, helps the project manager ensure that work remains on track.

Monitoring plays a significant role in achieving a project’s desired and planned outcomes.

As such, project managers must be meticulous in all phases of project monitoring, ensuring that tasks are executed correctly and that any doubts or hurdles are ironed out in time.

Project monitoring: how is it performed?

A successful project monitoring plan can only take place through the following actions:

  • Setting clear goals: It means working with specific, measurable and time-bound indicators. These indicators provide benchmarks to measure progress and success.
  • Data collection: Data are the cornerstone of project monitoring. Throughout project implementation, data are collected through different methods, such as surveys, meetings, focus groups, observations, and document reviews. These data can include both quantitative and qualitative information.
  • Data analysis: Once collected, data are analyzed to measure project performance and impact. Data analysis may involve statistical techniques, qualitative coding, and comparative assessments.
  • Reporting and feedback: Findings from data analysis are used to generate reports. These documents provide in-depth information on what works and what does not during a project’s life cycle.
  • Learning and adaptation: Project monitoring is not just about evaluating past performance but also about using that knowledge to make future improvements- so-called “lessons learned“; project managers and stakeholders should be prepared to adjust their strategies based on their findings.

Project monitoring: 10 most used techniques

You can use many techniques for project monitoring.

Here are some examples:

  1. Work breakdown structure (WBS): A way through which work can be broken down and organized into smaller pieces. It includes a visual representation of all project activities and can be used to split up activities and budgets.

wbs work breakdown structure2. Gantt chart: It is another way of visual data representation. Nonetheless, it is probably more exhaustive than the previous method and provides more information to a project manager. Gantt chart visually represents activity versus time and helps project managers monitor progress in real-time.

diagramma di gantt

3. PERT chart or graph: PERT stands for “Project Evaluation and Review Technique.” It is similar to a Gantt chart, although structured differently. This chart allows project managers to spot and highlight interdependencies between project activities and identify possible bottlenecks.

4. Critical Path Method (CPM): This tool identifies the most important tasks in a project and the estimated time to complete them. Using this information, the project manager can determine which activities must start first and which affect the overall project schedule.

5. Project dashboard: Dashboards provide a real-time, visual overview of project status, including KPI (Key Performance Indicators), progress toward goals, risks, open issues, and milestones. These are powerful tools for project managers because they help them quickly grasp the project’s status and communicate it effectively to stakeholders and teams.

6.Risk monitoring: This technique involves identifying, analyzing, and responding to project risks. It includes assessing the likelihood and impact of risks, devising mitigation strategies, and continuously monitoring risks throughout the project to manage any changes.

7.KPI: KPIs are specific metrics used to measure progress in various aspects of a project. They can include task completion time, cost, work quality, customer satisfaction, etc. By measuring these indicators regularly, project managers can gauge whether the project is on track to meet its goals.

8.Project reviews and audits: These are formal reviews performed during and at the end of the project to ensure that everything is moving forward according to plan. Reviews may include reviewing compliance against quality standards, verifying adherence to budgets and timelines, and evaluating the effectiveness of project management.

9.Team feedback techniques: Encouraging regular feedback from team members can provide valuable insights into project progress. This can be accomplished through update meetings, surveys, or retrospective sessions, where teams discuss what is working well and what can be improved.

10.Trend analysis: this technique involves observing project performance over time to spot trends, predict potential problems, and take proactive action. Trend analysis can help predict whether a project is on track to meet its goals or whether corrective adjustments are needed.

By using a combination of these techniques, project managers gain a thorough understanding of project progress, identify and resolve problems in a timely manner, and guide the project to a successful conclusion.

Early problem identification allows corrective actions to be implemented before issues become more significant and costly. Furthermore, a thorough assessment of potential risks at each stage of the project enables the development of effective mitigation strategies and contingency plans.

Corrective actions may include adjusting timelines, reallocating resources, amending objectives, or revising execution strategies. These actions are crucial to keeping the project on track with its original objectives and ensuring that it is delivered on time and on budget.

In every project, it is vital to set up a structured process for monitoring and managing potential risks. This process begins with risk identification, followed by their assessment regarding the likelihood of occurrence and impact on the project. Subsequently, it is necessary to plan and implement actions to mitigate the identified risks, continuously monitoring the effectiveness of these measures.

Project monitoring: using Twproject

In the previous section, we went through various techniques used for project monitoring.

Using these charts can be simplified with Twproject, the best project management software available.

Twproject allows you to plan, schedule, assign, and update activities, resources, and end results.

It also provides customizable dashboards, reports, and alerts that indicate a project’s status, problems, and risks.

By collecting data and updates in a single place, project reporting and evaluation become, therefore, straightforward.

Thus, the project manager, team members, and stakeholders can access all pertinent and current information related to a project anytime and anywhere.

When it comes to project monitoring, the following features of Twproject make it the ultimate software:

  • Task planning and assignment: It helps to break down projects into tasks, set deadlines and detail work performance schedules.
  • Resource allocation: Assign and allocate both human and material resources.
  • Collaboration tools: They promote communication and teamwork among team members and stakeholders.
  • Document sharing and management: Facilitates centralized archiving, management, and project documentation sharing.
  • Time monitoring: It helps to track time spent on activities and projects for performance analysis.
  • Reporting and analysis: It provides in-depth information on project performance through customizable reports and dashboard visuals.
  • Scalability: It can vary according to the size and complexity of projects and grow with your business.
  • User-friendly UI: If a tool is convenient, team adaptation is facilitated, and problems associated with the learning process are minimal.
  • Integration features: Ease of integration with other business tools to assist workflow efficiency and reduce redundancies to a minimum.

Project monitoring and evaluation are key steps to project success.

Opting for comprehensive software such as Twproject will maximize efficiency, optimize resources, and guide the team to amazing results.

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The best software for Gantt chart 2024

Do you want to quickly find out which are the best Gantt chart software in 2024? We have drawn up a special list for you.

The Gantt chart is the best tool to get an overview of project performance.

It allows you to have the start and end dates of the project and its phases, their duration, their correlation, the assignees, all in one view.

As we shall see, there are many reasons to implement it, but to draw up a Gantt chart that is really useful and effective, we need the right tools.

Otherwise, we risk wasting a lot of time creating a merely theoretical plan, which will soon be abandoned and remain only in the initial plans of the project leader.

In fact, the key words for evaluating a good Gantt chart are in our opinion: dynamicity and shareability.

Origins and qualities of the Gantt chart

The Gantt has undergone many evolutions over time. Initially, it was a simple, static, time chart for initial planning.

Until not so many years ago, the Gantt was a theoretical structure that was designed at the start of a project, then printed out and hung on a wall in the workplace.

It was a simple benchmark, but unfortunately after a few days or weeks, the chart already became obsolete.

With the emergence of calculation software and then later with web tools, the Gantt became an operational tool.

Its function today does not end at the planning stage, but continues during project execution.

And this is why it must necessarily be integrated and interoperable with other tools. Nowadays, the Gantt chart only makes sense if it is dynamic, sharable, updatable in real time.

Here are in detail the two aspects we took into account the most during our analysis in search of the best software for creating Gantt charts.

First quality of the best Gantt chart: dynamicity

By ‘dynamic’ we mean both the interactivity of the Gantt and its integration with other working tools.

In fact, a good Gantt chart must be able to evolve as various activities are completed. And of course, it is better if this evolution takes place in an automated way and in real time.

At the same time, the information that allows the Gantt to change and progress comes from other sources, such as worklog data, calendar and ToDos performed.

Conversely, the assignments distributed through the Gantt make up and update the 0perators’ workload; its duration affects budget estimates and many other aspects of project management.

This explains the relevance of the Gantt chart in a project management software: it is the starting point and the core to which everything leads back.

The tools we have included in our list of the best Gantt chart software possess this quality!

Second quality of the best Gantt chart: shareability

Together with the interactivity of the Gantt, the group of actors involved in the use of this chart has expanded.

We are talking about the actual project executors, but also about the stakeholders: each resource has its own specific reasons for keeping an eye on the Gantt.

Having a Gantt at hand when we are presenting a project and being able to act within it in real time during meetings is definitely a good practice.

This increases the involvement of the parties and helps achieve a holistic view.

In addition, the most advanced tools also have very customisable role permission systems that allow certain aspects of planning to be delegated.

For example, the project manager may need to entrust the planning of certain project sub-phases to other collaborators, and good software must in our opinion allow for this elasticity on permissions.

But let us finally come to our ranking of the best Gantt chart software, bearing in mind the aspects we have highlighted so far, and see who and how performs the work best.

Here is the list of the best Gantt chart software:

1. Twproject

Gantt Twproject - best gantt chart software

Let’s start with what is considered by many to be the best Gantt chart on the market: Twproject, a software that has made this chart its strong point.

Twproject was founded in 2001, but only from its fifth release did it integrate the Gantt among its tools.

Its team waited until they had the technological maturity to develop a tool that had real utility and was not equivalent to graphing on a spreadsheet.

Since then, however, Twproject has ensured that its Gantt chart became increasingly comprehensive and interoperable, always adding new optimisations and functionalities.

Twproject stands out by having a rather customisable and realistic Gantt that truly reflects the progress of projects.

The elasticity of Twproject’s Gantt is remarkable, but at the same time this tool is extremely precise and its interaction with the other elements of the software is total and accurate.

Last but not least, Twproject guarantees the possibility of keeping track of all previous changes made to the Gantt chart, thanks to the timeline: with this, you can scroll back in time and review the Gantt chart structure at any desired date.

Best features:

  • Overview or detailed view: possibility to have a lower or higher detail level and zoom in on individual phases of the WBS
  • Creation of phases and milestones: from list or drag and drop, as preferred
  • Assignment of phases: possibility to set assignees directly from the Gantt
  • Integration with workload: warning of overloads and reallocation with ‘magic wand’ tool
  • Critical path: possibility to check crucial nodes of project development
  • Timeline: user-activated project change history
  • Dependency types: in addition to the classic Finish to Start dependency, three more dependencies are available to better accommodate different work dynamics
  • Elasticity: possibility of having non-sequential dependencies
  • ToDo view: side-by-side and integrated ToDo management for each project phase
  • Role and permission management: possibility of assigning the planning of various phases to different users
  • Sharing: exportability in various formats

Pricing: from € 7.89 per user/month.

Pros: Twproject makes it possible to create a Gantt chart that is unrivalled in terms of user-friendliness, accuracy and variety of functions. Thanks to constant feedback from its users, this product is constantly evolving and improving.

Cons: Frankly, it is difficult to find a single negative aspect in Twproject’s Gantt.

With Twproject, you never have to enter information twice: everything is designed to optimise working time and offer a useful tool in daily operations

2. ClickUp

ClickUp - gantt chart software

The Gantt that can be created with ClickUp has a good overview of the entire project, which is also highlighted by the green bar that encloses all project phases, showing the total duration at a glance.

On each step, the name of the assignee is clearly visible, but other information, such as the percentage of work done, is missing.

There is a general lack of connection with the resource load.

As there is no difference between activities and project phases in Clickup, the Gantt chart is very quick to create and manage.

However, this can be a disadvantage when it comes to complex projects or projects with many micro-tasks to perform and keep track of.

Best features:

  • Hierarchical structure: Spaces > Folders > Lists
  • Lists of tasks have their own Gantt
  • Tasks that can be entered directly on the gantt by dragging and dropping
  • Secondary opening of the related tab with various detailed information
  • Duplication possibility
  • Wide range of customisation possibilities

Pricing: from $ 7 per user/month.

Pros: ClickUp has an attractive interface, and its Gantt is no exception. It makes the agile philosophy its strong point.

Cons: It lacks some advanced features and at first glance its Gantt editor can appear a little chaotic.

Agility and aesthetics combine in a tool that is quick to use but not always complete in its functions

3. GanttPRO

Gantt PRO - gantt chart software

With almost diametrically opposite characteristics we find Gantt PRO.

As its name suggests, it is a software totally dedicated to the Gantt chart.

Project planning starts precisely from the Gantt view, with a WBS side-by-side, in which projects and task lists are entered.

Alongside the Gantt, there are also secondary views, such as the Kanban board, operator loading and reporting.

Some secondary functions such as budgeting and time tracking are only available in advanced licences.

Best features:

  • Fixed hierarchy of projects and task lists
  • Various baselines can be created
  • Percentage turnaround that can be set directly on the task by dragging and dropping
  • Dependencies with Finish to Start or Start to Start type
  • Gap between dependencies settable in hours
  • Critical path

Pricing: from $ 9.99 per user/month.

Pros: It turns out to be a good technical product, with a simple, clean interface and few but clear functions.

Cons: It has a somewhat dated appearance and is little or no customisation. Some secondary functions such as budgeting and time tracking are only available in advanced licences.

If the objective is to create accurate Gantt charts, it may be a solution, although lacking in interoperability with other management tools

4. Smartsheet

Smartsheet - gantt chart software

It is a software that plans to replace Excel spreadsheets for business management, and thus closely replicates its functionalities.

Smartsheet is a tool consisting of many combined elements, with the addition of typical project management tools.

The data entered in your worksheet can then be interpreted through the various views, including the Gantt view.

It is therefore a tool that requires good expertise in the use of calculation formulas.

Best features:

  • Customising phase colours
  • Conditional formatting allowing the setting of customised rules for the display of phases
  • 4 zoom levels: quarter – month – week – day
  • Secondary views: list, calendar and board
  • Critical path
  • Percentage of work done shown on phase
  • Task duration: shown only when dependencies are activated

Pricing: from $ 6 per user/month, for up to 10 users.

Pros: The main feature of Smartsheet is the possibility of customisation, both graphically and in terms of the method used.

Cons: Lack of automation and the need to master the calculation formulae for its use.

Technical tool with refined functionality, but not exactly useful for saving time in planning

5. Toggl Plan

Toggl Plan

Toggl strongly focuses on the human resources aspects of the projects.

It is therefore very much geared towards managing tasks and assignments in a smooth manner, particularly through its Gantt editor, but not only.

The special feature of the tool is that it allows you to create resource-specific, as well as project-specific, Gantt charts.

It could therefore be useful for those who specifically deal with scheduling and balancing the working time of human resources in a company.

Best features:

  • Data sharing to external users also
  • Estimated vs. actual progress
  • Good integration with resource load, which is visible at the same time
  • 4 zoom levels
  • Drag and drop for duration and dependencies
  • Colour customisation of assignments

Pricing: from $ 9 per user/month.

Pros: In general, it is easy to use and has a modern, user-friendly interface.

Cons: Perhaps also because of its easiness, it has some limitations, especially when it comes to integration with other views of the software.

Agile and easy-to-learn software, more useful if the work is set up in a resource-oriented manner

6. Team Gantt

Team Gantt

Here again we are in front of a tool that starts projects directly from the Gantt.

Only at a later stage, one can add tasks and distribute assignments.

Almost all of its functionalities relate to the Gantt chart and many interactions can be done directly from this view.

A limitation is the fact that tasks and ToDos are not distinct from each other. In addition, all tasks related to a project are always visible on the Gantt, making the management of complex projects somewhat difficult.

Best features:

  • Ability to add notes and attachments to tasks
  • Possibility to enter the percentage of task completion
  • Workload view openable from Gantt
  • Total view of the number of tasks assigned per person in days or hours
  • Health report
  • Secondary views: list, calendar and board

Pricing: from $ 8 per user/month.

Pros: A detailed and very specific tool for creating Gantt charts, with some useful customisations.

Cons: Among the customisations, the differences between dependencies and their elasticity unfortunately do not appear. Furthermore, due to an excessive level of detail by default, the Gantt loses its primary function as a comprehensive overview tool.

Suitable for those who need to create many Gantt charts for small projects but somewhat lacking in cases of complexity

Bottom line

We have tried to help you choose the best Gantt chart software for your projects.

In conclusion, keep in mind that if you decide to try to Twproject:

  • its interaction with ToDo lists makes it possible to overcome the classic Waterfall vs. Agile opposition, and creates a new structured yet dynamic approach.
  • The possibility of having a timeline that allows you to go back to the planned structure at any time, right from the start of the project, makes Twproject’s Gantt chart the best planning tool. In fact, it allows us not to miss any important data and to be able to reschedule freely and without delay during project implementation.

If you wish, you can tell us if this analysis was useful to you and start creating a Gantt chart in the best possible way right away: with Twproject you can try it out for free for the first 15 days.

How to manage project tracking with Twproject’s Timeline

The Timeline is a very useful tool designed to constantly track the progress of your projects.

With the Project Timeline you can keep track of changes and events that have happened over time; it is in fact the historical memory of a project.

Thanks to its slider, you can “navigate” back and forth in time and see the initial situation; you can see what and when it has changed from the baseline (i.e., the initial planning), pointing out the highlights.

Twproject offers you an incredibly functional and complete version of it. Want to discover this timeline with us? Here’s everything it allows you to do.

Features of the Timeline on the Statistics page

On the Statistics page, in the tab following the Project Overview, you will find everything you need to make a comprehensive and accurate project monitoring and tracking plan.

And this is where we placed our Timeline, to have at first glance a dynamic temporal line: this allows us to immediately see the dates of relevant changes from the initial planning (baseline).

The baseline, as the word implies, is in fact the base of the project, established before the project is started. It is meant to capture the initial situation, to see if and how far we will deviate from it later.

It mainly includes: timelines (start and end date), expected costs, and resources involved. In Twproject it is always visible in the Statistics page.

But as we know, it is natural for these variables to change during the actual course of the projects and thus deviate from the baseline.

All quantitative project variations are automatically recorded on the Timeline, without the project leader having to manually annotate them.

Recording events on the Project Timeline

So, what is meant by quantitative project variations?

We are specifically talking about changes in delivery dates and in budget; we will see all these changes highlighted on our timeline with a specific icon based on the event.

events on the timeline

This is what our Project Timeline looks like.

The icons within it show the times when something in our project was changed, and specifically:

  • Date: calendar icon indicates that a project start or end date has been changed. Since the Timeline is also available for project sub-phases, any time changes in these phases will also be visible on their related statistics pages.
  • Budget: any budget changes are recorded and shown on the Timeline with the coin icon.
  • Update: the small balloon icon instead tells us when a reminder has been manually added about a salient event that occurred on a certain date. Reminders can be added directly from the main page of our projects, in the section dedicated to updates

Free scrolling of the Project Timeline

But of course it is also possible to drag our cursor on the Timeline, to view the progress of the project over time.

As we scroll we will see the percentages of work done changing, along with all the other data shown in the graphs on the Statistics page.

timeline scrolling

We will be able to move back to any time point in our project, to monitor progress at a certain date or simply see what and how it has changed from the baseline.

An extra monitoring tool: the Project Snapshot

But there is a tool that complements and collaborates with our Project Timeline: the function that lets you take a Snapshot of the current state.

This will allow us to check this state easier at a later date.

project snapshot

On the Overview page of the project or of one of its phases, you will find the small camera icon.

With this you can ‘take a picture’ of the situation at any time and then display it clearly on the Timeline.

After you have captured the moment, you can write a note to link to this Snapshot: e.g. a time reference, a turning point in the progress of the project, or any other relevant aspect.

You will also find your snapshot icon among those in the Timeline; you can simply click on it to see the status of the project at the saved date.

This step is very useful in the case of long-term projects.

In fact, it will prevent you from scrolling through your Timeline randomly in the future, instead allowing you to have the most interesting moments already highlighted.

Bottom line

We have seen how important it is to keep track of a project’s progress over time, and Twproject offers you a unique tool to perform this analysis.

This is useful both for accurate reporting, but also for making more reliable future forecasts on similar projects.

In the seventh edition of the PMBOK, the project work performance domain is discussed.

This domain defines the basic principles for project process management.

These include the need to constantly monitor changes that may affect the project.

With Twproject’s Timeline, this is done in an agile way. You can ensure that every change is followed by appropriate adjustments.

Furthermore, you can use this data for better planning on future projects.

To start keeping track of all events related to your projects right away, try Twproject free for 15 days. Our support team is at your disposal!

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Gantt charts for a project: productive advantage or disadvantage?

Gantt charts for projects are the essential weapon of the Project Manager, but they can be extremely useful and effective even for anyone who wants to organize their activities in a structured way.

This planning tool appeared in the early twentieth century and has since been widely used for project planning.

The main reason for the success of the Gantt charts is their simplicity and the focus on the quick visualization of the activities.

Gantt charts are also an excellent way to plan the project in a temporal way, allowing to define roles, responsibilities and effective use of resources.

In fact, they provide an immediate vision of how to develop and structure the project and act as a guideline to the end.

What is a Gantt chart?

The Gantt chart, also called scheduled bar chart, is a tool for panning a set of activities that, generally, are part of a single, more complex project.

On the horizontal axis there is the time span, whose unit of measurement depends on the project calendar – days, weeks, months, etc. – while on the vertical axis we find the list of the various activities.

Each task forms a coloured bar that goes from the start date to the end of the activity.

Once all the activities have been inserted, there is a visual scheme of how the project is structured, which tasks come first, which ones overlap and which ones happen later.

The resources that carry out every single activity are easily identifiable.

With such a graphic structure, it is easy to understand, at first glance, if the processes are taking place on schedule and if the progress of the project is in line with the scheduled deadline.

mobile app gantt Twproject

Many software have, in the Gantt, their sore point because the Gantt is not very effective or even non-existent.

Only some software, including Twproject, allow not only to obtain a Gantt chart of the project that is easy to read, but also to get even more details, indicating for example:

  • the resource assigned to a given activity;
  • if the resource works full-time or part-time;
  • how much work has been done and remains to be done;
  • the cost associated with each activity.

optimised workload management in Gantt with Twproject

What are the advantages of the Gantt chart?

As a company we think that the Gantt chart, if well structured and managed, can bring various benefits to the management of a project.

Here is a list of advantages that this system inevitably presents.

The Advantages of Gantt: Visualization

The Gantt chart allows to clearly visualize the workflow and the project structure.

When we insert the various tasks, or analyse the schema after inserting them, we can immediately realize any inconsistencies.

The linear scheme allows you to understand in advance if you will face potential organizational or technical problems and allows you to prepare in advance.

The distribution of the activities allows to identify the intermediate goals and to understand if the project is in line with the schedule or not.

clear and organised workflow visualisation with Twproject Gantt chart

The Advantages of Gantt: Flexibility

As already mentioned, an advantage of the Gantt chart is to clearly show the start and end date of a given activity.

The timing of each task will be set after a direct comparison with the managers of each sector, in order to have a realistic value.

For this reason, the Gantt chart is also useful for the feasibility analysis of a project.

Once the entire project structure is set up, it makes no sense to run to complete certain steps before the set date – unless there is really a valid reason – as this may be reflected in the lack of completeness and / or accuracy.

If you have agreed on a certain date speaking to the direct responsible, it means that this is the time necessary to carry out the work correctly and completely.

Forcing time would affect the quality of work.

flexibility of dependencies in Twproject's Gantt chart

The Advantages of Gantt: Efficiency

These charts allow an intelligent and effective use of resources.

It becomes really difficult for the resources to be reliable when they are grappling with too many processes and find themselves submerged.

All conflicts and problems that follow an overload of tasks can lead to a definitive blockage of the whole project and, inevitably, to its failure.

Using Gantt charts as a project planning tool gives you an overview of the project timeline so you can easily see where and when a particular resource is busy.

So, it is possible to allocate resources in such a way not to slow down or block the activities.

Once a process comes to an end, you can transfer the resource to another activity.

The Advantages of Gantt: Motivation

Gantt charts are great for morale!

Probably we all had those days where we felt completely lost and submerged from work and projects and we could no longer see the direction in which we were going.

In this case, the Gantt chart can be a valid psychological aid.

Looking at the diagram, in fact, you can immediately see how activities are taking place and how each process leads to the completion of the entire project.

It is a very effective method to raise morale and motivate the team.

Moreover, seeing the achievement of a goal – however small it may be – is still a gratification. It allows to concentrate, step by step, on the different blocks of activity without feeling disoriented by a project that can be long and complex.

The Advantages of Gantt: Communication

Gantt charts are not just a useful tool for planning the project.

Team members can use these diagrams to see where they are in the project, what they need to complete certain tasks and the inputs they need.

The project diagram shows them exactly who they should contact and who they should collaborate with during each phase.

This makes them able to communicate better not only with each other, but also with the Project Manager.

Thanks to the Gantt charts, it is also possible to help improve cohesion, communication and understanding of and in the team.

Create your Gantt now

Contact us for a tailored demo and find out how to use Twproject’s interactive Gantt

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The aspects (disadvantages) of the Gantt chart to keep under control!

As with any high performance tool, even for the Gantt Chart, there are some aspects to monitor.

Aspects that if not properly managed could result in real disadvantages.

Let’s list briefly the aspects to pay attention to, so that everyone can make his evaluations:

  • It can become extraordinarily complex. Except for the simplest projects, a Gantt chart will present a large number of activities and resources used to complete the project. There are special software that can handle all this complexity. However, when the project reaches this level, it must be managed by a small number of people, or often by one, able to handle all the details. Large companies often employ one or more prepared Project Managers. In companies not used to this type of management, this may not work as it should.
  • The size of the bar does not indicate the amount of work. Each bar on the graph indicates the period of time in which a given activity will be completed. However, by observing the bar, it is not possible to determine what level of engagement we need to complete these tasks. For example, a short bar could take 500 hours, while a longer bar could take only 20 hours.
  • The length of a bar in fact indicates the timing of a given activity and not its complexity in terms of working hours.
  • It needs constant updates. After starting the project, things can change. If you use a Gantt chart, you need to be able to change the chart easily and frequently.
  • Difficult to see on a single sheet of paper. The software that allows you to manage these graphics are mostly suited to a computer screen and are not meant to be printed. It therefore becomes difficult to show the details of the plan to a broad audience. It is certainly possible to print the chart, but this normally involves a job of “cutting and pasting” of the individual pieces, rather expensive in terms of time.

Bottom line

To sum up, in the context of project management it is essential to have a clear view of the beginning of activities and how they develop as the project progresses.

We have seen how using a Gantt chart helps team members visualise not only when individual activities begin and end, but also how they intersect and influence the final outcome of the project.

All in all, the biggest advantage of the Gantt chart is the pure simplicity and the clear overview of the activities and their duration.

This makes it ideal for projects where facilitated access to all relevant information is required and where these should be easily understood by all those involved in the project.

This is why we thought of an evolution of the Twproject Gantt.

We have, in fact, built a tool that can shape situations in real time and be easily modified over time.

Twproject’s focus is to capture the work done in real time, to guide the Project Manager during the entire project development.

Twproject includes an interactive Gantt that allows us to punctually assign resources to each phase. Thanks to this approach, we can monitor the progress of the project in all its parts with full transparency.

Our customers’ experience in this direction encourages us by providing us with guidance in future development.

Now it’s your turn, create your Gantt with Twproject and get a 15-day free trial!

Do you want to create your first Gantt?

Project Management 2024 Events in Italy and the World

Events 2024 in Italy and worldwide focusing on project management offer a wealth of learning and networking opportunities for professionals in this industry.

In Italy, the project management sector is growing, thanks in part to the many events that offer professionals and enthusiasts the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills.

This article will showcase the major Italian and international project management events 2024.

Project Management 2024 events in Italy

Let’s have a look at an overview of the main 2024 events in Italy on project management:

PMexpo 2024 (October 4, 2024)

PMexpo is the major Italian event dedicated to project management. It will take place on October 4, 2024, at the Centro Congressi Auditorium della Tecnica in Rome.

The event is hosted by ISIPM (Italian Institute of Project Management) and is a unique opportunity for industry professionals to engage with the latest news and best practices.

Although the program for PMexpo 2024 is not yet public, there will be plenty of keynotes, parallel sessions, workshops, and laboratories, as there were in the last edition.

Forum nazionale di Project Management (June, 14 2024)

The forum hosted by the federation of 3 Italian Chapters, is one of the most important events at the Italian level for disseminating project management culture.

Last October 6, we attended it with our Twproject booth to support the event held at FICO Eatalyworld srl in Bologna.

forum project management italia

The 2023 edition had the theme “Food for Thoughts,” which stressed the importance of an innovative and creative approach in project management, comparing nourishing the body with food to nurturing the mind with innovative ideas and creative solutions.

The 2024 edition, however, will take place in Rome on June 14 and focus on “The Omniverse of Project Management”.

The event aims to provide an in-depth insight into the world of project management, exploring the various interactions between the activities performed by project managers and different operating environments, regardless of the specific context.

The main focus is to illustrate what PMI Italy Chapters call the Project Management Omniverse. This concept encompasses the peculiarities, characteristics, and contexts of projects, directly influencing the project manager’s responsibilities and actions. For more details, visit the official website pmi-centralitaly.org.

ASSOPM

The Associazione Italiana Project Manager promotes project management culture in Italy. Although specific details of the 2024 events are not currently available, the association is organizing various webinars and meetings. To keep up to date with upcoming events, visit assopm.it

PMday Italia

This is the annual event focused on product management, organized by 20tab, a training and consulting company specializing in product management.  

The 2023 edition of PMday Italia was dedicated to “The product manager of the future” and over 700 people attended, hosting talks by product management experts worldwide.

As we eagerly await what’s new for 2024, you can already register for the fourth edition of PMday Italy. This event is open to all product management professionals, regardless of their experience level, students and industry enthusiasts.

International Conference on Project Management, Planning and Control (ICPMPC)

This conference is hosted by the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology and will cover project risk management, project planning and control, resource management and more.

It will occur in two Italian cities – May 2 and 3 in Rome and June 21 and 22, 2024 in Venice.

International Conference on Civil Engineering Projects, Planning and Management (ICCEPRPM) e International Conference on Civil Engineering Planning and Project Management (ICCEPPM)

These events offer valuable opportunities for project management professionals to learn, share experiences, and network. For more details, visit conference websites or use index indexes such as Conference Index.

Both will be held on April 4 and 5, 2024 in Venice and July 22 and 23, 2024 in Rome.

2024 World Events on Project Management

Now let’s take a look at the major international events in 2024 focusing on project management:

  • Regional Scrum Gathering Tokyo (January, 10-11 2024): an annual event for Scrum practitioners with keynote sessions, speakers, and networking opportunities. It will focus on the power of networking opportunities and offer a Coaches Clinic with experienced Agile coaches for tailored guidance.

  • Project Management Symposium (April 18-19, 2024): an event covering a range of global insights on project management. Sessions in 2024 will explore Lean and Agile methodologies, federal program management, and Project Management 4.0.

The conference topic is “Project Management in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” and will explore many aspects of the AI-PM intersection, including new project skills, ethical frameworks, sustainability, learning models, teams and collaboration, and more.

  • Project Summit Business Analyst World (April 22-24, 2024): is the main event in North America for Project Managers and Business Analysts. It will feature senior speakers from various industries worldwide and offer talks, workshops, panel discussions, and networking. The event will be held in Orlando, Florida.

  • Global Scrum Gathering 2024 (May 19-22, 2024): A not-to-be-missed event in New Orleans, Louisiana, for agile professionals of all levels. It features:
  • In-depth sessions focusing on agile methodologies and practices.
  • Customized coaching opportunities
  • Networking to connect with other agile professionals and share experiences and knowledge.
  • Career support

  • Agile on the Beach (July 4-5, 2024): it is an event focused on Agile methodology. It features a unique location by the sea in Falmouth, UK, and a mix of talks, workshops, networking opportunities, and social events.

It is held in a relaxed and inspiring environment, perfect for those seeking to blend professional development with an inspirational setting.

  • Agile2024 (July 22-26, 2024): this conference is held in Grapevine, Texas, and is focused on exploring, innovating, and advancing the values and principles of Agile. Hosted by the Agile Alliance, it is regarded as a premier event for project management professionals interested in the Agile approach. Agile2024 is suitable for both seasoned Agile professionals and those new to Agile, offering sessions suited to different levels of experience and interest.

The project management event scene in 2024 is rich and diverse, offering numerous opportunities for professionals from around the world.

Joining these conferences provides valuable opportunities for project management professionals to stay current on the latest trends, expand their skills, and connect with other industry professionals worldwide.

Work together with your team effectively

Critical Path in Project Management – How to

The Critical Path Method (CPM) is an essential algorithm in project management, used to plan a set of project activities. Its purpose is to highlight the steps involved in the longest path that determines the project end date.

In this article we see how to implement CPM.

How to implement the Critical Path Method

To implement the Critical Path Method effectively, it is crucial to draw a network diagram illustrating all the necessary activities and their dependencies. Identifying the activities that form the critical path is crucial because these, being interconnected, define the minimum time required for the project to be completed.

Any delay in one of these activities can slow down the entire project.

To use this method, you must build the model by paying attention to:

  1. Define all projects’s phases
  2. Highlight dependencies between phases
  3. Calculate the duration of each phase correctly

The critical path analysis allows you to highlight what activities are “critical” but also those that can be delayed without increasing the project lifespan.

Critical Path Method: a practical example

If you have never used this methodology, let’s try to apply it to a simple example: imagine we have to install a shelf in the house.

First, you need to split the project into phases:

  1. Buy the shelf
  2. Buy the fixing bars
  3. Choose the wall and the height
  4. Make the signs on the wall
  5. Do the holes with the drill
  6. Install the fixing bars
  7. Mount the shelf

Once you define each steps, you can try to identify the dependencies: at a first analysis you immediately realize that some activities can not be started until others are completed, for example, you can not do holes with the drill until you make the signs on the wall, also the shelf can not be placed until the fixing bars are fixed. At the same time you see that the choice of the wall, the purchase of the shelf and fixing bars are activities that you can do in parallel. Here is the Gantt of activities with dependencies:

critical path method

This type of activity can be easily planned using the Gantt diagrams that also shows the critical path calculation in red. The chart shows the sequential activities, they are in orange because suspended waiting for predecessor completion.

All these sequential activities are the fundamental steps that determine the length of your project. The critical path of the projects is the longest sequence of activities.

It is essential to pay close attention to phases on the critical path to manage the timing of your Gantt. For example, if you have a task that lasts 100 days, a 5-day delay on one of the sequential activities will result in a total delay of 5 days for the task.

Another important aspect to consider is the human resources availability, for example, we have said that some phases can be done in parallel such as buying fixing bars, shelf and choosing height in the wall, but these can be done in parallel only if you can count on three different resources available, in case you are alone to complete the project the Gantt changes drastically. Phases become all consecutive.

Gantt chart in Critcal Path Method

So, project critical path can be calculated according to tasks dependencies, but to determine task end dates it is necessary to identify the resources at your disposal and the correct duration of each phase. Only after analyzing these two aspects will you be able to handle project times by using a Gantt diagram and see a correct schedule.

From this simple example it is clear that critical path analysis is not trivial, this method is particularly used for complex but predictable activities.

In the real world, in fact,  it is difficult to follow exactly the established plan, moreover,  you can have external new requirements or constraints not considered at an early stage of planning.

In our example, if you did not find the fixing bars in the store and you have to order them online you could introduce a delay that could reflect on the overall project’s duration, even if this phase was not in the critical path.

Critical Path Method: the role of the project manager

The role of the project manager in this context becomes crucial.

An effective project manager not only supervises the sequence of activities, but also coordinates resources to ensure that the critical path can be completed smoothly.

The duration of activities on the critical path must be precisely managed, as any delay in these activities would directly reflect on the overall project timeline.

It is essential for the project manager to use tools such as Gantt charts to visualise progress and quickly adapt plans in response to any changes.
This careful control allows them to minimise the impact of delays and keep the project on schedule, making the best use of available resources and ensuring that deadlines are met.

It is also important that the project manager maintains constant communication with all project stakeholders. This not only helps keep everyone informed of progress, but also facilitates the collection of feedback that can lead to significant improvements in project management. The ability to quickly adapt plans in response to feedback or sudden changes is an invaluable quality in this profession.

With careful planning, dynamic resource management and effective communication, the project manager ensures that the project not only achieves its objectives on time, but also adapts to changes in the environment, thus maximising the chances of overall success.

Using Twproject for the Critical Path Method

To keep track of the progress of your plan at all times, you should therefore:

1. Update data frequently.
2. Carefully monitor the phases on the critical path, but also those outside it.
3. Keep resource availability under control.

This is why, being able to rely on software that manages easily updatable Gantt diagrams is essential: you will be able to enter dependencies quickly, as visualised in the previous images, but also enter durations and have the end date calculated automatically. An interactive Gantt chart will also allow you to quickly re-plan late tasks by showing you the changes immediately.

If you rely on project management software such as Twproject, which includes, in addition to the interactive Gantt with the critical path analysis, several tools for monitoring resources, you can easily manage the workload, so that you have the flexibility to intervene promptly on any critical issues and finally have everything under control.

Twproject not only simplifies the scheduling and monitoring of activities but also transforms the way information is shared and managed within the team.
By centralising information, each team member can access real-time updates, enabling a coordinated and timely response to any changes or issues that may arise.

In addition, the ability to visualise overall progress and relationships between different activities through interactive Gantt charts helps prevent bottlenecks and optimise workflows. The automatic update functionality of end dates, based on changes in previous activities, is particularly useful in dynamic project environments where time and resources may change frequently.

Relying on these advanced tools allows project managers to spend less time on manual data management and more time on strategic analysis and effective team leadership, thus raising the quality of the entire project management.

Finally, the integration of advanced project management software such as Twproject is crucial to ensure efficiency, responsiveness and successful project completion.

Expense report: how to manage it in complex projects

Expense report management is one of companies’ most sensitive and tricky tasks, especially for large projects.

The expense report is a core document that accounts for costs incurred by an employee during a trip or as part of a specific project.

Managing it can be challenging due to the variety of expenses involved and the complexity of the reporting process.

Let’s take a look at how to manage the expense report in complex projects.

The perfect expense report

Expense report management is critical for many companies, and having a clear and comprehensive expense report is fundamental to ensuring accurate and timely reporting.

A “perfect” expense report should be transparent, detailed and comply with current regulations.

The current regulation on expense reports in Italy is Ministerial Decree 55/2014, which defines the requirements that expense reports must meet to be valid for tax filing purposes.

Here is what a perfect expense report should include:

Personal data

The basic information of the employee who sustained the expenses. They should be clear and accurate to avoid possible misunderstandings or errors. They include:

    • Full Name: Complete identification of the employee.
    • Company Name: The legal name of the business or body for which the employee works. It is fundamental to ensure that the expense report is associated with the proper organization, especially in large companies or groups having several companies.

Expense list

A comprehensive list of expenses is vital to understanding the nature and extent of costs incurred:

  • Detailed: Each expense should be described in detail, specifying, for example, whether it is a business dinner, a train ticket, or an overnight stay in a hotel.
  • Broken by category: Expenses should be split into categories, such as travel, food, accommodation, etc. This helps to understand the nature of expenses quickly and facilitates their approval and accounting.

Date and place

These details are key to putting expenses in context:

    • Period: Specifying the dates when the expenses were incurred helps to understand the context and verify their relevance.
    • Context: The place or event at which the expenses were sustained (e.g., a business conference in Milan or a client meeting in Rome) provides additional details about the nature of the expenses.

Reimbursement of expenses incurred

This section of the expense report should make it clear how and when the employee will be reimbursed:

  • Method of reimbursement: Whether by wire transfer, check or other means, it is key to specify how the employee will receive their reimbursement.
  • Refund times: Clearly state when the employee can expect to get reimbursed, for example, within 30 days of submitting the expense report.

Managing expense reports in complex projects

Managing expense reports in a complex project environment can be a significant challenge due to the variety of expenses and the reporting process’s complexity.

Some of the challenges and critical issues that can arise in managing expense reports in complex projects include:

Variety of expenses

In large projects, expenses can come from multiple sources and for different reasons:

    • Travel and transfers: Business travel, both domestic and international, may include expenses for transportation, accommodation, food, and other related expenses.
    • Procurement of goods and services: This may include software purchases, equipment, external consulting, and more.
    • Events and trainings: Attending or hosting events, seminars or training courses may incur significant costs.
    • Unexpected expenses: In any project, unexpected expenses may emerge during the course of the project and must be properly documented and justified.

Complexity of the reporting process

Reporting expenses in complex projects can be a tricky process:

    • Expense approval: Any expense might require approval from different hierarchical levels or departments, such as finance or management.
    • Verification and monitoring: Expenses must be reviewed to ensure they are legitimate, relevant to the project, and in compliance with company policies.
    • Reporting: All expenses must be documented appropriately, with receipts, invoices, and other evidence justifying the amount spent.
    • Reimbursement: Once approved, expenses must be reimbursed timely, per the procedures and timeframes established by the company.

Twproject: a one-stop solution for managing expense reports

nota spese

In an age where digitization and automation are revolutionizing how businesses work, expense report management is no exception.

Manual expense management, relying on spreadsheets and folders full of receipts, has become obsolete and ineffective, especially in large businesses or complex projects.

Twproject stands out as a state-of-the-art solution, offering many features that make it a precious ally for businesses.

Here is a detailed analysis of its key features:

  • Multi-currency management: In an international context, companies must often manage expenses in different currencies. Twproject can manage expense reports in various currencies, ensuring accurate and up-to-date conversions and making reporting and approving costs incurred in foreign currencies easier.
  • Recurring and one-time expenses: Every company has recurring payments, such as subscriptions, but also one-time costs, such as travel expenses. Twproject allows both types to be managed effectively, enabling clear categorization and detailed tracking.
  • Personal expenses: An employee may incur an expense that does not fall under the company’s reimbursable items. Twproject also offers the option to record these expenses, ensuring a clear distinction between reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses, thereby providing transparency and clarity in the reporting process.
  • Efficiency and accuracy: Managing expense reports with Twproject significantly reduces the time spent filling out, approving, and reimbursing expenses. It also minimizes the risk of human error, ensuring more accurate reporting.
  • Allocation to cost center: Whenever an expense report is inserted, it can be automatically associated with a specific cost center. This ensures that each expense is correctly recorded and allocated to the right project or department.
  • Accessibility and traceability: Expense information will become accessible in real-time from any device, allowing better tracking of expenses and greater transparency in the process.

Bottom line, Twproject is not just a project management tool but also a comprehensive solution for managing expense reports.

Its versatility and advanced features make it a great option for companies looking for an effective and reliable way to manage expenses.

Keep costs under control with Twproject

 

How to use the cost center to simplify large projects

The cost center is a valuable tool for simplifying the financial management of projects.

Accurate and detailed cost management is critical to ensure sustainability and growth in any company. Elements such as raw material, unit cost, and other economic factors are essential to the success of any business.

But how can all these elements be successfully managed?

The answer lies in the strategic use of cost centers, which provide comprehensive control over every financial aspect of your business.

Let’s examine how the cost center can help you simplify cost management for large projects.

What is a cost center?

A cost center is a department within a company that is in charge of certain costs.

Each single cost center is responsible for the costs involved in manufacturing products or providing services. It can be a production line, a department, or a subsidiary.

The cost center allows information to be collected regarding the costs of all project activities and components. This information can be used to:

  • Getting an overview of project costs
  • Identify cost areas where improvements can be made
  • Monitor cost trends over time

The various cost centers within a company can be associated with different products or services. Each product or service may have different related costs, which can be monitored and analyzed separately.

 

Why create a cost center map

Creating a cost center map is critical. The map helps to understand where costs occur and how they are distributed within the company.

Twproject is project management software that can streamline this process. It allows specific costs to be assigned to each cost center, providing in-depth insight into the allocation of costs within the company.

 

Notably, Twproject makes it possible to create a cost center map tailored to the company’s specific needs and defines cost centers based on the activities carried out by the company, products or services offered, or other criteria.

It also assigns costs to each cost center accurately and efficiently.

Information about costs provided by Twproject can be used for many different purposes, including:

  • Calculating the cost of products or services
  • Cost analysis
  • Cost management
  • Improving efficiency and productivity

 Project managers can easily monitor direct and indirect costs, production time, and other crucial aspects. Twproject allows assigning and tracking costs for each project, significantly simplifying cost management and analysis, providing greater efficiency and control.

It offers a clear, detailed, and up-to-date view of costs incurred, helping companies optimize resources and improve efficiency.

6 tips on how to simplify large projects with the cost center

Here is a guide on using the cost center to streamline large tasks while ensuring efficiency and financial control.

1. Get a cost management software

Begin by getting a cost management software such as Twproject. This tool centralizes and automates cost center management, allowing you to monitor costs in real-time, assign specific budgets, and generate detailed reports on a one-stop platform. This will save you time and reduce the risk of human error.

2. Clearly define your cost centers

A clear definition of each cost center within the project is key. This step eliminates confusion, makes communication with your team, and ensures that everyone is on the same page about the project’s cost structure.

3. Assign a specific budget

Assigning a specific budget to each cost center also prevents overshoots and ensures that each cost center has the financial resources it needs to operate efficiently.

This step is crucial for maintaining financial control of the project and preventing unexpected expenses.

cost management

4. Monitor costs regularly

Regularly monitoring actual costs compared to projected costs for each cost center allows you to spot any discrepancies quickly and make timely corrections. This practice ensures that the project remains within budget and time constraints.

5. Build your team

Make sure your team is properly trained on effective cost center management. An informed team is invaluable for cost control and effective project management.

6. Perform regular reviews

Don’t forget to regularly review your cost centers to ensure they stay aligned with project objectives. This allows you to make adjustments based on project needs, ensuring that cost centers are always optimized.

By implementing these steps, cost center management will become a more seamless and manageable process, thus contributing significantly to the success of your large project.

By streamlining internal project management via Twproject, we were able to implement a very strong and effective cost control on the resources directly involved in account-based projects.

Managing cost centers with Twproject

Recently, we released a new Twproject version with improved cost center management features.

Here’s an overview of its new features:

  • Cost center propagation

This feature allows you to change the cost center of a task or resource and automatically propagate the change to all subordinate subtasks or resources. This way, you will not have to update each item manually.

For example, if you change a project’s cost center, all project tasks and resources will automatically be updated with the new cost center. However, if a task or resource has a different cost center from the project, it will remain unaffected.

 

  • Choosing the type of cost center

Before, cost centers were used for both projects and resources. This new feature allows you to manage cost centers for projects and resources separately. This allows you to choose whether to use cost centers for projects, resources, or both and have a clearer and more organized view of your data.

 

  • Cost center legacy

This feature automatically allows project add-on costs to inherit the cost center from their phase. This way, you can skip manually editing the cost centers for each add-on cost.

For example, if an additional cost is related to a project phase, the cost center of that extra cost will automatically inherit the phase’s cost center.

In short, these new features allow you to:

  • Save time since you won’t have to update cost centers manually;
  • Improve accuracy, preventing potential errors;
  • Have a more transparent and structured overview of your data.

Ultimately, the cost center is a powerful tool for streamlining the financial management of large projects. Properly using the cost center can improve cost transparency and efficiency, reduce risk, and improve the odds of achieving project success.

Remember, sound cost control is the foundation of successful project implementation.

 

Keep costs under control with Twproject

 

Project Life Cycle: phases and characteristics

The Project Life Cycle consists of four main phases through which the Project Manager and his team try to achieve the objectives that the project itself sets.

The four phases that mark the life of the project are: conception / start, planning, execution / implementation and closure.

Each project therefore has a beginning, a central period, a completion and a final phase (successful or not). All phases that we will analyze in this article constitute the so-called Project Life Cycle.

Obviously, those mentioned are only the main phases of the project, which means the starting point for a further subdivision in sub-phases, activities and tasks, increasingly basic and detailed, necessary for the development and allocation of work among the resources.

For each phase or lifecycle activity, the project manager must have two clear things in mind:

  • The objectives of each project phase: based on company constraints ranging from quality to timing and costs;
  • Products (derivable): every activity must lead to results that can be tangible goods or a documentation or specific services, etc.

But now we specifically enter the four main phases of the project life cycle.

The initiation phase

During this first phase, the objective or “need” of the project is identified.

This can be, for example, the resolution of a business problem or the analysis and creation of a concrete opportunity.

An appropriate responce to the need can be documented in a business case with the recommended solution options.

A feasibility study is then conducted to verify if each option is in line with the objective and a final solution is determined.

The feasibility study asks questions about the feasibility of the project. Questions such as “can we do the project? Do we have the resources to do it?“.

Furthermore, a justification study phase of the project is also carried out, for example by answering the question “is the project necessary for this objective?“.

Once these analyzes have been carried out and the project is considered feasible and necessary, this is officially started and, in case it has not already been identified, a project manager is appointed.

The project team is then identified and involved, thus starting to take shape.

At this point we can then move on to the detailed planning phase.

If we use a good project management application, the initiation phase will be much easier and once fully operational, the software itself will answer the questions mentioned above, i.e. if we have the resources to do it, if it is functional to the objective and so on.

We plan ahead and monitor our progress, thus being able to identify the critical paths, anticipate project delays or interruptions before they happen and therefore improve workflow.

Twproject is a complete solution that offers all the tools the project manager needs in this phase. Using this platform you’ll have the possibility to create your project from the very beginning and add the different team members, specifying their roles.

The planning phase

In this phase we start from the objective of the project and move on to develop it in as much detail as possible, planning the steps necessary to reach the final solution.

The individual tasks of the project are then identified, as well as the requirements that the resources must have and the strategy to follow.

A project plan is created that illustrates the activities, tasks and timelines.

The project manager coordinates the preparation of a project budget by providing cost estimates for labor, equipment and materials, if needed.

The budget is used to monitor and control the expenses incurred during the entire project phase.

Once the Project Manager has identified the work, prepared the strategy and the performance and estimated costs, the basic components of the planning process are complete.

It comes then the right time to identify and address any factor that may pose a threat to the success of the project. This part is called risk management.

Potential problems are identified, as well as the action that must be taken to avoid them, solve them or at least reduce their impact.

This is also a good time to identify all stakeholders and establish a communication plan that sets out the information needed to keep all the parties involved in the project informed.

Finally, the project manager will draw up a quality plan that includes the quality objectives, the control measures, also listing the criteria to be met  obtain the acceptance of the client – customer that can be the company itself.

Arrived here, the project has been discussed and planned in detail, and is ready to run and move on to the next stage.

Twproject can also help you in this phase, in defining the activities through the drafting of the WBS and immediately following with the planning of the phases over time with an interactive Gantt editor:

Gantt chart

The execution phase

During the third phase, that of the implementation, the project plan is put into motion and the work is performed in concrete, following the steps structured in the planning phase.

It is important and fundamental to maintain control and communicate how – and when – necessary during this whole phase.

Progress is continuously monitored and appropriate  changes are made and documented as variations with respect to the original plan.

Whatever project  it is, a project manager usually spends most of the time at this stage.

During the execution of the project, people perform their tasks and progress information is exchanged through regular team meetings, so-called progress status meetings .

The project manager uses this information to maintain control over the project direction by comparing progress reports with the project plan, to measure the performance of activities and take corrective actions if necessary.

The main strategy should always be to bring the project back to its original course,that of the project plan drawn up in the previous phase. If this is not possible, the changes from the original plan must be recorded and the modified plan must be formalized.

During this step, project sponsors and all other stakeholders should be regularly informed about the progress of the work.

Each product result should be analyzed and accepted.

Once the results of the various steps have been produced and the client has accepted the final solution, the project is ready for closure.

Twproject helps you manage the execution phase, on two levels, for the project manager and for the team memebrs.

The project manager can constantly monitor the ongoing activities:

project overview

The team, on the other hand, will have a simple and extremely flexible ToDo management tool. ToDos can represent daily activities, tickets, bugs, ideas, organized in the form of a list or Kanban board.

The closing phase

During this closing phase, the emphasis is placed on:

  • the final results;
  • the delivery of project documentation;
  • the termination of supplier contracts;
  • the release of project resources;
  • the communication of the closure of the project to all the stakeholders.

The last remaining step is to conduct an analysis of what went well and what did not.

Through this type of analysis you gain experience and knowledge, are gained, factors that will help the project manager, and the team in general, for future projects.

Unfortunately, the closing phase is often underestimated and in many companies the project is delivered without further evaluation; it only matters if the project was a success or not.

In reality, it isn’t only important to conclude a project successfully, but also to be able to execute it in the way that was set in the original project plan.

There is no shortage of cases in which the objective has been achieved despite having experienced a phase of execution full of changes, delays and problems.

The closure phase also serves to analyze this, in order to avoid making the same mistakes in the future and not adequately assessing certain risks.

The four phases of this life cycle may vary according to the sector and the type of project, but in general they are valid in any area.

When a project manager follows Project Life Cycle taking into account all the factors of each individual phase, he will have already taken the first step towards success.

Tell us about your personal experience of success.

How can a software help you managing the life cycle?

As shown, good project management software can make a real difference in each of the 4 phases of the project life cycle, since it can:

  • help you draft the WBS;
  • guide you in planning and execution;
  • monitor and verify the phases  of a project with an interactive Gantt chart;
  • check the correct balancing of the load on the resources.

That’s why a tool like Twproject is fundamental in the outcome of a project, since it has all the suitable tools for following each phase of a project’s life cycle, providing the project manager with a complete and constantly updated view.

Try it now for free! And afterwards, don’t forget to share your impressions and experience in managing the phases of a project with us.

Get familiar with the phases of your project.

7 project management books to read on vacation

Are you looking for project management books to read on vacation?

You are in the right place!

Summer is a great time to relax, replenish your energy, and read.

If you are passionate about project management or wish to improve your skills in this domain, there is no better time to dive into inspiring books.

This article will introduce you to 7 project management books that will provide new perspectives, strategies, and valuable tips for successfully tackling your professional projects.

7 project management books to read on vacation

1. The Lean Startup

If you want to explore new approaches to managing projects and starting new entrepreneurial ventures, “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries is an excellent choice.

This international bestseller offers a revolutionary methodology for launching new businesses efficiently and with minimal waste of resources.

In his book, Ries explains the idea of “Lean Startup,” where the principles of Lean thinking and Agile methodology are applied in the business world.

Through successful examples and real stories, the author explains how to quickly validate business hypotheses, gather customer feedback, and iterate continuously to develop successful products or services.

“The Lean Startup” offers an alternative to the traditional approach of detailed planning and long-term development, instead promoting speed and adaptability. This book is precious for those entrepreneurs and project managers working in uncertain and volatile environments, providing tools and strategies to manage and mitigate risks.

This book will inspire you to think innovatively, experience, and learn quickly from the market. You will be able to adapt to ever-changing customer needs with Lean startup principles and develop successful business projects.

2.Project Management for Dummies

One of the most popular and valuable books for project management newbies is “Project Management for Dummies” by Stanley E. Portny.

This practical and user-friendly guide offers a comprehensive introduction to project management, explaining the basic principles and best practices in a simple and understandable way.

Through real-world examples and practical advice, the book will help you master essential project management skills such as planning, executing, and controlling projects.

detto fatto

3. Getting Things Done

One of the most common challenges in project management is effectively managing time and tasks. “Getting Things Done” by David Allen is a book that offers a proven system for organizing work and maximizing productivity.

The GTD (Getting Things Done) method is based on principles such as accurate information gathering, clear action definition, and priority planning.

This book will guide you through implementing the GTD system, helping you create an organized environment and effectively manage your personal and business-related activities.

By creating action lists, managing projects, and adopting productive habits, you can overcome daily challenges with greater efficiency and peace of mind.

It is also helpful for those wishing to develop more efficient work habits and reduce stress from poor time management.

4. Crucial Conversations

Difficult conversations are inevitable in a project management environment.

Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler is a must-have guide to dealing with critical discussions constructively and effectively.

By reading this book, you will gain access to practical tools that will help you effectively manage conflict, solve problems, and communicate clearly and empathetically.

Additionally, you will learn how to establish an open and conducive environment for dialogue and maintain a level head even in the most intricate of situations.

5. The Mythical Man-Month

The Mythical Man-Month” by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. is aproject management classic that addresses the challenges of coordinating and managing resources in complex projects.

This iconic book provides a deep understanding of the problems that occur in large projects and presents Brooks’ laws and the concept of “adding people to a late project.”

By reading this book, you will acquire a unique standpoint on managing complex projects and the dynamics that can affect them.

6. Fiabe della buona notte per Project Manager

If you want a more casual yet entertaining and thought-provoking read, “Fiabe della buona notte per Project Manager” by Luigi Russo is the perfect book.

In this original book, Russo uses the format of fairy tales to present typical project management situations and dynamics allegorically.

Each fairy tale offers a valuable lesson and clever humor to make reading more enjoyable. This book is an excellent choice for relaxing under the umbrella, chuckling, and, at the same time, contemplating the challenges of project management.

Remember that reading does not always have to be serious and challenging, and this book perfectly demonstrates how you can learn while having fun.

7. Project & Process Management

If you are looking for a comprehensive project and process management guide, you cannot miss “Project & Process Management” by Stefano Setti.

This book provides an integrated view of both disciplines, offering a broad overview of fundamental principles, methodologies, and tools for project and business process management.

Thanks to his extensive experience in this area, Setti provides practical approaches and best practices for planning, executing, and controlling projects and designing, optimizing, and monitoring business processes.

Through concrete examples and case studies, the book will guide you in understanding the interactions between projects and processes and provide tools to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of business activities.

Project & Process Management” is an in-depth yet user-friendly text aimed at professionals who wish to gain a holistic and integrated view of project and process management.

Whether you are a project manager or a process manager, this book will provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge to meet the corporate world’s challenges.

From the introduction to fundamental concepts to managing critical conversations and time management, these books will provide valuable knowledge to tackle your professional projects successfully.

Enjoy your reading!

Use Twproject to generate your status update reports.

Team performance domain: what’s new PMBoK 7

Team Performance Domain is one of the 8 Project Performance Domains introduced in PMBOK’s seventh edition.

These replaced the 10 Knowledge Areas featured in the previous Project Management Body of Knowledge edition.

This article will explore what this is all about and what this change implies for project management.

Project Performance Domain: what are they?

As mentioned above, the 10 Knowledge Areas of the former PMBOK have been replaced in the seventh edition by the 8 Project Performance Domains.

These are referred to as groups of interrelated activities critical to the effective implementation of a project.

As opposed to the knowledge areas of the sixth edition, performance domains are designed to span the entire life cycle of a project and focus less on rigid processes and more on the practices and behaviors that lead to desired outcomes.

The 8 project performance domains were developed to ensure project success and include:

  1. Stakeholder
  2. Team
  3. Development Approach & Life Cycle
  4. Planning
  5. Project Work
  6. Delivery
  7. Measurement
  8. Uncertainty

Therefore, they encompass all aspects of the project, from team management to planning, process control, and stakeholder management.

The most significant difference between  PMBOK’s sixth and seventh editions is that the focus has shifted from technical processes and tools to more general principles.

The seventh edition focuses more on the fundamental concepts of project management instead of focusing only on specific technical processes and tools.

This makes the guide more accessible and usable to a broader audience, including those without technical or specialized training.

Team Performance Domain: what is it about?

Now let’s take a look specifically at the Team Performance Domain, or team performance domain, a segment of the PMBOK.

team performance domain pmbok 7

In particular, three main aspects are covered within this domain:

1. Project team and how it works

2. Team Management

3. Leadership skills

The Team Performance Domain is about the support, organization, management, leadership, and culture of the individuals responsible for producing project results.

This entails defining the culture and environment that enable a diverse mix of individuals to evolve into a high-performance project team.

This includes identifying the activities necessary to promote the development of the project team and fostering leadership behaviors by all team members.

The project team generates value for the organization by producing project deliverables.

As we discussed earlier, performance domains are a new concept introduced by PMBOK 7 to replace knowledge areas.

Likewise, process groups have been replaced by project management principles.

The Team Performance Domain focuses on creating a high-performance team, effective team coaching, raising the level of operations, creating collaborative team spaces, and monitoring and measuring their performance.

Certain processes and actions are put in place to achieve the planned goals of this performance domain.

In PMBOK 7, it is assumed that if a team leader successfully executes all the activities of the performance domain according to the principles outlined here, the result will be a high-performing team.

Among some factors that contribute to an effective team are:

  • Open communication: an open environment fosters productive meetings, problem-solving, the birth of new ideas, etc.;
  • Shared understanding: what the project will create is clear to everyone
  • Shared ownership: the more invested team members feel in the project results, the more motivated they will be in their work;
  • Trust: employees who trust each other work together more effectively;
  • Collaboration: collaborative teams generate more innovative ideas;
  • Adaptability: a better-performing team can adapt to different environments and situations;
  • Resilience: in the event of a problem, the team can recover quickly and continue their work;
  • Empowerment: those who can make decisions independently without being micro-managed all the time achieve better results;
  • Recognition: recognizing a job well done motivates team members to keep performance high.

The project manager must keep a respectful, collaborative, and non-judgmental environment that allows the team to thrive and achieve maximum return on performance.

Expected results of the Performance Domain Team

Historically, responsibility for a project was always assigned to a single person, typically the project manager, who was in charge of the project’s success (or failure).

In contrast, the project team leader can delegate responsibility to team members and be held accountable for the work.

However, when we look at how some organizations have been structured in recent decades, sometimes, responsibility for a project, product, or service has been assigned to more than one person.

The PMBOK, in its chapter on the Team Performance Domain, refers to this as shared ownership.

This means there are contexts in which work results are assigned to more than one person or team.

This may be the case with a high-performance team that is stable, empowered, and self-organized.

Stable teams become a high-performance teams by progressing through four stages:

  • Training: team members work together and begin to get to know each other,
  • Assault: conflict and stress resolution,
  • Standards: at this stage, employees begin to understand their colleagues’ strengths and can support each other,
  • Exhibition: When the team reaches its peak performance.

The time for team growth in the performance stage may depend on different variables and cannot be predetermined.

However, when such a high-performing team is achieved, an organization can assign employees to a project and let them self-organize to decide their way of working.

They will be free to choose and evolve their processes and practices to implement within their project and set up operations based on the organization’s policy.

To put it another way, the organization can enable a high-performing team to be responsible for the work and own the organization’s results.

The self-organization of the high-performance team improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the work accomplished and the satisfaction of team members. They feel valued and involved in the project, thus increasing their sense of ownership and long-term involvement with the organization.

Twproject helps teams achieve the best possible results by providing them with the right tools to manage work in an agile and productive way.

Work together with your team effectively

New Twproject Release – All types of Gantt dependencies

After months of study and implementation we are really happy to announce that a new version of Twproject has been released and it includes, among other optimizations, a particular step forward on the use of the Gantt chart.

The Gantt developed by Twproject is undoubtedly one of the best on the current market in terms of flexibility and interaction with other pages in the application. It is also one of the few that allows you to do all sorts of tests on project duration and dependencies, thus proving to be a useful tool not only when sharing timelines but also in the process of studying them.

As always, the new release will be for the immediate benefit of all our customers, who can start using the new features right away!

Dependencies in the Gantt

According to definition, in the context of project management, “dependency” is defined as the relationship between two activities in a project or between an activity and a milestone (a precise point that defines the beginning or end of a relevant phase).

Dependencies thus allow one phase to be linked to the next in a way that indicates that they are consequential.

dependency

Introduction of new typologies

Until now in Twproject, the dependencies between project phases that the user could enter were of one type, the so-called classic Finish to start (FS). This means that activity A must finish before activity B starts, or in other words, activity B cannot start before A is finished.

But as we delved deeper into this topic and also through feedback from our clients, we realized that limiting the possible relationships that exist between the phases of a project to this classic type of dependency was reductive. In fact, there are additional relationships that can develop between the activities to be performed and that have been theorized in the principles of project management. Let us look at them in detail:

  • The Finish to finish (FF) relationship type implies that activity B cannot finish before A is also finished. For example, if activity B is the completion of writing a book and activity A is the writing of the last chapter, it becomes clear that A must necessarily finish for B to be considered finished as well.
  • Furthermore, there is the case that a certain activity cannot begin before another activity has in turn begun, and in this case the relationship will be Start to Start (SS). A classic example is the project management activity (B) of a project that cannot start before the project itself (A) begins.
  • Finally, a very specific case is the last type of relationship called Start to finish (SF), which is probably the most complex to understand and applies only in certain contexts. In this case activity A must start before B finishes, or in other words B cannot finish until A is started. Such a scenario may arise, for example, during shift change in a manufacturing plant whose machinery needs constant monitoring. The initial shift (A) cannot be said to have ended unless the next shift (B) has already started, on pain of putting the plant at risk.

We are therefore overjoyed to announce that in the new release of Twproject we have introduced the ability to assign all of the above types of dependencies to project phases.

After creating the dependency between two phases, you can possibly change the default value represented by the FS dependency and select another type of relationship.

modify dependency type

The application of the concept of “elasticity”

Another important paradigm shift, which makes us very proud of our work, is that we have made all the newly added dependencies “elastic.”

Indeed, if until now the assignment of a dependency established the linear succession of one activity after another, we know well that in the real world the downtimes.

That is why Twproject decided to allow the user to freely manage this elasticity.

So from now on when you enter a dependency it will be saved at first with the default FS hard type. But this classic “hard” dependency can be converted into “elastic” and with any type of relationship.

This means that two interdependent activities may also not be chronologically consequential and move apart, leaving any gaps between them, or overlap for a time, as long as the logic of chosen dependence is respected.

This is a big change in terms of sticking to the facts when carrying out a concrete project and reinforces the concept of delegation that is central in Twproject.

Imagine a project tree where a Project Manager (PM) is assigned for the whole project and then a specific one for each phase, one for the analysis(PMA), design(PMG) and production(PMD) phase, these phases are linked by an FS dependency.

The PM can define a total project duration and assign a specific duration to the phases, thanks to the elastic dependencies, he can, while maintaining the logic of the dependencies, create a lag between the phases and therefore leave to PMA, PMG and PMD great freedom of action (moving end and start data) without affecting the overall dates!

This was not possible before, since a postponement of an end date, for example of the analysis phase, would necessarily have led to a postponement of the consequent phases, phases over which PMA has no right.

Other news

But it doesn’t end there. With this release Twproject has made really a lot of improvements to the system, a full list of which you can find on the changelog page.

Here’s a sampling of them:

Revenues: a useful tool for turning an estimated value into actual revenue has been introduced to further facilitate the entry of these items.

Worklogs: filters by ToDo and by project have been added to the worklog analysis sheet, and in addition a column with the sum of total worklogs on a phase or project has been added on the timesheet.

Role security: we have made permissions on task management even more secure in relation to cost and form entry.

Agenda: various improvements have been made to the agenda, including the ability to view the duration of ToDo’s, and in addition, events entered in the agenda have been integrated into a dedicated row on the ToDo and resource planner.

So, don’t waste any time and go find out now how much these latest innovations from Twproject will benefit the efficiency of your work!

All clients using Twproject on the cloud will get the update automatically in the coming days, while those who have Twproject installed on their own servers can find the new installers here.

The new release is waiting for you

PMBoK 7 vs. PMBoK 6: Evolutions, Challenges, and Jokes for the Modern Project Manager

My fellow Project Managers, welcome to the mightiest match of this century: PMBoK 7 vs. PMBoK 6!

Jokes aside, the world of project management is constantly evolving, and as professionals in the field, it is paramount to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and methodologies.

In this article, we will explore the differences between PMBoK 6 and PMBoK 7, highlighting the evolutions and new challenges that Project Managers face given these changes.

Before we begin, here’s a joke: “The project manager is like a juggler who must keep time, cost, and quality in the air. But! All balls are made of rubber, except for the quality ball, which is made of glass!

Now that we’ve eased the mood let’s cut to the chase.

PMBoK 7 vs. PMBoK 6: introduction to the differences

1. Basic principles

PMBoK 6 is based on 10 knowledge areas and 49 processes, constituting a fairly prescriptive and linear approach to project management. This approach worked for many years but showed its limitations when applied to complex and adaptive projects.

PMBoK 7 introduces a more flexible and agile approach based on 12 core principles.

These principles, which apply to any type of project and industry, help project managers better adapt to the challenges and changes during project development.

2. Performance Domains

While PMBoK 6 focuses on knowledge areas, PMBoK 7 introduces the concept of Performance Domains, namely 8 performance areas that cover the different dimensions of a project. These domains are:

These Performance Domains cover critical aspects of project management, offering a more holistic and integrated view of the project management process. As a result, project managers can focus on value creation and adaptability rather than following a strict, prescriptive approach.

performance domain pmbok 7

3. Hybrid and agile approaches

PMBoK 6 introduced a few Agile concepts, but PMBoK 7 takes it further, stressing the importance of hybrid and Agile approaches in modern project management.

This reflects the growing need for flexibility and adaptability in organizations that manage increasingly complex and uncertain projects.

Project Manager Challenges in Consideration of PMBoK 7

1. Adapting to a more flexible and agile approach

One of the main challenges for project managers in the transition from PMBoK 6 to PMBoK 7 is adapting to a more flexible and agile approach to project management.

This requires shifting away from old habits and prescriptive ways of working to embrace new techniques and tools that promote adaptability and speed in response to change.

2. Managing stakeholder expectations

As Performance Domains are introduced, project managers must be able to communicate effectively with stakeholders and manage their expectations throughout the project life cycle.

This can be challenging, as different stakeholders may have other goals and priorities. It is, therefore, essential to establish open and constructive communication with all stakeholders to ensure project success.

3. Focusing on value creation

PMBoK 7 emphasizes value creation more than PMBoK 6. Project managers must focus on the project’s value to the business, stakeholders, and customers rather than merely completing tasks according to a set plan.

This requires a results-oriented mindset and continuous watch for opportunities to improve and optimize resources.

4. Managing uncertainty and risk

PMBoK 7 acknowledges the importance of managing uncertainty and risk in projects. Project managers must be prepared to address unexpected challenges and adapt their plans accordingly.

This requires a proactive approach to risk management, early identification of threats and opportunities, and the skill to make quick and informed decisions to mitigate negative impacts.

5. Developing personal skills and leadership

Shifting to PMBoK 7 also requires the development of  project managers’ personal and leadership skills. Besides technical skills, professionals must hone their communication, negotiation, time management, and conflict resolution skills.

Also, they must be able to motivate and lead project teams toward achieving goals by leveraging team members’ diverse skills and strengths.

B-PMBoK-7-vs-PMBoK-6-

5 practical tips for tackling new challenges in Project Management

Now that we’ve outlined some of the major challenges facing project managers as they transition from PMBoK 6 to PMBoK 7, here are some practical tips to help you overcome them:

1. Regular training

Keeping your skills up-to-date is critical to facing new challenges in project management.

Attend training, seminars, and workshops, and strive to learn from peers and industry leaders. Also, it is important to keep abreast of the latest trends, tools, and best practices through blogs, podcasts, books, and articles.

2. Networking and collaboration

Nurture your professional networks by attending industry events, conferences, and online forums.

Sharing experiences and knowledge with other project managers can be precious and will help you better understand how to apply PMBoK 7 in your day-to-day work.

3. Adopting an experimental approach

Feel free to test new methods and techniques in your work. Adopting PMBoK 7 requires a degree of openness to change and experimentation.

Bear in mind not all solutions work for every project or scenario. Be ready to test different strategies and adapt them to your project’s needs.

4. Reflecting and learning from experience

Learning from past experiences and using these lessons to improve your project management skills and processes is crucial. Take some time to reflect on your experiences and what you learned during your transition from PMBoK 6 to PMBoK 7.

Examine what worked and could be improved, and use this information to guide your future decisions.

5. Balancing strictness and flexibility

Lastly, finding the right balance between sticking to PMBoK 7 principles and practices and being flexible enough to manage complex and dynamic projects is essential.

Keep sight of your primary goal: to create value for stakeholders and the organization through effective and adaptable project management.

The transition from PMBoK 6 to PMBoK 7 brings a significant challenge for project managers, but it also brings an opportunity to improve and innovate in how we manage projects.

By adopting a more flexible, agile, and value-driven approach, project management professionals can successfully meet the challenges of our ever-changing world.

Bear in mind, however, that a good project manager is always open to some ironic joke: “ If project management were a game, it would be the game of musical chairs–where everyone tries to find their place before the music stops!

Now that you know the differences between PMBoK 6 and PMBoK 7 and are aware of the challenges ahead, you are ready to conquer the world of project management and guide your projects to success.

Godspeed, and may the power of PMBoK be with you!

Keep up with the times.

7 tips to boost work productivity

Boosting your team’s work productivity is no impossible feat, but it does require practice and some good tactics.

The productivity of the working group in project management depends on the organization of work and on the use of techniques and tools for managing activities and time.

So, in this article we will take a look at 7 simple strategies to boost work productivity.

7 tips to increase work productivity

1. Focus on one activity at a time

When we focus on more than one task at a time, we tend to waste precious time as we switch from one task to another.

This can lead to some of the tasks needing to be completed or accomplished with inferior quality.

Many people think multitasking is the best technique, yet while this may seem productive, it rarely delivers the best results.

By focusing on one task at a time, their will complete it with a higher standard and quicker, allowing you to proceed to your next task effortlessly.

2. Take regular breaks

It may sound weird to suggest taking breaks regarding work productivity, but regular breaks help reduce stress and boost productivity.

Taking a break may seem like a waste of time, especially in the event of a close deadline.

However, neglecting to treat yourself to a few minutes of relaxation, can affect your overall productivity by inducing fatigue or exhaustion, thus hurting progress.

It is good to plan short breaks, 15 minutes every two hours, during the workday.

This will allow you to replenish your stamina, clear your mind and prepare for your next task.

3. Focus on the most important tasks first

You can stay more focused by focusing on the most challenging and time-consuming tasks before anything else.

It can be tempting to shy away from difficult or time-consuming tasks and focus on easy wins.

However, completing the most challenging projects early on can increase your motivation and focus for the rest of the day.

So learn to prioritize these most important tasks early in your workday or generally when you are most alert and active.

Some of us may work best in the morning, while others peak after lunch.

Knowing when you are most productive and then planning your daily schedule to make the most of these peak times is a great way to increase productivity.

4. Set small goals

Large tasks or projects can be somewhat daunting, and we often overestimate how long it will take to accomplish them.

A powerful tip is to split tasks into manageable, bite-sized milestones that pile up until project completion.

For example, emptying your inbox by answering e-mails during the day or filing required documents are small daily goals that every team member can set and achieve during the workweek.

Similarly, you can use these short goals as milestones to measure your progress toward a larger goal.

aumentare produttività

5. Delegate some tasks

Delegating does not involve offloading work you don’t want to do, but rather it is about ensuring that everyone is working on the tasks that best match their skills and availability.  

As project manager, consider using delegation methods to split tasks among your team members.

Delegating some tasks can also allow you to focus on other duties that might be specifically assigned to you.

For example, if you have e-mails that you need to get back to, but a colleague can provide the same attention to detail, consider delegating the task to them. At the same time, you focus on relevant assignments that no one else can or is authorized to undertake.

A common mistake that undermines productivity is that we often take on work beyond our assignment or that others can do much more quickly.

6. Boost work productivity: use the tomato technique

Being more productive at work can depend on time management, and the “tomato technique” is a strategy you may find helpful in managing your time more efficiently.

Similar to scheduling breaks, the tomato technique involves using a timer, where you spend 25 minutes on a task.

During this time you focus only on the activity until the timer stops.

Then there is a five-minute break before starting with the new 25-minute block.

This strategy can be effective because it helps improve concentration by providing more time for focused, uninterrupted work with the promise of being able to take a break as soon as the timer sounds.

7. No meetings

Most meetings are known as big-time wasters, yet the habit of continuing to arrange them without asking questions still prevails.

Before organizing or confirming attendance at an upcoming meeting, ask yourself whether you can achieve the same goals through other channels, such as e-mail, phone call, etc.

And if you must hold or attend a meeting at all costs, there is evidence that stand-up meetings can lead to increased group enthusiasm, decreased territoriality, and better performance.

Another suggestion based on a study conducted by the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is to have three days a week completely meeting-free.

Work productivity in these cases increased by 73 percent, worker satisfaction increased by 65 percent, and employee stress levels decreased by 57 percent.

Meetings are undoubtedly crucial for setting goals and gauging the organization’s performance.

However, daily meetings cause apathy, especially when scheduled unannounced, without preparation, and about trivial matters.

Finally, allow yourself and your team to apply these tips and use project management tools like Twproject to boost team work productivity and maximize professional and personal goals.

Increases work productivity.

 

Management and reporting of European and NRRP projects with TWPROJECT

Managing and reporting on European projects involves more specific and in-depth work than “traditional” company-level projects.

This kind of work touches both public entities and private organizations. It offers an opportunity to access funding credits and grants to overcome economic crises or to support innovations that could not be pushed forward through ordinary funding.

This article will cover how European projects are structured and how best to manage them.

European projects and NRRP: what are these?

European projects generally are a method of helping to achieve European Union goals.

This means the European Commission distributes allocated funds to help beneficiary projects, activities, and infrastructure that boost economic growth, equality and/or social welfare.

In particular, the NRRPNational Recovery and Resilience Plan – is an official document that one submits to the European Union to qualify for aid from the Next Generation EU (NGEU), a fund established by the European Union to stimulate economic recovery following the Coronavirus pandemic.

When managing and reporting a European project, it is imperative to know exactly what the European Commission will review.

Each applicant must complete a Financial Statement form, where:

  • Costs must not include profit for beneficiaries;
  • Costs must relate to a specific cost item;
  • Costs must be sustained during the project period;
  • Costs must follow national guidelines on taxation and social security.

This official document must be accurate down to the smallest detail, as it will serve as the basis for calculating what grants will be received once the Commission performs its formal checks.

gestione progetti europei pnrr

Twproject: the tool for managing and reporting on European and NRRP projects

Considering the degree of accuracy required for the reporting and management phase of European and NRP projects, it becomes imperative to choose the best tool.

TWProject is a software di project management that is a solid companion for managing complex projects.

The tool is flexible and offers multiple features to meet various needs.

Most notably, it allows you to easily view work, milestones, dependencies, and progress while preventing bottlenecks.

There is a notification system and a statistics page to keep abreast of everything that is happening during your project.

When it comes to European projects,  document management is a crucial aspect.

TwProject allows you to bring everything you need in one place.

Images, files, reports, text files, etc. – any type of document can be attached to a project and easily retrieved.

And if your documentation is already stored in a safe place, you can connect it with Twproject via a simple link.

From a  cost management standpoint, this project management software also strives to offer the very best.

Cost management

As we saw earlier, the Financial Statement is the document on which the calculation for contributions will be based. Hence, costs must be tracked and reported appropriately from the very beginning.

Thanks to Twproject’s charts and reports, you can easily track your actual costs and the expense entry to which they relate.

Also, many filters will allow you to extrapolate project costs based on different criteria.

And again, if several people are working on a project, costs can be accessed and modified only by those who are allowed to.

We were able to engineer a standardized process and model it within Twproject, thus having a streamlined, quick, efficient and effective process for carrying out the necessary reporting

Managing and reporting on European projects: a specialist’s task

There is growing competition in applying for EU funding.

Therefore, those in charge of European project management and NRRP must be specialists who regularly refresh their skills.

Most people might think reporting on European projects is a strict, cold task.

The truth is, drafting reports to be submitted to the European Commission needs a human touch capable of presenting ideas and potential developments relevant to the EU.

However, this is only possible if the professional is supported by a solid project management tool, such as Twproject.

This will allow for keeping the documentation and data up-to-date and error-free, greatly simplifying the work.

The best task management and to-do list software of 2023

If you are looking for an optimal solution to manage your team’s tasks and to-do lists, in this short article we will help you find the right software for you, with an updated overview for 2023.

Compared to other long lists that you will find online, ours will be short and effective, because we have selected and tested for you the 6 best products on the market, and we will examine them in their free and paid versions.

1. Twproject

Twproject

If you are looking for a flexible software solution that can meet the needs of workgroups of any size, from small businesses to larger companies, you can give Twproject a chance.

Twproject is an optimal tool because despite its simplicity it offers all useful tools for project management in every key aspects, from to-do lists, to task assignments, to worklogs, up to budget and workload management. Its strenght lies in the possibilty to combine a waterfall management, highly structured and useful for the project manager to keep the entire production cycle under control, with an agile system that responds to the needs of the individual workers to manage their daily assignments through simple tools. In a recent article we talked about the difference between waterfall vs agile management.

In the setting phase of Twproject, the project manager can create a general WBS and an interactive Gantt, which will allow to keep deadlines and budgets under control over time. Then, the manager can start assigning tasks and managing daily work through to-do lists, kanban boards, weekly planners. Every need, whether of the project manager or of the employee, is covered in Twproject.

In short, the main features of Twproject are:

  • Waterfall/agile management
  • Gantt chart
  • Kanban board
  • To-do list
  • File sharing
  • Worklog and attendance sheets
  • Budget and resource management
  • Workload management

Pricing: from 4.89 € per user/month.

Pros: Twproject is a complete tool for all the different working roles, allowing you to differentiate positions in the organization and offering better time and cost management than many other products on the market. In Twproject, the project manager always has a constantly updated overall view of the project.

Cons: We haven’t found any.

Twproject is the right answer to those looking for a complete but simple tool, an exhaustive but highly flexible system.

2. Wrike

Wrike

Wrike is also a very popular task management software and is well suited to the needs of both small workgroups and larger enterprises.

It has an integrated work time tracking system, but it is a bit lacking in the possibility of adding free annotations because it does not have tools for notes or concept maps.

Wrike’s main features are:

  • File sharing
  • Monitoring progress on tasks
  • Workflow statuses
  • Milestones

Pricing: Free to $24.80 per user/month.

Pros: unlimited projects; customization according to the different needs of the type of team.

Cons: Gantt chart and tracking timer only available in paid plans; lack of annotation tools.

Whether you’re part of a small team or managing a large company, Wrike can do it for you. However, if you’re a creative thinker, you might feel a little limited.

3. Monday.com

Monday

Monday.com is currently a highly advertised product that offers task management functions in a simple and intuitive manner. It features several task management features that will let you create assignments with ease.

However, as is to be expected for such a sponsorized tool, its cost is not exactly among the cheapest.

Monday.com’s main features are:

  • Calendar view
  • Time tracking
  • Automations
  • Unlimited tabs

Pricing: $8/user per month to $16 per user/month.

Pros: integrated messaging system especially suitable for teams working remotely; user interface that allows you to view more information in one place.

Cons: somewhat disorganized and dispersive navigation; lack of some functions, especially the dashboard, in the mobile version.

Currently one of the leading players on the market for task and to-do-list management, with tools that foster team collaboration. However we hope that over time it will improve in flexibility.

4. ProofHub

Proofhub

ProofHub is powerful, all-in-one project management and team collaboration software that has amazing task management capabilities to help you get more done. From setting priorities with custom to-do lists to assigning tasks and deadlines with ease, ProofHub ensures that everyone is on the same page.

You can also collaborate on documents, files, and presentations, and communicate with team members using chat, comments, and discussions. ProofHub is easy to use and its flat pricing plan makes it a great option for businesses of all sizes.

Key features:

  • Multiple task views – Table, Board, Gantt, Calendar
  • Built-in chat
  • Custom field reporting
  • Time tracking
  • Comments and @mentions for effective collaboration
  • Customized workflows
  • Online proofing

Pricing: Flat pricing at $45 per month (billed annually) for unlimited users.

Pros: simple learning curve, suitable for teams of any size, a centralized hub for organizing and storing data for small or medium sized groups.

Cons: notifications are sometimes overwhelming

An all-in-one project management and team collaboration software, ProofHub caters to the scalable need of teams of any size. This makes the tool suitable for a number of different industries and workflows.

5. Basecamp

Basecamp

Basecamp is also a particularly useful application for remote teams. Its operation is simple: enter a project and divide it into tasks to be completed, then save the latter in the form of a to-do list. Then you can assign tasks, define due dates, add notes and attachments.

However, Basecamp lacks some rather basic project management features: first of all, the ability to prioritize tasks and track time; furthermore, this platform does not offer tools such as Kanban boards and Gantt charts. If your team can do without these tools, Basecamp is a good solution for a medium-sized company.

What Basecamp offers:

  • Real-time messaging
  • Simplified task management
  • Self check-in
  • Project Progress Tracking (Hillcharts)

Pricing: Free to $299 per unlimited users/month

Pros: good price/quality ratio; placing all tools, communications and documents related to a project in a single place, which facilitates collaboration in the group.

Cons: lack of some basic features; somewhat limited storage space if collaborating on multiple projects and if team members upload several files.

A simple interface with essential information concentrated in a single view, particularly effective if your team works remotely and with independent timing.

6. Trello

Trello

Trello stands out for having Kanban cards as its main focus: therefore, its main interface looks like a large bulletin board with different cards on which users act as if they were noting information on post-its.

In order for Trello to be efficient for projects with higher complexity, it is necessary to purchase a paid license. In that case you will be able to unlock some additional features like Gantt charts and others. Therefore, our doubt is whether the effort is worth it, since there are other software that offer the same features at lower prices.

Trello’s main features are:

  • Organizing in “boards”, “lists” and “cards”
  • Checklists
  • Files attachments
  • Unlimited integrations (premium version)
  • Public/private boards (premium version)
  • Increased customer support (premium version)

Price: Free to $17.50 per user/month.

Pros: instant notification system; ease in viewing deadlines; good navigation and visibility also in the mobile version.

Cons: no offline work; file upload limitations; not suitable for projects with multiple work teams.

Trello is a very visual and highly adaptable solution that is useful when working remotely. However, it is not efficient when working on large projects or if you intend to make long-term plans.

Conclusion: how to choose the right task and to-do list mamagement software for you

1. Define your team’s main needs

In a previous article we addressed the reasons that should lead you to opt for a project management software, instead of relying on individual initiatives, which are still too often limited to paper notes or at most shared Excel sheets.

In our experience, many employees complain of not having the right technology and tools to optimize their work. In fact, it is not always possible to keep track of every project activity, meet deadlines, monitor progress and manage your team without an adequate tool.

But how to understand what to use? We recently talked about the ten aspects to keep in mind when choosing a good project management tool. In short, you should focus on the key aspects of task management and understand which ones are critical to your team. Consider these ten points and prioritize them:

  • Workflow: project’s phases
  • Gantt charts
  • To-Do lists
  • Time tracking and resource management
  • Internal collaboration
  • Budget management
  • Customization
  • Integrations
  • Remote and/or mobile use
  • Language and assistance

Finally, remember that the ultimate goal of good task management is not to leave anyone behind. With careful management of activities you will be able to strengthen the sense of belonging to the group and not waste resources, being these economic resources but also and above all human ones.

2. Take a free trial

As you have seen, it is clear that by now the choice of software solutions in the world of task management is vast. Therefore, after you have opted for one or more solutions, our advice is always to do a free trial. The reasons are in our opinion the following:

  • Don’t spend your money right away buying the first project management software that comes into your mind; many of them offer a free trial period. Of course, be careful to use this service well and watch out for the trial period to expire! Choose who gives greater guarantees also in this sense.
  • Very often, together with the free trial, you will be able to access customer support and therefore explore all the features, understand their use and compare your needs with the experience of those who know the system well, also taking advantage of any customizations. Also remember: if the platform you choose doesn’t have the features you want, it doesn’t mean they won’t be there in the future: the best software companies are constantly testing and regularly releasing new versions of the product.
  • Would you like to give a chance to our first on the list? Twproject offers you a free 15-day trial and in our opinion it is a very useful solution for managing projects of teams of all sizes, perfect if you need to rely on a single platform wich is easy to use but also accurate and elaborate.

These are for us the best task management and to-do list software of 2023.

Let us know about your experience and what your final choice will be!

Twproject 7.1.000

Communication is an essential requirement within a team; that’s why in Twproject you can find many different features having this goal.

Today we added an brand new one: the mentions!

Twproject 7.1.000 includes also several security fixes and improvements.

Mentions

Nowadays, using constantly messaging applications, we got used to mentions, an efficient way to refer directly to one or more people within a larger group.
Their purpose in Twproject is therefore to simplify the interactions and dialogue between the members of a work group, improving communication and alerting people when something requires their attention.

But how do they work and where?


People can be mentioned:

  • in chat messaging
  • in project/phase updates
  • in ToDos comments
  • in worklog action (text)
mentions in the chat

If you aim to mention someone in any of these contexts, insert the @ character and start typing the name of the person. Select him with the mouse from the list and repeat this step for all the people you want to quote.
Obviously, the more you type the more refined the search result will be.
Save or send the message and that’s it.

The person mentioned will receive one or more notifications, according to the channels he has enabled in his user options tab (email, digest, sticky note or application log).

mentions options

The new widget “My mentions” is another way to receive notifications. It displays any quotes you receive in real time.
It can be placed in any dashboard.

But what if an user does not activate any notification channels and does not insert the widget?

No problem at all!
Once mentioned, a counter appears in the recipient’s menu and it disappears only once the user has read the message.

Finally, it is worth highlighting three aspects:

  • in chat messages only people who are part of the chat itself can be mentioned. On the other hand, in other interfaces, it is possible to mention all the persons you have permission to see, therefore a wider set
  • if a text containing a mention is modified or deleted, the person previously quoted will not be notified.
  • if someone is quoted in a context he can not read (for example a project he’s not assigned to), he will see only the text within which he was mentioned.

Mentions are active in all Twproject plans!

Security fixes

Within this realease, Twproject has been deeply tested to align it with the directives promulgated by the foundation “Open Web Application Security Project” (https://owasp.org). Its goal is to create guidelines, tools and methodologies to improve the security of software applications.

This makes the adoption of Twproject accompliant to Public Administrations prerequisites.

https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/star/registry/twproject-srl/services/twproject/

And many other new implementations

Dropdown menus: they have been redesigned so as to make easier and more immediate the identification of what is sought among people and tasks.
The search for people returns a list to which have been added personal avatar and company/department.

The search for projects/phases shows the status of the task, its code and ancestors tree.

ToDos: it is now possible to assign a todo to a department so that it can be seen and performed by any of its members.

Hints: new contextual tips and videos have been added.

Task public page: todos list has been splitted into as many tabs as todo types.
Thus reading is much easier!

But all this stuff is just a short excerpt of what you can find in Twproject 7.1.000!


For the complete list of all the features, please consult the changelog!

Download the new release

How important time management is for better productivity

Good time management skills can help in every area of people’s lives.

Especially when it comes to working, time management is vital to help better prioritize and improve productivity.

Managing time effectively helps you work smarter, do more in less time, and exploit more opportunities.

This article explores how important time management is for better productivity.

What is time management?

Time management refers to organizing and managing your hours of the day.

Effective time management is all about taking control of your time and energy while achieving better results without excessive stress.

When working by better organizing your time, you can achieve better results faster and with less effort.

Critical time management skills include prioritization, goal setting, and delegation.

Benefits of time management

Good time management comes with several benefits to increasing productivity. Here are the most important ones:

1.     Less stress

Managing time effectively cuts stress levels and anxiety by helping one become more focused and confident.

Good time management involves meeting tight deadlines by planning work as best as possible without feeling overwhelmed.

2. Better work-life balance

One of the most fantastic perks of time management is a better work-life balance.

Those who successfully achieve a good balance will be more productive at work and have more time to spend on personal relationships.

This is because good time management ensures that efforts focus on the biggest priorities.
the importance of time management

3.     Improved concentration

Effective time management boosts concentration and, by extension, improves productivity.

Increased concentration allows you to find more opportunities and spend more time on what matters.

4.     Less procrastination

Procrastination happens when you do not manage your time effectively.

It is easy to get distracted when you are not focused and do not have your goals clearly in mind.

Good time management skills ensure having control over your workload and, therefore, help stop procrastination.

5.     Increased energy levels

Having effective time management skills increases energy and motivation levels.

Good time managers schedule their activities and take regular breaks during the day so they do not feel overwhelmed, and their concentration levels remain high.

6.     Improved work quality

Having good time management skills helps avoid working extended overtime to meet a deadline.

Poor rest and insufficient or low-quality sleep can interfere not only in your work domain but also your daily life.

Time management, therefore, allows you to manage activities better while spending the right amount of time for rest.

Thus, completed work will be of higher quality than a rushed accomplishment.

7.     More opportunities

One of the hidden dangers of poor time management is that it kills your opportunities to expand your horizons and try new things.

If you spend your life rushing from one task to another, you will never get to explore different opportunities.

With good time management skills, you will be able to have more free time that can be spent discovering new ideas.

8.     Better work image

Rather than going with the flow, by having good time management skills, you can control your life and take the lead at work.

With enough quality rest and sleep, you will be better positioned to make thoughtful and meaningful decisions at the office.

Other people will notice, and this will increase career and promotion opportunities.

7 tips for successful time management

Anyone can learn time management and become proficient in organizing their tasks effectively.

Here are some tips:

1.     Use project management software

Smart time management is a must for project managers and teams dealing with multiple tasks simultaneously.

Lacking good software di project management that allows time tracking puts everyone at a significant disadvantage.

On the other hand, using a tool like TWproject, makes it possible to keep abreast of the schedule and deliver work within set deadlines without sacrificing quality. You might also be interested in this article, where we compared what we consider the best Project Management software.

2.     Plan

Planning plays a big role in time management since both go hand in hand.

You can, in fact, make the most of your time only when it is well-planned.

When it comes to planning, you do not need to follow a strict routine; instead, it means making smarter decisions to know the right time to accomplish specific activities.

 3.     Prioritize

Prioritizing daily activities is key to successful time management.

Focusing on your priorities is important to achieve your goals at work.

Categorization will help focus on what needs to get done before everything else.

4.     Avoid multitasking

Multitasking is one of the most time-consuming activities ever.

The best way to make use of time is to choose one thing and accomplish it before moving on to the next according to your priorities.

This way, you can focus more, reduce distractions, and make fewer mistakes.

5.     Avoid distractions

In our daily lives, distractions cost us many precious hours in a day.

Mobile phones, chatty coworkers, and social media are some ordinary time wasters at work.

To avoid allowing these distractions to become dominant, it is best to cut them out completely.

To do so, it is best to determine which disruptive factors are blocking productivity and set a fixed time of day allocated to them.

6.     Plan breaks

Regular breaks while working is an efficient way to remain productive throughout the day.

However, you can make the opposite mistake by taking too many breaks.

That is why it is important to schedule them during your workday: a short walk, listening to music, stretching, etc. all of these activities allow you to relax and return to work with more energy.

7.     Find the most productive hours

Several studies show that our day is driven by cycles that affect how alert and motivated we are, which vary from person to person.

For example, someone might be at their peak early in the morning, while a colleague might be more focused during the afternoon.

So the trick for good time management is to match the highest priority work to the highest productivity hours.

It is easy to see that starting to improve time management skills can establish a positive cycle.

By optimizing task organization, work quality will increase, opportunities will become more evident, free time will increase, and people will generally feel more energized and happier.

Effective time management reduces overload and helps you prioritize, ensuring that you work smarter and achieve goals faster.

Plan your workand better manage your time.

Make or buy? How important the Project Manager is in decision making

“Make or buy” is one of the strategic choices that project managers face in project management.

As you can imagine, this is not an easy choice. Many factors influence this decision, and it is a critical choice. It is crucial because it determines the sourcing of what’s needed to achieve your goals, affecting planning and the cost of the whole project.

There are pros and cons to doing both, but how do you decide which is the right decision to make? Let’s take a look at it in this article.

Make or buy: 6 factors of decision making

Let’s start from the beginning. When should a make-or-buy decision be made? These are decisions that need to be made when a company is looking for a new product line, is running out of suppliers, or is decreasing production capacity.

In these cases, a make-or-buy analysis will be conducted to determine if in-house production or buying the product from third parties will help the company achieve its goal.

Manufacturing companies face this kind of dilemma quite often. The same, however, also applies to other types of businesses, such as those that manage technologies such as software and customer service.

decide if make or buy

Here are the 6 elements that come into play in the decision:

1. Existing skills

What are the skills available within your team? Are these the right ones to produce the item in-house?

The first step is to consider what kind of knowledge you possess in-house and whether that knowledge is sufficient to produce the sought-after item.

For example, a business might have experienced software developers, but none of them might have the right set of skills to build a new system module.

In this case, relying on a third-party supplier would become imperative.

2. Potential skills

What if the skills are not available within the team? How much would it cost to acquire them? And how long would it take?

And again, would these new skills would they align with the company’s business line?

If the answer is yes, you can move on to make further assessments:

  • what training courses are available?
  • how much do they cost?
  • these courses would actually give employees everything they need to develop the required item?

3. Revision time

How long would it take to deliver this work in-house? Do you have enough time to do it? In this case, software that allows you to measure work time could come in handy.

Should you proceed, what activities would team members be forced to reschedule if they took on this task?

This last question is a crucial one to ask. Unfortunately, it is often completely forgotten. You might be interested in this article about Team workloads.

You may indeed have the right mix of skills and experience to take on the delivery of this work, but that means those resources will not be working on something else.

Therefore, it becomes critical to weigh how important this “something else” is concerning the project.

It is worth taking the time to answer this question and getting any stakeholders involved if necessary.

Once the analysis is done, you can compare it with the timelines proposed by your suppliers.

4. Cost evaluation

This point is straightforward: you must compare the cost of work carried out internally with the cost of work done externally.

This should not be a superficial estimate. External suppliers might be more expensive if taxes and sourcing fees are included that do not figure in the case of using in-house resources.

However, situations may vary widely from project to project and industry to industry.

5. Quality comparison

The fifth step is to compare the quality of what could be produced in-house with the supplier’s samples.

An outside field expert could ensure a higher quality product, but this is not always the case.

6. Emotional reasons

This reason tends to be overlooked when analyzing make-or-buy decisions.

A business may decide to make a product or offer a service based on emotional responses such as pride or contempt instead of following logical reasoning.

Emotionality in making such a choice could be lethal.

Make or buy analysis: project manager’s role

Make or buy analysis is one of those evaluations done by project managers, possibly with the support of other relevant parties.

This type of analysis is performed at two levels: strategic and operational.

Make or buy: strategic and operational levels

The strategic perspective is more long-term and more extensive than the operational perspective.

Factors such as competition, government regulations, key expertise, and the current market scenario impact strategic make-or-buy decisions.

At the operational level, factors may come in the form of lower costs, better quality, unreliable suppliers, or even pride.

Sometimes a product may be challenging to produce or may require a lot of expertise to be created.

Such products are not likely to have many suppliers, and it might be advisable to produce them in-house in such a scenario.

Sometimes, there may be a special order, and an item may only be needed in small quantities.

Instead of manufacturing the product, it is best to buy it in these situations.

A make-or-buy analysis allows you to reduce costs and increase capital investment. This is true regardless of whether you decide to manufacture in-house or outsource to an external supplier.

It can also serve as a source of competitive advantage. An organization can increase its value to customers and shareholders through its core services and expertise.

As a final point, the make-or-buy decision should be made with caution. A make-or-buy decision should be made considering the organization’s core competencies, short-term benefits, and long-term strategic planning.

Both solutions come with pros and cons. However, generally, companies tend to outsource functions where they lack core competency or when the cost of sourcing components from external suppliers is significantly lower.

New targets, a new way of working.

Time reporting: clarity and straightforwardness thanks to a software

Time reporting is a critical component of project management.

Time tracking provides a way to track the hours spent on individual activities and the overall project.

The best way to keep track of time is through project management software.

Let’s see how it works in this article.

Why use time reporting software?

As we saw earlier, time tracking provides a way to keep track of hours spent on each separate task and the overall project.

This visibility helps measure the accuracy of work estimates and employee effectiveness.

Time reporting as part of project management software should allow team members to add time items to activities easily.

Once time has been recorded, the software should allow time reports to be accessed and printed.

These features will help keep track of team members’ workload and report accurate information to stakeholders.

The software makes it remarkably easy to manage time without adding extra work, and not only that… did you know, for example, that you can not only track who uses the software but also incentivize them with Gadgets to use it?

time reporting

How does software time reporting work?

It may sound bizarre, but many of the questions we get from you are about aspects that we take for granted, such as, “to keep track of time, do I have to do everything manually?” or “How do I quickly tell if my project is on schedule?” (Those who have asked this question might also be interested in this article about how to calculate project progress).

We apologize if we took these answers for granted so many times. Here we will try to explain some of the steps more simply.

1. Addition of time entries

Ideally, project management software provides a way of choosing whether to create time entries manually or use an automatic tracker.

Each option has pros and cons, so the best solution depends on your task or project.

Manual time tracking allows employees to choose a task and manually enter the number of minutes or hours spent on it.

The greatest advantage of this method is that time tracking can be completed quickly and at any time without the need to remember to turn a timer on and off.

Yet, the biggest downside is that it can potentially lead to inaccurate tracking.

An alternative is using a tracker to record the time spent on each activity automatically.

Employees would click a button on the software when they begin a task and then pause or stop the timer each time they stop work.

2. Time tracking

  • A project management software should be able to show work hours in many ways:
  • By task: this visualization allows you to manage work down to the detail and helps you find which tasks are exceeding the budget or being delayed.
  • By project: provides a general overview and quick assessment of project progress and performance.
  • By employee: provides a means of monitoring and assessing productivity and workload at an individual level. This measure becomes especially critical if employees are paid by the hour, but it is also helpful for salaried employees. For example, you can compare the time spent by two different employees to complete similar tasks. If one took considerably longer, it could indicate that the other has discovered a better way to do things or that the first employee needs more training. And again, it can be used to monitor and streamline workload. If one of the employees clocked 60 hours of work and another only 20 hours, it might be necessary to redistribute activities.

3. Reporting

There are two types of reports that project management software should be able to produce:

  • Task sheets
  • Time reports

Task sheets allow employees to get a quick overview of the activities they worked on during a given week and the work hours spent working on each.

These activity sheets should include:

  • Activities on which the employee has enabled time tracking during the chosen week,
  • Tasks assigned to the employee, which were scheduled for the selected week,
  • Any task that the employee chooses to add to the task sheet manually.

The benefit of having an activity sheet is that it allows each contributor to track their progress easily.

It also provides a centralized place to see what they need to focus on each week and how their progress toward each activity is going.

Time reports are exciting, helpful documentation to the project manager and other relevant parties.

These should be accessible within the software and downloadable as CSV or PDF files.

In addition, time reports should be customizable so they can be separated by task, project, employee, and/or chosen periods.

Twproject’s streamlined approach for managing timesheets helped with user adoption as the Advance team found it so easy to track their time.

Choosing the right tool

Time monitoring does not simply mean having a nice-looking dashboard; it allows you to observe how the team’s work time is distributed. See how Twproject can help you in doing that.

To choose a tool that will meet expectations, you need to know what the requirements of a project are.

Here are the questions that should be answered:

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • Which time tracker helps you do this in the least number of steps?
  • Time-tracking software has become a vital tool in most organizations, providing leaders with information to make work more efficient.
  • Although starting time tracking may be challenging at first, the long-term benefits will soon become evident to project managers and team members.
  • The bottom line is time reporting provides the foundation for boosting productivity at work because you can only optimize what you measure.

However, the best way to understand is to try and do! So, why don’t you give Twproject a try for free?

Optimize your time.