Using Evernote

On Time and Under Budget: 3 Project Management Tips

Every project has its unique challenges, but staying on budget is common to almost all of them. Keeping track of every penny while maximizing resources can be difficult—in fact, a Project Management Institute study found that 11.4% of investment is lost due to poor project performance.

However, if your entire team has an open view of schedules, tasks, and available resources, it’s much easier to devise a cohesive strategy that will yield successful project outcomes—all within the predetermined budget.

Here’s how:

Keep schedules and tasks in one place

Schedule control is the process of monitoring project activities and tasks, updating project processes, and managing change. It clarifies the tasks that need to be executed, who will perform them, the resources available, and the timeframe in which they need to be completed. The project schedule should include all the steps related to completing the project on time.

Creating a schedule baseline that represents how the project is expected to proceed allows you to compare actual progress with the plan to determine whether you’re ahead or behind schedule.

Even small projects can quickly get complicated. It’s important to put all project information (especially tasks and deadlines) in one place where everyone has easy access and where you can update critical information, as well as change the status of assignments. Aside from making collaboration easier, project managers and stakeholders will have full transparency into project progress. It’s also easier to manage stakeholder expectations when they are up-to-date with changes.

Project planning, scheduling, and control are crucial to ensure you remain within the predetermined budget and maintain the financial stability needed to deliver the project at the cost initially approved by stakeholders. Having these records will also prove useful when planning future projects.

Power tip: Templates in Evernote give you a head start in capturing project information, schedules, resources, budgets, and project-related assets in real-time. Add tasks to assign responsibilities, then use reminders and notifications to keep everyone on track. This way you can set priorities, link dependencies, add milestones, and create project baselines.

Centralize project budget tracking

It’s inevitable that some project tasks will consume more resources than planned. And if you aren’t accounting for the setback, it’s easy to overrun your budget. Effective tracking helps you notice these delays when they occur, so you can plan to offset extra project expenses elsewhere.

The key to project budget tracking is capturing all the facts and figures, down to the smallest detail. With all this information collected and organized, it’s much easier to determine the status of the budget and even lay out projections. The latter can help project managers mitigate any budget-related issues.

Keeping project budget tracking, schedules, and tasks in a central hub makes it easy to see the big picture and drill down into details.

Power tip: Use Evernote’s Project Budget Template to keep all relevant information in one place. For complex project budgeting, customize the template to suit your project needs. Add budget tracking notes, and scan and save receipts, so members to easily see and track their expenses in one place. You can seamlessly add these expenditure records to a notebook, then categorize and tag them for easy access later on—without scrambling for missing pieces of paper.

Create a holistic view

Managing multiple projects simultaneously presents a new set of coordinating, scheduling, and tracking challenges. With the same people working on various projects, it’s important to have a holistic view of each person’s workload. Managing all of your projects in the same place allows you to see all the work people are doing across all different areas. This will help to prevent overbooking individual workers and allow you to recognize underutilized talent.

By coordinating to-dos in a single hub, managers and team members can get insights at a glance to see which tasks are active, complete, and ready to move onto the next phase in the schedule. This allows managers to check in without micromanaging and step in or delegate where necessary.

Power tip: Create an effective project dashboard by customizing your Home in Evernote. Add widgets for tasks, calendar events, and pinned notes, so important information is always at the forefront.

Get more done: Better, faster, for less

It was 1955 when Cyril Northcote Parkinson developed his famous theory for The Economist, but it still holds true for many today. While Parkinson was taking aim mainly at bureaucratic bloat, the general concept has proven true time and time again.

Your best defense? A single tool that captures live information to help you make insightful project management decisions across multiple areas. It’s the fastest, simplest way to ensure you and your team deliver on time and within budget—every time.

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