Today thousands of specialized project management solutions are available online. But still many project teams prefer to manage their work using simple emails, spreadsheets, shared folders etc. Why is that? And can we use simple Google Drive tools as an effective project management solution? Let’s explore.
Let us first look at what are the expectations from a project management solution, at a very basic level.
Projects are often done by teams, rather than individuals. Each team member is responsible for different activities of a project. But all of these activities are interdependent.
A project management solution should enable easy online collaboration. It should be able to connect multiple stakeholders who may be working from different locations, or even in different time zones.
Needed for collaboration – file sharing, commenting, access control, cloud based platform, version management
A project management solution should be able to track and report the actual work done by the team. This is done by frequently gathering progress updates from the team.
For example – a team member can submit a daily / weekly progress update forms to report how much work is done against what was planned.
But most people find it burdensome to frequently fill out progress update forms in addition to doing their actual work. This burden is compounded if the user interface (UI) is complex or too heavy.
That’s the main reason why people prefer to work with simple spreadsheets rather than complex tools like ERP.
Needed for simple UI – spreadsheet based interface, easy editing, version management, mobile friendly forms, easy to customize
Not all of the project work is executed within an office environment. For example – in construction projects, most of the work happens on the construction site. That is where the project team spends most of their time.
In such cases, we will need project management tools that can be easily accessed from outside of the office, on mobile devices.
Needed for easy access – mobile friendly UI, works in low connectivity areas, offline working option
Apart from connecting different people on the team, we also need to think about connecting their work. In most projects, different project activities are managed using different tools.
For example – in an engineering design project, the schedule is managed in a Gantt chart like MS Projects, the actual engineering drawings are in a CAD software like AutoCAD, the list of drawings is in a Google Spreadsheet.
An effective project management solution should be able to connect these different tools and automate progress tracking.
Needed for connectivity with other tools – APIs, configurable workflows, ecosystem of well connected tools
So we have identified 4 basic functions that a project management tool should be able to perform. Now let’s explore if we can perform those project management functions using Google Drive.
As we can see, Google Drive / G Suite apps have excellent capabilities on all the four fronts. By connecting the different Google Drive apps we can create very capable, highly customized project management solutions for different kinds of projects.
In case of construction and infrastructure projects, the usual challenges in online collaboration are even more pronounced.
For these reasons, Google Drive apps are preferred by construction managers and their team to manage their project work.
But on their own, the Google Drive apps are not directly connected to each other. Another solution is needed to bind the Google drive apps together.
Fuzen provides a platform to connect all Google Drive, Sheets, Forms and Gmail. By connecting them, we have created a well integrated construction project management solution.
Fuzen’s customized workflows help you to automate your project management chores while maintaining the same work processes and procedures that your team has been following for years. To find out how it works, check out our free trial.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Join our mailing list to receive updates from our team