Nearly every framework described in this website originated on pieces of paper. Sometimes it was flip charts, sometimes Post-it notes. Paper still has an important role to play, especially in workshops where the frameworks are discussed and applied.
Frameworks are seldom snapshots of a position. They are usually living tools that follow through a problem to ensure that it is solved. This means that they are ideal candidates for capturing, controlling and monitoring digitally. Excel spreadsheets are still widely used for this purpose. They provide a fabulous tool for counting, looking up, transposing, and in every way analysing data. The problem is that you need to be a regular user of different aspects of Excel to get the best out of it. Also, it is a tool that is difficult to share between members of the team – at least for them to work on it at the same time.
Today we are spoilt for choice as there is a plethora of project management software tools that help us organise our time, our resources and share reports with colleagues throughout the business. Some of the software platforms have a wide range of capabilities and so can take time to master, but most allow the basic tasks to be carried out with little or no training.
The software comes with a cost. Typically there is a charge of around £5 per month but for the enterprise versions used by larger companies the figure will be significantly higher. Google Sheets has a basic offer that is free and worth a look if you want to produce a Gantt chart or to track a project. There are a number of templates to choose from and which can be readily adapted to simple project planning. Microsoft also offers simple and useful tools such as a "to-do list" and "task manager".
Others who know more about these things than me have produced lists of the best specialised project management tools. They include the following:
4. Zoho Projects
These software tools have various important features:
· They allow you to take a high level view of the scheme so that it can be shared with your team.
· They include task management so that jobs can be assigned to people.
· They have to-do lists which ensure everyone can see what has been accomplished and what is left to be done.
· They have time trackers allowing different jobs to be given different timelines all leading to a successful project conclusion.
· Most of the systems allow team members to use it collaboratively.
· They also have the facility to generate reports and hold important documents in one place that are relevant to be project.