3 Pitfalls of Project Management Online
Last time, we looked at online project management and some of its obvious benefits. If you missed it, you can read it here. I am a big fan of project management online because of the many benefits and how easy it is to implement today (plus in full disclosure we develop an online project management tool). But nothing is ever perfect, plus what works well for one organization may simply not fit with another organization. So it is important to also look at the pitfalls of project management online, which is what we are going to do now.
Here are three pitfalls of online project management software:
1. You cannot take it with you.
This means that typically you have to be connected to your online site in order to do online project management and use those software tools. If you are someplace without Internet access or for some reason your Internet access is not currently working, you are out of luck. You cannot use it. Now, with the advent of smartphones, this is lessened more and more via the use of such phones to use your online project management tool. However, it should still be noted as a pitfall. Unless it is outfitted appropriately, your cabin in the wilderness may leave you stranded.
Security is less and less of an issue with online project management software and tools, but it should never be left out of the equation. What I mean is that the technology and tools exist to make your site secure today. If security is important to you, you need to be sure you are using the right tool that provides security and make sure that you have the right processes in place (a tool may be very secure but not if you don't set it up to be secure).
Obviously the only way to absolutely lock something down is to not grant anyone access to it. That sort of defeats the whole purpose however.
The point is that online project management tools can be secure, but you need to take the steps to ensure that it is so and have a security policy in place.
Performance of online project management software tools should always be considered. You always need to consider the bandwidth that you have between the tool itself and the people that are using the tool. Online project management software systems should be built with technologies such as caching, AJAX, and other technical "terms" to make normal operation fast. However, there are some things that you cannot get around. For example, take documents. If you need to transfer large documents to and from your tool, you need to do some evaluation. It doesn't matter how good the tool is, you still need to transfer those large documents back and forth between your computer and the online project management tool. You need to be sure that you have enough bandwidth to make this easy to do.
As with any project tool, you need to evaluate the benefits and pitfalls, and determine what matches best with your organization's goals, culture, needs, and objectives.