MGT Project Manager: How to maintain quality with a large team

Ana Oliveira Sousa —  February 28, 2018 — Leave a comment

Any kind of business, be it large or small, needs to handle several things at the same time, various projects, people, and tasks. Having a solution that can help the team keep organised while executing their projects, in a way that is accurate, is essential then.

That is where project management software come into play. They have become a fundamental tool for organisations to optimise processes, ensuring that they offer the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness while carrying out their projects.

According to InformationWeek 2014 Project Management Survey, 87% of high-performing companies use project management software. In fact, a good project manager can set you apart from the industry. We, at MGT, have developed our very own.

We know there are hundreds if not thousands of software solutions all focusing on the same features – tracking and organising the project management process and enhancing team collaboration. So you must be wondering why did we saw the need to create our own?

After extensive research, we concluded that the solutions on the market weren’t fully adaptable to us and that we wanted something really costume made to guarantee it would attend all the needs of our customers and of our team. MGT Project Manager was specifically developed and designed for Magento shops hosted on AWS Cloud. Our exceptionally skilled developer, with years of experience in Magento, carefully thought about every single detail. After all, we know the relationship built between our customers and us are based on trust, and we want to ensure them we always keep their requirements in mind and use nothing but the best high-end technologies to help them meet their goals.

MGT Project Manager

MGT Project Manager Dashboard

Challenge: How to keep the quality of an ever-growing team with several shifts?

At MGT quality is one of the primary focus. As teams grow with many people working in different shifts, it becomes harder to have full control over projects and maintain quality. Especially when you are speaking of extensive projects that contain hundreds of steps. For example, It is necessary to do 200 steps to complete a Single Server environment setup and 400 for a Multi-Server environment.

Previously our team was using manual checklists on Pages, which we didn’t find very efficient. It was not extendable, not fun at all to use, and gave no overview of the full project making it hard to measure progress. Moreover, there were no integrated communications tools which made us very vulnerable to miscommunication. It was pretty hard for collaborators to talk about issues and to handover projects.

Our Goal

After an extensive evaluation we concluded that some valuable features we had to keep in mind while developing it were:

  • User-Friendly: We made sure to create something that it is easy to use since the software should be an enabler and not get in the way of actual work. As it is a dashboard-based software, it requires little training to implement.
  • Attractive design: We wanted something that would look good, so it would be fun to use it. After all, no project management tool can help solving issues if people don’t use it. You can personalise it to your taste and mood, for instance, by changing its colours.
  • All-in-one: Usually, the all-in-one PM tools have better reporting capacities and enable you to access all your project data in one place. You can see all main information, such as customer’s name, AWS region, due date, etc., at a glance on the dashboard.
  • Scalability: We wanted to make sure that the software could keep up with a growing team.

MGT Project Manager Project View

What does it do?

  • Communication Enabler: Easily post comments to specific tasks or to a full project (a global comment). Members assigned to the particular project will be notified when a new global comment is posted. After seeing a notification, you can mark it as “read”. In addition, when creating a project, It is possible to add notes to it. In this way you can notify colleagues about customer’s specific requirement, notes on a particular task, etc.MGT Project Manager Comments
  • Multiple assignees: There is no limit to as how many people you can assign to a particular project.
  • Check-lists: One of its core functionality features is the possibility to create check-lists. We have different check-list templates to be applied to projects according to the plan the customer has signed up for (e.g. single server basic, or enterprise). These make sure all steps (down to the smallest details) are included in the process. You can mark tasks as completed and sort how to view them by “completed” or “incomplete” tasks.MGT Project Manager Check Lists
  • Personalise Check-List: It is also possible to include new tasks and new groups of tasks to check-lists templates, in this way, users personalise these lists to every single project and prioritise tasks in a manner that is convenient.
  • Check the status of projects: Projects are categorised by status: “work in progress”, “ready for quality assurance”, “waiting for switch” and “completed”. These are also the stages we need to go through when doing a full migration.
  • Check progress: See at a glance the percentage of tasks that have been completed for each project on the dashboard. Like this, you can easily know how far you are.
    MGT Project Manager Progress
  • Manage Time: It lets project managers add a start and expected completion date to projects. This information alerts employees to upcoming deadlines, allowing them to manage their time appropriately to stick to deadlines.
  • Document every step: Under section “History” you can see a full historical record for all actions done on the PM software during and after the installation. It records who made what kind of changes and when in chronological order. This is an automatic process. In addition, we have another section called “Changelog” where you can add changes done to the actual server which cannot be automatically tracked by the PM.
    MGT Project Manager History

Benefits

Collaborate easily
MGT project manager software gives employees a method to collaborate on projects by sharing documents and status updates very easily. So you know where each team member is at, how much is done and how much is left to be finished. If anyone has questions, concerns, etc., they can quickly get the answers they need without having to wait or go to another source. The main advantage is that when one person finishes his/her shift the next person who will continue the project can see exactly where the last person left things and proceed from there. It makes handovers much more straightforward, and mistake-free.

Facilitate our Internal Communication
The underlying difficulty with maintaining quality at internal scale is communication, and with our project manager, we solved this issue. The software improved communication among the team as it can assist our team in discussing problems in real time. Now each team member can be kept up to date and quickly deal with issues as they arise.

MGT Project Manager Comments

Monitoring/Better Control
To attain long-term success for just about any business, monitoring the progress of the work is essential. Dedicated software plays a critical role in monitoring the stages of a project and can provide insights into whether things will complete on time or not. Overseeing a project in only one place makes it much easier to have full control and reduces mistakes.

Full overview: Skyrocket your project performance
Track project evolution when it comes to completion. It’s possible to see at a glance all the steps and information regarding a project, what’s been completed, as well as by whom, and what still needs to be done.

Documentation and Transparency
Within the “Changelog” section we will keep logs of every change that is done to the actual server. This will guarantee us more control over the whole project and more transparency. We will make sure of who changes what. So if customers ever need to ask for last changes done, we have every bit documented. It’s clear who made what kind of changes and when.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
When you get a project done promptly, the client walks away with a smile on their face. And a satisfied customer is one you will see again. Smart project management software offers the tools which allow this customer/supplier relationship to carry on. By applying fundamental project management software strategies, you’ll narrow your focus, achieve your goals and improve your deliverability and rate of success.

Better labor management
For example, visual resource planning shows where our team members are assigned and what tasks they’re working on. This improves resource allocation and makes sure that people are working on the right things.

Training new staff
When training new staff members and introducing them to projects your company works on, it is easier to share projects to get new staff up-to-speed. It allows you to show employees the project from start to finish, give them background information and let them know how the project will move forward. Also, we have added a section called “Explanation” within each task on check-lists in a project, so by clicking on it you can get tips on how to perform that specific task.

Reporting capabilities/Eliminates bureaucracy
Employees can provide updates as to what they’re working on and share their updates with the project manager and team members. The software eliminates the need for status update meetings and emails.

Flexibility
It can be extended to work according to our workload, and we can adjust projects to its individual needs since each project is to a certain extent unique.

Conclusion

If you are not using a project management software for your business, chances are that you are doing a lot more work than necessary and wasting a lot of time and resources on the little things. When you use the right tools, this is something you don’t really have to worry about. With MGT Project Manager we have reduced mistakes, improved quality, have a higher controlling, and work better with larger teams across different shifts in complex projects. The tool can juggle all of those little tasks for us, leaving our team free to actually get real work done.

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