Reports from early in 2021 show that medium-sized businesses may have experienced the biggest challenges last year. But the same reports talk about the resilience of mid-market companies, which have shown the agility to adapt and the foresight to invest.
In fact, according to research from BDO UK, by November 2020, 41% of mid-tier business leaders had already made significant changes to their 2021 business plans, particularly concerning digital adoption.
So it seems that by the time this year arrived, many business leaders already realised that investing in tech was about more than responding to the pandemic; it’s about preparing for the future.
So is now the time to invest in AI-driven project management software? Here are 5 reasons it makes sense.
1. It’s time to get everyone on the same page.
When change programmes ramp up and become more complex, programme leaders need a way to standardise how projects are run. And in 2021 and beyond, it will become even more vital to success. Without consistent ways of working, remote teams can slip into siloes, leaving you with no reliable way to see the bigger picture.
Spreadsheets tucked away on individual laptops. Meeting actions tied up in emails. Static project plans detached from the wider strategy and business objectives. It’s not ideal.
When it’s logical and easy-to-adopt, a project management platform immediately brings order and clarity to the whole change programme. Intelligent software doesn’t replace people – it empowers them with the structure and data they need to work more consistently, proactively and effectively, with all the moving parts in one platform.
No more siloes. No more fire-fighting the unexpected risk. And without those barriers, there’s more time for strategy and innovation.
2. Digital transformation is accelerating. So, if not now, when?
When we talk to business leaders about project management software, many of them tell us the same thing: “We know we need something like this, but now isn’t a good time”.
What that usually means is that the company is about to embark on some major projects (or they’re already underway), and the thought of introducing new software at this stage feels like the stuff of nightmares. We get it. You can’t put business on hold for a month while you roll out a software implementation and training programme.
But when IS the right time to stop relying on spreadsheets and bring your project delivery capabilities up to speed? Look at any predictions for the future of business and change, and you’ll see AI and machine learning technology on the list.
Introducing these technologies is no longer radical – it’s essential. Do it now and you’ll give your business the data-driven foundation it needs to evolve and grow at pace.
But while we’re here, let’s talk about what implementing project management software can actually look like when it’s done right. If it looks as though a provider wants to charge you for software support or implementation, run for the hills. The way we see it, Sharktower works best when people want to (and do) use it, so we’re here to help get you up and running.
3. More than ever, you need to make fast, informed decisions.
When a business evolves from small to mid-sized – and has increasingly remote teams – it’s no longer possible to keep track of business-wide progress through team catch-ups and drawn-out status meetings. And yet the ability to make accurate, pivotal decisions is more important than ever.
Automated reporting gives you access to real-time insights you can act on, rather than reports collated from different sources and presented in offline formats which become frustratingly time-consuming. It’s not uncommon to see businesses having to employ full-time staff just to generate static reports, which often contain ambiguous data.
For complex projects to succeed, you need to be able to make fast, confident decisions based on accurate, up-to-date data. That’s where automated real-time reporting becomes a bit of a no-brainer. It’s the difference between having to wait for updates to be collated and presented, or being able to log straight into your portfolio dashboard and immediately identify potential risks and issues.
For example, with Sharktower, you can track the status of any portfolio, project or activity, and drill down into the detail. And when it comes to project health, slippage, and team sentiment, our AI models convert the data into actionable insights. That means everything you need to know (and what you need to do about it) is right there in one place.
4. Full-service project management software costs less than you might think.
If you’ve looked into the pricing of project management software from the best-known providers, you’d be forgiven for calling off the search. Many of them offer 4-6 different pricing plans, each with a different list of capabilities and features. The options are so varied that comparing them becomes a job in itself.
At Sharktower, we’ve kept it simple. We have two pricing options: the Per User plan, or the Company plan. And we don’t believe in the ‘basic, better, best approach – whichever plan you choose, you have access to ALL of Sharktower’s features, plus unlimited data storage.
Another benefit of our pricing is that we never ‘trap’ clients in a pricing plan. If you need to scale up OR down quickly, we adjust your pricing without disrupting your service. Equally, if you start to grow your full-time team, there’s no strict limit on how many new users you can add. If it looks like you’re growing steadily, we’ll get in touch, but we’ll never block your ‘add user’ function.
5. Remote working is here to stay.
Most teams made it through 2020 with email, chat, and video calls, but it looks like remote working is here to stay. Many businesses slowed their major change projects (or put them on hold altogether), but as 2021 goes on, the demand for ‘business as usual’ is increasing, and it calls for more robust collaboration tools.
With Sharktower, your teams can log in remotely (on desktop or through the mobile app) and collaborate on:
- Project planning
- Resource allocation
- Budget management
- Online meetings (allocate and store meeting actions right in the platform)
- Drag and drop task management
- Live reporting
As mentioned above, you can even grant unlimited access to external contractors, stakeholders, or clients, removing the need to communicate with them all separately via email.
And when it comes to understanding how remote teams are really feeling about the progress of a project, Sharktower goes above and beyond other collaboration tools. The Team Sentiment model uses Natural Language Processing to analyse the language in text fields and show whether the general tone is trending positively or negatively over time.
If our bite-sized introduction to Sharktower has left you wanting to know more, download the eBook for reference and get in touch to talk about how Sharktower can help your business meet its goals this year and beyond.