Will 2014 be the year for truly effective project management systems? Definitely, say experts in the field of project and portfolio management.

With key game-changing trends including collaboration, mobility, unified communications, the cloud and the Internet of everything, companies are compelled to work smarter – using their expertise and the right
technology. This modernisation of the technology landscape is generating a strong demand in the project management information system environment.

The age of tedious, static, paper-based project reports is over and organisations are steadily demanding more flexibility and accessibility to project information across the technology landscape with the need to provide
feedback and report on progress across a diverse number of platforms.

This is the view of Tony McManus, MD from project management specialist McManus Consulting, part of the collaborative effort to launch McMethod.net.

McMethod.net is an end-to-end project process management tool designed to help organisations apply clear, repeatable project processes to their projects while leveraging off leading technologies to provide
meaningful, timely and dynamic project information across a wide range of mobile and conventional platforms.

This tool helps users control projects according to a selected project type or methodology.

It has been built on Microsoft technologies and, through the integration of SharePoint, Project Server, MSOffice and Nintex, collates all elements of project management and completely automates the workflow of the
selected methodology.

It is differentiated in the market by virtue of the fact that it automatically creates a project workspace for each project with a single repository for all project-related documentation including the appropriate documentation templates.

This makes sourcing information a great deal easier. It also assists greatly in ensuring that project participants adhere to best practices and that all necessary documentation is produced and securely stored. This is a key benefit when it comes to ISO or other audits.

Speaking on behalf of McMethod.net, McManus is confident that, based on trends witnessed during 2013, the domestic market will begin maturing when it comes to practical application of technology to enhance
project management into 2014 and beyond.

His expectation is that projects will be initiated and managed more strategically and proactively as opposed to the current, reactive approach.

“Looking ahead there will be a real sense of planning and preparation to projects,” says McManus. “We have always stressed the importance of ensuring each project has a strong business case behind it, otherwise
projects can destroy value instead of creating it.”

He expects a greater sense of urgency and focus around project management as a business enabler, with a willingness to apply best practices to increase the chances of project success.

“If we analyse a number of key considerations for effective project management – including a sound business case, bringing the entire team into the planning process. planning projects to the appropriate level of detail, identifying clear accountability, holding regular progress meetings and providing project progress information which is standardised, regular, accessible, objective and trustworthy – we realise that the local market has their work cut out for them, but it is possible to improve project success and there is certainly a willingness.”

If companies align projects to the strategy of the business and employ the right techniques and solutions to automate the project management process, we can expect businesses to be more effective and successful in 2014 and beyond.