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Tuesday, 15 June 2021 19:09

Gantt chart and a good start - project management done right with Bitrix24


COMPANY NEWS: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “project management”? Some really complicated stuff that scientists and engineers do? Most definitely. Some modern-day IT gimmick that startuppers are into? Highly likely. Another buzzword? Quite possibly.

But in reality, project management is all and none of the above. In plain English (that’s free of marketing and sales speak), project management is about getting things done.

What Isn’t Project Management These Days?

If you look around, you will probably see a lot of projects underway - from constructing a building to organising a BBQ party. The more complex the project, the more stages it has. Every stage (or milestone) has a number of tasks and people who are responsible for completing these tasks.

“I know this already”, you might say. Well, that’s good for you - but not for those staggering 70% of organisations that have suffered at least one project failure in the prior 12 months (according to 2019 research conducted by KPMG Australia and AIPM). And there’s hardly any reason to believe things have changed much since then.

It turns out there is a long way from knowing about project management to actually applying that knowledge to real projects.

The Secret Behind Every Successful Project

Successful projects don’t just happen - behind every successful project there is always a carefully choreographed sequence of events culminating in the project completion ON TIME and ON BUDGET.

The four pillars supporting this sequence are:

  • Planning
  • Organisation
  • Management
  • Communication

Some of you might argue that we’re leaving out factors like skilled personnel, established processes, and professional tools, all of which have an enormous influence on any project outcome. Well, we’re not leaving these out - just saved them for later.

Speaking of tools, how many project management tools can you name off the top of your head? If we focus on software, services like LiquidPlanner, TeamGantt, and Zoho Projects might come to mind first - and rightfully so! All of them offer a variety of tools for project management and team collaboration.

But there’s one tool you probably didn’t consider, and that’s Bitrix24. What is it and why should you have considered it? Let’s take a closer look.

Bitrix24: What’s in the Box?

Actually, the term “box” is rather fitting since Bitrix24 is not a single tool. Bitrix24 is online collaboration software, a suite of over 35 cross-integrated tools for project management, sales, marketing, and customer support. What they all have in common is that they do work right out of the box.

Bitrix24 was originally designed as a tool that would help companies to switch from the old-school way of doing things (lots of paperwork, countless pointless meetings, disjointed teams always asking what to do next) to the more effective, modern way of running a business where everything is streamlined, organised, and universally accessible from any device.

From a manager’s perspective, Bitrix24 is like a supermarket compared to a milkbar: you get everything you need in one spot and at a lower price. But what exactly do you get?

Here’s what Bitrix24 has in store for those about to manage projects:

  • Tasks
  • Gantt chart
  • Kanban board
  • Online time clock
  • Time tracking
  • Work reports
  • Calendar
  • KPIs & task efficiency
  • Task templates & automation
  • Task dependencies
  • Workload management
  • Plenty of useful integrations (e.g., MindMap, Billable Hours, etc.)

And that’s just for starters. There are also chats, videoconferencing, CRM, VoIP telephony, cloud storage, website builder, customer support center, marketing analytics, and more.

Running Projects in Bitrix24

Remember the four pillars of project management we mentioned earlier? They are planning, organisation, management, and communication. Bitrix24 has tools to assist you with each of these processes. Let’s see how.

Project Planning in Bitrix24

To start a project, you need some people and an environment to collaborate in - that’s what Bitrix24 Workgroups are for. They are essentially a virtual workspace created specifically to work together on a project by means of:

  • Creating, assigning, solving, and discussing project tasks
  • Distributing the roles within the project (moderators, owners, or members)
  • Inviting external users to participate in your project (clients, partners, etc.)
  • Communicating in real-time, sharing files, and tracking all project-related activities
  • Building the project timeline and setting milestones

Once you’ve created a workgroup, all you have to do is add your teammates, define their roles and permissions, and get down to assigning tasks.

Project Organisation in Bitrix24

When the project team is assembled, you can start assigning tasks to individual team members or groups. In Bitrix24, you set a task to start and end at a specific date and time (the task time is tracked automatically), kick back, and watch the work being done. You will be immediately notified of any changes in the task status.

As the project manager, you can collect task reports, check and rate the completed tasks, and track your team efficiency.

Project Management in Bitrix24

In Bitrix24, your projects are lined up nicely in a clear visual presentation where you can easily understand which tasks are currently in progress, planned, completed, pending approval, or reopened. In addition to the classic Planner and Calendar views, you’ve also got the Gantt chart and Kanban board.

The Gantt chart in Bitrix24 allows you to see the project progress displayed intuitively on a visual chart. Here, each task has parameters such as duration, deadline, and dependency (how it is related to other tasks).

This way you, as the project manager, can:

  • easily map out all the work on a project
  • see what stage the project is currently in at any given time
  • manage the workload and efficiency of your team

In Bitrix24, you can use the Kanban board to create custom stages for your projects and move tasks from one stage to another as the project goes on.

Super-neat and extremely intuitive, this way of task representation will always keep you updated on the current project status. Also, you can switch between various projects on the same page with just one click, which really simplifies the navigation.

Project Communication in Bitrix24

Communicating on a project and discussing tasks is made easy in Bitrix24 - mainly, because you’ve got chats, video calls and conferencing, discussions and comments in tasks, online project drive, and file-sharing.

Create a chat and invite selected team members to quickly discuss a minor issue. Organize a video conference for up to 24 participants to have a daily planning meeting. Leave comments and start discussions right under tasks.

As you can see, Bitrix24 covers all of the major project management stages and features all the tools you may need to work on your projects productively.

If Bitrix24 Is So Good, Why’s It So Free?

Bitrix24 is indeed free to start for an unlimited number of users. Right after you sign up, you get access to unlimited tasks and projects for your team. Nor per-user pricing - just go ahead and start creating projects in Bitrix24.

Not convinced yet? Head over to the Bitrix24 website ato learn more. May you always meet your deadlines and complete your projects successfully!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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