-a guest post by Alan Cairns
Project managers often ask how they can contribute to the effort to reduce waste, improve efficiency and, if possible, reduce their impact on the environment, even if theyâ€™re not working in the energy or chemical business, for example. Workforce management is all about coordinating the logistics of a project through a single application or system. This will typically include the planning and tracking of schedule activities, milestones, resource allocation, capacity, costs and expected revenue.
Mobile workforce management means more accurate records and better communications for businesses, especially those which have staff who work from home or off-site.
In the past, workforce management tended to rely heavily on the use of static, and often printed spread sheets, but manual processes like these not only consume significant amounts of paper, they slow down workforce management and make it less efficient. Mobile workforce management applications allows for easier top level monitoring by managers, and means that project documents are instantly updated and always accurate. Streamlining these project processes can lead to better overall business efficiency and having this data in place means that if project managers change jobs or are absent for one reason or another, someone else can pick up the project and find a full and up-to-date account of goals, objectives, executed activities, planned activities, resource allocation and more.
Of course itâ€™s essential that project staff within a business can properly account for the time they spend at work, but manually filling in forms can become repetitive and tedious, especially when paperwork needs to be duplicated for other departments or customers for example. Collecting this data digitally means it can be copied easily and instantly, and means that everyone can view or edit the most up to date version of the document at any given time. It makes progress reports more accurate and the data itself is more flexible and versatile than hard copies.
Mobile workforce management isnâ€™t just about monitoring activities and resources; itâ€™s also about improving project communications. Mobile workforce management tools can also be used to schedule workloads, report results, perform call checks to remote staff and by remote staff to report incidents or update progress. It means that remote project team members will have better access to current data, even when several people are working on a document at one time.
Aside from these great business justifications to switch to mobile project workforce management , there is the simple and straightforward reduction paper use (both its acquisition and disposal). Itâ€™s not just about the environment. Your current level of paperwork might be ok, but is your business scalable? If the size of the company and its activities doubled this year would your workforce management procedures be able to cope? These are pertinent questions, and if you want to enable your business to grow fast and take on new projects, you should ensure that paperless management systems are in place.
Alan Cairns writes on a number of subjects including mobile workforce management and mobile facilities management.