It’s no wonder that project management software has become so popular over the past several years. Whether your entire staff works just feet away from each other in the same office, or is spread between different locations hundreds of miles apart, communication doesn’t always happen the way we would like it to. And miscommunication can quickly lead to failures in business. That’s where project management software comes in: it allows us to communicate, see where each of us stands with regard to progress on a project, and ensures that the entire staff is on the same page.
Managing all the aspects of a large-scale project is challenging enough, but when you’re attempting to do that with a team of people speaking different languages, it adds an additional level of complexity. It’s not simply language barriers that you’ll need to overcome, but cultural differences as well. This is particularly true when a team consists of coworkers in different parts of the world, which is often the case in our modern business climate. People from different countries have different methods of working, they perceive and process information differently, and they often have a different approach to handling tasks and meeting deadlines. The first step to successfully managing a multi-lingual workforce is for the human project manager to understand and appreciate not only the differences in language, but the cultural differences as well.
Once a project manager understands and accepts the special challenges of managing a multi-lingual workforce, it’s time to choose a project management software that will benefit every team member and will contribute the most with regard to the completion of the project. Here are a few key features to look for when choosing project management software:
This is, obviously, an absolute must for a team whose members who don’t speak the same language. There’s no need to make it more difficult to use the software for some members simply because it only provides only a single language option. Level the playing field for your team members by making sure the software offers the appropriate multi-lingual settings.
Scheduling and planning
One of the most basic tasks of any project management software is its ability to allow the human manager to easily assign tasks and set deadlines. Look for a tool that clearly delineates each team member’s responsibilities so there are no misunderstandings along these lines.
Each member should know what tasks need to be performed in what order, so look for a tool that makes prioritizing simple and is flexible enough to allow for changes to be made without having to manually reconfigure the entire project schedule.
Any good project management tool will provide a calendar that can be shared by the entire team. Each member should know when meetings are scheduled, as well as upcoming milestones and due dates for each task.
No team can work effectively together to achieve the same goal without collaboration, and no project management software is complete without a file sharing feature; one that allows members to share files and edit/modify those files for others to review.
One feature of PM software that any human project manager will appreciate is the ability to create reports periodically based on the information inputted into the system as of the date of the report. This is a huge time saver for managers who need to provide progress reports to their superiors, sometimes at a moment’s notice.
Project management software should also provide human managers with the ability to track costs associated with the project to make sure those costs don’t spiral out of control.
Managing any large project is, without a doubt, a challenge for even the most seasoned manager. But when your team consists of multi-lingual coworkers located in different parts of the globe, it increases that challenge exponentially. Fortunately, there is a variety of project management software available that can automate and streamline the process.