Task management is the true challenge on the modern world we live in. Time is more precious than ever and the amount of tasks each of us has to cope with is almost endless. The only difference between successful and average people is their ability to manage their tasks effectively. This ability could be improved significantly by using task management software and other task management tools.Try the following recommended tools to improve your task management abilities:1. Paper planning systems – Those systems help you organize your life (and your tasks of course).Think about starting each day with going through your daily task list of the incomplete activities, the prescheduled activities and meetings for the same day, the long range task and goals and only then prioritizing the tasks for the same day and starting to work.The paper planning pages and systems help you organize your task appropriately. These are the most proven task management system. It had been used by most of the successful managers of the 20th century, and it is still the most popular planning and task management tool.2. Planning software programs – task management software programs have been here for many years. The problem was that most people manage their tasks and emails on their email system e.g., Microsoft outlook.The most effective task management software programs are the ones that have a direct interface with outlook or other email programs. This interface include powerful tools like goal planning tools, project management tools, task prioritizing tools and more all using only the outlook user interface.3. PDAs – PDA stands for a personal digital assistant. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone, fax sender, Web browser and personal organizer. Most of the modern managers use PDAs as Ipaq or Palm as their personal diary, meeting scheduler and task manager. PDAs are small, convenient and user friendly.Don’t wait. Start managing your tasks more effectively today by using one of the above task management tools. Go and get them.
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Some time ago project management was represented by three things: a pencil, a piece of paper and a methodology. But the time flies and the technology evolves… so why stop here? Why not use the technology? Software industry has evolved so much and can do wonders. With the introduction of project management software a few years back, the tools a project manager has at their disposal has been greatly increased.The new project management toolsThere are many different versions and variations to what is available on the market, having many cost ranges including programs for small businesses and all the way up to programs capable of keeping a corporation in business. Managing a business is no easy task, however, and keeping track of everything is often the hardest part of owning a business. These software solutions can make it easier for businesses to communicate with employees, clients, share files and track the status of projects and assignments.Management software can be a lifesaver for busy business owners looking for a better way to manage their business. But just having this sort of software program in place won’t help managers be more effective. It will only allow them to have access to more data, which may in turn make them more efficient. They still need to know how to communicate to the project head and be clearly able to delegate responsibilities to the project team members.Project management software has a simple goal: to help those involved in managing projects to achieve their objectives. For individual projects, the objective is to deliver the expected output from the project on time, within budget and to the expected quality. However, for those that manage multiple projects, such a software must do a lot more and it often has a different label, such as project portfolio management software, or resource management software.So how can project management software deliver such benefits?Some businesspeople may wonder what project management software can offer that the old tried-and-true cannot. It is quite simple: project management software achieves its objectives by providing pertinent and reliable information that the project stakeholders have confidence in. So the starting point is to look at how credible information can be delivered from such a system.By looking at the general advantages of software applications (increased memory, faster processing, virtual rendering, etc.) and taking into consideration that good reporting requires both good data and an effective means of processing and presenting it as relevant information we get the obvious conclusion that there are such benefits. If it is easy for employees to see what tasks they must complete, communicate and collaborate with each other then the project manager can spend less time managing these business aspects and spend more time on other things.But to achieve its objectives, project management tools needs to manage the following types of data:Resources
Skills, experience and other attributes
Working calendars and resources availability
Tasks – describing the activities required to produce each key deliverable, which are normally labeled as milestone tasks
Assignments – work estimates needed to achieve each task, for each resource
Cost rates needed to compute the actual costs and the value of work done, to be compared with the budget
Project management software benefits summaryThere are a few basic features that a management software solution should have in order to truly gain these advantages.
Easily manage your company’s projects
Get resources and finances under control
Bring project’s critical issues to your attention (overallocated resources, critical path)
Track project evolution in terms of completion, time and costs
“what if” scenarios capability is offered via multiple undo and redo levels
Provide a clean way to break down your project, build schedules, allocate resources and manage budgets
If all these are met then any project manager can agree that the key benefit is in relevant and timely management information.
Getting sales and marketing to talk to each other may feel like torture, but it has never been more critical – especially for the more than 5 million mid-market industrial and B2B companies in the U.S.The digital age and a host of technology developments have exposed four major flaws in traditional B2B marketing practices:• Lack of coordination between brand, sales/marketing and digital activities• Dedication to sales at the expense of marketing• The slowness of firms to focus their online voice• Failure to recognize that the internet has changed the sales dynamicB2B companies are struggling to leverage the internet to sell and grow. Unlike consumer product companies, they’ve been slow off the mark in the digital race due a traditional but flawed rationale that branding and digital communications can’t really help their ‘relationship’ style of selling.What’s become glaringly obvious is that three core marketing functions – brand, sales/marketing and digital communications – don’t behave as if they have anything in common. Worse, they don’t work together to build equity, share of mind, customer loyalty, or sales for B2B enterprises.The open secret always was that sales and marketing were never really very integrated. In some firms, they didn’t even like or talk to each other. Not to mention that in many B2B firms, ‘sales and marketing’ actually means ‘sales.’But because the internet has made company ‘walls’ ever more transparent, there are few secrets. Employees complain, whistle blowers whistle, bloggers gossip, e-mails get forwarded, the news media investigates, and your customers actually know all about you – your product benefits and even your prices – before you ever hit their door. So what are you actually selling?When a company’s brand, its sales force, and its digital activity aren’t in lockstep, customers notice. At best, customers scratch their heads at this lack of coordination; at worst and more commonly, firms are losing credibility, customer satisfaction and opportunity because they can’t get their act together.In 2014, Forbes Insights published, Breaking Down Marketing Silos: The Key to Consistently Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Improving Your Bottom Line.Forbes noted that the challenges with marketing silos mean:1. Each silo may have its own brand vision, creating a disjointed experience and message for the customer.2. Team incentives may motivate some team members to exploit and damage the brand in order to boost short-term sales.3. Poorly integrated teams suffer from inadequate cooperation.4. Silo interests stand in the way of programs that require scaling.5. Key growth areas such as digital are not scaled because they are dispersed across silos.6. Success in one silo is leveraged slowly into others, or not at all.And not listed, but in the mix: Inconsistent customer experience across divisions and functions.The good news is that with the right market data, the marketing function is uniquely positioned to lead the charge for integration in the name of better service to the customer. Forbes pointed out why marketing is primed for a leadership role in integration:1. Marketing brings an outside point of view.2. Marketing can articulate the unique truth of the company and what differentiates it within the marketplace.3. Marketing can communicate the product and value-why products are relevant to customers in different ways, identifying segmentation in the market.4. Marketing creates compelling stories for rallying employees and making an emotional connection with customers.5. Marketing is a strategic seat at the table; there is no other department that can see such a company panorama and bring those perspectives together.To overcome the silo issue, the report concludes by offering best practices for CMO’s:1. Replace competition and isolation among silos with communication and cooperation.2. Consolidate when necessary.3. Act as a facilitator, establishing frameworks, encouraging collaboration through teams and knowledge hubs, and upgrading marketing talent.4. Think like a consultant: create company-wide insights, train marketing talent and participate in strategy development.5. Secure access to the C-suite. Teradata found that marketers with executive responsibilities are almost twice as likely as others to believe that there are no barriers to interdepartmental integration.6. Force integration. In Teradata’s study, marketers say the best way for marketing to become more intertwined with other functions is to set up integrated processes.For some firms, these are lofty marketing ideals. But there are practical steps smaller companies can take to force different thinking and action. But there are practical steps smaller companies can take to encourage different thinking and action. One is to use research and market data strategically – know the customer better than anyone else. A second step is to stop planning functionally and start planning via a ‘communications & experience canvass.’ What does the customer need to feel, see and hear? How do we ‘behave the brand?’ Who is responsible for delivering that? What are the methods for delivery?In short, turn the silos sideways. With this framework, suddenly a lot more people see and serve their responsibility to serve the customer – including functions such as accounting, help desk, order fulfillment and e-commerce managers, and the c-suite.