A glimpse into the future: How new era project management systems will change your small business
Project management is one of the most versatile and fragmented industries. After decades of incremental progress, most of us are still stuck in project management limbo.
As we grow out of our project management tools, we always revert to the tried and tested methods of project management: the post-it notes. Guilty of using and losing such notes? Well, you are not alone.
The rise of office productivity tools
During the last two decades we have witnessed one of the major revolutions since the industrial age. We started converting our valuable paper based data into organized digital information.
Small businesses started looking at new ways on how to improve their productivity. We witnessed the rise of spreadsheets. Everyone started storing their information into the all-mighty Microsoft Excel.
This gave rise to the digital age. A new era, built from the ground up, where small businesses found a new cost-effective way on how to store their most valuable asset: their company data.
The rise of web based collaboration software
Even though offline spreadsheet applications were gaining traction, something seemed to be missing. Although these tools solved one of the major pain points, data centralization, they still lacked collaboration functionality.
Most teams reverted to emails for collaboration. They would send spreadsheets back and forth, losing any versioning information in between. This created what is nowadays known as the spreadsheet hell.
Vendors from all over the world seized this opportunity to create a replacement for spreadsheets. A new hero was born and everyone jumped on the web based project management tools bandwagon.
The premise was that these tools could handle both complex project management workflows and team collaboration.
A new era of project management tools
Even though web based project management tools had solved the collaboration problem, small businesses were still reverting to spreadsheets. Most project management tools lacked the versatility required by small businesses.
One of the alternatives seemed to be database software. Software such as the likes of Microsoft Access. These database tools were, however, overly complicated. They were targeted exclusively towards technical people. People who understand all of the SQL jargon and who know how to fiddle with database relationships. Getting started on such platforms required that you learn all the nuances of these new platforms.
Apart from complexity, most databases were just that, databases. They were good at storing and querying data but lacked collaboration and productivity features.
Although databases seemed to be a viable alternative to spreadsheets and web based project management software, they lacked the visual and functional appeal to almost everyone but database engineers.
The future: Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
Nowadays businesses are looking for a Swiss army knife. Tools that can handle project management as good as the web based project management tools and tools that can be customized as much as the old age databases. People are looking for software that makes it easy to get started and painless to scale your operations.
There are vendors out there that believe this is not only possible, but it is exactly where the future lies. Vendors like Fusioo aim to provide just that: project management software that can be customized just like an online database, while maintaining powerful features for productivity and team collaboration.
The future looks bright. Small businesses can start building the tools they need without hiring dedicated developers. Just like in the automotive industry, cutting-edge and expensive tools are becoming more accessible.
Is this the start of a new era? We will have to wait and see.