Since March, I’ve been keeping this blog updated from my new home for the next few months in Northern China. The internet and my laptop have been a godsend here, with the ability to remotely connect to my email and Microsoft Dynamics CRM in our offices in Australia, and also by using Skype to connect with family, friends and colleagues. But last week I had a very unfortunate mishap that involved a bowl of soup and my laptop keyboard. Fortunately, I was able to get the keyboard fixed relatively cheaply here, but it did mean I was without a laptop, and hence very little communication with Australia, for just over a week.
In the scheme of things, a week doesn’t sound like a long time. But in today’s world of laptops, smartphones, social media and the internet, we have come to expect that we should be able to connect with each other any time of the day or night, and from anywhere in the world. And when we lose our ability to connect, sometimes it can have disastrous consequences.
So my mishap with my laptop got me thinking about connectivity, as we all know that for project management in particular connectivity is extremely important. That is why more and more companies are moving towards using online project management software, where employees with an internet connection have the ability to connect with each other and vital project data from almost anywhere in the world, and by any means, be it from the next office on a personal computer, or out on site on a smartphone. With online project management software and a central database for all project data, daily activities such as visits to work sites do not mean you have to disconnect from the office, your other colleagues and the project data.
With IPM in particular, users also have the ability to use the software offline when an internet connection is unavailable, then synchronise any data created in offline mode with the rest of the database when a connection is restored. This means that you can still use the software even when you lose connectivity, and the loss of connectivity doesn’t have quite such a huge impact as it would if you were unable to access your project management software at all.
And even though things like social media and video conferencing are becoming more and more influential in our lives, much connectivity in project management still relies on good old fashioned email. Email integration in project management software, such as IPM’s integration with Microsoft Outlook, means you can stay connected via email without leaving the project management application. There is also a strong connection between your project data and your email communication, as emails sent and received are automatically filed under each transaction in the project management software.
If you would like to find out more about how both our cloud based and on premise versions of IPM can help you streamline your team’s connectivity, feel free to contact us for a free demo or post a comment below.