6 Criteria for Your Project Information Management Solution
Perhaps by now, you have heard about project information management (PIM) solutions. But what are they? And, more importantly, how do you select the right one?
Let’s answer the easy question first: What is PIM? In simple terms, it's the organization of the information a company needs to successfully manage their projects. It’s taking the vast amount of data required for each project (i.e., emails, documents, drawings) and organizing it so that it is easy to find when your team needs it most.
Okay, that’s great. But what problems does this really solve? Think about your current filing structure and answer these questions:
- Is your network folder structure set up consistently across each project?
- How often have you lost a particular file?
- How much time have you spent looking for misplaced emails or files?
- Do you have any duplicates of a single document?
- Have outdated revisions ever been sent out to your teams?
- Do you have visibility into individual inboxes when key team members are away?
- How many times do you type in the same information?
- Are you always using the latest corporate branded documents or are you reusing old documents?
Are Your Documents Managing You?
Take Back Control with Effective Document Management
The good news is that software companies have recognized these challenges and several have attempted to develop a solution to help companies manage their information better. But how do you select the right solution? Here are six criteria to consider:
Not every company is the same, so a cookie-cutter solution will not suit every firm. Your information management system must be flexible to fit your company’s needs and way of conducting business. If it’s not, your employees won’t adopt the critical processes needed to get the most of the system. This will impede your company’s ability to benefit from more value, increased ROI, and improved risk mitigation.
Odds are your company won’t be the same now as it will be in five to ten years. You may open additional offices or acquire other companies. You may hire more employees to deliver larger projects. As your company grows, so does the amount of information. It’s critical that your PIM solution can handle this growing amount of information with ease.
It’s vital to protect your firm’s intellectual property, even as you need to collaborate with external partners. The solution you select for managing project information should provide secure access only to the necessary individuals.
Does the PIM solution integrate with other software already in use at your company? If it does, then your teams won’t have to spend extra time entering key data into multiple systems. Once information is entered into one system, it should flow automatically and seamlessly to the other.
In the digital age of machine learning, robotic process automation and block chain, your project information management solution should be keeping up with the trends. This will provide value to your daily tasks and free up your time to focus on billable work. By continuing to push the boundaries of intuitive technologies, the time necessary to invest in managing your emails, documents and drawings will continue to decrease.
6. Accessible from Anywhere
AEC professionals today don’t spend their days chained to their desks behind a computer. Their laptops or tablets are their offices. So it’s critical that all project information is accessible from wherever you are, allowing you to make vital decisions on the latest information.
Design Firm Increases Project Visibility through Email and Document Management
About the Author
Linda Dininger spent over 20 years creating marketing content for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms and earned her Certified Professional Service Marketer (CPSM) credentials through the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) in 2006, validating her expertise in AEC marketing and business development. She also is a former Deltek Vision user and has implemented a CRM solution that transformed the way the business development group managed their contacts and pipeline. Now in product marketing for Deltek Project Information Management (PIM), Linda combines her knowledge of the AEC industry with the power that proactive information management can provide companies. Connect with Linda on LinkedIn.
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