Posted on July 3, 2012 · Posted in Agile, Project Management, Task Management, Team Management

Accurate data is necessary for a project manager’s daily tasks and decisions. If data is inaccurate in any area of the project work flow or structure, productivity will inevitably decline. Unfortunately, most companies aren’t 100% sure of how accurate their data really is. As a result, since there is a margin of error or gray area in the data, this can present a problem. Since it is unclear from the data where the error lies, project managers are unsure of where and how to fix the problem and how to make decisions based on this.

The first thing project managers should do is to recognize that there is in fact a margin of error. For example, projects that are handed off to different functional areas or departments are areas where many errors occur. In addition, project information that is shared among coworkers, team members, and clients is another area of error. The first thing to fixing the problem is recognizing there is one.

Secondly, project managers should address the severity of an error. Then, the error can be assessed and analyzed in order to identify where it lies and how it occurred. If there is incorrect data related to a project, or project specifications for example, it can affect the codes, budgets, files, etc. that correspond to that particular project. If the product information is incorrect it can affect the sales end of the project. All in all, project managers won’t be able to make sound, accurate decisions without proper, accurate data. So how should project managers address this and resolve it?

One way is to improve systems and software so they function properly and output real, live, correct data. Installing a robust software program can help fix many inaccuracies and prevent ordinary errors from occurring. The programs will look through your current system and cross reference with other files to make sure that the information is accurate. This way project managers can run reports, monitor communication in between departments, functional areas, and to and from clients.

A final solution to the problem of inaccurate data is to put a project manager at the front end of this that will ultimately analyze and cross reference all data. This particular project manager could also sit at the back end of a project and verify that all data, numbers, files, etc. are up to date and accurate before files are delivered to a client, for example. By having a “gate keeper” so to speak at the front and back end of projects, this will help minimize the margin of error. In addition, instilling this confidence in the back of the project manager’s mind will help him or her make sound project, customer, and product-related decisions.

It goes without saying how essential it is for businesses to verify that their data is up to date and accurate at all times. If it isn’t, the costs could be great. This could mean more than a monetary cost, it could cost assets, customers, and your overall reputation. To incorporate a data management software program to maintain accuracy in addition to staff resources to update the software, disregard the old, and analyze all data will save the company a lot of time, headaches, and money in the long run.

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