Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - Five Tips for Centralizing Project Information

Five Tips for Centralizing Project Information

Does your team know where to find the information they need to get project tasks done? Well, this can significantly contribute to the success of your project and to you meeting your deadlines.

All information that is relevant to your project must be centralized and easy to find. How can you do this? Fortunately, there are ways for you to organize project information to help your team members do their best work. If this is something that you and your teams are struggling with, take a look at these tips for centralizing your project information.

Diagnose The Problem

Before you can create a solution to the centralization issue, you first have to identify the problems. You may have already noticed some issues, but the purpose of this step is to get you to start getting a baseline of where the problems are.

Begin to pay attention to the pain points your team members are facing. This process could start by recording comments related to the lack of information centralization you see in an email or hear during a meeting.

Additionally, don't hesitate to ask your team members what their feelings are. You can do this through distributing surveys, setting up focus groups where you speak with a few team members at a time, or even designating team leaders to identify potential problem areas.

Lastly, don't hesitate to seek the help of a consultant. Today, various organizational consultants can come in and help you identify some of the workflow and information centralization issues.

Set Up Documentation Protocols

Things are happening at such a rapid pace, and your project teams may encounter the need for new processes or situations that may need to be recorded for later use or analysis. One way you can diminish disorganization is to help them set up systems for creating and storing documentation.

An example of this could be a team member that has to develop a new template to handle a project deliverable. It would be important for them to know how to get it approved, and where they can store this document for everyone to use.

Your team members may often create their own workflow processes or templates, but they may not know what to do with them. You can help them by creating documentation protocols and giving them a place to store this information. Document challenges account for 21.3 percent of productivity loss, so this should be an aspect of your project centralization strategies.

Set up a Standard Location for Project Information

There is a heavy productivity price to pay when team members have to go to multiple places to access information or provide project updates. Data shows that employees spend 2.5 hours every day searching for the information they need.

A lack of information centralization is why many companies have invested in using tools like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. The right selection of tools can help you organize your project information in a way that enables your team members to find what they need quickly.

This may require you to build out a project team tool stack. For example, Google Drive could be where all information is stored (project guidelines, specifications, and any resources). Then, you may integrate this with a Trello or Asana, where project updates can happen.

Today, many programs come with options to integrate with other apps that can trigger helpful automations. So, start to do some research to see which project tools can make it easier for your team to access the information they need.

Ensure that Team Members are Filled in on Changes

Everyone may not be a part of every conversation that you have with clients. So, you need to have a way to keep your team members in the loop of any changes that are agreed upon that apply to them. This involves setting up a process for them to stay up-to-date without them having to go to multiple locations and decreasing their productivity.

Again, this is where your project information hub will come into play. You need to designate a location where all your team members can find the information they need, and this includes changes. Whether it is a running Google document or a software app, determine this location, and ensure that your team members receive notifications about changes.

Additionally, make sure they know to check these locations and decide whether the best way to remind them is through a check-in meeting or a quick email to the team members impacted. Have a routine for this, and stick to it.

Designate a Point of Contact

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is handling communications with clients?
  • How does this person disperse information?
  • How often are they meeting with clients and team members?
  • Are they communicating with team leaders or the entire team?

Thinking through these questions will allow you to determine how the point of contact communicates and shares information—and how this process can be improved.

Establishing a communication process for the point-of-contact can help you organize project information and have another person to help you manage project details. This will also streamline the clients' information and prevent them from having multiple touchpoints where information can fall through the cracks.

Final Thoughts

Centralizing project information and details are critical to the success of your project. Your teams cannot complete their project tasks unless they know where to get things like specifications, passwords, and relevant documents.

You don't want the organization of information and content to become a hiccup for your teams. So, much like your project itself, you have to organize how the information will be dispersed, stored, and accessed.

The sooner you make this a priority, the easier it will be to help your team members move forward in their project tasks. However, always remember to track the progress of your efforts. Start to create metrics associated with these issues so you can see if you are improving. This step will enable you to continue to improve your strategies and see where you can optimize your approach to project centralization.


3 Important Document Management Statistics You Should Know,

10 Shocking Internal Communications Stats You Can’t Ignore,