A tool is basically defined as a device that helps to perform a particular role. This means that its purpose is to make work easier. Project managers are inclined to use tools to help achieve their goals. Using the wrong tool, however, can hinder the progress of a project, but how can you tell whether your tool is an obstacle or a helper. The following are the six signs to look out for.

Your tech tools are general or outdated

The tech world is continually changing at an rapid rate, to the advantage of project managers. Technology offers multiple ways of planning and implementing projects. If you are still stuck with Excel and Spreadsheets as your technological tool, then you are lagging behind. Most projects today make use of specialized programs specifically built to cater to their needs. Furthermore, technology is becoming more and more automated. Therefore, if you still have to feed and retrieve data manually, and you are incapable of accessing it from different locations, then it’s time to upgrade.

Too many tools

Projects resemble production. “Economies of scale” is a concept in business which aims at decreasing the cost of production by producing more at the same time. Similarly, project management tools should save time and money by performing more roles at the same time. If you have a different tool for each single purpose, then your project has outgrown your tools. This can be likened to a cook who prepares a meal for ten people in ten different pots. It does not make much sense.

You are constantly overwhelmed by work

Your intuition should be able to inform you when it’s time to move on to advanced tools. If you always feel tired, overworked and behind schedule, then your mind is trying to coax you to find better tools. The sole purpose of tools is to make work easier. Therefore you should not should not feel as if there is too much weight on your shoulders.

Ineffective communication channels

Communication is at the core of every project. In today’s globalized world, projects cut across different parts of the world, time zones and departments. If you spend an entire day walking in and out of meetings, then there is something terribly wrong with you tool. The time taken to brief stakeholders about progress in meetings can be used to perform actual tasks. Too much mail in your inbox is also an indicator of ineffectiveness. Emails are unsuitable when handling a big and diverse team of human resource. Every team member will want to update, clarify and seek clarification. To hasten the communication process, do away with channels that require specialized attention and adapt global channels that can be utilized as you perform other roles.

Limited productivity

Markers of productivity include, the milestones covered, within a specified budget and time frame. For instance, in a project that entails building a skyscraper, milestones will be measured by the number of floors built within a given period. If you spend most of your time performing administrative roles, you are not productive, yet you are spending money and wasting time.  Administrative roles need to be peripheral as they can easily slow down actual progress. Therefore, it is advisable to adapt tools that lessen your workload in areas that limit productivity.

Congestion within your tools

A project may begin with fewer team members. Over time, more service providers are added onto the team. The tools used to communicate with ten members cannot cater for 100 members. If all your team members are not able to upload and retrieve real-time data at the same time, then it’s time to upgrade. Tools should cater for task execution for all members without experiencing downtime or overload. Furthermore, you should be able to monitor and supervise all staff simultaneously rather than dedicating special time for each.