Tired of smeared whiteboards, drooping sticky notes, and yelling across the office (or Slack), “Hey Jim, you are done with that work yet?!?” Project management software is the current method to bring order to your workspace so you can focus on your deliverables.
According to a 2020 Wellingtone poll of 111 organizations in 29 countries, 25% of project teams say they don’t have the right tools for collaboration, and 36% of respondents say manually collating project status information takes up to 5 hours per day. Project management software can help with all of these issues and more.
Our digital toolset may be the only thing keeping us from throwing our toys out of the pram and having a complete meltdown as project managers. If you don’t have a good project management system, you could drown in many spreadsheets, post-its, and papers. To get projects completed, you’ll need the correct equipment. Here are some examples of how those tools might be useful.
1. Improved Team Collaboration and Communication
You can quickly delegate work, tag team members in comments, and use document sharing capabilities now that you have all your data in one location. Project management software makes it easier to keep team members informed about even the tiniest project plans and details. It also avoids talks becoming lost in email threads, instant messaging chats, or even handwritten notes. This is especially beneficial for teams who use the Agile methodology.
Knowing who is responsible for what eliminates uncertainty, allows progress to be tracked, and motivates task completion on time. This also reduces delays caused by a lack of organization and keeps the project planning process on track. More importantly, when every file has a home, everyone can find it, ask for and receive feedback, and never lose data.
Another significant advantage of having all of this data readily available is the ease with which you can communicate with clients about status updates and everything else in between.
2. More Effective Resource Management
Whether you work for an agency, as a freelance contractor, in creative marketing, or provide professional product services, resource management is critical to any project team. Whatever your profession, you’ll have to keep track of and allocate resources such as skilled and unskilled labor, staff schedules, billable and nonbillable clocked time, project and facility budgets, and building resources like rooms, equipment, etc.
Your team’s time, capacity, and schedule are valuable resources. Building work calendars, making Gantt charts, scheduling personnel, tracking time spent on projects, reserving equipment and places, and assessing where resources are moving may all be done with project management software (and when).
3. Project Reporting And Analytics Made Easier
Project management software stores your data and provides you with insights into your operations and projects. Most project management software includes customizable dashboards for quick reporting (upcoming deadlines, task completion rates) and an in-depth business intelligence solution that varies in strength depending on the PM tool.
Some project management solutions, such as Monday.com or Wrike, prioritize ease of use over others; others, such as ClickUp, are infinitely customizable but have a steeper learning curve. You may prefer one type over the other or mix the two.
Project reporting is a method of identifying meaningful data, comparing it to your metrics, and visualizing it in a way that allows you to:
- Assist you in strategizing your future steps based on actionable data.
- Improve your present procedures to save time and money.
- At various stages of the project lifecycle, provide information to stakeholders clearly and concisely.
4. Project Data That Is Organized And Centralized
You can safely consolidate project data with project management software, regardless of the type of project you’re working on. Consequently, you’ll have a well-organized information system that fosters transparency and cooperation.
With a single source of truth, everyone in the team can work on the right documents, make real-time adjustments, and feel assured that everyone else on the project is aware of the changes.
Say goodbye to sifting through email threads and searching through each folder for the missing piece of information while juggling other activities.
5. Increased Remote Work Efficiency
Your entire team may now track project progress, refer to due dates, get onboarded to a new project, or work from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection now that all (or nearly all) of your data is in the project management application.
The majority of project management tools are supplied as software-as-a-service (SaaS), which means you pay a monthly fee and can access your tool from anywhere, at any time, via an iOS or Android app, your preferred web browser, or all of the above.
Most project management software packages include communication elements (commenting, @-ing assignees, email integration) and time tracking tools. For everyone involved, both of these make managing remote teams easier and more transparent.
6. More effective budgeting
Budgeting and time management are always top issues. A project management application allows you to monitor your data, your resources, how they’re being used, planned vs. actual consumption, and much more. This data, combined with file-sharing capabilities, allows you and your team to adjust and strategize.
Budget forecasting is the best project management software feature that sifts through data from previous projects and generates precise projections for current and prospective projects. Most project management software can also be set up to send alerts and notifications if you go over budget.
Complex budgeting data can be digested by project management software and presented in intelligible reports that can be given to investors and stakeholders. It’s your obligation as a PM to keep this information organized and communicated regularly; project management software can assist you to do so swiftly while reducing human entry errors.
Personalized dashboards, public/shareable URLs, and printed or exportable reports for distribution by mail or email are all common ways to share essential budgetary data with stakeholders in PM software.
7. Risk Assessment and Mitigation
Project management software can show you the big picture of how your many pieces of data go together. Thanks to reports, insights, and several methods to view data, it’s easier to spot concerns and opportunities with reports, insights, and various ways to see your data. You’ll want to keep track of “opportunity” and “threats” since risk management is multidimensional.
Risks can have as many benefits as drawbacks; as a project manager, it’s your role to determine the stakeholders’ risk appetite, deliver accurate risk assessments (qualitative and quantitative risk analysis), and develop contingency plans for worst-case scenarios.
Project management software can help you visualize and chart your SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and communicate the entire picture to all stakeholders, clients, customers, partners, and your internal team in a clear, digestible manner.
8. Increased Process Standardization
Your processes will become more complicated as your team grows, and anyone who wasn’t there when things started may find it difficult to catch up. There is no such thing as my way or their way with project management software; it is the way of the entire team.
Sure, workflows and views are customized, but the process of populating forms, naming conventions, and everything in-between becomes standardized so that the process can be readily taught to new team members.
Different forms of document and information management systems are available in project management software, allowing your team to create, store, and search a database of workflow rules and processes. These are frequently in the form of wikis for process management.
More advanced project management software, on the other hand, may contain capabilities such as customizable project request forms and process workflow automation, which are triggered when a specific action is taken (requesting a job or task, marking an item as complete, etc.).
These ensure that the proper next action is taken, whether pinging a specific team member, updating dependent task deadlines, or seeking additional information about a task.
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