Are you tired of cluttered whiteboards, drooping sticky notes, and yelling across the office (or Slack) “Hey Jim, are you finished with that work yet?!?” Project management software is a modern solution for taming workplace turmoil and allowing you to focus on your deliverables in peace.
According to a 2020 Wellingtone survey of 111 firms in 29 countries, 25% of project teams lack the necessary collaboration tools, and 36% indicate that manually compiling project status information takes up to five hours per day. Project management software can assist in resolving these and other work-related issues.
The Benefits of Using Project Management Software
Why should you use project management software? There are various advantages to project management software.
As project managers, our digital toolbox may be the only thing keeping us from tossing our toys out of the pram and having a complete breakdown. Without an effective project management system, you risk drowning in a sea of spreadsheets, post-it notes, and paperwork. To get jobs completed, you need the appropriate tools. Here are a few places where such tools may be beneficial.
1. Better Communication And Team Collaboration
Once you’ve centralized your data, you can effortlessly assign work, tag team members in comments, and make use of document-sharing tools. Project management tools make it possible to keep team members informed of even the tiniest project plans and details.
Additionally, it protects talks from becoming lost in email threads, instant messaging chats, or even handwritten notes. This is especially beneficial for teams who adhere to the Agile approach.
Knowing who is responsible for what also eliminates confusion, allows for tracking of progress, and encourages job completion on time. This also eliminates delays caused by a lack of a system and organizes the project planning process. Additionally, since each file has a home, it is easier to request and get comments, and information is never lost.
Another significant advantage of having all of this information readily available is the simplicity of having trustworthy data when dealing with clients on status updates and anything else in between.
2. Improved Resource Management
Resource management is critical for every project team, regardless of whether you work for an agency or as a freelancer, whether you work in creative marketing or provide professional production services. Whatever your circumstances, you will need to manage and allocate resources such as skilled and unskilled labor, staff schedules, billable and nonbillable clocked time, project and facility budgets, and building resources (rooms, equipment, etc.).
Your team’s time, capacity, and schedule are critical resources. Time management capabilities in project management software may assist you in managing your time by allowing you to create work calendars, create Gantt charts, schedule personnel, measure time spent on projects, reserve equipment, and space, and analyze where resources are going (and when).
3. Simplified Reporting And Analytics For Projects
Not only does project management software save your data, but it also provides insights into several elements of your operations and projects. Most project management software includes customizable dashboards for quick reporting (upcoming deadlines, task completion rates), as well as an in-depth business intelligence solution that varies in strength depending on the PM tool.
Certain project management solutions, such as Monday.com or Wrike, prioritize ease of use; others, such as ClickUp, are infinitely configurable but have a steeper learning curve. You may have a preference for one type over the other or for a combination of the two.
Reporting on projects enables you to target important data, compare it to your KPIs, and show it in a way that enables you to:
- Assist you in developing a strategy for your next step based on actionable insights
- Enhance your current procedures to save time and money
- Clear communication with stakeholders at all phases of the project’s lifespan
4. Project Data That Is Organized And Centralized
No matter what type of project you’re working on, project management software enables you to securely consolidate project data. As a consequence, an ordered structure of information is created, which increases transparency and facilitates cooperation.
With a single source of truth, any team member can work on the correct documents, make real-time adjustments, and be confident that everyone else working on the project is aware of any changes.
Say goodbye to sifting through email threads and poring through each folder in search of that elusive piece of information while juggling your separate duties.
5. Improved Remote Work
Now that all (well, the bulk) of your data is included within the project management application, your whole team may monitor project progress, refer to due dates, get onboarded to a new project, or work from anywhere with an internet connection.
The majority of project management tools are supplied as software-as-a-service (SaaS); this means you pay a monthly charge and may access your tool from anywhere, at any time, via an iOS or Android app, your preferred web browser, or a combination of the above.
The majority of project management software packages provide communication facilities (commenting, @-ing assignees, and email integration), in addition to time tracking tools. Both of these factors contribute to making remote team management easier and more visible for all parties involved.
6. Better Budget Management
Budgeting and time management are always top issues, and with a project management application, you can view your data, your resources, their usage patterns, planned vs. actual utilization, and much more. Together with file-sharing capabilities, this information helps you and your team to make modifications and strategize.
Budget forecasting is a feature of the best project management software that sifts through data from previous projects and spits out precise predictions for current and prospective projects. Most project management solutions may also be configured to provide warnings and notifications if you deviate from the budgeted amount.
Complex budgeting data may be digested by project management software and presented in intelligible reports that can be given to investors and stakeholders. As a project manager, it is your responsibility to organize and share this information on a regular basis; project management software can assist you in doing so efficiently and with fewer human entry mistakes.
PM software frequently includes a variety of (simple!) methods for sharing critical budgeting data with stakeholders, including customizable dashboards, publicly accessible/shareable URLs, and/or printed or exportable reports for distribution through mail or email.
7. Identification And Mitigation Of Risks
Project management software can help you visualize how your disparate pieces of information fit together. With reports, insights, and a number of ways to examine your data, you can more easily identify problems and opportunities and take appropriate action. Due to the fact that risk management is complex, you’ll want to keep an eye on both “opportunities” and “threats.”
Risks can bring as many benefits as drawbacks; it is your responsibility as a project manager to ascertain stakeholders’ risk appetite, deliver accurate risk assessments (qualitative and quantitative risk analysis), and develop contingency plans for worst-case situations.
Project management software may assist you in charting and visualizing your SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and communicating the overall picture to all stakeholders, clients, customers, partners, and internal team members in a clear, digestible manner.
8. Increased Standardization of Processes
As your team develops, your procedures will get more complicated, and anybody who was not there throughout the evolution of the process may struggle to catch up. There is no such thing as my way or their way with project management software; there is just the way of the entire team.
While processes and views are customized, the process of populating forms, naming conventions, and everything in-between becomes standardized, ensuring that the process is readily teachable whenever a new team member is onboarded.
Project management software includes a variety of document and information management systems, which enables your team to create, store, and search for a database of workflow rules and processes. These frequently take the shape of process management wikis.
However, more sophisticated project management software may contain configurable project request forms and automated process workflows that are triggered when a certain action is completed (requesting a job or task, marking an item as complete, etc.).
These ensure that the proper next action is performed, whether it’s pinging a specific team member, changing dependent task deadlines, or seeking further information about a task.
You may be asking where the list of drawbacks is, and we will not pretend there are none. However, the “disadvantages” are just transitory and relate to the cost (in comparison to free excel spreadsheets) and the time required for your staff to adjust (vs. the time wasted without a system you can streamline). Apart from that, there are no significant downsides worth foregoing the benefits.
Would you like to know the benefits of project management software? Read our blog to find out.