As a project manager or a business owner, you are constantly juggling several projects at a time, regardless of your company's size. But if you have to ask your team about the project status and the amount of workload they are assigned to complete, you are not doing this right.
With the number and magnitude of projects you and your teamwork on, it's impossible to keep track of everything.
Therefore, it is imperative to have a solution that streamlines your project handling process while maintaining complete transparency and keeping everything updated. Project management software is a comprehensive solution for your project needs ranging from planning to execution.
From creating a workflow to assigning tasks and checking the project's progress status, these tools change how you and your team handle projects.
Let's delve into what project management software is, how it can help your business, and the best project management tools you need.
Project management software is a tool that helps business owners and project managers track their project's progress while collaborating effectively with the entire team involved with the project.
This software allows you to monitor the entire project on a centralized digital space to oversee the planning, systemization, administration, budget, resource allocation, and the team's progress.
Recent reports suggest that the challenges faced while project management costs businesses $109 million for every $1 billion invested in a project.
But by investing in a project management tool, you can control costs and meet the project's deadlines by enabling the team members to deliver on their commitments through streamlined features.
Some of the best marketing project management tools include team collaboration, file sharing, task management, Gantt charts, real-time analytics, project plan templates, online payments, and many more.
Since each project is a golden opportunity to earn revenue while building long-term relationships with clients that offer you the chance to repeat business, you need to pick out the best project management tool.
The global project management market of today is valued at $4 billion, with a CAGR of 6.9%, which is an impressive number. So, with several different types of project management software available in the market today, you need to get the one that aligns with your business goals.
Project management tools are available in several forms, varied according to their scope and how they deploy them.
These project management tools are installed on your desktop, laptop, or server that you can access at any time. It also means that these tools can only be accessed by a device that is connected to the local servers. Your files remain with you wherever you go and you get to wield more control over on-premise software.
Cloud-based program management tools are hosted on cloud servers which means that they can only be accessed through the internet by paying a subscription fee to the vendor. With this software, you don’t have to hire an IT specialist to oversee the software. That’s because the vendor takes care of troubleshooting.
This project management software is meant for personal use by one user at a time. These tools are light-weight and only meant for small-scale projects that have a defined process with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Collaborative tools allow multi-users to access or edit the project plan, simultaneously. Also, the changes are integrated with the entire system, and the project plan is updated. These tools are meant for more complex projects where entire teams are involved with various processes involved in the project.
Collaborative tools also help in team management by allowing the project leaders to monitor each individual’s performance as well as the sequential or parallel activities happening in the project.
This type of software easily integrates with other work management tools or business operations, such as the CRM of a company. Integrated tools are suitable for projects that involve other business activities such as marketing, customer service, etc.
These project management tools are specialized in tracking the project's deliverables, essential for projects with fixed schedules. This software is perfect for projects that are meant to run on a specific schedule such as product launches or concerts. It allows you to get a good grip on the planning and scheduling of the entire project.
These tools are designed to highlight gaps or hindrances in the project's progress to ensure that the project runs on the right track. This makes them perfect for projects where several technical specifications are involved and a single malfunction can hinder the progress of the entire project.
This specialized software offers certain features that allow organizations to manage multiple projects at the same time. They come with an intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard with other options that provide the project's details.
Project portfolio tools are suitable for organizations that have to manage multiple projects, simultaneously. With more robust team management, tracking, and editing features, these tools run on advanced infrastructure and this is why they are more expensive than other tools.
The following are essential elements you need to keep in mind while searching for the best project management software.
The tool must be simple to use and understand to minimize the costs and time taken to train the employees.
To make sure that you deliver the projects on time, you need scheduling tools such as Gantt charts to manage complicated tasks easily.
It would help if you had software that collects data from each corner of the software and converts it into insightful reports displaying the project's current status.
Your project management tool must align with your preferences and give you the power to make specific changes such as deleting comments, changing the external interface colors to look like your brand colors, or changing the logo.
Some of the typical components of project management software include:
The project management tool's scheduling feature arranges the activities in sequential order, scheduled to be delivered by a particular date.
The tool determines the types of resources a specific project requires in terms of money, human resources, equipment, documents, and other important material.
Since money is an essential aspect of managing projects, the project management software informs you of each element's cost. Along with this, they compare the cost with the pre-determined standards and scrutinize the factors that led to a variation in the total project costs.
It has been reported that nearly two-thirds of the companies communicate with their clients using project management software.
So, the right software must have a sound collaboration system. To facilitate communication, look for features such as file sharing, emails, real-time chat options, audio and video conferencing, and discussion forums. This enables you to keep the team updated with the latest developments in the project and oversee their progress.
Specific hardware components can streamline your daily project management and administrative tasks and enable you to stay organized and at the top of your game.
Project management involves carefully strategized techniques and seamless tools to deliver the best solutions to the clients. While every project manager employs personalized strategies to lead a project to completion, they can be ineffective if the right tools are not incorporated.
The right project management software enables the managers to overlook each aspect of the project with complete transparency while assessing and preparing for any obstacles beforehand. These tools come with several features that further streamlines the project's workflow and paves the way for enhanced collaboration among the team.