The short answer is, to get organized. Regardless of the size of your team, you’re still juggling a significant number of tasks each day, and that’s where project management apps come in: they get the administrative mess out of the way, and they eliminate miscommunication.
Who is project management software designed for? Within a smaller crew where everyone knows where they’re headed, these solutions may not have crossed the manager’s mind as a primary investment. That doesn’t, under any circumstances, decrease the added value of running such a system.
Throughout the years, project management software proved to be invaluable for sustaining corporate culture and boosting up productivity. Yet, the astonishing effects of handing work over to software can only be optimized when the timing is right, and when the objectives are clear.
You can neglect the benefit of a tool that helps you meet your deadlines and depend only on your pencil and a lot of paperwork. If that’s not how you foresee your advancement, though, it is not too late to join the technology march and to do something nice for your team. However, there you need to better understand the phases of project management if you are to succeed in its implementation.
There are many indicators that will inspire you to join this technology march, in particular, admitting that you are better off paying for a system to keep operational costs down. The best project management software will help you optimize work in a variety of ways, especially if you are:
The phenomenon of specialization in corporate life often leads to employees believing they’ve been designated a single task, and thereof not responsible for the success of big projects. Success, nonetheless, is nothing but a beautiful puzzle built on these tasks, which makes everyone on the team matter.
What does project management software have to do with that? Pretty much everything!
Once it gets up and running, your project management tool becomes the main hub of socializing and exchanging information, and eventually, a single source of truth that accounts for what everyone’s doing. It accommodates and puts into action that hierarchy that used to be a useless diagram in your drawer, and holds players responsible for what they did and did not do. Meanwhile, it gives everyone the chance to monitor the progress of the project and enables them to see what they could do better to get it moving.
Project management software is not designed exclusively for collaboration but wraps in dozens of interesting features. Had you opted for a collaboration-only system you’d optimize the value of the communication funnel, but you’d once again need to govern projects through a different system. With project management software, you have all you need to manage projects at your disposal.
To be more precise, PMs help to put in place modern communication channels that remind users of social media means, but without unnecessary distractions. Users are able to buzz each other for help in individual or group chat windows, share work on common progress pages, and exchange easily multimedia data like they do in private communications. While doing it, the project management system saves the history of their communication and organizes it in a way that makes it easy to retrieve old data at any point of time. Better yet they get timely notifications on all changes in their project, so there is minimal chance they’d be missing on something.
There is a point in corporate life where project management software is not only desirable but absolutely impossible to live without.
True, you weigh the skills and knowledge to identify who can do what, but that’s not all there is to successful delegation. You need a tool that follows progress, monitors availability and handles the role division in a way that prevents you from shifting data in the wrong hands. To make matters even better, that tool will at the same time categorize and store information, so that assigned people can begin and finish their work without your intervention. Wrike is an excellent example of how it is done, given that assigning and reassigning there is as easy as a single click. If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a Wrike free trial here.
Project management apps come with a number of intelligent controls and dashboards with real-time activity streams that let the manager keep an eye on what everybody’s doing. This way, he can detect easily who is available for a task, and do a quick check on the team member’s profile to evaluate his skills and experience. Since delegating is made as easy as dragging-and-dropping icons, he can even build a task-specific team and assign administrators with 2-3 clicks altogether. Another handy possibility is to tag members who’d be interested to follow that project, and relate the data within it with useful materials to skip misunderstandings. Since PMs are also equipped with excellent communication tools, the team members won’t struggle reaching to each other for assistance.
The first thing that will impress you upon purchasing your first PM is its time management capacity. Project management software was primarily designed to keep delays out of the way, and in its basic form, it lets you pinpoint a starting and ending date for each project. It also allows you the bonus of having the same done for your tasks, subtasks, and individual assignments, all neatly arranged on a single calendar. To prevent overdue and to keep everyone on board, this software enables real-time notifications and reminders, and adjusts with ease to any change of plans.
Budgeting is another thing you will love about your project management system. Money well invested is the core of a successful project, which is why you need a PM tool to “tame” your targets. Your system will give you an overview of how much you need, and where each amount has to be deposited to make the most of it. It will remind you once payments are due and keep an eye on who has a grasp on that money, so that there is minimal chance of fraud and misuse.
Time management is the core value of any project management system. An ideal project management app should be equipped with online timesheets that are responsive to sudden changes, and which capture and record the time spent on each task. This way, you can visualize your work on an actual timeline, calculate payroll accurately and in line with billed hours, and be reminded of when each project is due. At the end of the story, you may get to pull out some useful and fact-backed intelligence of what your team can do to accelerate the accomplishment of certain tasks.
As for budgeting, the best project management apps are desigend to track estimates and actuals in real time, and determine how much a project would cost both when fixed or per hour. The earned value calculations, return on investment and other indicators will make it easy to monitor a project’s health, and that’s what helps prevent damage before it actually happens. The role of this system doesn’t end up by planning what you have to spend – instead of that, you get to manage costs on all stages of the project and then compare what you planned to what you spent, control your billable charges, and understand where they’re coming from. At each phase, you can also draw out percentages to support your performance statistics, and be able to predict variables by making everyone update data according to the actual situation. If you choose smartly, you’ll also have a great reporting tool in hand to summarize your workload and expenses any time you want.
Without an adequate PM system that provides access to external parties, you’re forced to transfer information via insecure means and organize tenths of time-consuming meetings to keep everyone on board. PM software offers either full or limited monitoring for people who are not on your team and therefore ensures satisfied clients on the other side of the line.
At the same time, PM tools are packed with visualizations that make information understandable, so that you won’t be obliged to explain accomplishments or prepare additional charts to see how you’re progressing. Since access to your database is role-based and dependent on user authentication, you will never have to worry about data going into the wrong hands.
Most of today’s PM apps come with role-based access, which makes data sharing within them sensitive to permissions. Depending on what you need, you can make access even more selective, and let partners and clients see only that portion of work to which they’re entitled. Our leading PM app for 2019 Wrike, for instance, handles this problem in the following way: non-company users can only check (and communicate with) team members you’ve preselected; they may or may not be privileged to follow the team’s discussion; and they can use their credentials to send and receive documents just as any other member can. Plus, with Wrike, you get to involve as many external users as you wish.
At this point, you’re probably aware that leaders in your branch didn’t reinvent the wheel to get where they are. With due respect for their innovative spirit, we’d still vote optimizing resources as the main reason for climbing the ladder. One of the tools that can help you get there is, once again, your project management system.
Next to saving your time and resources, project management software empowers you to make intelligence-based decisions, and prevents you from committing wrong calculations. You know where you stand, you know what you have, but you often fail to pack that on a single screen to let the answer find itself. This is the reason why corporate giants invest in expensive software that caters to their unique needs; in case you thought they’re doing it only because they can.
What to expect: Last but not least, you need a PM when you’re stuck with non-rewarding resource scheduling. PM systems use your metrics (or create such) to gather project statistics, including utilization data, budget comparisons, profitability per task or item, and much more. As we mentioned before, they’re excellent reporters and an actual virtual assistant, as they cultivate and connect realistic data and minimize all sorts of redundancies. What they will also excel at is client management, so that you don’t end up under a pile of useless emails unable to understand what you’re required to do.
After analyzing few common office bottlenecks and tying them to particular benefits of this software, we’d advise each project team to consider getting a project management software. A good starting point is to check our top 20 project management tools, which will help you know more about many such tools. You need not cross fingers or make guesses and hope your project turns out fine; project management apps exhibit incredible benefits, not the least empowering team members.
After a series of testing and in-depth analyses, our team of experts recommends Wrike for great usability, scalability, and customization. It adapts to a variety of workflows and methodologies. The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for the Wrike free trial here.
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