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  • Why Is Project Management Software Useful: Benefits, Importance and Features

Why Is Project Management Software Useful: Benefits, Importance and Features

Category: B2B News
Why is project management software useful?
Project management software is useful because it helps you keep track of tasks and see them against the backdrop of the entire project. You will better be able to see how they relate to the bigger picture and how they affect other tasks that have yet to be done, become a work in progress, or completed.

Businesses have goals and objectives to be achieved, which can be used to measure their level of success and growth. To reach them, a certain range of tasks must be accomplished. This can be done through effective project management. Since it is arduous, complicated, and time-consuming, implementing a project management software streamlines the process.

But what is a project management software and what is it for? In this article, we’ll focus on why project management software is useful. We’ll also have project management software explained to help you get a better understanding of its uses and cite a few examples of project management software solutions. If you are new to this tool, we highly recommend that you go through this comprehensive project management software guide to quickly get you in the loop.

uses of project management software

Project management refers to the process of planning, systematizing, and administering the scope, budget, and time for a particular project. It uses the application of project management resources and tools, techniques, skills, and knowledge for facilitating project-related activities. 

When working on a project, four main elements must work together seamlessly. These are:

  1. Scope. In essence, it refers to the project size, goal(s), and requirements. It’s the connection between the goals to be accomplished and the budget allocated to reach those goals. If there are any changes committed in the scope, it’s imperative to reflect them in the other components as well, especially when it comes to time, budget, and resources.
  2. Resources. It has three aspects: people, material, and equipment. First, it’s important to ensure that the right number of people is assigned to a project, and they carry the appropriate skills and knowledge to facilitate doing and completing their tasks. Next, procuring the right materials and equipment, at the right place and time, is crucial for your team to operate efficiently.
  3. Time. When doing a project, time management is a crucial aspect. Each task must be listed (others may overlap while others must be in chronological order), scheduled with a set duration, and allocated with the right resources. Managing critical paths (tasks with zero float or no flexibility) is one of the most challenging aspects of this scope.
  4. Money. All tasks come with a certain cost that must be estimated and totaled. However, not all estimates are as accurate as others; that’s why there is a “contingency allowance” set aside in case a task goes over the estimated budget. Another important aspect is the profit or the amount of money that a company wants a project to earn.

Project Management Software Adoption in Organizations

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Since this is a complex and time-consuming process, streamlining it using a project management system is the way to go. It is a valuable solution that’s adapted to more and more businesses. Because of that, you can avoid the primary causes of project failures. Despite that, only 58% of organizations understand the true value of project management. And one survey even found that only 22% of companies use a PM solution. Plus, more than half have no real-time access to KPIs. This has led 50% of survey-takers to take a day or more in gathering project data and reports. 

Such situations, like the latter, cause project setbacks. Indeed, research shows that $122 million is wasted for every $1 billion invested in the US caused by a mediocre project performance. That is why companies have to implement project management software. After all, while investing in a project management solution sounds an expensive and arduous undertaking, it can actually help your company save money in the long run.

Important Uses of Project Management Software

Businesses that are not yet utilizing a PM software are likely to do more work while gaining less profit because of the time wasted on juggling little tasks. If these tasks are taken care of efficiently, you and your team will have more time to focus on core operations to complete your project. There are various types of software packages to choose from based on your business requirements. For reference, you may take a look at these project management software rankings. Here are the reasons why project management software is useful for business of any size:

1. Collaboration

When managing a large project, each member is assigned an individual task in the team. To make sure everyone is on the same page, a project management solution simplifies team collaboration. When a member has inquiries or concerns, he/she can immediately get the right response through communicating with the team internally—with the right people in the right project—without looking for other sources. This reduces time lost from searching for answers. It also optimizes the sharing of documents, timelines, and status updates to notify everyone of important information, such as how much work is done and how much is left to be finished.

Sample features:

  1. File sharing. This allows quick sharing of files, calendars, and contact lists where every team member, as long as they’re given the access, can add information to the system. Quick access is also enabled for members to obtain data anytime and anywhere.
  2. Team communication. Some PM tools have a built-in messenger app so members can communicate with each other easily, allowing for timely responses to urgent inquiries.
  3. Customer data sharing. Having customer profiles is essential because it lets you quickly add their contact information and link invoices and projects. When you need to organize them, you can easily do so by categorizing them by, for example, due invoices.
  4. Team dashboard. Dashboards are an overview of your team’s activities and project progress. You can add graphs, visual metrics, and charts to it to help you get a summary of the projects you are involved in.

2. Scheduling and planning

Without a system in place, it can be difficult for your team to stay within schedule because of the lack of a set guideline on what should be accomplished by who and when. Time is lost when employees report to work without knowing the tasks they should be doing. This often affects one’s productivity. Utilizing the software outlines tasks and makes them visible. Setting deadlines and priorities, along with scheduling, prevents misunderstandings and overlapping of tasks and schedules.

Sample features:

  1. Task priority. This makes rescheduling easier by using scheduled time slots, so priority tasks are accomplished first without having to reschedule the entire project plan.
  2. Shared team calendar. Choosing one that syncs with other calendars is vital to notify everyone in your team of assigned tasks, deadlines, and meetings. It also provides an overview of milestones by sending due dates to your team.
  3. Time slot. An overview of each member’s booked tasks and hours. This helps you quickly see to whom you should delegate the next task, which is an essential purpose of project management software to expedite the process of assigning tasks.

3. Resource management

Resource management is another reason why project management software is useful. Aside from your team, managing your resources is important to ensure proper operation so as not to waste everyone’s time. Knowing the materials, you’ll have to use in a project lets you work on it without hitches caused by a missing tool or equipment. It is a feature that outlines the resources that will be used and when they’ll be used. It also calculates the cost of its usage accordingly. Why is this helpful? It lets you avoid lacking resources and over-using them to reduce expenses by ensuring you will only pay for them when you actually use them.

4. Budget management

Each project comes with a cost that is included in a budget, along with contingencies and profit. A project manager’s goal is to keep the actual cost below, or at least at the estimated cost to maximize the profit earned by the company from the project. To manage expenses efficiently, simply creating an Excel spreadsheet won’t do the job.

Sample features:

  1. Time tracking. Documenting the time spent on tasks automates the invoicing process. This is also essential for monitoring billable and non-billable time.
  2. Budget report. It gives you monthly and weekly reports on expenditures, expenses, and totals so you can track your budget performance and immediately see if you go over the budget.
  3. Budget dashboard. A financial reporting dashboard consists of KPIs, graphs, and charts to display the progress of your project. This can also be shared with other members by giving them access.
  4. Automated invoicing. Since invoicing is time-consuming, this feature sets up email reminders for due invoices. This also helps you compile them and forward the bills with a few clicks to save more time.

5. Documentation

Many businesses use spreadsheets, while others still use pen and paper to keep track of their team project’s progress. However, having this type of arrangement exposes you to potential errors. In fact, 88% of spreadsheet data contains errors that are alarming for organizations that use it as the go-to tool for handling business operations and implementing financial analysis. Using a PM software guarantees accurate data-based documentation.

Sample features:

  1. Central data storage. It stores all data—including expenses, bills forwarded to clients, project resources, previous and upcoming calendar events, customer information, and planned and completed tasks—all in one place for easy retrieval and viewing.
  2. Quick access. This eliminates the need for switching between multiple spreadsheets, and you can share it with the rest of your team with a few clicks.
  3. Reporting. KPI dashboard and insight report is vital to monitor the project’s progress and identify any problems to immediately find a solution. The data also includes key metrics such as complete task percentage, schedule variance, and planned versus actual project value.
creative project dashboard, monday.com

Creative project management with monday.com

Examples of Project Management Software

There are a lot of PM software programs available that focuses on key features such as tracking and organizing the project management process. Knowing the features you need for your own business is essential to choosing a product to implement in your daily business operations. To give you a head start on what to choose, here are the leading examples of project management software:

1. monday.com

monday.com dashboard

Our top project management solution, monday.com, is equipped with comprehensive collaboration and communication tools to help you manage workloads. Its platform is customizable, allowing for constant and easy monitoring. It also enables users to collaborate seamlessly, as every project activity is visible to project members.

It can be smartly integrated into your established software ecosystem because of its integration capability. Because of this, you can avoid using more time in data entry and in distributing information. What’s more, integrations make communications easier because users can pick up their tasks from Slack, Gmail, Asana, and more.

The software is ideal not only for SMBs but also for freelancers. It is priced economically, making it attractive to organizations. And with its feature-rich system, it is a good investment even for small entities.

monday.com

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

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2. Wrike

Wrike dashboard

This online project management platform is designed for boosting team collaboration and efficiency. It improves productivity by making people more self-sufficient in looking for the right information (and making it easy to find them) instead of waiting for the help of others.

Wrike is a secure platform that makes certain only authorized individuals are allowed to perform certain actions. Of course, it also ensures the confidentiality of particular information by letting you assign access permissions.

Additionally, it’s packed with data management and business collaboration features. It has social platform-like tools, letting users tag collaborators with the arobase or the alt sign. This notifies the tagged person, and it also shows up on their activity stream.

Wrike

Wrike

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3. Trello

Trello dashboard

Trello is an online project management solution that streamlines the collaboration processes among team members by tracking files, tasks, and projects. It’s also equipped with integrated rule-based workflow automation and custom card buttons for a more seamless collaboration experience.

Furthermore, Trello allows you to modify cards by adding due dates, checklists, and attachments, which are especially useful for large teams and projects. Regardless of whether your team members are working outside or inside the office, everyone can see all the tasks’ statuses to keep everyone in the loop.

The system offers a freemium package, making it an ideal project management solution for small businesses. However, it also doesn’t stop the Trello from accommodating larger companies and scaling with their growth.

Trello

Trello

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4. Jira

jira dashboard

Jira is from Atlassian Corporation, a company well-known for its quality products for software development, content management, and project management. The system eases out the process of mapping out, prioritizing, and assigning tasks throughout the entire development process.

Jira is created for agile software teams that want to streamline the operations involved in the development of apps. It’s built on 15+ years of agile evolution and is continuously updated, allowing it to keep up with the latest software development trends.

The system also helps project management units in maximizing the potential of their ideas by taking the administrative burden off their shoulders. This is done by either creating custom workflows, fields, and issues or adhering with the out-of-the-box defaults.

Jira

Jira

Try out Jira with their free trial

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5. Smartsheet

Smartsheet dashboard

This web-based collaboration tool has a visual timeline and workflow automation function. And because most businesses are familiar with spreadsheets, it also integrates that but also levels it up to be more streamlined.

Smartsheet also includes Gantt charts. Plus, it allows colleagues to share files without leaving the platform. That is possible via connections with third-party file-sharing systems like Dropbox and Box.

Additionally, it is designed for various industries. This means that it is customizable. On top of that, it is cost-effective starting at $14 per user per month, so even small businesses can use it to manage their processes.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet

Try out Smartsheet with their free trial

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6. Atlassian Confluence

A tool that focuses on more efficient methods of knowledge sharing, Atlassian Confluence, makes it easier for teams to collaborate. It can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including marketing campaigns and product launches.

Confluence also organizes pages or workspaces through categories and structured pages trees. This makes it easier for users to find any content they need easily. In-context feedback is available as well through page or inline comments.

The system can be seamlessly integrated with other Atlassian products to create a solid software ecosystem that can handle more than just project management functions. Add-ons are available too from the rich Atlassian Marketplace, which further extends its features.

7. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects dashboard

A tool from Zoho that promises to give you “the ultimate project management experience,” Zoho Projects has a milestone mapping tool and helps keep track of your team’s productivity in real-time. With this, achieving goals and ensuring that they fall within budget is more possible than ever.

And because of real-time tracking, it lets project managers find underlying problems in the completion of tasks. Thus, they can resolve issues before they develop into huge problems.

Moreover, this tool makes it possible to share information easily. This is helpful when it comes to monitoring project issues because it can help in troubleshooting them quickly.

Realize goals with project management software

We have outlined several reasons why project management software is important. We can also go on about its benefits to organizations, but there is nothing like experiencing it for yourself. You can sign up for a free trial with any of the examples of project management software mentioned. That way, you can experience the benefits of project management and use the tool to help you do the job.

Furthermore, it is essential to bear in mind that project management platforms may have common features, but they also have unique tools. That is why you need to see firsthand how they work for you. Only by doing that can you know whether one solution or another is the right one for your organization. This would also give your team members the chance to try project management tools themselves and weigh in on the selection of a vendor.

Once you are done with that, you can implement the software and realize your project goals. After that, you may want to look at some project management methodologies to test which ones can help your organization attain your objectives better.

Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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