Tools for project management come in all shapes and sizes. Software management tools offer a wide range of features and capabilities and straddle a range of price points.
Easy project management software assists small to large businesses in staying organized and structured when executing projects. Be it time and resource planning, budgeting or reporting, these software management tools include web and cloud -based applications are able to span geographies and IT systems.
Defining Project Management Software
Project management software is software used for project planning, scheduling, resource allocation and change management. It allows project managers (PMs), stakeholders and users to control costs and manage budgeting, quality management, risk mitigation and documentation. Project management software facilitates collaboration and communication between project stakeholders and across project teams. The technology may also be used as an administration system.
Features of Project Management Software
Although project management software is used by business in a variety of ways, its primary KPIs are to facilitate the planning and tracking of project components, stakeholders, and resources. Project management software caters to the following primary functions:
- Project planning: To define a project schedule, a project manager (PM) may use the software to map project tasks and visually describe task interactions
- Scheduling: Identifies critical path and task interdependencies, coordinates team member and specialist schedules
- Resource allocation: Ensures team members are working on the right thing at the right time and manages resource inputs
- Task management: Allows for the creation and assignment of tasks, deadlines and status reports.
- Document sharing and collaboration: Productivity is increased via a central document repository accessed by project stakeholders.
- Calendar and contact sharing: Project timelines include scheduled meetings, activity dates, and contacts that should automatically update across all PM and stakeholder calendars.
- Bug and error management: Project management software facilitates bug and error reporting, viewing, notifying and updating for stakeholders.
- Time tracking: Software must have the ability to track time for all tasks maintain records for third-party consultants.
Effective processes and forecasting skills are all features of mature project management. These are complemented by transparency, visibility across a range of reporting criteria and well-developed project management metrics.
7 Business Benefits of Project Management Software
Businesses who don’t adopt even easy project management software are effectively managing chaos and hoping for the best. Every stage in the project lifecycle becomes a ticking bomb with the potential for the project to go seriously off the rails.
Schedules are altered as key team members are diverted to fixing immediate issues in the day-to-day business operations, delivery windows are missed, customer and supplier trust in the enterprise is undermined.
A survey conducted by Carnegie Mellon found that when organizations become better at project management, key performance metrics significantly improve. Scheduling compliance rose 50 percent and overall productivity improved by over 60 percent.
The path to that productivity and performance enhancements lies in the following seven business benefits of employing project management software:
1.Collaboration On Projects
People are frequently designated individual tasks, which are part of a bigger project a whole team is trying to complete. Project management software gives employees a method to collaborate on projects by discussing documents, timelines, outstanding work etc.
2.Internal & External Communication
Project management software develops a disciplined channel for communication relating to tasks and projects both internally, but also externally with clients, supplier and other stakeholders.
Budgets are a critical component of any project. Exerting effective day-to-day control over budgets has a major bearing on the project’s performance. The way forward for any business depends on how well you can deliver within the budgets provided. Project management software helps the Project Manager determine the work budget (planned versus actual) so the work can be aligned with their operational targets and best practice benchmarks.
Monitoring the progress of the project is essential with any well-managed project and for the long-term success of any business. Dedicated software plays an important role in monitoring the stages of a project and can yields significant insights into whether the project will complete on time or miss its deadline.
Document sharing, whether inside the tool or in an integrated 3rd party system, enable team members and management to locate the current versions of critical documents, track changes in documentation, locate wireframes, specifications etc. enabling project transparency and sound communication.
6.Communication with Clients and Suppliers
Companies should be able to talk about and collaborate with clients and suppliers from a shared space or digital team room. Companies using project management software are able to offer their clients the ability to login and view their relevant project data. Using this technology, clients can provide direct feedback, make edits and review progress using a shared document repository.
7.Optimized Decision Making
Project management software systems assist team members and management in making the right decisions based on information held in a common place. Hence easy project management software directly enhances the decision-making process improving its timeliness and accuracy.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
One of the happy byproducts of effective project management processes are satisfied customers. When a project is completed promptly and under budget, the client usually finishes the project happy and contented. A satisfied customer is one you will see again. Smart project management software offers the tools, which allow this customer/supplier relationship to be nurtured and developed. By applying fundamental project management software strategies, business can narrow its project focus, achieve its goals and improve its deliverability and accompanying success rate.
It is unfortunate that project management is often consigned to certain industries or departments. Good project management should be a core competency of every business unit and should be the process through which every manager delivers timely projects that fulfills business requirements.
When implemented with care and with the right software management tools, project management can diffuse throughout the entire organization, increasing productivity, reliability, and ideally, the business’s return on investment for its portfolio of projects.
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