It is often said that project management software boosts productivity. While this is true, there’s also a lot more to project management tools than meets the eye. In this article, we list the 10 main reasons you should get project management software for your organization.
As every project manager knows, the costs of a missed deadline can be enormous. Project management software is critical to planning, tracking, and hitting key milestones and deliverables. It lets you set measurable goals, view progress in real time, and re-evaluate project components where necessary. The best project management tools allow users to visualize progress in a number of ways. One of the most popular visualization options is the Gantt chart, which illustrates tasks on the vertical axis and time intervals on the horizontal axis, along with dependency relationships between activities.
The bigger a project, the harder it is to get everyone working to their full potential. Project management software shows you who’s working on what and who has the capacity to take on new tasks. Team members can provide updates or share their status through the platform. This eliminates the need for time-consuming meetings, and ensures everyone knows what it is they should be working on – and what their colleagues are working on. If anyone is unsure what it is they should be doing at a given moment, they can open up their project management platform to find out.
Project management platforms can manage all sorts of resources, including budgets. The best platforms allow you to track your finances across all projects in one place and in real time. You should be able to drag and drop columns (e.g. planned costs, actual costs, the person responsible for the budget item). You should also be able to interpret your data with formulas, sort of like using a pre-configured version of Excel.
One of the problems of using lots of different tools for managing projects is that files get lost. Having a single project management platform for everyone in your organization ensures that files can be easily and securely sent between people and groups – and easily found. The best project management programs offer seamless integration with Microsoft SharePoint, Google Drive, and other third-party file-sharing apps – allowing your people to share files from these external apps without ever leaving their dashboard.
Further to our point about file sharing, project management software encourages team members to collaborate with one another. Collaboration tools allow team members to comment on and edit each other’s work in a central workflow, accelerating the feedback loop. Often, files from G-Suite, Figma, and other cloud-based collaboration tools can be embedded and edited without having to leave the project management platform.
Project management platforms also make it easier to communicate and collaborate with external stakeholders. Just set user permissions, giving your external partners and clients as much or as little access to your platform as you wish.
In the old days, it could take weeks or months to bring new team members up to speed on a big project. But now it can all be done automatically – thanks to project management software. Just set up login credentials for the new team member, set user permissions, and allow them to get themselves up to speed on the progress of your project and what is expected of them.
COVID-19 has changed a lot of things, including how we work. As things slowly return to normal, it appears that many employers are entertaining the idea of hybrid office/remote work arrangements, e.g. two days at home and three days from the office. Cloud-based project management software makes remote work possible. Because everything is accessible online, employees can log into the platform from wherever they happen to be working – and the best thing is that it’s all completely secure.
One of the greatest benefits of using project management software for all your work is that it gives you a single source of truth, i.e., a single place where all your data can be found. Good project management software lets you analyze real-time and historical data on a configurable dashboard (or, in some cases, on a “dashboard of dashboards”). The end result is that you get to make data-driven decisions for your organization or team.
Like any other investment, project management software is only worthwhile if it delivers significant ROI. We have already described the main benefits to using project management software. The good news is that the cost is usually minuscule in comparison. For just $5 to $15 per user per month, you can get visualization and collaboration tools along with various third-party integrations and several gigabytes of storage. For $15 to $25 per user per month, you get custom workflows, custom automations, and advanced insights and analytics. For more than $25 per user per month, you can get an enterprise solution including advanced user controls and security features.
Gone are the days of using manual processes to manage projects. Today technology has advanced to the point where it can manage all the repetitive tasks associated with projects, freeing managers and employees to focus on their deepest and most productive tasks.