Over the years, there has been tremendous progress in technology. This has resulted in projects getting more complicated and extensive. Also, since our world is shrinking and geographies are getting closer, our projects are getting pan-global, involving resources from across the globe. What project managers need these days to effectively carry out tasks and ensure project success are tools that will help them manage their resources, time and money better.
There are several such project management software engineering tools available in the market and this blog is your go-to guide to decide how to choose the right software tools to make your life easier as a project manager.
What do project managers need? A tool that will help them better plan and schedule, manage resources, communicate and collaborate with stakeholders and team members. Project management software helps perform all these activities and more.
Here is a list of things a project management software tool helps to accomplish:
There are several project management software platforms available, that provide several tools for easy project management. The main purpose of a project management software is to help in planning and tracking of the project components and facilitate communication between those involved.
Some of the project management software packages available in the market include:
There are several benefits that project management software have to offer. Specifically, a project management software should help with:
Planning and scheduling are the most important aspects of a project manager’s role. These include assigning tasks to resources, scheduling time for these tasks to be completed and allocating a budget for these tasks. Project planning and scheduling are used to attain project objectives and can be thought of as a comprehensive outline of the project objectives, scope, budget and time. An effective project management software should be able to help the project manager define and map project tasks efficiently.
Successful projects require utmost collaboration and communication between team members. Today’s projects are more distributed, with teams working from different corners of the globe. In such a scenario having a tool that maximises collaboration between team members will also result in positive outcomes for the project. And not just team members, effective collaboration needs to be maintained with the clients and stakeholders too.
This is especially true for Agile projects that focus on transparency and trust. An effective platform to communicate the project milestones and challenges will help keep everyone on the same page in the context of the project.
Task delegation is an important aspect of project management. A good project management tool will help in effective task delegation by allowing the creation of tasks, assignment of tasks to resources, setting of deadlines and generating status reports.
Multiple team members working on a project will need to access shared resources such as files, trackers, reports etc. Efficient project management software should be able to provide a central repository of files and other shared resources that can be accessed by all team members, which in turn will enhance the productivity of the team.
Just like a good project management software will help automate tasks and collaborate, it will also help in easy integration of new members to the existing team.
Every project is prone to risk and an effective project manager will always think of ways to mitigate risks before they occur. Effective risk management requires the project manager to monitor and ensure that the project does not exceed scope, time or budget. A good project management tool should have the facility to help project managers protect projects against risks and changes through analysis, assessments and tracking.
It’s very difficult to justify to stakeholders why the project budget has gone overboard. An effective tool should help a project manager create an accurate budget and help maintain it by monitoring costs and resources.
The markets are fluctuating and so are costs for resources. In such a case it is possible that a project that is very extensive will go over the estimated budget. The project manager can simplify budgeting and keep a track on costs by creating accurate trackers and reports. Adding new costs, tracking labour costs, adding extra costs such as risk mitigation costs etc aid the project manager in maintaining the project budget and ensuring that there is no overrun.
Remote working has now become the norm, and the pandemic has made remote working a necessity rather than a convenience. Maybe a decade ago, managing projects remotely, getting resources to work together, allocating tasks etc would have seemed impossible. But project management tools available today have made remote working efficient and effective.
A good tool should allow team members who are geographically dispersed and separated by time zones to work effectively, collaboratively and without a break in communication. From helping team members access shared repositories to sharing ideas to communicating effectively, the project management software should be seamless for virtual teams.
When your team has everything ready at its disposal and does not have to worry about anything other than the development of the project, then productivity increases and so does motivation to be productive. Efficient software can find loopholes in timelines, scope creep or budget and help you address them early on, thus helping you deliver better products on time and optimise processes. Your stakeholders in turn will be happy and so will your team members!
Effective communication is the single most important thing to ensure that a project, be it Scrum, Waterfall, XP or Kanban, is delivered effectively. The project management software should provide a platform where team members can communicate through chat messenger, video or voice calls. This helps disperse information at the right time and in the right format for the right impact.
To sum up...
There are several project management software packages available in the market. Organizations should choose the software which suits their projects and team members. Effective project management software will not just help you track the progress of your projects but will help create an efficient system of communication and collaboration with team members and stakeholders, monitoring performance and mitigating risks before they even occur.
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