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What Is Project Management Software & What Are Its Advantages

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 Is Project Management Software?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: Project planning and scheduling Resource allocation Performance tracking Budget and cost management Change management Collaboration and communication  Risk mitigation Monitoring performanceThere 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: Monday.com Microsoft Projects Skype Celoxis  Wrike Benefits of project management software: There are several benefits that project management software have to offer. Specifically, a project management software should help with: Planning and scheduling: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.   Team collaboration: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: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. Accessing and sharing files: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.  Integrating new members: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. Risk management and mitigation: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.  Budget management: 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: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.  Enhancing productivity: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: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.   

What Is Project Management Software & What Are Its Advantages

5K
What Is Project Management Software & What Are Its Advantages

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 Is Project Management Software?

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: 

  • Project planning and scheduling 
  • Resource allocation 
  • Performance tracking 
  • Budget and cost management 
  • Change management 
  • Collaboration and communication  
  • Risk mitigation 
  • Monitoring performance

Project Management Software

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: 

  • Monday.com 
  • Microsoft Projects 
  • Skype 
  • Celoxis  
  • Wrike 

Benefits of project management software: 

There are several benefits that project management software have to offer. Specifically, a project management software should help with: 

  • Planning and scheduling:

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.   

  • Team collaboration:

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:

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. 

  • Accessing and sharing files:

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.  

  • Integrating new members:

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. 

  • Risk management and mitigation:

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.  

  • Budget management: 

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:

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.  

  • Enhancing productivity:

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:

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.   

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

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KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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A company’s reputation is reflected in the brands and products it builds. All organizations strive to create products that reflect quality, sustainability and durability. A product’s lifecycle from its ideation to creation and shipping and distribution is a complex route and involves several processes, stages and teams across the company. In this blog we attempt to understand all about product planning and development and the various stages involved in it.  Product Development—what is it?Product development encompasses all the stages involved in a product’s lifecycle and includes everything from its ideation to design, development, testing, and finally shipping and delivery. Irrespective of what product is being developed, whether it’s an IT product or a manufacturing product, the product lifecycle is always the same.   How is Agile Product Development different? The agile approach to product development was born in the nineties when a group of software experts got together and created the Agile Manifesto, the bible for the agile methodology which laid down the guidelines to create processes that would help teams to use new methods for software development. The aim of agile was to put the focus back on the team, customers and quality and help organizations cope with a changing business scenario, making them more resilient to change. Agile uses the idea of iterative product development that requires the collaboration of self-organizing teams to define requirements and implement solutions. Agile product development produces high quality software—on time and within budget and which can improve on recommendations from the client.What are the needs & importance of Product Development?There are many needs for Product Development:  To bring in new products into the markets To improve existing products To increase market share, revenue and profits To scale up to competition To enhance organizational reputation by launching quality products To benefit customers by giving them new and improved products To respond to market changes by launching new products or revising existing ones. The different stages in Product DevelopmentWhile the stages in product development may be different for different organizations and products, there are a few standard steps that all products follow: Ideation: Before jumping in and building the product, the need for the product has first to be established. What is its need, and what problem is it solving? How popular will it be? These and more answers justifying the need for the product can be got from surveys, research and communication with clients and customers. Conceptualization/design planning: The need for the product has been established. The creators have identified what problem or issue needs to be solved. Now they have to devise how the product that they build will solve the issue. Some solutions may be easy to come up with while others may need more in-depth research and brainstorming. The entire team comes together and designs how the product will shape up and how it will serve customer needs.   Developing the product roadmap: The product roadmap is a plan of action that defines the short- and long-term goals of the product to be built. This is an important stage in the product development lifecycle as it outlines the product priority features that need to be delivered first and also outlines the progress of the product over time. The product management team develops the product roadmap. Developing the first version: Also called the minimal viable product, the development team creates the first version of the product that has the bare minimum functionality, but which allows the user to interact with it end to end. The MVP is further iterated and enriched based on user feedback.  Testing: Testing is a part of the development process in Agile product development. It happens in parallel with the development. Continuous testing and continuous feedback help make the product better and ensures continuous improvement.  Releasing the product: The product is released to the customer. Improving based on feedback: This is an ongoing phase where the product is continuously upgraded based on customer feedback. How to create a Product Development Plan in simple StepsProduct development includes stakeholders in order to understand their requirements and concerns while building the product. Every product development lifecycle must include a few basic steps which are important to ensure that the product delivered is of the expected quality. Create a product vision: No product can be built without an idea and a vision. The product vision and idea will define how it will be built and for whom, how it will shape up and what solutions it will provide. The product vision is created after consultations with the stakeholders. Agile is all about the customers and it is important that they are involved from the beginning till the end in the product development. The product vision is the primary stage in product development and also probably the most critical. It may be a little unclear in the early stages but through market research and analysis it soon develops into a ready reckoner for the team as it outlines the product goals and milestones that need to be delivered.  Build the product roadmap: Agile follows the principle of early and continuous delivery of valuable software. The product roadmap defines the features of the product that must be prioritised in order to deliver a minimal viable product to the customer. The roadmap helps the teams to decide the time intervals at which features need to be delivered. The roadmap is built by taking into consideration customer requirements, market trends, and effort required.  Build the product: Once the roadmap has been agreed upon, the teams decide the schedules and the project is broken down into smaller chunks, which in Scrum are called epics and sprints. Once a minimum viable product is created it is continuously iterated in order to improve it, based on feedbacks and testing.Product Development Vs Product ManagementProduct development is concerned with the actual development of the product.  It may comprise of teams that are involved with the implementation of the product such as developers, designers, testers, etc.  Product Management on the other hand is a wider umbrella and comprises of how the product goals will align to the overall organizational objectives and business goals. It includes a whole lot of processes that are all concerned with building the product, improving it and marketing it. The product management team liaises often with the stakeholders and ensures their buy-in during product development.  How Does the Product Roadmap work in Product Development?The product roadmap helps the stakeholders see the broader strategic vision by aligning the product development with the goals and business objectives of the organization. The product roadmap helps the development team by giving them the vision of the product so that they might ensure meeting deadlines and delivering milestones, while avoiding scope creep and mitigating risks. The product roadmap is a go-to document for Product Owners and managers who use it to collaborate, assign tasks, create the product backlog and define priorities.  The product roadmap is also a reference point for the organizational leadership as it helps them understand the overall scope of the project, the liabilities, risks and the advantages associated with the product.  Who Benefits from Product Development?The Organization: This refers to the organization that has created the product for an end-user. The organization that creates the product will not just have its reputation enhanced as a formidable and quality-oriented organization but will also reap the profits of having created a quality product. The organization can counter stiff competition by creating a product that re-affirms its position in the market.  The end-user: The end-user gets a product that is high in quality and solves issues that the user might have faced earlier.  The team: The development team/teams that have created the product have much to gain from product development. The experience of having worked in a high-quality project, the satisfaction of having built a great product along with the goodwill from the stakeholders all go in favour of the development team members.A Last Word Product development is a continuous process. If there are consumers there will be product development. Agile has redefined product planning and development by putting the onus back on the customer. Agile product development follows methods that reduce overheads and streamline processes, ensuring timely deliveries and customer delight.  
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What Is Product Development?

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