Whatever your business does and whatever its size and scope, it likely faces the same conundrum as any other business. How does it make its operations more efficient to reduce waste and overhead costs without diminishing the quality that your consumer base expects? No matter how confident you are in your operational processes, there’s an excellent chance that you could make things more efficient. And Project Management Software can help to facilitate that efficiency. It is designed to make all the behind the scenes processes easier and more cohesive while allowing your team more time and effort to spend on the things that will wow your customers.
You’ve invested heavily in the resources at your disposal, whether they be human or technological. Project Management Software is designed to help you to get the most out of the resources you have, tracking your projects and managing your resources in a way that is centralized. This makes for better organization, efficiency, accuracy, team cooperation and interdepartmental collaboration.
In an era where we’re conditioned to throw a new digital tool at every problem that arises, Project Management Software is designed to actually minimize your toolbox and streamline your operational processes. It does this by consolidating task management, monitoring, file sharing and communications onto a single platform.
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How your business can benefit from Project Management Software
There are many tangible benefits of using Project Management Software no matter what you do, how you do it or how many people you employ. Project Management Software improves working relationships among (and between) teams and departments. It makes communication and collaboration easier and allows for easier tracking of tasks and therefore greater individual accountability.
The volume of data collected by the software also allows you to identify weak links in your operational chain. False assumptions, missed steps or mistakes made as a result of incomplete training and easy to identify and rectify so that you can keep ensuring operational excellence.
In an era where every business seems perpetually locked in a race against the clock, Project Management Software can help keep you on the right side of your deadlines. Because tasks, deadlines and responsible parties are visible to everyone involved, teams can work with transparency and accountability to ensure excellent time and resource management.
What to consider when choosing Project Management Software
Hopefully we’ve convinced you that Project Management Software is a worthy investment. But with so many solutions on the market, each with its own subtly different set of functionalities, it can be tricky choosing one that’s right for your needs. Here are some things to consider to make the right choice…
Ease of use / implementation
Incorporating new software into operations is often a pain point for businesses. Few can afford the down time that comes with extensive training and the effect this may have on cash flow. With that in mind, the more intuitive your Project Management Software’s interface and the better suited it is to the way your team already works, the better.
A software solution should fit around your existing operations, not the other way around. The interface should be welcoming and make it easy for teams and team members to access the information or functions that they need. Tools should also offer customization to ensure that different teams get the most out of their solutions (more on that later).
Task management functionality
Every project is the sum of a number of discrete tasks. A good Project Management Software solution will have the task management functionality necessary to assign specific tasks to one or more team members, set due dates and prioritize tasks. It should send users notifications when deadlines loom close or when discrete tasks are completed.
Time management is crucial to every project and the right software will allow all users to see the project timeline and track their own personal or departmental progress. It should also demonstrate where a team’s timeline fits in with other deadlines for other departments allowing for better coordination and collaboration.
Thus, if a team experiences an unforeseen delay, managers are better positioned to mitigate the knock-on effect on other teams / departments.
Whatever the size of your team, department or organization… Communication is the key to efficient collaboration. And when communications start over the phone, move to email, then to text messaging and then back to email, tracking the thread of that conversation can be highly problematic.
Fortunately, virtually all Project Management tools have some sort of messaging / communication facility to keep all of your communications in one place. Thus, they can be easily parsed and interrogated so no instruction gets forgotten.
Getting quick and easy access to the most recent version of a document is another common pain point for teams. The good news is that the best Project Management Software solutions not only have features for storing and sharing files but to manage documents, grant sharing permissions and even share to external partners securely.
The centralized nature of PM tools makes it easier for managers to get a comprehensive overview of the project so that they can determine if and when intervention and oversight are needed. They provide accurate real-time reporting to allow managers to keep a close eye on budget and resource allocation via flexible and intuitive reporting tools.
Your dashboard is a graphical overview of your project that should give managers access to everything they need at a glance. These can be invaluable in reporting to senior managers or stakeholders to let them know how the project is going. Combined with robust reporting features, they can tell managers at all levels everything they need to know about how the project is progressing.
When coordinating multiple teams with different needs and prioritization, flexibility becomes very important. Features and functionalities that might be utterly integral to one team or team member may be an unwelcome distraction to others.
Thus, a good PM solution should have customizable features to make the digital tools at your disposal easier and more enjoyable to use.
Time, budget, and resource allocation
Of course, tasks aren’t the only thing that teams and their managers need to keep a close eye on. It’s also vital that all parties know how much of their budget, time and other finite resources they have left at their disposal as the project draws towards its deadline. The best Project Management Software incorporated time management features like shared calendars as well as budget reporting, billing and time tracking functionalities. The more aware your team is of the resources at its disposal, the less chance there is of misspent resources, going over-budget or failing to meet a deadline.
As you can see, there are many reasons why a Project Management Software solution is a worthy investment for any business. And when you choose one that provides the functionalities that mean the most to you, departmental waste and operational inefficiency become things of the past!