Project management is about knowing the goals, how you’re going to achieve them, the resources you will need, and the time it’ll take to reach the specific goal. To achieve these set goals a project management tool can help keep things organized while planning and running the project. The benefits of using PM software are boundless; it can help from project planning, scheduling, resource allocation, capacity planning, monitoring project cost, quality management, recording projects, tracking, to analyze. Finding a tool that can cover all the tasks can be daunting, especially with the plethora of options available. There are hundreds or thousands of software solutions focusing on the same features, and to find the right tool for your team, consider the features you will need to manage the projects efficiently. The must-haves of a project management tool include the following.
Project planning and scheduling– Having all the tasks and responsibilities outlined and visible are essential while managing a team. It helps avoid misunderstandings and keep a track on who to assign new tasks. Using the PM tool can enable assigning tasks to team members, set priorities, and deadline. It will help in prioritizing tasks, which can be incredibly helpful when a problem arises, a shared calendar for scheduling and organizing meetings is another must-have as this will ensure that everyone receives notifications. And look out for a software solution with planning and task scheduling tools.
Collaboration- Having a tool where the team members can collaborate is another essential element that one should look out for. A project team consists of tens or hundreds of people each working on specific tasks, and often they are required to access each other’s work to complement their own. This means that it is important to establish and organize quick communication through multiple channels. It should be able to share files, calendars, contact lists, and every member should be able to insert information which the others can access. It should have a team communication, dashboard, and client data-sharing platform.
Documentation- For a project to run successfully, having a tool with documentation feature which can provide accessibility for project information or data in one place is essential. This means that you can easily share the data with the team and access it in a few clicks. You won’t have to switch between multiple spreadsheets to find bits of data or lose any data in the meantime. Another benefit of gathering all the information in one place is the detailed reporting you can get.
Resource Management- The tool can also track other project resources, such as meeting used, and materials used in the project process. A PM tool with resource management can outline all the schedules, plan resources, and calculate the cost of their use. It helps to avoid over assignments and possible conflicts of the lack of resources. When a resource is over-worked, one can easily notice it, then decide whether to limit its use or set new guidelines for its exploitation. Doing this will ensure that all the members have resources and tools to complete their tasks.
Managing the project budget- For managing larger project expenses, there will be more expenses to document and manage. With the right tool, you will be able to track expenses and provide quick and clean reporting on the performance of the budget. As you can get weekly and monthly reports on the project expenses, expenditures, and totals. Create a financial reporting dashboard to get real-time updates, use the tool to automate invoicing and time billing, track the time spent on tasks, and use it to automate invoicing. A time billing software can enable email reminders for due invoices and relieve the workload.