When one thinks about how project management tools are used, its benefit to the creative community is often the last one considered. These tools are often found necessary in launching events or completing construction. However, there are numerous uses for the tool that benefit creative projects.
Project Management Software Explained
According to SQA.org, an online learning resource based in the UK, the software is a tool that can be used to do a variety of tasks. It helps you stay organized and up to date so projects both internal and ones for clients can be efficiently managed. Simple project management software can streamline tasks such as scheduling, reporting, and delegation. It comes with features that ensure you stay on top of every project your business is working on. There are two main types of this software that you can choose from.
- Desktop Project Management Software
This type is ideal for single user needs. The software is downloaded and installed on the workstation where it will be used. The files are often saved at a local folder. However, if the data needs to be accessed by other individuals, it is installed in a network folder instead. Any computer that will be using the program and accessing the data will need to have the software installed manually.
In addition, the file can only be accessed by one user at a time. That means, teams or individuals involved in the project will have to wait until the others are done to be able to view or make any changes.
- Online or Cloud-Based Project Management Software
This type is ideal if you have multiple teams working on different segments of the project. It ensures that everyone has access to the information needed without any delay. The software is downloaded and installed on a main server, and other workstations can access it from there.
Online project management software is similar to any web applications, so the interface tends to be user friendly and quite easy to learn. It allows different teams to collaborate on projects while focusing on their own specific tasks. To access the tool, workstations just need to have access to the internet or an intranet. The speed, of course, of the program depends on the speed of the connection used, so it is often slower than the desktop version.
One advantage of this type is that it can be used on a variety of platforms, which means users can be on their computer, tablet, or smart phones. This ensures that team members can work on their segments of the project from virtually anywhere.
Whether you choose a free project management software download or one that needs to be purchased, you can enjoy the benefits it brings for your creative team.
Before you can start measuring how much your operations can improve with the tool, it is important that you are able to identify who are considered as creative teams. Below are some examples. You may have them in your company but had not considered them as departments that could benefit from project management software. But you’d be surprised at how the tool can greatly improve their efficiency and productivity.
- Graphic Design Team – if you don’t have internal designs for marketing campaigns outsourced, then, chances are you have a few artists on your payroll. These are the individuals responsible for creating your attention grabbing marketing and advertising materials. The Houston Chronicles reports collaboration as one of the main benefits of software for project management. Your graphic designers will certainly be able to efficiently work with your marketing team to create effective designs to promote your brand. With the software, there is no need for constant time consuming meetings as any edits or changes that need to be made can be coordinated through the tool.
You can also easily oversee their output as the best project management tools in the market, which include dashboards and reports. This allows you to have a visual on everything that’s going on without the need to micromanage.
- Web Design and Maintenance Team – websites have a huge impact on how customers perceive a business. Hubspot, an online resource for marketing, reported that 38% of online users will navigate away from a site they find unattractive or unappealing. That is a huge percentage of prospects that you do not want to waste. This is why you make sure your customers find your website easy to navigate and pleasing to view. It also needs to have relevant content. The team that handles your site’s design and content is an integral part to the success of your brand. This is the reason why they should be equipped with the right tools to ensure they are able to deliver the needed results.
Your website development and maintenance team can stay on track of customer feedback regardless of how these were sourced. Your retail sales, marketing, and customer service teams can provide information to the folks responsible for your website. This ensures that your site is enhanced to improve customer experience.
- Corporate Communications Team – the Financial Times defines this team as the one responsible for internal communications within the departments. It functions almost the same as a marketing team. The main difference is its target is the company’s employees. In order to ensure everybody is up to date with the developments and changes within the company, they create different resource materials. These can be anything from newsletters to bulletin boards. Wrong and outdated information and policies may have a huge impact on your operations.
Project management tools guarantees that they are always on top of any news that need to be distributed among the employees. It eliminates the legwork necessary to gather the information as they can simply check the tool to get updates from different departments.
With the processes streamlined because of the tool, you can ensure that your employees have more time to focus on what needs to be done to make your business a success.
Essentials in Creative Project Management Software
Project management tool reviews show that companies are able to enjoy inter department communication without any disruption of work because of the software. It gives your teams more time to work on what they are supposed to be doing rather than other admin tasks.
When choosing creative project management software to use, it is important to keep the following essentials in mind:
- The Software Should Allow Efficient Document Collaboration. Projects of whatever nature will go through a lot of brainstorming and revision. Having a tool that lets all the teams involved to communicate with each other without the need to compose emails or attend meetings will certainly go a long way.
- The Software Should Be Accessible Through Different Platforms. While everybody would like to stop working as soon as they clock out, great ideas don’t just happen from 8 to 5. A tool that comes with mobile applications will ensure that your team members can continue to work even outside of the office. With so many external stimuli in the modern world, your creative team’s great idea may come after dinner or even while on the train ride home.
- Project Planning Features in the Software Is an Absolute Essential. While traditional calendars may seem to serve the purpose of plotting your project timeline, making adjustments can be a nightmare. Imagine having to manually adjust all the other deadlines in case of any delays. With a project planning feature, the tool will do the adjustments automatically, so you and your teams are all updated of the changes.
Traditional project timeline planning used to be done on whiteboards during a brainstorming session with everybody involved. Imagine what would happen if all of your careful plotting was accidentally erased. Using an automated system protects all your hard work.
- Real Time Updates and Reports – Easy Projects, a software solutions provider, cites this as one of the most important feature of their product. Updates and reports are summarized on a dashboard that makes it easier to understand what’s going on. If you need more details, data are readily available with just one click. There’s no need to chase after teams or individuals to get an update or explanation in case of delays. Everyone will always be on the same page, so the process is virtually on auto pilot.
- Efficient File Management and Storage – with so many different elements involved in the project you’re running with your teams, it can get tedious searching through files and documents. The software you choose should allow you and your teams to access the necessary data more efficiently. This can reduce work hours and the stress involved in frantically looking for the data you need.
- Visual Reports – creative teams respond better to visual representations of the project. Your tool should be able to provide this, so your teams can easily translate the data into information they can understand. Seeing graphical reports on budget and timelines will create a more manageable work environment for your creative teams.
- Customizable – some tools offer features that may not be useful to the type of projects you will be running. This may cause some confusion and may result in your team members opting not to use the tool. This is why choosing software that allows you to customize the interface with only the necessary features is important. It makes the program easier to navigate, hence encouraging everybody involved in the project to actually use it.
Whether you are running a new project or streamlining one that is already in progress, introducing project management software into the equation can certainly deliver results that everyone can benefit from. Check out the list of project management software vendors on CrowdReviews.com and start exploring your options on working more efficiently.
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