Managing a project can really be stressful so finding the right project management software for your business is a must. Not only will this help in getting things organized for you, it will also help in getting tasks done in a timely manner. Supervising projects with no management software could be a nightmare. This is because projects are usually being worked on by several people designated with different tasks. Hence, the more organized things are, the better.
Project Management Software Defined
A project management software is a tool or program used for preparation, planning, and implementation of tasks and projects. This will help the user or project manager with task distribution, expense tracking, and time management. This will be beneficial for the business as this would mean projects will be on track and will be delivered on time.
Basic Features of a Project Management Software
- Scheduling of tasks – One of the most important function of a project management software is scheduling. Tasks within a project are planned and scheduled. They are started and completed based on schedules and deadlines. Using the scheduling feature of the software, a project manager can plot timelines which the people working on the project can adhere to.
- Data and Documentation Sharing – This software can also keep notes and data from the team so the progress of the project is properly tracked by everyone involved. Thus, everyone is informed accordingly about where the project is at. It is a fact that team collaboration is very important in achieving a successfully implemented project so this feature of a project management software is really valuable.
- Productivity tracking – Another important function of this software is to track the members’ time management and productivity. This function accurately records the time spent on a task. This can help project managers identify if there’s any possible problem affecting the project’s progress especially if the tasks aren’t delivered on time. They could also know if there’s anyone slacking off so they can give them a little push if needed. There are several articles you can find online that can detail the importance of time tracking in project management.
- Resource allocation – The software can also help in easily allocating resources or people to whom tasks can be assigned. Most project management systems have tools to see available resources for the tasks at hand. Task delegation will be easier through the help of a project management program.
- Budget and Expense tracking – This is essential in keeping your expenses on track to make sure the allocated budget for a project is properly utilized. There are a lot of expense tracking software in the market but since most project management software already have this feature, you don’t really need to have a separate one.
- Reports – Summary of tasks can be provided by this feature. This will allow the project manager and the team to easily see the progress of the tasks or the whole project itself. Reports can be set to appear through dashboards or widgets which can easily be seen by the users.
Types of Property Management Software
In the advent of cloud computing, computer programs are no longer just workstation-based applications. Thus, a property management software can be in different forms. The Scottish Qualifications Authority website cited the following different types:
- Web-based property management software – This type is accessed either through intranet or internet via a web browser. This is easily accessible on any type of computer and on any portable device like tablets or cellphones as long as there’s a web browser on it.
- Single-user project management application – This is usually used in small organizations where there’s not much of collaborative works being done. This can be installed locally on a desktop or a laptop and only one person can edit or update the project at a given time.
- Collaborative project management systems – This type is designed for multiple users with different tasks who need to update different areas of the project at once.
- Integrated systems – This means that the project management software is integrated with different departments or aspects of the business. For example, the list of completed projects handled by the Services department becomes the list of customers of the technical support team; bugs experienced by the clients can be sent through as a task or a project; people from different departments can utilize the calendars and can communicate through the messaging or documentation features of the program.
Choosing the Project Management Software for Your Business
There are several project management systems in the market nowadays and choosing which one suits your business best could be really tough. To help out with the selection process, there are a lot of project management software reviews online that one can go through for insights. However, before jumping in to read through the reviews, below are some of the things to be considered in selecting the best project management software suited for your business.
1. Determine what the business needs – It is necessary that you first assess what your business needs and requires. List down your company’s requirements. Questions like the following might help you narrow down what’s needed and what’s not: What industry is your business under? What re the processes does your business currently have? Which of these processes are efficient and which are not? Do you need to automate some of your processes? How many users will need access to the software? Does the application need to be mobile? The list could go on but these ones could get you started.
If your business or organization is already big, it would be advisable that you hire a business analyst to help out in choosing the best project management software for you.
2. Research – Check out what project management software is being used by some companies that belong to the same industry as your business. From there, you can start to narrow down which ones you would need to research on more. Below are some of the things you could check when you’re doing your research.
- Software’s official website – Browse through the software’s official website to learn more about the application. Check the features and see if they are suited for your business. Some product websites are really detailed in describing what their features are. Most software websites also now have project management software reviews by their clients so you can also see their feedback from there. Some also have case studies of their clients that you can review and get good insights from.
- Review websites – There are several reviews of project management software available online. You can find several reviews from websites like com. You will also be able to see comparisons and customer ratings online. There are also blogs and articles available that can give more ideas about project management software. The good thing about third party review websites is that, not only it will tell you the good things about the software, it will also show you the software’s flaws and negative side. This will really be useful especially if you really want to know if the price is worthy of the product.
- Software Demo and Review videos – There are several demos about applications that you can find in YouTube. The good thing about this is that these reviews of project management software in YouTube are also like tutorials. They can give you a step-by-step guide on how to use the features of the software. Comments from the other viewers can also provide you a good source of opinions and feedbacks about the project management software.
- Software users– Probably another best way to know how well a software works is by talking to the ones who are actually using the product. They will be able to give you their feedback on their first-hand experience with the project management software they are using. They will be able to give their opinion about the software like if it’s user-friendly or if it’s something that’s really complicated to use. They can tell you if there are issues they are currently encountering with the software they are using.
3. Free Trial – Take advantage of some project management software free trials Most applications have trial periods and this is your chance to get to know the software better. Try them out with your employees and see which one works best with them. You can play around with it and through this you can tell which one suits your business. This is also your chance to see if there are bugs or issues with the software.
4. Request demo – Software companies usually have a sales team that could provide you a good demonstration of their product. If you have already narrowed down your top choices, you could request for demos from the software sales team. During the demo, you could ask questions directly to the people from the software company. Thus, you’ll be able to get quick and accurate answers.
Open Source Project Management Software
There are also some open source project management software that can be used especially for small to medium-sized businesses. All these can be used for free. If you are unsure yet on what software to use in particular, you can opt to try any of these available free project management software. The website OpenSource.com lists the following among some of the top open source project management software of 2016.
- Tuleap Open ALM
Start listing down the needs and requirements of your business now. Once you have your list, next thing to do is to research what could be the best software for your business. All the time spent doing the research will surely pay off once you’re able to pick the right software for you.
Looking for the best project management software for your business? Check out CrowdReviews.com for rankings and reviews by other users.
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