Ideal Project Management Solution Features
In choosing the appropriate project management solution, it is important that the one who will implement it knows what are the needs and problems it should address. Getting a project management software is a huge investment itself, both in terms of time and money, so it is important to come up with your own uncompromisable features to achieve before going out and look for the best fit.
In most cases, an expert project manager can know best what kind of project management tool that works with efficiency and effectiveness, given a certain scenario or need. He or she has the substantial experience in evaluating the pros and drawbacks of adopting certain focused and specialized project management tools that may hinder productivity in some levels.
Wrike.com suggests that you see these project management related needs and scenarios and know how project management tools can put things in the right perspective:
- Your Need for Transparency in the Project‘s Processes
Executives and leaders in an organization sometimes lack the oversight in the internal operations due to lack of reporting because of misaligned activities with the master plan. There are variations in strategic and technical plans, which may not be appropriately defined and put into the record, that when issues arise, it is difficult to locate the fault.
A project management tool should provide a real time view or monitoring of the various kinds of tasks to be executed simultaneously and sequentially within a project. It should also let the team members work collaboratively and interactively and share their insights to contribute improvements, if necessary. It also lets members update the project management team when variations arise, and automatically apply changes and updates with other tasks left to be implemented. When the whole project management structure is updated and there is increased visibility, executives and top level leaders will be able to implement ways to steer the project back into the right direction.
- Moderate Excessive Routine Tasks
In a project management system, the project manager is the center of all tasks to be executed. All reports, status updates, change requests, and central communications are coursed through him or her. It is also part of his or her job to update the team and the upper management about all of these. The constant repetition of these mundane tasks can be taxing and stressful, which can wear out any individual with doing the same, routine tasks on a regular basis.
A task management tool should moderate, if not completely eliminate, this time consuming repetitive activities in order for project managers to be more efficient with the use of their time. Instead, their efforts can be redirected to much more important tasks. Project management tools have automated features, especially in the communication department, which can significantly reduce the amount of time in repeating the same regular routine by replacing it with constant updates, automatic reminders, schedule alerts, and easy access to documents and ease in sharing it as well. The project manager can now have more time for leading, guiding, and motivating the team.
- The Need for Email Integration
Updates and variations are important to be disseminated properly in the team and proper management using a centralized communication medium. With this, using an email is the most efficient way in order to have control over who needs to be informed and what kind of information should be communicated. It also makes storing and archiving valuable information into a centralized repository easier to do, which in turn also makes retrieval faster to implement as well.
Features To Look for in a Project Management Tool
In a typical day, project managers run a host of responsibilities like monitoring, planning, scheduling, attending meetings, negotiating, managing resources, and analyzing reports. On some days, it can even get more stressful as tasks pile up.
Running large scale projects, or even going through some rough relationship with your coordination skills, can make adopting a project management tool necessary, in order to lessen the bulk of work on the project manager’s shoulders by automating time consuming tasks.
It is said that 77% of businesses are utilizing a project management software, and 87% of those high performing businesses are also using project management tools.
If only it is as simple as deciding that one day that you need a project management software, then, everything would be okay, but with the hundreds of project management tools available in the market today, one can find that it is overwhelming to choose the most appropriate tool to address your organization’s needs, and what would best complement a project manager’s work ethics.
Here are the top features you should look for in a project management software:
- Planning and Scheduling Capability
When managing a team, it is important that a project manager ensure that processes are made visible across, and responsibilities are outlined. This is done in order for team members to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, in line with their work scope and skills.
With the use task management software, a project manager can assign tasks to the members of the team and constantly monitor their individual performances. The project manager can also set deadlines and automatically inform the team members about it. One can also make use of its integrated calendar that organizes meetings and sets up deadlines a breeze. It also ensures that all team members are properly informed and notified when the meeting is nearing.
It is also noteworthy to mention the planning feature of a project management software. It enables a project manager to have an itemized list of all tasks to be executed and delegate them accordingly to his or her team members. This is effectively done by utilizing these important planning features:
- Time or Hourly View of Each Individual Member
This enables the project manager to gain better insight about the schedule of a team member and assign tasks accordingly and refrain from “overbooking” them.
- Priority Setting
A project manager can provide “tags” for him or her to know what tasks are part of the priority list and monitor it with the right focus and attention.
- Accomplished Task/Delay Alerts
The project manager can be alerted if a team member finishes a task ahead of schedule for him or her to designate a new task right away. The project manager can also be informed if there are delays with the execution of tasks for him or her to make the necessary follow up and course of action, so as not to prolong the delay and impact other tasks.
- Improved Productivity
With all of these planning convenience that one may realize when using a software, there is improved productivity and efficiency with task execution and overall management.
- Collaborative Work Capability
Most modern organizations are incorporating a diverse workforce in order to have competence and leverage globally. When engaging in a large scale project and dealing with it across the border, work team may be quite challenging without the use of appropriate tools and the right technology.
For a long distance work team to work, a good communication system should be established in order for accurate information to thrive within the whole process management structure. When the objectives are clear and properly disseminated, team members can proceed with their work with better understanding of the common goal. A project manager must also have the necessary skills to communicate effectively in the way he exudes clarity with his words and instructions. Deadlines must also be emphasized in order to set the sequence of processes appropriately.
A host of other collaboration features encompasses a project management software, which includes the following:
- File Sharing
- Chat and Email Integration
- File Sharing With Customers and Stakeholders
- Capability To Assist With Documentation
By maintaining a central repository of all incoming data, it is easier to consolidate information to support the required documentation at the end of the project. This feature is also useful when one needs to access a file to support his or her task execution, as well as sharing a document with the group will be done with ease.
- Reporting With Big Data Analytics
Technology has definitely advanced when it comes to data processing. When using a project management tool, one can expect a smart way of achieving reports with accurate information embedded in it. Using big data analytics, one can incorporate measurable KPIs or Key Performance Indicators in order to better evaluate the performance of each task against a specified criteria. Dashboards can also make real time reporting, in order for the project management team or leader to keep track of the daily activities and accomplishments of the team, and also to apply the necessary action immediately for issues that may arise.
- Resource Management Capability
The project manager should properly allocate its resources and must also keep track on how these resources are used up during the course of the project. Gaining this insight will help a project manager to designate resources according to specific need and purpose of use, in order minimize over assigning tasks and setting up unrealistic time frames.
- Budgeting Capability
More complex projects need a more comprehensive list of costs and budgets in great detail. This is challenging for a project manager to accomplish manually, and doing so will introduce errors and inaccuracies.
A software for project management can let its user allocate budgets appropriately by looking at the project in a bigger picture and seeing the inter dependencies of tasks, which can affect how it should utilize its budget. One can also gain a better view of how budgets are used up, and costs incurred are also listed down for better tracking.
Listing down your own list of uncompromisable features of the top project management tools can help narrow down your choices. To further refine your options, you can check out CrowdReviews.com’s reviews of project management tools for actual client feed backs and performance ratings of the best project management software in the market today.
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