Project management has become an integral part of business lately. In fact, 83% top executives and managers consider project management as important part of their business as depicted by PMI research. When it comes to project management software, there are so many options available in the market that choosing the right one that fulfills all your needs can be difficult. To help you in choosing the best project management software, here is a list of seven important features that your next project management software must have.
1. Task Management
Just like an atom being the basic unit of any element, a task is the basic unit of a project. A project consists of many tasks and sub-tasks, which could be either dependent or independent. If they are dependent on one another then, it is important that you manage them effectively otherwise, your project might be at risk.
Despite task management being an integral part of project management, the majority of project management software skip on task management features, which is quite unfortunate. If your project management software offers best task management tools, you can efficiently manage tasks by prioritizing, assigning and executing them and boost your productivity.
2. Time Tracking
Ask any project manager about the challenges they face while managing projects and they will tell that capturing time/cost against their project goals is probably the most difficult one of them. The best way to complete projects before the deadline is to keep track of the time you spend on each project activity.
You can easily do that with a project management software especially if it has the time tracking feature. By tracking time, you can easily know whether you are falling behind the schedule or on the right track. If it is the former then, you need to get up to speed and complete remaining tasks quickly.
3. Progress Tracking
Do you want to know your project progress? Sorry, your current project management software does not have any such feature to tell you that. There is nothing more frustrating for a project manager than not being able to monitor progress as this will significantly increase the risk of project failure.
Knowing where you currently are in the project and how much progress you have already made and where you need to go from here will make the journey easier and help you to take corrective action in real time to save your project from disaster.
4. Scheduling and Deadline Management
As a project manager, you do not only have schedule tasks but also make sure that your team finishes all the assigned tasks before the deadline, which would, in turn, assist you in getting better project results. With tight deadlines becoming a norm in project management, your project management software must have deadline management features that help you meet all the deadlines.
If your current project management software doesn’t cater to dependencies, constraints or let you create accurate work breakdown structure so you can set project goals and access the project scope correctly then, it is time to replace it with a better solution that let you do all these without any hassle.
5. Resource Management
Every project manager wants to get the best out of their resources but only a handful are able to achieve that goal. You can easily optimize resource utilization and maximize your productivity with effective resource management features. Every team member is different and has a different skillset. With resource management features in your arsenal, you can easily assign tasks based on the expertise of resources and the results speak for itself.
Other than that, resource management feature can also come in handy in telling project managers when they have to outsource the project or postpone it altogether due to limited resources. Thanks to the early warning system, you can raise the resource availability issue with the higher management and get it fixed before it can hamper your project progress.
6. Communication and Collaboration
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford
As a project manager, you want to ensure that all your team members stay on the same page and work towards a common objective, which is to complete projects successfully. Stay in touch with your team members and convey your message clearly to your team members so they know what is expected from them. Communication and collaboration features of project management software enhance team collaboration and communicate effectively with both their team and clients.
Congratulations! You have completed a project. Now, it is time to present your project findings and report in front of higher management. What if your current project management software does not offer any reporting tool or feature? If that is the case, then you must get rid of it and get a new one. From team performance to project status, From workflows to project budget, everything should be a part of project report you are going to present in front of higher management. Instead of delivering project report at the end of the project, make sure to keep executives in the loop with frequent project status report.
In order to win at project management, you need to equip yourself with the right tools and features. If your project management software does not offer few of the aforementioned features than, you should start looking for suitable alternatives because if your current project management program is lacking these essential features, it will also take your projects down with it. As a project manager, you don’t want that, right. If yes, then you will have to purchase a right project management software with the right feature set that will fulfill all your project management needs.
Which project management features do you use most often? Which project management features you want to see in your next project management software? Feel free to share your feedback with us in the comments section below.