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A good online entrepreneur is always on the lookout for tools that will benefit the organization he belongs to. An effective project management software is the perfect element to consider as every business that aims for success has a set of goals and objectives to meet where growth and progress are ought to be measured.
Technology is capable of many wonders in the workforce these days so companies might as well take advantage of that. Businesses, whether big or small, know that time is a treasured resource. In order to battle the phenomenon of not properly utilizing this important resource, a project management software is a functional resource to incorporate to your work toolset. Its purpose is to help businesses carrying out a project to efficiently plan, systematize, administer the budget and time to be consumed.
To make use of a project management software, businesses need to get a good understanding of the services they’re going to avail. After all, anyone would only want the best and what deems to be the most beneficial. Consider these must-have project management software features to find what fits best for the project you and your team are targeting to accomplish:
1. Task Management
The task management feature is the most basic aspect that you should look for when choosing a project management software. With this, your team is enabled to discover the scope of the project, identify what individual tasks covering the project are to be accomplished, find out the schedule and needed time to be consumed, and determine the actionable plan your team needs to take in order for you to garner success on the project.
The manager of the project can monitor the tasks if they’re progressing and if the deadline for each is being met. Softwares and programs with the task management feature allow users to create the tasks, distinguish who in the team will be assigned to each task, set the deadline where each is expected to be passed and have an estimate of how much time is needed for each.
This feature is most beneficial for business teams faced with a large project. Task management assists in planning and prioritizing which actions should be done first. In this way, the members of the team are following a step-by-step process rather than just blindly finishing to-do lists. By having the journey to achieving the project divided into stages, managers can track if the team is growing and moving towards the set goals.
The point of considering the incorporation of a project management software to your work is to let you and your members accomplish what needs to be accomplished as a team. This means doing the tasks within the project collaboratively. Without the collective efforts and cooperation of the members of the team, the success of the project is one big blurred picture.
A collaboration feature in a project management software must cover a shared workspace where members of the team and/or clients, regardless of location, can work together smoothly and without problems. You should also look for a communication tool so those involved in the project can exchange reports, ideas and insights to make the completion of tasks efficient. This should allow members to have interaction in the form of email, chat and/or call.
You should also check if the software allows collaborators to work and co-author on a certain file or document simultaneously in one place. Sharing of images, videos, clips, files, and other documents should as well be possible in the software because this is a feature every team needs for them to be able to complete the project. Collaborators should be allowed to upload, organize, store, and revise files and other team documents in real time to avoid future file-related problems.
3. Time Tracking
Combating the unnecessary waste of time adds to the ingredients of successfully carrying out a project. For some business teams, time can be a very limited resource. So to avoid the hassle for project managers, a feature of a project management software that lets them track the time each member of the team allots to the task given to them is a big help.
This feature allows the project manager to determine if the team progresses on their work and this also lets them schedule accordingly. Not only that, this can also grant project managers the opportunity to monitor the required duration for a specific task, know ahead of time if there are follow-ups, rescheduling or re-allocation needed to be done, track which task is completed, in-progress, or not yet started and ultimately, estimate if the expected deadline for the project will be met.
4. Finance Management
Like time, money is a precious resource, too. One must be wise with how it’s spent and careful with the choices to be made regarding to where it goes. Some projects require a certain amount of money. A finance management feature is beneficial for tracking the costs of the project and monitoring if the money spent are in accordance to what the budget is.
This feature is best valuable for keeping track of all the expenses regarding your project, capital costs, supplier costs, job costs, resource costs, labor costs, and equipment costs. With this, project managers and members of the entire team are enabled to manage effectively the budget and understand the financial aspect of the project.
5. Resource Management
There are resources other than time and money that are required for you and your team to have in order to accomplish the individualized tasks your project covers. Whether tangible or not, there is a need for managing where your resources should be properly allocated.
It will be convenient for project managers to take advantage of a resource management feature as it allows them to be aware and be able to calculate of the whole project cost and other related matters pertaining to the goals of the team. Appropriate distribution of tasks and other resources are what this feature results to.
6. Mobile Connectivity
People faced with tasks needed to be accomplished within a certain time frame will need this feature. Project managers, or even the members of the team, aren’t always wealthy of time. At times, they will be on the go, busy with meetings or engaged with other work they need to do. In addition to such circumstances, not all who are involved in the project are always on their computers or laptops.
A mobile-friendly project management software solves these problems. All team members and the project manager can still keep track of time, deadlines, progress, and reportings even outside the comfort of an office. This is especially the case for projects that require members and collaborators to travel from one place to another. Even without the presence of a full computer, anyone can still have access to the information they need across devices.
Not everybody has the same needs. In a business project setting, not all the team members are delegated the same task and not all managers work the same way. This is where customization features give the flexibility that a team needs for them to work efficiently and effectively. When the workflow is customizable, a boost in productivity is relatively the result.
The tracking of task completion and progress should be customizable and at par with the team’s needs and goals. The workflow design may also differ from project to project so a system that allows flexibility is a major plus for the members of the team most especially, for the project manager.
You should look for a project management software that lets you set up alerts and notifications in the application or via email regarding announcements you wish to disseminate such as changes in tasks, reminders for tasks that are late or due, deadlines, upcoming events, and many more. You should also opt for a program that enables you to customize and modify project planning, project scheduling, creation of tasks, tracking and reporting, design of workflow according to the team’s and project’s own unique needs and requirements.
8. Risk Management
Everybody aspires to avoid mistakes and mishaps to the best that they can but in reality of the business world, you would need to take risks. The risks in this aspect are defined as uncertain conditions that may have an effect to your project. Even from the very beginning where you’re building the foundation of your project through planning, risks are already present in the picture.
There will always be situations and stages that are not yet seen and who knows, maybe these unforeseen scenarios will leave a massive effect to the development of your project. The benefit of having a risk management feature in the project management software that you will be deciding to use is that even though it can’t completely ensure you the freedom from inaccuracies, it will allow you to identify, understand and manage the risks you’re going to take which in return will result to minimizing the problems and casualties that may potentially appear to the process of your project’s development.
9. Permission and Security
All the work you’ve exerted in your project are of incomparable value so it’s just rightful to secure the files and other documents you’ve worked hard for to get rid of potential problems that may arise in the future of your project development. The permissions and security feature allows you to take control of who holds access to a particular file or group of documents. This feature prohibits unwanted changes to your data and unauthorized attainment of the information you hold.
An integration feature is something to keep an eye out when choosing a good project management software. This feature permits you to function seamlessly with other softwares you additionally use. This is crucial because it lets you transfer data from one application to another smoothly minus the hassle and time waste. Teams who choose to depend on the benefits and usage of a project management software will find this feature a supreme must-have. Find a program that lets you process an email integration, third-party integration, data import and export, and API.
Planning and managing the project are the primary steps of putting a project from a mere idea to success. You will take a big part in establishing a solid foundation of the project. The project management software will not do all the work for you and your team but it has the ability to take your business to places.
Given all the benefits that a project management software is able to provide, deciding whether to use one or not is a piece of cake. There are various softwares, free or not, that offer services to make your workflow convenient for you. The difficult choice to make is what software to avail. Here, we summarize the top features you should look for in order to determine what suits your team’s goals best.
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