Project Management Software: What and Why
Project Management Software has increasingly become popular in the recent times. The reason behind it is the variety of options it gives its users. Project Management Software helps project managers/companies to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, ranging from simple task organizing processes to the establishment of enterprise-grade systems. Project management helps you to micro-manage all essential aspects of project management easily, such as planning, scheduling, resource management, cost control, etc.
The main benefit that project management provides is the communication and collaboration facilities to its users during the management process. It also helps maintain transparency in the management process and activities for the stakeholders and your team members.
Project Management Software helps in organizing the start and end of projects to reduce the burden of the project managers. It allows them to have better control over the process that is happening during that time and decide various parameters like when it should happen, who and how should make it happen, etc.
Project Management Software: Tools and Features
Project Management Software covers many features, functionalities, and platforms. You need to see that you choose the best mix of features that support your project and prevent unnecessary complications in the project. There are three main features of project management: Planning, Tracking, and Collaboration.
Planning: Planning is the first stage of project management. Planning involves organizing the proper team, skills, and resources for the project. Planning for Project management involves the following steps: Scheduling tasks, Forecasting the completion date, and allocation of resources.
- Scheduling: Scheduling refers to the assigning of completion dates to the major events of the project. The software helps to link these dates to a proper list and calendar to keep track of the events. Timeline visualization is one of the popular features in Project Management Software today.
- Forecasting: Forecasting involves extrapolation about the project based on the data accumulated by Project Management Software. It helps in predicting the duration of each task in the project. It also helps in determining the possible resources and budget used for tasks and avoiding possible risks and limitations.
- Resource Allocation: Resource allocation is similar to forecasting in the fact that it predicts the possible resources consumed for the project and allocates the necessary amounts according to the balance and budget of the organization.
Tracking: Though we make plans and schedule for the project, even the best plans are put on hold by unexpected circumstances. Thus, tracking of the project progress is needed. You can track the time, task assignment, access permission, budget & expenses, Analysis & report, etc.
Collaboration: Once the project starts, you have to ensure collaboration is smooth between different departments. Collaboration helps in sharing documents and details. Also, ensure that communication is smooth through internal messaging. These features are available in all types of Project Management Software: stand-alone, comprehensive, and all-in-one.
Steps to Select the Best Project Management Software
Project Management Software varies according to needs and problems addressed. There are various precautions you should take to ensure that you choose the project management system best suited to you.
Identify your needs: Needs of your project depend upon various circumstances. To identify what is needed to improve your project, you should make sure of a few details. They include the reason for current failure, Improvements required in the new system, which management methodology you need to follow, the identity of the end-user, etc.
Reason for current failure: Assuming you already were using a certain Project Management Software earlier, there must have been a reason or factor that contributed to the failure of the project. Once you identify the reason because of which you are now searching for a new Project Management Software, your search will become more efficient and focused.
Improvements needed in a new system: Once you decide to find a new project management system, the next step is to determine the factor that you will change compared to your old system. You can choose certain features that might not have been in your previous system, such as customization ability, access restriction options, tools for automated planning and scheduling, etc.
Project Management methodologies: You need to devise specific project management methodologies to help in the construction of project management systems. Out of these methods or ways, some are suitable for your project style while some are not. When constructing or buying a project management system, you should keep in mind the type of project management methodology you want to use.
Identity of the end-user: One of the most important factors to be kept in mind while deciding Project Management Software to be used, is the consideration of the end-user. It is not enough for the software to have the latest facilities. Those facilities should be easy enough to be understood and used by the end-user or the employee or team member.
Looking for the alternative software: Once you have decided on the features of the replacement Project Management Software, you can start searching for the ideal Project Management Software that suits your needs. You can try searching for recommendations from the internet, fellow project managers who are working on similar projects, etc. It’s best to have a bunch of options in hand rather than directly picking up one. Research about the providers, the features and guarantees the assure, and customer satisfaction reviews. Keep in mind the budget for the software, its technological compatibility, and ease of use while finalizing a software.
Trial-run and evaluation: Once you have decided upon the replacement for Project Management Software, you need to give it a trial run with your project to test its compatibility with it. The demo or the trial run of the software with your project can immediately show you the flaws and compatibility.
Evaluating budget: Also, the compatible software doesn’t need to be within your budget. You have to find the proper balance between budget and technological compatibility to get the perfect software for your project management. Also, check your team’s compatibility with the software.
Implementation: Once you have finalized the software and bought it, you need to implement it for the project. It is useful to schedule training sessions for your team members so that they can get used to various functionalities of the software as soon as possible. Also, as a project manager, you should be completely proficient with the software too.
Best Project Management tools
PlanStreet: PlanStreet is a top-notch Project Management Software that provides many tools to help project managers and their teams. The tools provided include Kanban Board, Scrum Board, Gantt Chart, etc. PlanStreet can be used to manage the project of any size or complexity. It ensures high compatibility with multiple project types and OS platforms. Its high quality and automated tools allow you to focus on managing your team rather than working about the project compatibility with the software. You can manage projects using PlanStreet on the go, from anywhere at any time.
Trello: Trello has a simple workflow management system. It helps teams who need to continually analyze and track the tasks to stay on top of the project workflow. It simplifies workflow management with the use of Kanban-style Boards. Its best suited for small projects and ongoing work.
Wrike: It’s a pretty powerful Project Management Software with inbuilt time-tracking and timeline view for projects. It also helps you coordinate with its mobile app to manage your projects on the go. It is suitable for managing projects of any size. In comparison with its other competitors, it can be slightly pricier, but it’s balanced through its high-quality functionalities.
JIRA: JIRA had its breakthrough as a bug and issue tracking based software. However, with changing times, the software evolved too. In the current period, JIRA has shown growth as it now comes in multiple different versions. JIRA Core is the version created for project management. JIRA core still refers to the various tasks as issues. It allows the filtration of Kanban boards by due dates and priorities. It also provides multiple options for report type of project progress. Its functionality makes it highly preferable for small teams.
Asana: Asana is a good Project Management Software for working with small to medium-sized projects. It has a very clean, intuitive, and easy to handle user interface. It’s simple and easy to understand functionalities make it very easy to plan various projects and track the project progress constantly. The task dependencies and evaluation make it easier to control your impulsive task picking so that you may not end up picking a task that is way over your head.