The increasing use of project management software has allowed many organizations to help their clients achieve their goals efficiently.
With an ineffective work management system running the show, you and your team get subjected to complaints from the clients, which include:
- How teams aren’t able to deliver work systematically for quite some time?
- How clients can’t track the progress of their project regularly, thus missing out on opportunities to suggest changes?
Such complaints from the clients can put you in bad light and can impact your future relationships as well. This isn’t fruitful for your team or organization. So, what is the solution around to solve these problems?
To create a more visible record of things, you need a good project management software. A system that makes planning, execution, monitoring, and tracking project progress a total breeze. When all the stakeholders can get involved, everyone knows who is doing what and when.
But with a lot of project management softwares out there claiming to be the best in the industry, you’re sure to get confused. There are certain must-have features that you shouldn’t miss out on, in your hunt for the best project management software.
Let’s explore these key features of project management software while selecting one for your workplace.
What is Project Management Software?
Project management software is a special tool designed to help project managers and team members to plan, organize, monitor, and control various projects. The software acts as a user-friendly platform where users can collaborate and complete projects on time and within budget efficiently.
Let’s explore the key features of project management software that you shouldn’t miss while selecting one for your workplace.
Top Features to Consider in a Project Management Software
While time tracking and real-time collaboration are important features, you need to consider a lot more than that when planning to get a PM software for your workplace. Here’s a list of project management software features that can help your project team provide deliverables on time:
#1: Gantt Chart View
There are times when tracking various task dependencies become a cumbersome process, and this happens even when you have a project management software in place. To avoid such a situation, it is important that the tool you choose comes with a feature like the Gantt Chart view. Using a Gantt Chart view feature, you can:
- Get better clarity on multiple assignments and break them down into individual tasks for your team members
- Communicate status updates on various tasks that under progress
- Maximize team’s efficiency by visualizing the resource usage for every task
- Schedule resources for your project and lower the risks of overburdening your team members
- Track how the previous task is connected to the next one and understand the roadblocks that can hamper its progress
#2: Kanban Board
We all know how physical boards help to shape ideas and organize them better during an ongoing project. The same is achievable if you get the right project management tool for your workplace.
Planning, creating and tracking tasks under a project becomes a seamless process. Your team and you can visualize work, reduce the probability of too many tasks being under progress and improve each member’s efficiency.
The Kanban board view allows you to assign the right amount of work to every team member.
It not only limits you to assign an equal amount of work to your team but also get it done within the set deadlines. Therefore, as you search for an easy-to-use PM software solution, make sure that it comes with such powerful features too.
Check out the comparison of the best kanban tools.
#3: Analytics & Reporting
A project manager must regularly provide a detailed update on an ongoing project to clients. Reporting to clients felt like a daunting task earlier, thanks to the use of numerous spreadsheets.
Now, when you move on to a unified platform, it becomes all the more essential to choose a project management software that comes with detailed reporting features. In short, the tool should allow you to create customizable reports for every client.
Other than updating clients, your PM tool should also allow you to track the performance of your team members. Doing so will help you to understand effortlessly how productive they have been in a project.
Once you understand how each employee is performing in a project, you can provide them training for areas where they lack expertise and also help your management evaluate their performance accordingly.
#4: Task Delegation
A daunting task for any project manager is to assign tasks and then remember which team member is managing what.
This issue can further magnify if you do not have the right system to help you track tasks. Outcome? Your team can very well end up delaying your project deliverables, resulting in unsatisfied clients.
So, proper task delegation is a key feature that a project management software should have. Like in ProProfs Project, you can create tasks and subtasks under a project without switching from one window to another.
What’s more, you can delegate those new tasks to different team members through the same view. Not only will you save time but are also able to track who is working on what. Such a task management system allows you to:
- Monitor complete progress of a task in percentile
- Manage multiple tasks at the same time
- Collaborate with clients in real-time
- Share files through designated tasks to keep team members in the loop
There are many project management tools that allow you to generate an invoice and send it to clients within minutes. But that’s not all you’ll need from it in the longer run. You’ll soon realize that more functionalities are required other than just generating reports.
These feature requirements can include:
- Creating a budget for an upcoming project
- Calculating extra costs in case some deliverables get delayed
- Sending quotes to clients before a project starts
- Calculating billable hours and updating the client
- Billing clients automatically once a project is marked as complete
#6: Planning & Scheduling
The success of every project depends on the foundation laid at the beginning. It is important to have the project plans and schedules to avoid any discrepancies or confusion later. In the project planning phase, the PM software should provide you a platform to store and document all the important information related to your complete approach.
With the right project planning tool, you can enhance your project management ventures. Some of the benefits of this feature include:
- You’ll know the resources available to you and can assign the tasks accordingly.
- A quick overview of the project structure to look for any deviations at a later stage.
- Time management also gets easier with task scheduling.
- Increase productivity by assigning tasks in an efficient manner based on the plan.
#7: Collaboration Features
Project teams can be small or large and everyone is working on different tasks. In such a case, it is practically not feasible to manage long email chains for file sharing and updating the task status. With the right collaboration features such as task comments and drag-and-drop functionality, users can easily share information, feedback, and task status in real-time.
Everyone relevant to that particular task can check the status and comments from a single dashboard. This avoids the multi-channel communication and makes it all organized to communicate and collaborate with project managers, team members, and stakeholders. Different users can benefit from these features:
- Task comments and threads to receive feedback and approval.
- Files sharing options to send relevant files to your team members.
- Stakeholders can visit anytime to check the status of a task, without contacting you every time.
- Managers and team members can stay updated with increased visibility.
#8: Mobile Applications
A lot of members from teams like marketing and advertising are on the go. So, the presence of the project management software on mobile devices (Android/iOS) is helpful to keep them updated and on the same page with other team members.
With a mobile application of the PM software, users can receive real-time notifications and can interact with team members even while traveling or during important meetings with clients. While looking for the right tool, make sure that user-friendly mobile applications are available along with well-designed mobile webpages to access the project via a browser.
#9: Integration Within Existing Systems
Users feel more comfortable with the existing systems in place and shifting totally to a new software can cause some trouble. If the PM tool can only be accessed through a couple of other softwares, look for something else because third-party integrations are important.
Users can quickly transfer important files and information by integrating the PM software with the existing CRMs or email tools. The longer the list of supported tools for integration, the better it is as you can sync the data with ease to increase efficiency.
The creation and modification of project templates are important while considering a project management software. This feature saves a lot of time on future projects as templates allow teams to easily use the previous project as a base to rework and modify the project organization.
It is very helpful for recurring projects as PMs won’t have to start again and again from scratch and key components like task duration, workflow, dependencies, reporting, etc. will be cloned. The benefits in a nutshell include:
- A faster and more efficient approach to a new project.
- Lower risk as the templates are from successful projects and incorporate standard baselines.
- Better planning as you can ask the right questions by considering old and new project variables.
- Improved portfolio management as you can compare and review two similar projects.
We hope that this project management software feature list helps you invest in the best tool. Also, in your hunt for the perfect tool, consider the unique features of project management software that your team needs. Every tool is different and based on your requirements, you can take a demo to check out the project management software features and functionality before finalizing the deal.
Q. What are the 5 stages of project management?
The 5 basic phases/stages of the project management process are:
- Project initiation – Defining requirements & goals, listing stakeholders, and completing the project charter.
- Project Planning – Defining the scope, creating a plan, listing resources, budget, deadlines, roles & responsibilities.
- Project Execution – Allocation of resources, managing the tasks, modifying the process, and working with team members to eliminate risks.
- Project Monitoring & Controlling – Track time, cost, productivity and monitor the progress to ensure adherence to the plan.
- Project Closing – Delivering the deliverables, receiving feedback & review for approval, and documenting the learning.
Q. Which is the best project management software?
The best project management softwares in the market are:
- ProProfs Project
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