Why do we need project management software, you ask? Project managers are tasked with delivering projects output on time and within budget while ensuring that quality is high. It is a responsibility that used to be, in most cases, impossible. There are many reasons why project teams fail to deliver. Project teams fail because they either needed more time, ran out of funds, or delivered poor output. Or a combination of these. Or all.
The impact of project management systems on any business is undeniable. That said, adoption of modern project management practices, mainly the use of project management software, is still low.
Wellington reported in its 2018 Annual Project Management Survey that of over 300 organizations based in the United Kingdom, only 22% use project management software. The good news is that 48% of the respondents invested in project management training, which could then lead to better adoption rates in the future.
If you are still mulling over whether to invest in a project management software or not, the following will definitely help you see how such a solution can benefit your business.
1. Define Roles and Responsibilities
Majority of today’s project management software features roles and permissions controls. Having a project management software helps when you head a large team for a complex and long-term project.
The system lets you set the roles and responsibilities per team member and give them the scope of their position as well as its boundaries. With each person assigned to specific tasks and goals, it helps each team member to concentrate on their job and not worry about overlapping or stepping over boundaries of other members of the team.
As their roles become defined and concrete, team members are able to work effectively as individual contributors to the project. All individual performances add up beautifully to the overall picture and project output.
2. Standardize Internal Processes and Communications
In any business project, it is necessary for team managers and members to adhere to a standard set of processes and workflows for their project to move forward. Proceeding to the next step while failing to submit a report to the appropriate party or skipping/missing even a single phase of the project can adversely impact the quality of the end product and result in non-compliance. And you will end up redoing the whole thing, which is costly. Or worse, you and your team are canned for poor performance.
Twenty-three percent of 5,402 project management professionals interviewed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in its 2018 global project management survey revealed that their organization doesn’t employ standardized project management processes.
The best project management software, or at least a decent one, should provide you with a platform that lets you create and manage the controls of your internal workflows. The system should also help build the chain or hierarchy of management for faster and more streamlined routing of reports and other communications.
Team communication is essential for any project management as it contributes greatly to the effectiveness and productivity of any collaboration effort. Abiding by a standard set of communication rules helps with the documentation, performance evaluation, and auditing.
3. Create and Set Road Maps, Budgets, Schedules, Deadlines, and Milestones
A platform designed to help project managers and teams deliver the goods within their pre-defined time frame and on a budget is perhaps the most convincing project management software definition there is. In a nutshell, the success of any business project hinges on schedule and budget. While it may sound simple, delivering a high-quality result without going overboard on costs requires a lot of planning and foresight.
Meeting a predefined budget is one of the criteria for a project manager’s success. Project managers not always meet this particular target but utilizing a project management software definitely increases the probabilities.
According to PMI’s 2017 Global Project Management Software, organizations all over the world lost $97 billion for every $1-billion investment because of poor project performance. That is a significant decline of 20% from the previous year. Companies are wasting 28 times less money after investing and implementing project management initiatives.
A good project management software helps you create schedules based on different parameters like the deadline of the projects, availability of your team members, and available resources. By setting definite schedules and milestones, you are able to create definite project plans and budget and stick to it.
Or you can…
4. ...Respond and Adapt To Changes, Delays, and Other Developments
Every project will have its set of hiccups along the way. Supplies not arriving on time or a crucial team member not being available or a freak accident causing you to halt your tasks for days or weeks.
A good online project management software doesn’t only help you meet your deadlines and manage your costs. It should also enable you to take the necessary actions to respond and adapt to developments so that you can still deliver the desired results without going beyond the deadline or keeping additional costs at a minimum.
A quick look at your tasks and progress enables you to optimize your resources and manpower. The software notifies you in real-time of any change or development so you can make quick decisions and actions or change your priorities to ensure that you meet your clients’ requirements and their desired schedule.
5. Enhance Visibility at All Stages of The Project
As a project manager, you should have immediate access to your projects and their progress. Back in the old days, you either need to be on site to have an inkling on what’s going on or constantly talk with your team members over the phone to have a picture of where the project is at.
Today, most project management platforms are optimized for mobile devices and can be accessed online. You can check the real-time state of your projects, monitor the progress of each team member, and see your calendar to note if everything is up to speed or horribly delayed. This functionality has helped boost productivity in remote teams.
6. Encourage Transparency and Accountability
Having such visibility into your projects as well as immediate access to essential project management statistics create a positive impact on accountability and transparency. Team members are fully aware that their performance is monitored and evaluated, thus motivating them to perform at an optimum level and accomplish their goals faster.
The project management software documents all actions and accomplishments and tags the team members involved. This helps upper management to perform audit trails so they can identify and reward their top performing workers and empower others to follow in their steps.
Project Management Software + Reliable Project Team = Success
The aforementioned advantages are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. A comprehensive project management software brings a lot more to the table, like providing you statistics and data analytics to help you discover trends and opportunities that affect your future decision-making and the direction you want your business to take.
Satisfy a client and more will certainly follow. As your client base grows in size and the number of projects increase, you will need a comprehensive project manager to help you handle the intricacies and complexities that come with your work.
A project management platform will help you drive business growth, no doubt. And choosing the best project management software is critical to your success as an individual and as a collective. That said, you also need to have good people on your team. Technology and personnel should go together because, without people, there’s not much you can do as effectively.