Project management software is no longer a program used solely by large-scale corporations. In fact, an increasing number of small-to-medium sized businesses are turning to project management software in the quest to plan, organise and develop projects and resources. However, with so many applications and programs making their way to market, it can be difficult to know which program offers the best features suited to your business.
As a result, here are three essential features that all project management software must ensure they are delivering to team members.
No two projects are the same and The Centre for Association Leadership suggests that understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different projects will help in the planning process.
As a result, agile planning methods help define the best course of action to attain a project’s objectives; a process project management software should help in delivering.
In order to define these objectives, the Centre also suggests that planning falls into two distinct categories: core planning processes and facilitating processes.
Scope planning, resource planning, cost budgeting and schedule development all fall under core processes as these are the ‘dependencies that require them to be performed in essentially the same order’ on many projects. On the other hand, facilitating processes are entirely dependent on the project and are performed as needed – staff acquisition, risk planning and other processes. As a result, it is important to implement project management software that allows users to integrate facilitating processes as and when they are needed, running alongside existing core processes.
Monitor issues and deadlines
The ability to handle any issues encountered within a project is also an essential feature. The software should supply users with the ability to monitor conversations, place difficulties and deliver updates while ‘watchdog’ processes enable deadlines and objectives are met within each stage of the project.
For instance, performance reporting and risk monitoring are essential in ensuring corrective action can be taken should the project need it.
One of the key features of project management software should be to keep all members and teams of a project in the loop. As a result, team member communication is an essential component that no software should be without. For instance, project management software should allow users to make notes, post comments, attach files and upload presentations so team members can track the progress of others.
Furthermore, the ability to ask for a deadline extension or just the pushing out of a daily report reduces the risk of miscommunication; a potentially fatal error.
Whether if you’re using a desktop, web-based, collaborative or integrated approach to project management software, the ability to plan, track and communicate are all essential when deciding which software to use. However, you have to find the right balance between opting for the added expense of a program with additional features or a program with less features but less flexibility. Either way without these aforementioned key elements, you may find that your project suffers in the long run. On the other hand, software with these processes should make any project a polished, less stressful enterprise.
About the author: Written by Qube Global (www.qubeglobal.co.uk). We are one of the world’s leading suppliers of property and facilities management software and have been providing solutions to its customers for over 35 years.