Project management software is a not-so-secret trick of the trade that project managers use to monitor project progress, track expenditures, and automate status reporting. This frees up their time to focus on tough stakeholder challenges that only a human can solve.
Embrace this guide to make an informed decision on how project management software can streamline your processes, save time, and enhance team collaboration, ultimately leading to more successful project outcomes.
8 Reasons to Use Project Management Software
Project managers can use the software to understand and organize the team's workload according to their chosen project methodology (such as agile) and monitor project progress toward milestones.
Here are 8 reasons why your organization should use project management software.
- Better Scheduling
- Faster Communication
- Improved Organization
- Reduced Risk of Scope Creep
- Simplified Status Reporting
- Fewer Redundancies
- Less Training
- Improved Resource Planning
1. Better Scheduling
When you implement a specific type of project management software for scheduling, you’ll immediately have access to better project capabilities.
Team members can be assigned tasks as they arise, and they can also immediately receive notifications for new assignments. By utilizing a project scheduling software, getting a centralized list of project activities, responsible parties, and associated timelines becomes a lot easier than using a spreadsheet.
Team members won’t have to waste their time trying to figure out what they’re meant to do. Everything they need to know about their tasks (including task dependencies) will be accessible to them in the spot where they need to look.
2. Faster Communication
Most project management software includes in-app communication features and collaboration tools, so you can clarify an assignment, gather additional details about task or deliverable progress (or lack thereof!), or remove bottlenecks without switching to another tool.
This means you’ll no longer have to pause your work to check emails or switch between different communication apps. This may sound trivial, but context switching is a real productivity killer. In fact, it could potentially cost you up to 40% of your daily productivity.
Communication and teamwork are especially critical when a project team comprises members from different departments or in an organization using remote or hybrid work, where remote project management tools make project delivery possible.
3. Improved Organization
A project management tool keeps everything organized for your project team. Every note, due date, conversation, and task can be easily accessed. This beats the old way of shuffling through physical notes, hunting people down for information, and trying to piece everything together by hand.
When your project team doesn’t have to search for everything, more of their time is spent on project delivery. Some quick math can illustrate this point.
After time tracking, an employee has 40 hours logged on their timesheet for a week. They have spent 10 minutes a day looking around for information they need. That totals up to 50 minutes a week, or 43+ hours a year, trying to find what they need.
Implementing a project management system can eliminate that waste. As a bonus, it reduces team frustration because everyone has everything they need when they need it.
4. Reduced Risk of Scope Creep
Scope creep is the tendency for projects to get off track. There are many reasons why scope creep can occur: weak leadership, undefined goals, vague ideas, the natural evolution of the project, unforeseen obstacles, and poor team involvement.
As mentioned earlier, project management software offers better scheduling capabilities, ensuring that the entire team is up-to-date with what’s planned and how long the work is going to take.
Most project management software also includes an option to track financial expenditures. Maintaining a centralized ledger promotes stakeholder awareness of how you’re tracking (and forecasting) against budget. You can restrict permissions to “view only” or to select stakeholders if you’re concerned about sharing potentially sensitive information.
5. Simplified Status Reporting
Project management software also simplifies status reporting. Canned reporting features let you choose the right level of detail for the right stakeholder group—whether that’s leadership, the board of directors, or members of a different department. You can even set reminders to generate reports on a set cadence.
Additionally, most project management software offers visual reporting options. You can share built-in Gantt charts—no more wrangling with spreadsheets for hours to zhuzh up a sad bar chart.
6. Fewer Redundancies
Project management software can help a manager identify recurring tasks in their workflow so you can take action and save yourself some time.
A recurring task is usually ripe for process improvement, and depending on the nature of the activity, the software may even allow you to set up an automation for it (ex. status reporting, meeting agendas, meeting notes).
Project management software automatically tracks metrics like time to task completion, how long a task remains unassigned, and team workload. Project managers can use this data to identify what worked and what didn’t on previous projects and avoid redundancies in the future.
7. Less Training
Project management software helps new team members learn who does what, communicate more efficiently, see their assigned tasks, look at what’s already been done, and ultimately get to work faster.
Project management solutions also include built-in file management, file sharing capabilities, and link trees to other data sources. (You can even create a separate “project” for onboarding new hires to your organization if they are brand new to the company and the project!)
Building up an information repository frees a team member from playing the role of trainer and giving up some of their precious time.
8. Improved Resource Planning
Several types of project management tools, such as a resource management software, includes resource planning capabilities that help project managers:
- Identify and allocate resources across a project or portfolio
- Use multiple views to compare and edit data
- Generate reports, diagrams, charts, and more
For example, you can configure project management software to alert you when a team member is overallocated, giving you the opportunity to do what you do best as a project manager—intervene to mitigate the risk before it is realized.
While a software solution isn’t a substitute for human intervention and certainly can’t solve problems for you, it does help you focus your time most effectively to stop potential issues in their tracks.
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Start looking into your options for top project management software with this list here!