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What Is An Enterprise Project Management Tool (+ Best Tools)?

What is an enterprise project management tool? Enterprise project management software can be a project manager’s best friend when it comes to running large, complex projects and managing cross-functional and multifaceted teams.

Enterprise project management tools allow users to track their team’s progress, share documents, send notifications, assign tasks, and do much more!

I’ll cover some of the use cases, key features, and benefits that enterprise project managers can expect when it comes to enterprise project management tools, as well as provide a list of the best tools currently on the market.

In this article

What Is An Enterprise Project Management Tool?

Enterprise project management software is designed to be used by large, enterprise organizations for projects that are more complex. These projects also often run over long periods of time, have bigger budgets, and involve more project team members and stakeholders.

Learn more about the different tools that enterprises use here.

Enterprise Project Management Tool Use Cases

How do you know if an enterprise project is suitable for your company?

An enterprise project management tool is best suited for large, complex projects. Suppose your project doesn’t require different teams to communicate and collaborate in one place. In that case, it might be better to use project management software that’s tailored toward singular project managers or small companies with straightforward tasks.

If you have a company-wide task to track, an enterprise project management tool is the perfect project management solution.

You’ll also want to make sure the tool works with your existing framework.

What Are Enterprise Project Management Tools Used For?

Enterprise project management tools share many use cases with other project management software, just at a much larger scale. Here are some specific use cases that require an enterprise solution.

Tracking Project Progress In Multiple Areas

This means you can see project status from project managers, executives, and regular employees.

Tracking is especially important in larger companies where team members are based worldwide or in different office locations.

Scaling To Large Projects

The ability to scale is one of the most important abilities an enterprise project management tool can afford to an organization.

Collaboration

No matter how large the project group is, effective and efficient collaboration is critical. Project managers and project team members should be able to communicate in real-time.

Enterprise project management tools allow you to share documents within and across teams. Project managers can also send out tasks or notifications through the enterprise project management tool rather than individually to each team member.

Furthermore, enterprise project management tools help enable cross-functional collaboration. So if you have an enterprise project management system in place for your company, you can use it in other departments as well. This is great for project teams that have team members from a variety of different departments or teams within the organization, such as engineering, marketing, IT, and others.

Reporting

Reporting features allow you to see project data from different angles, which can be especially useful for project managers who need to present a project’s progress.

Often, enterprise project management tools help ensure project managers don’t have to chase down updates from team members, as long as statuses, timesheets, and due dates are kept up to date within the tool. If so, project updates can come directly from the enterprise project management software.

Budgeting

Budgeting features allow you to plan project costs and see upcoming project expenses. This helps project managers ensure that they meet project budgets and that project goals are on track.

Enhanced Customizability

Depending on the project, enterprise project management tools can be customized. For example, you may need more security features if your project requires that all files and documents are secure when they’re uploaded or downloaded from a server.

You can also customize project management tools by changing project statuses and labels. If you have a project that involves several departments, it’s important to know where each project stands in the process so that your team can stay on task with minimal confusion and accidents.

Related Read: 10 Best Document Management Systems To Track & Store Docs [2022]

Standard Features Of Enterprise Project Management Tools

Enterprise project management tools are a great way to manage large-scale or complicated projects that involve multiple people and departments with minimal confusion, as they can handle larger and more complex projects without getting bogged down the way that typical project management software might.

Most enterprise project management tools come with the standard project management tools, plus a few neat extras. Here’s a detailed rundown of the standard features that come with enterprise project management tools.

Communication Features

Most enterprise project management tools have features that allow you to communicate with other managers in your company. For example, many enterprise project management tools are integrated with third-party software like Slack, which is a great way to organize discussions for various topics.

You should also have a project management app that allows your team to collaborate remotely.

Tracking And Managing Features

In addition to standard project capacity planning and resource management, you’ll find the following.

  • Robust budgeting and forecasting: This is great for project managers who are working with multiple budgets and want to see how each project affects the overall budget in their department.
  • Data visualization: This makes project managers aware of a project’s process without having to read through a bunch of project data.
  • Advanced key performance indicator monitoring: Key performance indicators are usually a project manager’s first priority, so being able to monitor project key performance indicators at all times is crucial.
  • Financial consolidation and closing capabilities: These are helpful when project managers are looking to get a project-wide view of where all the project money is going.
  • Supply chain effectiveness reports: This tool is helpful for project managers who need to know how well the supply chain is working on a project.
  • Human capital management reports: Project managers use this feature to see how well their team members are working together and sharing information.
  • Time tracking: This is important for project managers who need to know how project deadlines may be affected if there are more or fewer team members on the project.
  • Reports: All companies benefit from this feature, which project managers can use to track project progress and see how every project is doing at any given time.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning at the corporate level allows project managers to get a high level overview of project goals and objectives, and how that project might advance overall business objectives. Project managers can see project information from different angles and easily make decisions about what projects and specific steps should happen next.

You can set operational guidelines to govern all projects, regardless of scale. This is helpful when project managers have to work with project teams in different departments or if the project involves multiple companies—everyone can stay on the same page.

Portfolio Management

Project portfolio management is project management that spans several projects in a project portfolio.

This is useful for project managers who are overseeing multiple projects simultaneously and want to make sure project teams aren’t working on two similar initiatives. It’s also useful when you need project managers for different projects, meaning they’ll only need to see the project they’re currently managing.

Benefits Of Enterprise Project Management Tools

The most significant benefit of using enterprise project management software is that you’ll better understand what others are doing with your project, which saves time by reducing errors due to miscommunication or lack of organization, helping the team meet the project deadline.

Best Enterprise Project Management Tools

If you’re currently in the market for an enterprise project management tool for your organization, here’s a list of the best options, along with a brief review to give you an idea of each tool’s strengths.

Read our full analysis, including criteria and a comparison chart, here.

How Do Enterprise Project Management Tools Differ From Other Project Management Software?

Enterprise project management software is different from other project management software because it’s designed for bigger, more complicated projects that involve a lot of people and resources, and which often require coordination amongst several departments in the organization.

When Should An Enterprise Project Management Tool Be Used Over Other Project Management Software?

You should use an enterprise project management tool to manage projects involving a large budget, multiple departments, or many people. Enterprise project management software is designed for these types of projects, and often has more features than other project management tools that are better suited for them.

The need to manage a portfolio of projects across departments is another sign that you need enterprise project management tools. In these cases, where project teams are working on several different kinds of projects at once, or the project involves multiple companies with separate departmental budgets and deadlines, enterprise project management software is critical.

In what ways are enterprise project management tools and other forms of project management software similar?

Enterprise project management software originated from standard project management tools. Therefore, even the newest enterprise project management tools are reminiscent of their previous, simpler versions. Here are some of the features that have carried over.

Team collaboration: Sharing documents, assigning tasks, and sending notifications to team members are standard on all types of project management software.

Reporting: The ability to report how much progress has been made toward a project can help project managers see how well their teams are working. Reports are crucial for project management, and all types of project management software should be able to provide this feature.

Time tracking: Tracking time spent on projects will allow project managers to better estimate when a project may end or if they’ll need more resources in order to finish it.

Gantt chart: These are project timelines that project managers can create and share with their teams. They allow project managers to see the timeline of a project in chronological order, which is important when identifying the dependencies between tasks. Gantt charts also help project managers set appropriate deadlines for team members and see potential delays and bottlenecks.

Convinced You Need Enterprise Project Management Software Yet?

In conclusion, if your company has multiple projects going on at any one time, enterprise project management software is a cost-effective solution to keep everything on track. Organize your project team and enterprise resource planning system to get started.

Your team will have the best project management solution no matter the task.

For more information on enterprise project management (such as cost!) and related software, subscribe to The Digital Project Manager newsletter!

By Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedpm.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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