It is the job of a project manager to manage multiple projects simultaneously. This involves managing people, resources, and tools to ensure each of the projects is successful.
It may sound easy in theory, but in practice project management is a complex task, because of the different parts that can influence the outcome of a project. In this context, using a project management software is vital.
Project management software brings together the planning, scheduling, resource allocation, execution, monitoring, and delivery of a project or portfolio in one place.
Using project management software can have numerous benefits for businesses — to show you, in today’s article we’ll explain how project management software works and what it can do for your company’s management!
What is Project Management Software?
Project management software is exactly what it sounds like: a central hub to manage all the details and parts of one or several projects.
The software gathers all the information and steps necessary for a project to be completed. It monitors the activities carried out and it serves as a reference for the team on how the project is doing and what is the role of each one in each moment of the project.
There are different project management software options you can choose from. Each will offer different functionalities, such as Gantt chart, Kanban boards, use of agile or predictive methodologies, workflow customization, among others.
Regardless of the functionalities, the software must be able to show the work capacity and the use of each resource in the project so that you, the manager, can make decisions such as defining or reallocating activities as needed.
Benefits of Using Project Management Software
A survey conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) found that 18% of projects fail because they do not have proper management of resources.
In addition, the survey also points out the increase in scope over the life of the project as one of the main factors for investments to be wasted and for the project to be delayed. Project management software helps to solve those issues.
Project management software supports managers as the project evolves. It gathers in one place all the information necessary to conduct a project in each one of its stages, like resource management, team collaboration, finance and billing, time tracking, and reporting.
Here are the benefits:
- Project Planning: Project management software automates project planning and scheduling. It makes possible for project managers to define milestones, key deliverables, roles and responsibilities, and functions prior to execution.
- Balanced Resource Management: Project management tools have the best capabilities to detect bottlenecks and show what is the real resource allocation vs. availability. They provide visibility into workloads across the entire resource portfolio.
- Pipeline Forecasting: Most of the time, the role of a project manager involves managing a portfolio of projects. However, a lack of visibility into the progress and use of resources is common. With project management software, every professional on the team can have a holistic view of each project’s stage, helping to avoid bottlenecks and delays.
- Better Team Collaboration: People often assign individual tasks that are part of a larger project that the entire team is trying to complete. With project management software it is easier for the team to collaborate and to understand each one’s role to achieve success.
- Featured Workflow: Kanban boards or Sprints in project management software helps to keep everyone informed of your own work and what is the priority at the moment.
How to Choose a Project Management Software?
As we mentioned, project management software can come with several features. To choose the best one for your company, you should see if the program helps to resolve the following issues:
- The software must have features that facilitate communication and collaboration, allowing information on the status of all tasks through real-time notifications.
- Ideally, all communication for a project is gathered in the software, or in the manufacturer’s own suite, and you won’t need to use third-party communication applications to discuss what’s needed with the people involved in the project.
- The program should make it easier for your team and for you to understand the priorities and deadlines of the tasks each person is responsible for.
- The software must allow you the freedom to use agile, predictive, or hybrid methodologies.
- Project management software should make problems easy to see. This way, project mangers can oversee risks before they lead to disaster, assigning tasks so team members can fix them on time.
- You should be able to get an overview of each employee’s work status and the time they have spent on a specific job.
- Lastly, the software should offer automatic reporting, KPI calculation, and graphing to support decision-making.
When choosing a supplier, remember to look for a company that tracks the entire implementation of the system in your organization. Installing and adapting project management software by itself is a complex project, and you’ll want to have the necessary advice on your side during this time.
Did you like to learn more about project management software? Check how Microsoft Project can help you at this time!