4 Essential Features to Consider When Selecting a Project Management Solution

4-Jun 2015
Eliana

If you work in an organization where tracking your time is the norm, you may recognize the undesired reality that sets in when you have to fill out your timesheet on a Friday afternoon. You just finished a long, arduous week, and now you have to go in and remember what you actually did at the beginning of the week. You open your timesheet and you discover that you billed only about 15 hours worth of work. Where did your week go? It’s Friday afternoon and you can’t remember what happened.

If you’re lucky, you have a tool that automatically tracks the work you do throughout the week, and at the end of the week, it provides you with a suggested timesheet that you do not have to fill out. The reality, though, is that most people are not that lucky. In Accelo’s recent survey, 54 percent of respondents said they track their schedule manually, and 23 percent said they do not track their time at all. Manually tracking billable time exposes individuals to unnecessary errors, while not tracking time spent on projects means there is no way of actually knowing what your profit is - both scenarios can lead to unrealistic assumptions and can be clear recipes for disaster.

Beyond the issue with time tracking, the problem with limited tracking is also apparent in the minimal use of project-tracking software. In the same Accelo study, more than 80 percent of respondents said they do not use project-tracking software to track the progress of their project. The lack of project-tracking tools creates a work environment where no one knows the status of projects, and leads to expensive, unnecessary meetings: status updates meetings, team meetings, all-hands meetings, brainstorming sessions, and weekly check-ins.

The answer to the lack of tracking in project management is a solution that does both - tracks your time and your projects. With thousands of project-tracking solutions listed on google, it’s no wonder that finding the right software is like searching for Waldo in a collage. But honestly, if you know what to look for, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are a few things to consider when looking for the right solution for your business:

Whiteboard writing

What to look for in a software solution

  1. Automated time and billing: A time-tracking module that easily synchronizes with your billing operations simplifies and streamlines your business process. Though these two components are almost inherent in Service Operations Automation solutions (ServOps), remember that not all tools are built the same. Consider adopting a software that features automated invoicing and includes customization tools and allows you to tailor your timesheet and configure your billing rates.
  2. Project management, tracking & collaboration: Another important function you should consider is the ability to manage, track and collaborate on your projects. Having a tool that allows you and your team to allot time and assign work based on specific skills of your team members makes completely comprehensive project management possible. Ensure that you select a software that allows your team to work smarter together.
  3. Cloud-based solution: In today’s world, you need a solution that works the way you work. To effectively manage your resources, projects, and timesheets, you shouldn’t rely on on-premise, outdated systems that require you to be in your office to access them. With a cloud-based ServOps software, you can log in and review and update information wherever you are—whether you’re at an offsite meeting or working from home. Additional points for software with a mobile app!
  4. API Integration with other systems: If you select a ServOps software that allows you to integrate easily with existing applications, it will make it much easier for you to transition into a new tool. This ensures that you can make the switch without having to deal with manual data input, which ultimately leads to higher adoption and success rates among your employees.

 

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