Project management has become a buzzword in the last few years because complex assignments and services have a lot of potential challenges. Some of these challenges include disorganization, miscommunication, and misaligned expectations between client and service provider.
Project management software can solve these problems by creating shared and up-to-date documentation of what the process should be, where you are in the process, and how the process needs to change to respond to new realities.
When you implement a strong software solution, your project management choices can help you impress clients, deliver projects ahead of time, use your budget wisely, and keep employee morale high through strong communication and results.
While there are many formats, the concept of project management software is fairly clear — it is a virtual representation of the timeline, budget, and stakeholders in a project.
Modern project management software incorporates much more detail that allows users to:
Project management software may be seen as an extra step to include in your practices, but it saves a lot of time that many companies don't recognize is very expensive.
Disorganized leaders have said that they lose six hours or more a week because of it, and that translates to major personnel dollars for your service firm. Reclaiming those hours through a simple project management interface can really help your bottom line.
Yes, it takes some time to get to know a project management software, so what do you get in return? As it turns out, your company benefits at almost every level.
Great employees need some basic support structures to feel like they are getting the job done: they need feedback, a clear set of expectations, and an understanding of the deadlines and priorities within their work.
Project management software helps every employee have an at-a-glance understanding of what their responsibilities are at any given time. They see things like deadlines, who needs to be included in communication, and details of what everyone is responsible for - all in one place.
As a result, they feel empowered to be efficient and always have something to move forward with at work.
Clients paying for larger service projects may get antsy waiting for the first deliverables of the project. By using a client portal that allows them selective access to the project management side of the software, they can see how progress is being made.
When questions arise, the project management software can interface with email or messaging applications in order to facilitate a resolution to the questions and a confident move to the next stage of the project.
With each project getting a thorough list of tasks and deadlines in the project management software, the leaders in your service firm can make choices about the next months for your company.
Part of profitability is always having the next project lined up and ready to go. If you can see how all the current projects are progressing with the current team members assigned to them, you can accurately forecast who will be free for new work soon.
The value of project management documentation doesn't end when the project concludes. It continues to be useful when onboarding new team members. They can learn a lot about how your team works by digging into past projects and seeing how everyone communicates with each other and with the client.
Realistically, there will occasionally be someone who is holding up a project, whether through inefficient choices themselves or outside factors. Team members have a lot more clarity on how to move projects forward faster when it is very clear who isn't updating the project management software.
Rather than a confusing he-said-she-said about who is holding up a project, the software makes it clear where the project stalled and helps everyone work together to get it moving again. If, for instance, the project tasks stopped being updated on a certain date and after a certain task was completed, because of a clear scheduled list, the team knows to look at who should have taken the handoff. And the project manager can quickly reach out to check on the person who was responsible for that next step.
By keeping your project management software up to date and integrating all of your data into one place, you create a resource that everyone can turn to and trust. This is incredibly helpful when different team members depend on each other to be able to get their own parts of the project finished.
So you want to get started with a project management software, but what matters the most? There are many helpful tools, but here are four features you shouldn't miss.
At its heart, project management software has to have a task management component. This is a visual interface that lets you quickly scan who is doing which tasks, which tasks come before and after that task, and deadlines for each one.
The project tracking dashboards help you send team members and clients updates on how a project is progressing, all while seeing at a glance what all the projects are and how they are all doing time-wise and budget-wise.
Whether your team uses standard project plan templates or creates your own customized templates to use in the future, project plans are key. Any element of the project plan that can be reused for future similar projects will save you time and keep you consistent in the future.
Project management works best when everything is gathered in one place. Adding notes and recordings to projects keeps everyone accountable for what the client wanted in these communications.
Project management software keeps everything clear, on track, and on budget, all while meeting 100% of the agreed-upon objectives for your project. When integrated with other tools for productivity, project management becomes a way to run your company as efficiently as possible.
Accelo integrates many of the project management tools you may already use with an easy-to-use fleet of features that will make your client work more profitable. Try Accelo for free today to see how it can streamline your operations!