A lack of solid project management strategies can be costly. PMI reports that poor project performance is to blame for wasting, on average, 11.4% of investment.
The good news: You have plenty of options to help you keep your projects running smoothly. We're exploring what project management software is, how project teams use it and the benefits it can offer your business.
Project management software is a broad term referring to a wide range of programs designed to help people manage their projects. These products range from a simple checklist or calendar to help organize small projects to robust tools that provide an overview of the entire project lifecycle.
Project management software is designed to help businesses and individuals track projects, tasks and schedules. It's a great tool for staying organized and ensuring your team remains on task. You'll find a variety of features in different project management software platforms, but they typically share the following characteristics.
Project management software makes all of the pieces of your project function as a unit. If you have multiple departments working on the same project, a tool like this will help you manage those teams and ensure that everything is completed on time. By signing in to your cloud-based project management platform, everyone can view the latest updates and communicate about project status.
When you’re managing a project, it’s essential to track all the individual tasks your team members must complete. With a project management platform, you can assign tasks and receive notifications when they're completed. Some programs also let you manage due dates and deliverables.
Modern project management software has robust features that help you access real-time data via dashboards and auto-generated reports. With easy reporting at their fingertips, your leadership team can stay informed and see how all of the tasks and milestones in each project factor into overall team performance and project profitability.
Automated time tracking is a vital feature of project management software, especially if you want to accurately invoice your clients. With software that tracks billable and non-billable hours, you can log the hours worked on each task and combine them with project and client data to generate comprehensive reports that help you make key decisions about rates.
Features don't always tell the whole story about the benefits of a given platform. Here are just a few possible outcomes you'll see when your business starts using effective project management software.
If you're a business owner, you need to access a long-term view of your projects. The more you plan for the future, the more equipped you'll be to avoid common problems. Once you have a solid system in place, your team can work together and stay on target. The high-level overview provided by project management software includes everything you need to build out workflows that work for your business in particular.
Managing everything your team does is nearly impossible without some kind of tracking system. With project management software, you can keep all your tasks organized, view client history and communicate with your team using messages and notes that are housed in a single platform. This eliminates much of the need for email or other tools, which means you're more likely to stay focused on the project at hand and avoid costly distractions.
Many people find that project management software helps them stay on track and keeps their projects moving forward faster. Features like task management, collaboration and reporting give you everything you need to stay updated on your projects' statuses and quickly pivot when necessary.
If your projects are well-organized and you know where all your time is going, it's easy to see how much they'll probably cost. Combine that information with billing data, and you'll have an accurate estimate of each project's actual cost before you ever start.
Businesses of all types use project management software to track their projects. They work best for teams, but you can also use them to administer personal or individual projects.
If you're in the professional services industry, project management software offers a way to keep clients at the forefront of your business while maintaining internal efficiency and productivity.
Finding the Right Platform: Benefits Beyond Project Management
Many firms start out seeking project management software, then discover how much more they can get from an end-to-end client work management platform like Accelo. Read these three success stories.