Project management practices have become commonplace in most offices, and the shift to project-based work brings with it all sorts of software tools to manage those projects. Because it’s just so darn helpful, project management software has held steady as a winner in the software industry, as evidenced by its search term popularity:
A potential reason for project management’s continued popularity is the tool’s flexibility and extensibility across business departments and even into our home lives. I used project management software to plan my wedding and buy a new home. The same task-based framework I used to complete writing projects for work transferred really easily to the types of projects I work on in my personal life, and that same framework also transfers to nearly every business department, industry, or team.
Project management software helps teams and individuals break down complex undertakings into discrete tasks, assign due dates, and gather pertinent documents in a single location. When you plan your projects in a project management software, you take advantage of a visual task-management structure that allows teams to collaborate easier and work get completed more efficiently. These vital features improve collaboration across teams and visibility into once-opaque processes. They also have the added bonus of allowing asynchronous access to project details–meaning less time spent checking in on progress during meetings and more time actually doing the work.
These are the top 3 benefits of project management software:
1. Centralizing project information with cross-departmental task management saves time and money
A common problem with today’s SaaS-loving workplace is that it’s easy for teams to adopt low-price best of breed tools where they fit the department’s needs and budget. This can lead to technology creep and crowded software stacks that don’t communicate across departments. Finding the project management tools for your organization means bringing all project information together in a central system and common language that everyone can access.
Project management software is department-agnostic because it can be used by everyone from marketing to finance to HR and ops. When your company finds a truly flexible and company-wide system, you spend less money on less tech, give visibility into projects across the organization, and only invest in training and onboarding for one software license rather than many.
2. Goodbye progress reports, hello streamlined documentation and collaboration
Many other software tools pull parts of project management software into their systems to increase the usefulness of otherwise difficult to manage and highly manual processes. Tools like workflow automation, automated task and due date notifications, and document collaboration tools all bring contributors together around projects. All of your project-critical documentation lives in a single, organized system.
What distinguishes project management software from other software is its focus on managing projects smoothly. The less time that contributors have to spend updating progress reports, looking for the next step in a project, or searching for documents, the more time those contributors have to actually work on their tasks.
And this organization helps managers and executives, as well. Rather than pinging contributors daily or weekly for check-ins or asking managers to pull report after report, managing stakeholders can instead access reports on their own time and follow up to share wins or motivate team members to meet time and resource goals.
3. Get a bird’s eye view of your business with resource and time management features
Once teams and companies get organized around their project management tool enough to come up for a little air and take stock of their productivity, they can start to understand how time and resources are spent throughout the organization. You can’t effectively change what you don’t measure, and project management software makes the perfect platform for measuring time spent on tasks, completion rates, and human or capital resource allocations.
A helpful feature of project management software that has been borrowed from the Agile and Lean project management movements is the burndown chart. These tools help teams visualize the number of tasks available for any one project or time period, and can distinguish between in-progress and completed tasks.
Many of the best project management tools also include time tracking and resource measurement tools right within the task management modules. And the project management software that doesn’t directly include these tools often include native or API connections to resource management apps. Through time and resource measurement:
- Sales teams can measure how long each rep spends on the phone taking meetings
- Project managers can determine how much time developers spend on code between pull requests
- Editors can track how often work gets sent back to copywriters to revise
- Construction sites can measure how many nails they actually use versus what they expected to purchase
- Manufacturing outposts can track their expected output against the raw materials they actually use
When boiled down into per-task data sets, these measurements can improve the quality of work, decrease expenditures on raw materials, and help encourage teams to find faster ways to complete the projects they consistently undertake.
Need help deciding? We’ve got you covered.
We’re sure your team will find plenty of other benefits after you implement a project management software. Use these three benefits as a starting place to as your research your project management software purchase. Need help along the way? TechnologyAdvice has reviews, recommendations, and resources to set you up with the best project management software for your company’s needs.