Project Management software can be a hefty investment for a company on a budget. All truly effective project management software will work towards giving a PM two things: time, and communication. In doing so, the program will pay for itself and even turn you a profit in a relatively short amount of time.
But for that to happen, teams need to commit to certain things. Project management software is a tool, and it has to be used properly if you want to get the results you want.
Its All in the Mind
Its the old adage of garbage in, garbage out. A project management software solution can only become truly effective if teams enter proper updates and PMs set up complete project requirements and task trees. Many project managers still play it fast and loose, relying on whiteboards or a slew of scattered emails and notes. Team members forget to log their hours or report on their tasks, because its just another burden at the end of a long day.
Project Management Methodology
Are you using an Agile Project Management model, Waterfall or PRINCE2? Some project management programs are built only around one of these types. What if you decide to switch your methodology or you have multiple teams using different approaches? It might be a good idea to go with methodology-agnostic project management software.
The best project management programs have certain tools and features in common these are the indispensable features that help the PM save time and facilitate team communication.
- Planning tools – Gantt charts, calendars, task inter-dependencies
- Resource management – task management, task inter-dependencies
- Time management – hourly billing, weekly timesheet reviews
- Collaboration – Online chat/conference tools, file sharing, tiered access
So if youre in the market for project management software, itll be a good idea for you to conduct an internal review of your own processes first. Make improvements where necessary, and educate the team on what the program can do, and what they need to do for that to happen. Then youll finally be able to get your moneys worth, and then some.