Keeping track of the resources, phases, responsibilities, and members involved in each project can be tricky, and if you’re working on more than one project at a time, really overwhelming. Fortunately, there is help available, great help. Today, there are tons of management tools trying to get your attention. But what features should the right one have for you?
A good project management tool will help you to centralize all the information and, at the same time, to allow all the workers to know what are the tasks that they must carry out at all times. It offers a view of the workflow distribution and allows you to adjust them without de-centring you or your team. Here are some of the features that a complete solution should have:
The planning tool is the true essence of your project management software. At the very least, it helps you keep track of all your scheduled tasks and deadlines. A shared team calendar can also be a great advantage, as can automatic notifications when the end of the term is approaching.
More sophisticated project planners allow you to distribute jobs and responsibilities to specific team members, giving you an even clearer picture of workflow and time allocation.
Work management is another basic feature of most project management tools. Good work management allows you to divide each project into phases and small tasks to which you can add deadlines and budgets. Newer tools also integrate ‘the critical path’ – the precise order in which tasks should be completed for the project to go through.
Collaboration and communication
Fluent communication is the key to the success of any project, so it should also be part of your project management tool. The best ones function as centers where you can enter basic data and detailed information. This is very positive, for example, for those who work from home.
Some tools also help share project information with clients. This can be a good way to keep your client informed about the progress of the work without having to hold briefings with him every few days.
Reports and statistics are useful for getting an overview of how your current project is going and learning from previous projects. Why did a project go over budget? Why couldn’t another be delivered on time? All of this will be here.
Budget management and control of resources
Some tools offer a specific management feature. This gives you an overview of the meeting rooms booked, planned and the resources used and everything that will cost. It is also useful to avoid duplication of reservations or lack of resources.
Time tracking and profitability control
Time tracking features help you define which tasks took the longest to complete on a previous project to better estimate costs and time in the future. Most tools offer basic time tracking, but the option to set different hourly rates and automatically add billable hours to your receipts can save you many hours of work and greater control of the profitability of your projects. #WorkSmarter