Project management is no simple task—after all, entire master’s degrees and certification programs are dedicated to it. Multiple software systems have infiltrated the market promising to save time and keep projects running smoothly by improving team workflow. But which are worth the time, and potential financial, investment? Which project management software features should you should seek out?
Key features of project management software allow you to hack some of the typical PM responsibilities by focusing on organization, collaboration, and/or automation. Finding a software solution that meets the needs of your team can revolutionize your joint workflow process.
Some of the most popular project management software includes:
- Asana, built for task assignment and tracking
- Trello, a digital bulletin board
- Wrike, tools for managers to plot projects
- Monday.com, software designed for automation and integration
Need to assign projects to team members and keep track of the progress? Asana makes it possible to assign individual task lists. Within each task, you can converse about the work, attach files, and update due dates. Project managers can view everyone’s tasks in a master list for better clarity.
Team members can view their tasks as a list, board, or calendar. When they finish something up, they simply check it off in their to-do list, notifying their teammates and supervisor that it’s done.
In the reporting section, each team member can update their progress so that you get a general outline of your workflow. Dive deeper in the portfolio section to get an even broader view of your team’s current capacity.
Asana can be downloaded as an app, a desktop application, or used in the browser so your team is never far from being able to access and update their project list.
Wish your remote team had access to a shared bulletin board? That’s basically what they get with Trello, a project management platform that creates a digital bulletin board with diverse functions for tracking each project posted there.
Add each task as a list or card on the trello board. Use task assignments, calendars, and timelines to keep track of your team’s to-dos. Each card expands to display pertinent information like due dates, attached files, and even related conversations.
Automate time-wasting tasks like shifting lists or scheduling assignments with Trello’s built in artificial intelligence.
Wrike is designed to give project managers the bird’s eye view they need to verify the status on multiple projects across departments. Gantt charts put everything in a single place for better planning.
To make sure that workers are able to quickly and efficiently adjust schedules, Wrike provides a drag-and-drop calendar function that makes moving around deadlines a snap. Arranged by the name of the assignee, managers can see immediately whether or not assignments are distributed in a balanced way and adjust accordingly.
Quick and easy status updates keep everyone clued into project progression. Color code these for even faster consumption. Automate simple tasks like email campaigns. Plus, you can pull business reports right from project dashboards.
For teams that really need to see what is coming at them, Monday.com offers a variety of visualization options so they can get a handle on projects. Whether they like to look at upcoming work as kanban, a calendar, a timeline or a map, Monday.com can create a visual representation that helps everyone stay organized.
Automation function in Monday.com takes away the need to do small, repetitive tasks like creating new contacts based off of received emails.
Already set up with some software that you’d like to keep using alongside project management tools? Monday.com integrates with the accounts you already have on Google Drive, Slack, MailChimp, Twitter, Teams and more for seamless function between all your platforms.
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How to Implement Project Management Software
Good project management software should have features that make work easier, not more complicated. When implementing project management software, it’s important to choose options that streamline your work process. You may want to think of your introduction of project management software like a new project in of itself that needs to be managed.
Which Software Is Right for Your Team?
Adding unnecessary steps may frustrate your team, so choose an intuitive, simple program that adds organization to your work days. To get a real gauge of what individual teams need in project management software features, do some process mapping.
Managers should draw up a map of what the workflow looks like for their team. Included in this should be any bottlenecks, such as, “Everyone gets delayed during the process of creating timelines for web projects.” The software chosen should directly address these roadblocks.
How Do We Get Proficient?
Organize a team training to get everyone up to speed. Practicing together can help avoid any of the snafus that come out on day one of full use. Consider choosing point people in each department as the go-tos for questions regarding the new software as everyone adjusts.
Take a top-down approach. Get managers and supervisors up and running first so they can offer realistic explanations to their teams about how the software works and why it’s a benefit to them specifically. Even within the same agency different teams may have different uses for the software, so management can find ways to show off its specific appeal to their teams.
The right tools for the job will have demonstrable, trackable benefits. The best features of project management software are the ones you don’t even realize you’re using because they fit so seamlessly into your team’s workflow.
Map your process. Pick a software solution. Learn how to use it together. You’ll see improvements in workflow productivity and performance across your entire team.