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Project Management: Choose the Perfect Tool to Complete the BIGGEST Tasks

When running demanding projects, project management tools often help smoothly move tasks along. An ideal project management tool is powerful enough to enable fluid communication between team members, and support the completion of the task with minimal back-and-forth. This guide is going to help you determine what those characteristics are, and give suggestions on what to use.

Choose the perfect project management tool

Getting a whole team onboard with a new project management solution is not easy. In order to make the right decision the first time, it?s best to first be familiar with the main characteristics of a project management tool:

  • What is a project management tool: A project management tool is a specialized suite of software created to assist teams in a multi-tasking fashion. The main purpose of a project management tool is to improve the efficiency of the team and make it easy to collaborate, track, and accomplish various tasks without endless email exchanges.
  • Benefits of project management tools: A project management solution can be a vital component in monitoring the general KPIs of a company. Essential team tasks such as real-time collaboration, document sharing, and task management are just some of the benefits that come from using a project management tool.

There are many kinds of project management tools that are specifically constructed to support a variety of team-related projects. The sections below are going to look at the particular characteristics of various project management software options.

Choose the perfect project management tool: Types of PM tools

There are different types of project management solutions that vary depending on the functions, installation process, and intended utilization of the application:

  • Cloud-based: These project management tools are hosted on cloud servers. This means that users can access the project from any computer with a web browser.?Wrike is well known for being cloud-based, making them useful to mobile teams.

  • Open API: These tools are intended for complex operations. They allow integrations with third-party applications for better team performance. There are usually many ways to customize these tools.
  • Desktop: These operate as an application that runs on a desktop application for each user, rather than being in a browser.
  • Mobile: Most project management tools offer mobile solutions and apps for smartphones. This allows users to view, edit, and update project details on the go.
  • Single user: These project management tools are simple and pretty straightforward. They may not be as feature-laden as other tools, but they are extremely effective for simpler tasks. Trello is a great example of a simple and effective tool.

Learning what type of project management tool a team needs is essential before making a long-term decision. The most important thing to consider here is the type of tasks the team usually handles.

Choose a project management tool: Interfaces

User interface design (UI) is how the software presents itself to the user. The goal of the user interface is to make the functionality of the software as efficient as possible while remaining simple to use. A solid interface can greatly influence the workflow of team projects and become an essential component of a company?s success. The first trait to look for in a project management tool is its interface:

  • Intuitive user interface: A project management tool should be easy to use. The last thing anyone wants to do is spend a lot of time learning about the software they use. Some of the best project management tools come with a highly intuitive user interface. SmartSheet is well known for having a unique interface that helps projects move along in an organized fashion.
  • Easy to use: The best project management tools are pretty straightforward to use, without an overly difficult learning curve. The best way to test whether a tool is easy to use or not is to check whether the providers offer a free trial, and trying it out.

Quality project management software offers an intuitive user interface that doesn?t draw unnecessary attention to itself. A complicated project management tool may be counter-productive for the workflow of projects.

Choose a project management tool: Features

Not all teams require the same features in a project management tool. It is essential to think about the features the team will need in order to successfully complete everyday tasks, not to buy something that has every feature imaginable and overpaying. The following are among the standard set of features that every good project management tool should include:

  • Dashboards and graphical reports

  • Task management
  • Real-time reports
  • Issue tracking system
  • Ability to share externally
  • Scheduling tools
  • Professional interface
  • To-do lists
  • Time-tracking

These are some of the most frequently requested features in a project management tool. Even though project management tools should offer functionalities for managing every element of a project, not all tools offer the same set of features. The needs of shareholders, such as management who need to track time, are essential considerations when you choose a project management tool.

Choose a project management tool: Customer support

Regardless of how smooth the user interface may be, there are always going to be bugs and issues that can stall the workflow. In these cases, teams rely on the responsiveness of customer support. Some of the most common types of support are:

Different project management tools have different customer support policies. It is important to choose a project management tool that offers a decent customer support policy, with live chat and phone support being huge for teams that can’t afford downtime.

Choose a project management tool: Integrations

A good project management tool integrates smoothly and effortlessly with other programs and apps. This may not seem like a big deal, but it makes life easier for everyone on the team if the project management tool offers plenty of integrations. Some of the most important integrations that a project management tool should have are:

Third-party integrations enable users to easily integrate their project management tools with other third-party apps. One of the most important integrations is Zapier. It connects project management tools with hundreds of apps:

These kinds of integrations aid toward better team performance and optimize project completion.

Choose a project management tool: Try and compare

Teams don?t usually like to change project management tools too often because it takes extra time to learn the proper functionality of the tool. That?s why, prior to making a long-term decision on a project management tool, it is smart to take several things into account:

  • Use the free trial option: Before making long-term decisions on a PM tool, why not use the free trial option to see whether that solution is the right fit for your team? Almost every PM tool offers a free trial, and this way teams are allowed to test the PM before making a purchase.
  • Get feedback from the team: To check whether the tool will be the right fit for a team, it is smart to think about what they need. Those needs are best obtained directly from the team. Have them list features they find useful, and make this integral to decisions made on which to use.
  • Calculate the cost: Before spending on a new tool, it is smart to weigh the cost and consider the time and money you will spend on the tool. Be sure to check on recurring costs versus one-time fees.

These couple of steps will increase the probability of choosing the appropriate project management tool that aligns perfectly with the needs of the team.

Choosing a project management tool: Making the right decision

After doing the necessary analysis and calculating the pros and cons of the project management tools available, it is time to double-check the decision. The last step of choosing a project management tool consists of taking into account all the key elements and comparing them with the top candidates. All of the elements below should be considered in order to make a well-informed decision:

  • Specific software type
  • User interface
  • Special features
  • Integrations
  • Customer support
  • Free trial option
  • Special team preferences

A quality project management tool is one that has a smooth user interface, features that match the team?s needs, integration options, decent customer support, and preferably an option for a free trial. Most importantly, the tool should pair the preferences and essential necessities of the team. Only after considering all of these elements, you can make sure that you have made the right decision. Feel free to read more reviews on this website, and get to truly know what you’re buying in advance!

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Scott Ellis

Scott is a content manager for PMFoo, a free online resource that quickly matches businesses and individuals to their Project Management software needs. He specializes in project management tips, tools, and tricks . On the rare occasion Scott isn't writing, he's reading comic books, playing video games, or cheering the mighty Blue Jays. No, Scott is not a 12 year old boy. He assures us all he is a grown man.