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What are the Benefits of Project Management Software Tools?

Keeping projects running smoothly can be daunting for teams of any size. Project management software can help any team of any size better manage their tasks, and complete projects in an organized and timely fashion.

Project management software leads to better organization

One of the benefits of project management software iIs there ability to schedule tasks. Scheduling features let managers quickly assign specific tasks to members and convey their expected completion date.

Some common scheduling features that project management programs offer are:

  • Calendars
  • Gantt charts
  • Task lists

Teams can use any of these features alone or in combination to see a projection of individual task and overall project completion dates.

Tracking tasks

Project management software programs also have features for tracking the progress of each task involved in the project. Task cards, like those used by Trello, are one of the common tracking features for this.

Team members can write updates and other relevant information on the cards and move them along towards completion. This simple setup gives managers a quick look at what is currently being done and what has already been accomplished in the various project stages.

A centralized workspace is another common project management software feature. Here, all team members can view the project timeline in real time. The changes that they make on tasks are also immediately visible to everyone else. This keeps everyone constantly aware of how the project is progressing.

Streamlining the workflow

To help teams more efficiently set up and manage the flow of tasks, many project management software programs make heavy use of templates. Team managers can quickly fill up these templates with specific project and task details, cutting down on initial planning time.

SmartSheet, as an example, provide a large collection of templates for specific project types, here’s an example task list by priority:

smartsheet example task-list-by-priority

Templates are also useful for getting new team members accustomed to the project faster. They can use the templates as a guide to grasp the specifics of the tasks at hand. This frees managers from the additional work of having to continuously guide new members, and helps them focus more on integrating these members into the team.

Reports, budgeting, and accountability

Effective project management software helps managers track how well their team is performing. This helps them better assess the project to allocate resources. Some of the different types of reports that project management software can create include:

  • Status reports: A general overview of the current status of the project and team members.
  • Risk reports: Identifies the various risks that a project can encounter based on its current status
  • Executive reports: Specifically intended for the project?s major stakeholders and provides a more detailed overview.
  • Resource reports: This report gives a detailed breakdown of resource allocations, including which members are working on specific tasks.

Many programs provide several ready-to-use templates for creating these reports, but users can also opt to start from scratch. Basecamp is one such software that is well-known for its sizable reporting options.

basecamp example report feature

Reports can be used to keep track of the revisions done on the documents and files used in the project. Managers can quickly pull out the older versions of files and documents right from the reports for review.

Budget and expenditure tracking

A useful accountability feature of some project management software programs is budget and expenditure tracking. This feature is used not just to track the expenses being incurred by the project, but also to ensure that team members are billed and paid correctly.

Users can specify how the budget and expenses are to be tracked, such as by team member, task, or department. They can also keep track of and approve billable and non?billable project expenses.

Some programs, like Mavenlink, even let managers calculate profit margins and compare projected and actual project costs.

mavenlink example budget forecast

Collaborate more effectively with project management software

Continuing with the first benefit of project management software tools, these programs can be used to facilitate better collaboration within and among project teams. Built-in chat functions are some of the common collaborative features offered by project management programs. Team members can converse in real time on the central workspace or within dedicated chat rooms.

Another common collaborative feature is the ability to comment on the task cards/task lists.

Asana has this as its main means of team communication.

asana team communication example

Members can use this feature to provide assistance to other members without disrupting the ongoing discussions in the main work area.

Creating a collaborative environment

Most project management tools support cloud-based operations. Some programs, like Jira and Asana, can be used in an entirely web-based environment. Both of these options facilitate remote work and telecommuting for team members who are not in the main office.

Additionally, these remote operations options let teams work on projects continuously. Team members can access project resources anytime and upload their work to the servers for the next shift of members to work on. This helps get the project completed faster.

Creating a more collaborative culture

Beyond making it easier for team members to work together, project management software as a whole can be used to create a greater culture of collaboration. To fascilitate this, Asana allow you to comment on each task and have a conversation right there where the work is stored:

With feedback right there where the content is, rather than in a separate account through email, collaborations happen naturally.

Project management software for customer satisfaction

The improved efficiency that project management software provides ensures that not only are projects delivered on time, but also have the best output. Here are the ways this can be achieved:

  • Project management tools can be used to build direct communication between teams and clients.
  • Teams can provide reports and updates in a consistent manner, ensuring that clients are informed of developments.
  • Clients themselves can provide feedback on the projects. By being a part of the shared workspace, they can view the work being done in real time and give the necessary inputs. This makes it easier for the team to steer the project in the direction the client wants.

The greater interaction between the team and the client, coupled with better-delivered results, increases the team?s overall reliability. This helps foster a stronger long-term relationship with clients.

Enjoy these project management software benefits

The benefits of project management software tools range from the immediate to the more far-reaching. Some of the most important ones are:

  • Better work organization: Project management tools can help teams keep a more consistent and streamlined workflow.
  • Better accountability: Features which track the project and create detailed reports for review and assessment.
  • Efficient collaborations: Project management software provide real-time communication and can facilitate remote collaborations through the cloud and the web.
  • Client satisfaction: The increased efficiency in delivering project results brought about by using these tools ensure that end-users will be happy with the work.

All of these benefits should be enough to convince companies and organizations to add at least one project management tool into their teams? resources.

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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.