Read our reviews to learn the intricacies of exceptional project management software, and know which to choose for your business or personal needs.
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What is project management software and what does it do?
Project management software is a suite of tools that allows teams to plan, execute, and monitor their projects in a systematic and efficient way. With project management software, teams can:
Collaborate and share files
Schedule tasks and set priorities
Manage and allocate resources including budget and staffing
Document project issues, output, and other data
Share calendars and schedules
Track time for performance evaluation and payroll
Project management software helps streamline the time-consuming and complex processes involved in project management. Furthermore, managers and directors can see the project?s progress at a glance within a dashboard.
What are the common features of project management software?
The common features of project management software are:
There are providers who offer some of these features at a premium, while some of these features come with their basic plans.
What are the types of project management software that I can use?
There are two types of project management software:
Desktop software allows users to manage projects directly on the software that?s installed on their computer. When other users need to view files or manage the project, they need to use the same document and therefore must access the project using the same desktop computer. This type of project management software is suitable when there is only one person who updates and monitors the project, such as a manager.
Web-based project management software allows multiple users to access and update the same project from any device and from anywhere. Authorized users can access the web application and view or update the project.
The type of project management software you use depends on the size of your team, and the number of people who need access to the project. If you have a small team and only a couple of people are authorized to view and update the project, you can use desktop software such as Microsoft Project. However, if you team is diverse and located in different locations, a web-based application is more suitable for you.
How much does the best project management software cost?
Most project management software is priced per user, per month. The typical range is within $5 to $29. There are also providers who charge a flat rate regardless of the number of users, while there are those who offer their software for free for a limited number of users.
What project management software should I use?
Hundreds of project management software turn up when you do a simple Google search. This makes the task of choosing one very daunting and confusing, which is why we listed the top project management software and reviewed them for you. The choice also depends on the features that your team needs, so we also grouped the software according to the most sought-after features below:
As with any kind of purchase, it is important to do your due diligence and do some research before settling on a product and provider. Read reviews and compare prices and features.
How do I choose the best project management software?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to selecting a project management tool. What?s best for one team may not necessarily fit the needs of another team. Therefore, the first thing to do is to assess your team. What do you need? What project management methodology is suitable?
If your team is large and your members work remotely from different countries, then you may need a project management software that allows you to collaborate and track time easily. Furthermore, you may need performance analytics also since doing this manually becomes more complex as a team grows bigger. On the other hand, if you are a startup and has five team members at the moment, your needs may be different and you therefore need different project management software.
What are the types of project management methodologies?
Some of the most often used types of project management methodologies are:
Waterfall: This methodology entails that team members have a very clear idea of the project requirements because it has little to no room for corrections later in the process. The Waterfall method follows a sequential process which starts with the analysis of the requirements, followed by the design and implementation of the solution, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Each stage has to be wrapped up first before teams can proceed to the next stage.
Agile: Because the Waterfall method is not effective at handling complex projects, the Agile method was developed. Rather than initially focusing on requirements, the Agile method makes sure to respond and adjust to changing requirements by breaking down the project into smaller iterations or sprints.
Hybrid: This method, which is sometimes called ?Structured Agile,? is a combination of the best features of the Waterfall and Agile methodologies. The Hybrid methodology starts with gathering and analyzing requirements (Waterfall), then makes iterations to accomplish the project in a flexible way (Agile).
Critical Path Method (CPM): CPM is better suited for non-software projects and requires teams to breakdown all activities or tasks needed to complete a project. After that, these activities are mapped according to their duration and the dependencies between each activity. With CPM, teams will have an idea which tasks can be worked on simultaneously and which ones need to be done first before they can proceed to another activity.
Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM): CCPM is an alternative to CPM, but uses past experiences to map out the tasks required to complete the project. It also focuses on mapping out resource management.
Integrated Project Management (IPM): IPM is commonly used by creative agencies and involves the integration of processes across the organization. This project management method is best suited for projects that require input from multiple teams.
Projects integrating Sustainable Methods (PRiSM): This methodology focuses on minimizing the environmental effects of a project during the development process,and after the delivery. PRiSM is suitable for projects where the key success criteria includes waste management, reduction in energy consumption, and minimizing other environmental impacts.
Somewhere in the list above you should find a project management style which works for you!
Is project management software useful, or a waste of money?
It?s true that you need to shell out funds so you can take advantage of the premium features of project management software. However, it is cost-effective since you will no longer manually do tasks such as invoicing, time tracking, assigning tasks to each members, and more. All stakeholders can save time and effort, which they can use for other more important tasks.
The total time saved per team member and manager adds up, so that a team of 10 with one manager that works on one project at a time can save as much as 403 hours for one whole year. Depending on the average salary of the team members and the manager, the company can save thousands of dollars a year.
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