When we think about creating a collaborative and efficient digital workspace, task or project management (PM) software can often be the solution to a lot of common problems.
Whether a large corporation or small business, each team is likely to have goals that need to be achieved within a certain period of time. In order to reach these objectives, effective PM must be in place and PM software can help to make this time-consuming and complex process simpler and more streamlined.
What is PM software?
A simple definition of PM software is that it is a specialised suite of software designed to improve the productivity and efficiency of a team. Usually in the form of a multi-user cloud based platform, this type of software can be used to track the implementation, progress, and completion of a project.
Project management refers to the process of systemising the scope, budget, and time of a particular project; understanding the scope of a project, the resources needed, as well as time and money that should be allotted is key, though difficulty can sometimes be found in making them work seamlessly together.
This is where PM software can be an invaluable resource. Adapted to assist businesses with project planning and monitoring for completion, PM software streamlines the process of considering a project’s overall resources, its stakeholders, and other components. Proven to be a cost-effective investment, PM software can save businesses thousands each year that would otherwise be lost by mediocre project performance.
Why is PM software useful?
Like other types of task management software, PM software saves teams from juggling little tasks alongside more important priorities. Instead, what most packages aim to do is give back more time to focus on core operations.
When managing a large project, individual tasks are often allocated within the team, however it can be difficult to keep everyone on the same page once they have started to work towards their individual objectives. PM software can serve as a single resource to optimise document sharing, status and timeline updates, as well as overall team communication through a shared dashboard.
Without such a system in place, scheduling can also prove to be a more difficult task than expected, often because there is not an established guideline on what should be accomplished by who and when. PM software can offer a number of solutions to this, making visible task priorities through a shared team calendar or by simply providing an overview of each team member’s booked tasks and hours.
Another way that PM software can help boost productivity is through resource management, ensuring that all the materials needed for a project are accounted for and that proper operation is taking place. By outlining the resources that will be used during a project and when they will be needed, PM software ensures that all team members are up to date and that the cost of usage is managed properly.
Budgeting during a project can be difficult, especially when factoring in variables like contingencies or profit. For project managers, the goal is always to keep costs below, or at least consistent with estimates in order to maximise profit. The complexity of this task often means that an Excel spreadsheet is simply inefficient. Instead, more businesses are opting for PM software that can not only help to create budget reports, but also document the time spent on tasks, provide a dashboard that displays KPIs and graphs, and send reminders for due invoices that can later be compiled and forwarded.
Documentation of a team project’s process is a fundamental part of a successful outcome and many businesses have swapped their Excel spreadsheets for a more streamlined system of handling business operations and financial analysis.
With PM software, all data, including expenses, calendar events, planned tasks, etc are kept in one place for easy viewing and retrieval. This eliminates the lengthy process of having to switch between multiple spreadsheets and makes insight reporting an easy task; teams can easily monitor progress and identify problems as they occur using key metrics.
What are the types of PM software available?
Some PM software can be locally installed within a company’s intranet. This means that the system works exclusively for devices connected to local servers.
PM apps can also be hosted on cloud servers, allowing users and clients to access projects through web browsers.
For smaller projects, individual PM software can be installed. These are usually smaller apps that are simple and straightforward, with fewer features than their larger counterparts.
This type of PM software allows its end user to add to an existing application. This can be ideal for teams who have an existing system in place that they like, but are simply looking for an add-on that is suited to the particular project they are working on.
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