PM Tools for a Business: Benefits, Tips and Tools
Project Management tools are used to fulfill client requirements and supervise budget, time and scope limitations by project managers and teams. However, there is a wide variety of options available which can make it difficult for people to choose the right tool.
Online Project Management Software
Several small and medium-scale businesses are now incorporating online project management software into their operations. This software is provided by application service providers as a software-as-a-service and it uses cloud-based technology. Recently, it has begun to develop its functions and has crossed many limits with its plethora of features. This makes it even more confusing for users to select the type of software that is best suited for them.
Types of Online PM Software
1. Simple (Trello, ClickUp, Asana etc)
While a simple PM software type has a few features that only include basic functionality, it is not inferior to other types of software. In fact, it is the only requirement for small to medium-scale businesses. It contains the following features:
- learning materials
- team collaboration
- task management
- email integration.
2. Comprehensive (Jira, Azure DevOps, Targetprocess etc)
A comprehensive project management software has additional features besides the core PM functionality. This includes financial and resource management and more advanced planning. Even though this type of software is more expensive, confusing and requires more time, it offers more valid estimates, greater management of dependencies and real-time tracking of progress. This type of software is mainly used by larger businesses and project teams, especially for more complicated technical projects.
Important Features of PM Software
- Task Management
This refers to the capability of the software to organize tasks and handle them through the process. In addition, the software should be able to create and handle subtasks and assign more than one user to a single task. It should also set dependencies and bring additional tasks from external files.
- Team Collaboration
This feature enables a group of people to interact and discuss work details with each other. It should deliver a virtual space for producing and sharing documents, creating and saving discussions and private texting to more than one recipient. It should also enable alerts and notifications.
- Learning Materials
It should have sufficient training material for all members regardless of their computer skills. It should allow members to accommodate all kinds of users.
- Email Integration
Any software that can successfully integrate with email can be considered as a top-quality solution. Status updates and new tasks can be sent via email. In addition, the time taken to switch between programs will be greatly decreased which will increase productivity.
Project Management Software for Small-sized Businesses
According to the latest study by Software Advice which had a sample of 385 business owners, 46 percent of small businesses are still making use of manual methods to track and manage their projects. The data shows what kind of software small businesses are willing to purchase. Many of these methods include papers, spreadsheets and emails. Owners of businesses have recognized the possibility of error in these manual methods and are thus, looking to switch to project management software.
- Web-based deployment
About 75 percent of small business owners did not favor PM software to be delivered in any way. However, 25 percent that did prefer a type desired a web-based software. This software has gained popularity over recent years. This is ideal for small businesses who have a limited budget.
- Integrated Suite Selection
This refers to a few applications that are given which provide more than just one functionality such as time-tracking and task management. 88 percent of small business buyers chose to have an integrated suite so the number of various applications being used at one time to organize projects was minimal.
Majority of the buyers, about 98 percent, opted to buy an online PM software. The top two reasons for purchase were: 1) Improvement in efficiency 2) Missing functionality. Almost 50% percent of buyers wanted an alternative to their inefficient, manual systems that have risk of errors.
Incorporating a significant tool such as online project management software may not satisfy everyone in your business. Despite this, the software will actually help your organization increase effectiveness and produce a better planning.
Victor is an experienced PM manager with a proven track record. He successfully manages projects in various business domains such as healthcare, retail, fintech, communication and transportation. Victor is an encouraging person who is always ready to share his knowledge.View all articles by this author.