Project management software can help you keep track of your resources, tasks, and activities. The aim is to ensure your project is delivered on schedule and under budget. Without the right tool to support your projects, you are working blindly and lacking productivity. Every problem that crops up can spell chaos, and you won’t have an easy way to keep track of people and resources. It can be easy to miss deadlines and lose customers this way.
Effective project management can improve scheduling and increase overall team productivity, even more so with the right PM software—I recommend you read this article about productivity for actionable tips.
Here are four examples of how to make it happen:
1. Make sure tasks are completed on time
Most project management solutions provide task management features to ensure that work is assigned to the right people and that those people have all the necessary information to complete it.
Choose a project management tool that lets you assign tasks, comment on specific action items, attach relevant details, and set durations and deadlines. Your productivity will also benefit if you can create dependencies between multiple tasks and assign more than one user to a single task. Sometimes, you may even find pre-built templates you can use to set up recurrent items.
The benefit of a work management system is that it is highly collaborative, so people get to contribute and work in real time.
Every team member should know who is responsible for which tasks and which ones are in progress. With complete visibility, you won’t need to conduct repeated follow-ups with team members or waste time on tasks scheduled for a later date.
2. Use your project management tool to communicate
Project management software allows you to collaborate with various teams or departments and create a more productive, transparent process. It opens the door for effective and seamless communication, which is crucial for keeping a project on track.
A study conducted by the Department of Sociology at Landmark University in Nigeria showed that communication positively affects worker productivity, specifically if communication is participative, efficient, and transparent.
Effective communication can eliminate misunderstandings, make progress transparent, and give team members clear directives and accountability.
A good project management solution can easily facilitate discussions among team members. Instead of relying on emails and other means of private communication, you can send messages and comment on tasks directly inside the platform. You may also find a log of recent activities and email alerts that can notify each member of essential updates.
In this scenario, every team member gets complete instructions on how to execute their tasks and can get answers quickly, decreasing the margin of error.
3. Keep all of your project data in one place
Every project brings various resources, activities, files, and other moving parts that team members and managers need to keep track of.
In the past, most people used their own file system to keep track of their assets — some combination of private documents, sticky notes, and spreadsheets. That is not acceptable or efficient in today’s workplace, where everything needs to be transparent and accessible.
Take spreadsheets, for instance. For one thing, Excel is not equipped with features that make it easy to assign tasks and communicate with team members. If you have a new requirement or a team member is removed from a task, you must revise the whole spreadsheet to reflect these changes. Excel and other products like it do not provide a centralized view of every activity, and you can’t use them to communicate with clients. Is it any wonder that Tim Worstall considers Excel the most dangerous piece of software available today?
On the other hand, a project management solution helps you keep everything related to the project in one place. Every team member gains access to the same centralized repository, where they can find all the necessary documentation, finished products, images, videos, and other files related to the project.
Software with built-in dashboards can also give team members an at-a-glance picture of milestones and progress, with readily available reports and financial summaries.
In our experience, an invoicing module is good for both freelancers and any small business as it smooths the payment process and eliminates the need for accounting services. Read our article on these four fully free and top-rated invoicing software in 2022.
If you’d like a quick way to generate and download your invoice, opt for the best invoice generator for your needs.
4. Get more done with fewer people
When you use project management software, you improve team collaboration and streamline workflows. With a better-designed process, you can complete more tasks without completely tapping out your team and resource pool.
The beauty of project management software is not just that it saves you time when finding the resources and files you need; it also automates a lot of tasks, such as time tracking, reports, approvals, and stakeholder updates. Whatever human resources you save, you can allocate to other tasks and projects that might have otherwise been ignored. At TechnologyAdvice I’ve experienced first-hand how efficient your team can be if you plan properly.
Tip: To accelerate productivity in the workplace, read this ultimate guide to time tracking to help your team members complete their tasks. Or even better, test these apps for the Pomodoro technique for visual statistics of how work sessions and breaks blend into the overall time management.
Over to you
Planning resources, communicating, and tracking schedules or tasks are all critical aspects of project management. As a result, these shouldn’t be stifled by manual methods. Don’t settle for slow workflows and a lack of visibility. Find a project management tool that genuinely helps you get stuff done.
Wondering what are the project manager requirements for a successful career path in project management without education or a degree? Here’s our reference guide to becoming a project manager.
First published on December 15, 2016.
Michael Gabriel Sumastre is a writer with over 15 years of industry experience. He has written over a thousand articles related to tech and gadgets, cloud computing, IT management, big data, the Internet of Things, SEO, and SEM.