Did you get a call from your project’s sponsor pushing up the project’s deadline by a good 21 days? Has he told you that delivering any minute later will be good for nothing because, thanks to the unforetold shift in the market?
Or, you have been handling the project well, but somewhere in the project, you realize that some elements of the design are not aligning with the existing infrastructure? Thus, you must revise the plan with your client who threatened to slap you with the penalty clause in the contract that covers for an unsatisfied output.
What to do manage this situation?
Well, thanks to the ever advancing technology, you can sort these situations and scenarios. There are many project management tools on the Internet to make your life easier.
What is Project Management Tool?
Project management is an activity that involves initiating, prepping, and executing particular tasks to achieve laid out project objectives. It can be a time consuming and an overwhelming role to oversee the successful completion of a project. But with the use of appropriate project management software, the process is run smoothly, effectively, and efficiently.
Project management software is of two types: desktop and web-based software.
Microsoft Project falls in the desktop software category. It needs regular updates and maintenance by more than one person for smooth running in case of collaborations.
Web-based software, on the other hand, is better for virtual teams. It allows easy access to project details, by the project stakeholders, whenever and wherever.
Now, why you should consider implementing some of the best project management tools?
- PM tools enhance swift collaboration.
- They promote easier delegation of projects.
- They improve accurate and reliable project tracking.
- PM software provides you with a central data storage unit for all project data.
- Also, they facilitate clear and seamless communication among the project stakeholders.
- They promote quick and secure file-sharing between the project team and the client.
- They enable accurate time tracking.
- PM tools have advanced automatic invoicing feature.
- Last but not least, with PM tools, you are assured of speedy reporting.
What to Consider Before Using PM Software?
Before going for a project management software, you should have sufficient insight into your project objectives and goals to avoid overpaying for a software, you will use 25% only.
Therefore, below are the aspects you should analyze for an ideal project management tool:
- Team collaboration– Since a project often involves more than one party, the project management tool should incorporate team collaboration. Hence the software should have control and authentication management for granting access levels to relevant stakeholders. Web-based agile project management tools are perfect in this case.
- Scheduling– This is a mandatory feature that every project management tool should entail. As is the norm, the latest project management software enables you to draw Gantt charts for activity scheduling. Moreover, you can add activity dependencies to the schedules, and the software will automatically display the critical project path and any changes made to it later on.
Another useful feature is baselining when the project’s requirements are finalized. In case there are any changes made to the requirements, it is easy for the project team to understand the project scope and cost deviations by comparing the new schedule with the baseline schedule.
- Document management– It is evident that there’s significant documentation in projects. Therefore, the project management tool should contain a document management module with an appropriate access control system. It is for effortless accessing of these documents by the project stakeholders. Also, this feature should support document versioning for whenever docs are updated and need to be versioned.
- Task management– This is perfect for large organizations that work on more than one project at a go. Project management tools with project portfolio management feature enable firms to monitor and measure their multiple projects with no hassle. This way, they can keep track of the overall progress of projects. It is advisable for small companies with few projects to not work on agile project management tools since they can be pretty costly, and they don’t need this feature at all.
- Issue tracking– Among other project issues that come up during the project period, software defects is a prevalent one. Hence, to avoid unexpected stalling of the project and to fail to meet the deadline, it is very vital to track and monitor such issues constantly. Thus, ensure the project management software you are getting has features to track and monitor problems raised by the various project stakeholders.
- Resource management– Resources include human resources, time, and money. Being scarce and very valuable, you should use it with a lot of integrity and care. Therefore, the project management tool you select should have the ability to outline the utilization of every resource exhaustively during the entire project process.
List of 8 PM tools
This project management tool is perfect for project scheduling. It visualizes information and project tasks dependency. A project Gantt chart displays detailed info of each task and the overall plan by combining the task table on the left and the timeline on the right. Its users find it very efficient in visualizing project management.
To use this software you need at least $7.90 per user monthly.
- It displays project information very clearly in a graph.
- It ensures improved accountability and efficient communication.
- It gives you a real-feel and outlook of the project.
- It is time-consuming when it comes to managing and updating it.
- It doesn’t have a collaboration management feature.
Trello – Kanban tool
A wonderful web-based project management tool for collaborations. It is suitable for planning your projects on one platform. It is easy to work with thanks to its three-tier information system, i.e., Boards, Lists, and Cards.
The Business Class version costs about $25 per month.
- It is flexible and can work on phone/tablet/comp.
- Assists you to plan your tasks into smaller components using the system of boards and cards.
- It has no crumbled up post-it notes on tables.
- It gives instant deadline alerts and notifications.
- It requires a reliable internet connection to be accessed.
- It is not suitable for big projects.
- Its storage is limited to just up to 250MB.
- It lacks robust agile features.
- It has poor communication ability.
Jira – Agile
You can implement Jira-Agile to make your software. It can easily be customized to match your needs. It was designed to be a project management tool for tracking and monitoring issues in projects. It can support Scrum and Kanban boards.
It costs $10 monthly.
- It is highly customizable.
- It has a user-friendly project tracking interface.
- A mobile version is now available.
- It has endless apps and add-ons.
- Its default settings are difficult to understand.
- Learning how to navigate through it can take quite some time.
This cloud-based software is best for mid-sized organizations which have outgrown their current project management tools. It offers a Kanban board and Gantt Chart Robust project management. These support WBS, multi-dependencies, critical path, and portfolio management of projects.
It will cost $24 per user/month with volume and term discounts given.
- You can tweak easily to fit your workflow.
- It has excellent and responsive customer service.
- Frequent notifications on project updates.
- It facilitates effective and efficient communication.
- Pocket-friendly price.
- Some features are not available for Mac users.
- It’s guest user experience is weak.
- Notifications for guest users cannot be customized.
- In the case of two people working on a task and one is done, he/she will still get a notification until the other person clicks done.
Slack is a communication and project management tool that provides real-time messaging with the ability to archive, search, and share files. Built for people who need the communication activities collectively stored in one place, it gives easy access and fast searching of files through phone/PC. The software guarantees its users versatility and extensive integration for the long term.
It can be purchased for $6.67 and has a free trial coupon.
- It has a friendly intuitive interface.
- It has excellent and prompt customer support.
- It prices are affordable.
- It has a free trial.
- No desktop support.
- It cannot handle large projects.
This tool doubles up as an online to-do list available over 13 platforms, inclusive of Windows, Chrome, and iOS. It has users over 1.7 million. This app compiles tasks and subtasks into simple files. What makes it outstanding from its rivals is its feature of tracking progress over time, which keeps its users in the loop about their productivity performance.
Its subscription is $29 annually.
- It has a powerful searching and filtering feature.
- It has natural language predictions for phrases like ‘tomorrow,’ ‘every week,’ etc.
- It supports sharing, collaboration of projects, and visual scheduling.
- It monitors and shows productivity trends on charts.
- It has endless premium ads.
- For notifications and attachments, you need annual subscription.
- It lacks a default or easy-to-access view to see tasks from different projects.
- It doesn’t support dependencies, and there’s no option for adding extra details to a job.
Geniebelt – App
This web as well as mobile real-time project management software is very handy in the construction industry. It provides practical and efficient communication among project stakeholders and a straightforward user interface that facilitates field reporting. It also enhances overviewing across all construction projects and construction reporting.
It is available for $110 monthly.
- It has construction industry-based management features that allow for issuing, revising, and monitoring project documents and drawings within the team.
- It allows for secure sharing of other versions with third parties and external clients.
- It enables for sharing Gantt chart from either a desktop or mobile device for up to date project progress reports.
- It is quite costly.
Zoho Projects – App
Zoho is collaboration software with four base modules contained in each package and the free version too. These are just off-the-shelf capabilities of the software. Besides, you can add add-on modules of Bug Tracker, Time Tracking and Billing, Wiki, and Chat easily to the app for smaller business economically.
You can get Zoho app for $20 every month.
- The issue tracking tool enables teams to collaborate and get projects done quickly.
- It gives notifications on project updates and keeps you in loop about project progress.
- It allows for creating project files directly on the browser without any additional software.
- With the Bug Tracking module, you can define a structure and organize how bugs should get handled.
- Customization is possible.
- It supports iOS and Android mobile phones.
- Editing is restricted to premium subscribers only.
The PM tools discussed in this article are the ideal PM software for your projects that makes your project team, and client happy. Share this article widely about how useful project management tools, such as Edraw – Gantt Chart, are of great assist in effective and efficient project completion.