A lot goes into planning, executing, and managing projects, no matter their size. Project management software like Asana, Mavenlink, Wrike, and Trello can help stakeholders collaborate on project goals and progress. Software specifically created for project management gives businesses the ability to collect and share project requirements, identify, allocate, and track resources, manage schedules, budgets and deliverables.
Cost, time, and allocation of resources to find, evaluate, and onboard software are factors that make companies resistant to using project management software. However, most of it is now SaaS-based, making it easier to acquire and implement. Here are five reasons your business should invest in project management software.
1. Centralized information and access
Use project management software to store and share important project information in one place. Having all content housed within a central, protected location means that project teams and stakeholders can easily access and share data that has a higher degree of integrity. A centralization system makes it easier to safeguard sensitive information with a single point of access, which is easier to monitor and control through IT security tools. Users can be assigned roles with specific permissions to the PM software portal, and many PM solutions maintain an audit trail of all activity. This helps to simplify troubleshooting and data backup, as well as guarding against information leaks. These benefits assist real-time collaboration.
2. Increased agility
PM software increases agility by automating processes and workflows, making it possible to get products or services completed or to market faster. Teams can spend time focusing more on deliverables and specifications, and less on the process and administrative requirements of how they get work done. Agility can make all the difference for companies trying to get ahead of the competition or trying to maintain their lead. Being able to provide your customers with the deliverables they seek faster - without risking quality or cost - is one of the keys to project success.
SEE: IT project cost/benefit calculator (Tech Pro Research)
3. Real-time collaboration and communication
Project decisions rely heavily on regular communication and collaboration. Effective decision making hinges on having the right information, at the right time, in the right place - in short, right when it is needed. PM software gives stakeholders and decision-makers immediate access to the critical information required to make important decisions on time. Your stakeholders can collaborate with each other in real time about project specifics and progress. Communication between sponsors, leaders, or other external parties can be held in a safe, contained environment. This keeps your project tasks moving and offers a way for everyone to be on the same page throughout each phase.
4. Reduced manual workarounds
Manual workarounds result in errors, additional work, and additional manual intervention. This can cost your company a significant amount of time, money, and even customers. It can also invalidate quality assurance processes or ISO standards. PM software offers companies features that automate scheduling, assigning of tasks and resources, allocation and tracking of budgets, progress updates, and reporting. When less manual intervention is required, project managers, teams, and stakeholders can focus more on client goals and the deliverables.
SEE: How to build a successful project manager career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
5. Maximized resources
Use resources more efficiently and reduce waste. Many companies have limited resources that are already stretched thin. Daily operations are often impacted by new projects, and employees are required to keep pace with regular duties and newly created project tasks. PM software frees up time so that these high-value resources can spend more time on project deliverables and development instead of administration.
Large and small businesses have differences, but projects are a common theme for most. Regardless of industry, location or size, businesses initiate and execute projects. Leverage project management software to centralize information, increase agility, improve collaboration, reduce workarounds, and maximize your resources.
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Moira Alexander is the author of "LEAD or LAG: Linking Strategic Project Management & Thought Leadership" and Founder & President of Lead-Her-Ship Group. She's also a project management and IT freelance columnist for various publications, and a contributor and co-host of the "technically speaking" segment on the Price of Business Talk Radio. She has 20+ years in business (IS&T) and project management for small to large businesses in the US and Canada. To find out more about Moira, go to www.leadhershipgroup.com.