Project management features are not the same for every tool. Is that all? Do you just have to Google “What is the best project management tool” and you are done?
The answer is no!
For a good project manager that collaborates with multiple teams the situation is a little more complicated.
Do you want to get the work done? This is not enough. You have one more thing to figure out: How you want to get the work done. By the time you achieve this, project management will become easier than ever.
There is a list of factors you should take under consideration before moving to the next step with your ideal software.
Are you ready? Start taking notes!
Technical project management features that will make your life easier
Usually during projects, users need to process data from different departments and systems, In case you have a large amount of data or a bunch of previous projects in a different format to add to your new platform make sure it supports data integration to avoid ending up using a thousand apps.
- User Rights and Permissions
Is everyone part of the project? Maybe. Can everyone have access to the same project information? No. This is the reason why you should choose a tool that will allow the administrator to set user rights and platform permissions.
Main Project Management Features
- Online Gantt Chart
Ok! You already knew that a project management software should have online Gantt charts. But what about Gantt chart user interface and capabilities? Not all Gantt charts are the same. Complicated projects cannot be planned and monitored in a basic-functionality tool. Focus on your current and future needs and test your platform in extreme execution scenarios to find the champion.
- Requirements & Deliverables
How do you want to manage your requirements and deliverables? Do you need those entities connected to tasks and processes or not? If you need full control, you may have to choose a platform that will let you access those entities from anywhere in your project, monitor their execution and adjust them to fit to your project’s needs.
By setting milestones you can effectively measure progress. A great project management tool should allow you to mark the start and end dates, reviews, deliverable submissions and scheduled updates to help you keep deadlines and deliver on time.
- Burn Down Chart
How much work is left to be done? You will no more wonder with the help of a good burn down chart. Predict when your work will be completed and keep track of time to manage it better.
- Work Packages
A complex project is usually divided in smaller parts to be properly executed. These parts are also known as work packages. This feature is useful if a project is assigned to multiple departments or divided into distinct phases that will be separately managed.
- Sub – projects
In addition to work packages there are sub-projects that occur during the main project execution. Those projects should be created and managed as child-projects. Is your platform able to support this feature?
- Asset Utilization
Is your team available for new task assignment? Review the availability and overload of your resources through asset utilization features.
- Skill Search
Did you ever need a specific set of skills for a task and faced difficulty choosing the right team member for the execution? Search personnel by skills and you will never experience such a dilemma again. Just fill in all the skills a task needs and you will get a list of everyone in your company that fits your criteria.
- Project Templates
A complex project may take weeks to be set and scheduled. Project templates will allow you to save a project structure and settings for future project planning use.
An email regarding a project might change the flow of a task or even a set of tasks. The best you can do is receive emails from the same platform you manage projects and create links between them to keep the project team updated.
Applications for keeping notes are great…if you are not a project manager. Otherwise you will have to take notes inside your project or your tasks during your work.
Project Automation Features
Is the project a standard repetitive business process that can be automated with workflows? If so, choose a software with workflow automation and link your projects with workflows. That way you can automate the execution and task assignment. Just run the workflow and let the platform do the rest.
- Automated Execution
Having full control of your projects does not mean that you will have to do everything manually. Use project automation to can set and schedule execution details in advance and let the project run by itself when the conditions are met.
Project Collaboration Features
A project execution requires excellent collaboration. Excellent collaboration cannot be achieved without file sharing. Save important documents inside your platform and make sure you can share them with your team.
Task management is more than a calendar entry when it comes to project deliverables. Take assignment should be easy, transparent and effective. Many managers choose to use a separate application for this cause. But you should not. Connect all tasks to your projects and have full control of deadlines.
- Shared Calendar
Task management is more than a calendar entry but calendar entries can increase productivity dramatically. Interactive shared calendars work! Give access to your team members and let them have a clear image of their daily or weekly workload. Better collaboration brings better results.
- Communication Channels
Team communication can be achieved through team chat rooms, internal messages or discussion boards. Whatever you choose, it will boost online team collaboration and productivity.
Strong collaboration is being able to notify your team about every single detail. Does your platform support user notifications? If so, you are a lucky project manager.
Project Accounting Features
- Resources Cost
Do not forget about the resources cost. Calculations are more accurate if made by the system itself. Do not waste any more time trying to figure out the total cost. Just choose a software that supports the export of instant cost reports.
- Incomes & Expenses
Time is money. Keep live record of the incomes of your company and create reports of expenses which you can link to the project accounts.
Project Monitoring Features
Weekly reports can inform you about progress, expenses, incomes, pending tasks and everything you need to keep track of.
Project analytics will help you identify strengths and weaknesses that can be used for better performance in future projects.
- Monitoring Dashboards
Software tools will give you access to multiple data and business intelligence features. The digital transformation of your business can become a digital destruction if you do not manage to monitor and use all those data to optimize your work and achieve your goals. Customizable dashboards can give you full control and help you make the best out of your software.
Instead of hash-tagging everything on social media, try to tag your business entities. This way you can categorize business entities, find easily content and files and save valuable time. #Success is what you will meet.
A platform that covers every aspect of your business ought to create powerful interrelations among distinct business entities. A project, for example, could be linked to contacts, deliverables, requirements, tasks, personnel, messages, notes and even other projects.
Last but not least, the 28th feature is:
Usability is the most important feature of all. Even if you have found the best project management tool in the entire world, it will not benefit your performance if you cannot make the best out of its use. Try many tools before deciding which is the best for you and get ready for great project days!
Although finding the right project management software for you may be a difficult task, it gets a lot easier if you have specific requirements in mind.
And never forget:
“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” ~ Aristotle
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