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The Ultimate Guide to Project Management Software & Their Features
Written By: Cheyenne Kolosky
- August 2, 2023
In today’s fast-paced business world, with so many tasks, deadlines, and team members to coordinate, it can be overwhelming to stay organized and keep track of everything. That’s why project management software is so crucial for your business!
So in this guide, we will explore the core features of project management software and delve into the advanced features that can take your project management to the next level. We will also cover some tips to choose the right PMS for your business. So let’s get into it.
The 5 Core Features of Project Management Software
Project management software comes equipped with a wide range of features to help streamline tasks, improve collaboration, and ensure projects are completed on time and within budget.
Let’s take a closer look at the five core features and what they do:
|What It Can Do For You
|It allows you to:
Create tasksEasily delegate tasks to team membersSet deadlinesMonitor progress.
|These tools allow you to:
Facilitate communicationShare calendarsCreate discussion boardsReal-time messaging.
|Time Tracking and Resource Management
|This allows you to:
Track the time spent on tasksMonitor resource allocationIdentify bottlenecks or potential issues.Make informed decisions based on accurate data.
|Gantt Charts and Visual Planning
|Gantt charts are a visual representation of a project’s timeline, tasks, and dependencies. They help you:
Create schedulesIdentify critical path tasksTrack progress visually.
|Reporting and Analytics
|Project management software can generate comprehensive reports and analytics that provide valuable insights into project performance. These reports help project managers:
Evaluate progressIdentify areas for improvementDemonstrate project outcomes to stakeholders.View projects in a variety of formats including Grid, Card, Kanban, Calendar, Timeline, and Chart visuals.
And if these features aren’t quite enough for what you’re looking for, then you can also add some advanced features for enhanced project management software. So let’s look at five of the most advanced features.
More Advanced CRM Features for Project Management
While the core features of project management software are essential for efficient project execution, many advanced features can take your project management to the next level. Let’s explore some of these advanced features:
1) Integrations with Agile Methodologies
Project management software often includes features tailored to agile methodologies, such as:
- Kanban boards, which provide a visual representation of project tasks, allowing members to see the progress of each task and easily identify bottlenecks.
- Sprints, which enable teams to break down a project into smaller, manageable chunks and work on them in short iterations.
- User story management, which allows teams to capture and prioritize user requirements, ensuring that the project delivers value to the end-users.
These features allow teams to adapt to changing requirements, collaborate closely, and deliver value incrementally. An excellent project management suite will facilitate multiple work styles and allow teams to leverage the processes that are most efficient for them.
If you think about the situation faced by companies in the construction, logistics, and other infrastructure related spaces, teams are dealing with a huge variety of legacy systems or often no system at all. These technological gaps coupled with legal requirements, shipping challenges, and tight timelines can potentially scuttle a project. An average construction project might involve a multitude of documents, from blueprints and permits to contracts and change orders. No-code app development platforms offer document management features that allow project managers to organize, store, and share these documents securely. This ensures that all stakeholders have access to the latest project-related information. Additionally an inherently flexible system means that teams can link no-code systems into the never even heard of code paper based processes utilized by many companies.
Even in construction support roles there are hundreds of companies with specific issues that build up into hundreds of hours of basic data management a year. For example one of our clients Edwards Rigging and Moving struggled with all the big data associated with their big rigs. A large-scale operation like theirs means tracking a lot of different components, from sales to scheduling to transit to equipment breakdowns. Trying to piece together multiple software solutions to effectively manage all these moving parts was a constant struggle. No-code software meant they could seamlessly create a project management system that fit their exact needs and allowed them to easily track what mattered most to them.
2) Resource Allocation, Workload Balancing, & Automation
Advanced project management software offers features that help you allocate resources effectively, balance workloads, and prevent burnout. With resource allocation tools, you can identify team members’ availability, assign tasks accordingly, and ensure everyone’s workload is manageable.
By balancing workloads, project managers can prevent burnout and ensure that team members have a healthy work-life balance, leading to increased productivity and satisfaction. It will also go over well with your employees and keep them motivated.
Any great modern PM tool should also have a variety of automation tools and integrations built directly into their system. At a minimum routine data updating tasks should enable triggers that begin project management workflows and processes between milestones. The vast majority of businesses benefit from these automation based business rules that save team members hundreds of hours per year in tedious updates.
Companies with no-code platforms at their hearts are empowered with PM automations for repetitive tasks and workflows. For example, project managers can create automated notifications for upcoming tasks, approvals, or deadlines. This streamlines communication and ensures that everyone is aware of their responsibilities. For example the software company Rogue Wave was able to collect all the partner outreach data their team needed for insights and actions around developing their partner ecosystem. A highly flexible PM tool can mean that your team is able to quickly connect the dots between international teams, customer insights, and next steps to be done.
An excellent PM tool with automations and workload balancing will also mean that projects are effectively balanced across teams. For example, a construction project involves multiple stakeholders, including architects, engineers, contractors, and clients. No-code platforms offer collaboration and communication tools, such as discussion forums, messaging, and real-time updates. This coupled with the ability to view and manage time within the same platforms means that companies can easily understand what they’re doing, what they should be doing, and the value of that work no matter which side of the project they are on.
3) Mobile Integrations
The vast majority of project management tools support some level of mobile responsiveness but it’s important to evaluate the quality of the overall mobile experience. Apps in particular can be deceiving, just because a tool has an app does not always mean that it will lower friction for your team. In general, it’s important to directly assess needs, for example whether team members can easily see notifications on the go or if staff in the field can get an accurate snapshot of job site activities, real estate locations, and a variety of other data points that could keep projects moving.
No-code platforms also enable technical Non-profit and startup project managers to create and manage detailed project plans and schedules. They can develop Gantt charts, assign tasks to team members, set milestones, and establish timelines, all without the need for coding. This ensures that construction projects stay on track and are completed within deadlines. For modern workforces that can often be stretched across time zones, machines, and competing needs, the right mobile PM tool can mean that front line sales staff can understand progress whether they’re walking into a meeting or at dinner right from the palm of their hand.
4) Budgeting and Expense Tracking
Organizations that need to keep the finance department happy, but aren’t willing to commit to an ERP should also look for budgeting and expense tracking. With these features, project managers can easily create and manage project budgets, allocate funds to specific tasks or phases, and track expenses against the allocated budget.
Real-time expense tracking enables project managers to identify cost overruns early on, allowing for timely corrective actions. The ability to generate reports provides stakeholders with a clear overview of project expenses, ensuring transparency and facilitating informed decision-making. Since budgets are typically stretched to their limit in the nonprofit space the right agile PM platform can provide tools for tracking expenses, managing budgets, and generating financial reports. Project managers can monitor costs in real time and make informed decisions to prevent budget overruns. This helps the entire team stay on track and ensure that everyone from the senior and board level over to donors understands exactly where development work stands.
5) Risk Management and Issue Tracking
With risk management features, project managers can identify and analyze potential risks, assign risk owners, and develop appropriate response plans. These features often include risk assessment matrices, allowing project managers to prioritize risks based on their impact and likelihood.
This can be especially helpful in settings like hospitals and small clinics where specific use cases necessitate HIPAA compliance but a long drawn out development cycle is not ideal, in these cases a no-code healthcare app system means that medical teams and coordinators can get on the same page quickly and maintain a system that is flexible to their needs.
We’ve seen numerous healthcare focused companies cut through the clutter and noise of their documentation with an internal data management solution. While software companies often have the means to build custom solutions, adding one more thing to their build can critically hurt progress. Companies like Medical Healthcare Network Solutions have effectively used our database and PM tools to cut through all the spreadsheet confusion and bring clarity to their projects and clients. This allowed them to track issues and risk without wasting time on costly compliance mistakes.
Issue tracking features, on the other hand, enable project teams to log and track project issues, assign responsible parties, and monitor their resolution progress. Which will save you time and money in the long haul. Finally ticketing and service desk level updates for managing cChange requests can offer huge time savings on complex projects with client interactions. These status integrations can ensure that projects remain transparent, in scope, and on time.
6) Integration and Automation
Advanced project management software often supports multiple PM tool integrations with popular productivity tools, such as:
- Communication platforms which can centralize project-related discussions and updates, improving collaboration and reducing the need for constant email exchanges.
- Document management systems, allows teams to store and access project documents in a centralized location, ensuring version control and easy sharing.
- Time tracking software, which enables accurate tracking of work hours, facilitating project cost estimation and resource allocation.
In addition, automation features, such as task dependencies and recurring task templates, can
eliminate manual work and increase efficiency. Recurring task templates allow project managers to create templates for repetitive tasks, saving time and effort in setting up similar tasks in future projects.
5 Factors that Determine Which Project Management Software is Right for You
When it comes to project management software, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each organization has unique requirements and constraints that must be taken into account. And with numerous project management software options available on the market, choosing the right one can be challenging. Before making a decision consider the following factors:
- The Interface
A clean and intuitive interface can greatly enhance the user experience and adoption. Look for software that offers a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate interface, as this can contribute to increased productivity and a reduced learning curve for your team members.
- Customer Support
Having responsive and knowledgeable customer support can make a significant difference in resolving problems quickly and efficiently. Look for software providers that offer various support channels, such as email, phone, or live chat, and inquire about their average response time and availability. This can be especially helpful when building custom project management software.
Ensure that the software can accommodate an increasing number of users and projects without compromising performance. Additionally, consider whether the software allows for easy integration with other tools and systems that your organization already uses, such as CRM or accounting software.
Your organization’s data and sensitive information should be protected from unauthorized access or breaches. Look for software that offers robust security measures, such as encryption, user access controls, and regular data backups. Inquire about the software provider’s data privacy policies and compliance with industry regulations, such as GDPR.
Consider your organization’s budget and evaluate the value that the software provides in relation to its cost. Keep in mind that investing in reliable and feature-rich software can yield long-term benefits and cost savings in terms of improved productivity and project success.
PM Software Features from AM to PM
Choosing the right project management software requires careful evaluation and consideration of your organization’s specific needs and requirements. By taking into account factors such as core and advanced features, user interface, customer support, scalability, security, and pricing, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your organization’s goals and objectives. If you’re looking for a scalable project management database packed with integrations, try a free trial of our system. We have thousands of happy users who have been able to easily build web apps in only a few minutes.