Project management features will vary in importance depending on your business’ size, brand personality, and team members. In general, though, there are some features that you just don’t want to do without. Some of the really important ones include:
- Risk projection and management
A crucial component to any project planning software, risk management keeps you out of hot water.
- Resource management and allocation
This important feature ensures that you aren’t going over budget and that you have assigned the right resources to the right tasks/teams/projects etc.
- Dependencies and milestones
Dependencies ensure that your team is staying on track. Milestones help keep people motivated. They’re both important for workflow and sticking to a deadline. This also includes critical path analysis.
You'll want the choice between different views such as Kanban, Gantt, timeline, etc. because different tasks, personalities, and projects will require a different view.
This will allow you to cut down on time switching between apps for multiple tasks such as updating your timesheet, sending a text message, transferring a file, or checking your email.
Probably the most important feature of all, task management allows you to assign tasks, keep tabs on them, track changes, and more. This is really the heart of any good project management software.
The second most important feature, team collaboration tools can help save you countless hours of work through simple communication. Things like file sharing, group chat, @mentions, and more will keep everyone on the same page and ensure a smoother, faster turnaround.
The more you can customize, the better. From dashboards to fields and even more so workflows, customization allows you to maximize the efficiency of your team and of the project management software altogether.
Because most teams are not office-bound these days, you need a product that will easily come with you wherever you go. Mobile-friendly or native apps are a must-have today.
Other features to look for may include agile workflow system and time tracking features.
What are the Differences in Project Management Software?
There are countless differences between the various project management software options available today. From price to feature sets, usability, and more, you’ve got something for everyone. One of the biggest differences you’ll find, though, is between the basic project management software options and the more comprehensive ones.
The first type is a simple tool that has limited functionality but does the job well enough. It's clean, easy to use, and might be the perfect solution for an SMB or startup to get their head around a tough project that needs organizing. These usually have some basic features like integration and team collaboration.
More comprehensive software will include a lot more features and functionality. These might have resource management, finance management, and accounting software included. Comprehensive tools will also give you more sophisticated and powerful tools. Such precision will come with a bigger price tag and is usually better for larger businesses.
Why do I need a project management software?
Project management software is a force multiplier. It helps you organize your time and resource management, create reports about business and employee performance, and get a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t. Project management software can also make team collaboration easier and more seamless than ever before.
Is it easy to use?
Project management software is designed to be easy to use, after all, that's sort of the whole point of systems that are supposed to make your work easier. These programs shouldn't take long for employees to master and should have a straightforward, intuitive interface for carrying out tasks and communicating with teammates.
How steep is the learning curve?
Project management software platforms tend to have a wide range of capabilities, and if you were looking to master every facet, it could take you some time. For most employees, though, the basic tasks they would need to carry out shouldn't take long to master at all, and don't require any previous tech know-how.
How much will it cost me?
That's a tricky question to answer. How much your project management software will cost you at the end of the day depends on how many users you want and what type of features you're looking for. A basic option like Glip can cost you nothing at all. And if you're an SMB working out of your garage, this is a great option.
Alternatively, enterprise-level plans will run you hundreds of dollars a month. But if you are big enough, and your budget can afford it, these plans will deliver the most in terms of functionality and style. Look for a plan that fits your budget and still offers a nice set of features.
Is my data safe with a PM software?
Considering the fact that it's handling your most sensitive and private business information, project management software needs to have top security. That's why you need to go with a trusted name that also has plenty of security measures built into its business profile to safeguard your data. Monday.com, for example, is ISO certified, GDPR compliant, HIPAA compliant, and holds an EU-US privacy shield, among other protective measures.
It's also a good idea to safeguard your information by using leveled user security protection and passwords, features that top-quality project management software will have.