Project management has become increasingly complex in the past few years. What was once merely an oversight position has become very hands-on, requiring skill sets of all kinds. Large projects have become more difficult to manage, increasing the risk of pushing deadlines and going over-budget, ultimately resulting in a lower return on investment. When project managers are expected to be successful in completing these large projects within budget and in a timely manner, it’s important they have all of the necessary tools to help them do so.
Luckily, business professionals can rely on essential software to make project management goals more attainable. Different software serves different functions, so best practices call for deploying multiple types of software within your company.
This begs the question: what is essential software and how do they create more effective project management?
A Project Management Application
Project managers can’t be everywhere all the time. This means they need software to successfully track and manage employee workflows and productivity. When you have large projects and several employees working across multiple tasks, it’s important to have essential project management software in place to ensure your team’s success.
A good project management application functions as a tool project managers can use to assign tasks to different employees. This means they will always have their next task queued up, increasing productivity throughout the company. Project managers can oversee what employees have several tasks to complete and reassign some of those tasks to other less busy workers allowing improved productivity and efficiency.
Time Tracking Software
Time tracking software can be used by employees to log how long it takes to complete individual tasks within a project. Project managers can use this data to compare how long it takes different employees to complete individual tasks. This information is helpful because it can indicate when an employee needs additional training or help. Having this information enables project managers to ensure every employee is well trained to complete their job functions.
After this software is in place at an organization, it can be used to estimate how long future tasks and projects will take. This better informs project managers on how to set accurate and attainable deadlines.
Time tracking software enables projects to consistently be completed by their deadline. This is a key aspect where many project management departments lack and need help improving so they can reach their project goals more efficiently.
Scheduling software is essential to ensuring employees’ daily schedules are organized and productive, maximizing the success of the entire organization.
When a project manager has several employees, it can be easy to lose track of their daily schedules and be less productive as an organization. This ultimately results in a loss of time and money. Scheduling software helps project managers handle and evaluate employee routines.
A component of scheduling software means you can easily sync up your tasks and your resources so you don't create an overlap of work. Scheduling software also makes it possible for project managers to track when employees will be working on specific projects. If an employee is going to need help or has too much work to finish in the scheduled time period, a manager can ensure they allocate the necessary resources to help them succeed.
What about disruptive software?
Disruptive software is a category of software that revolutionizes business processes. These types of software are undeniably more advanced and effective than what has previously existed, but often change the workflow and dynamic of a company.
Employees, especially project managers, are reluctant to implement disruptive software because of the vast changes that they bring. However, once implemented in a company, the benefits far outweigh the adaptation process.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a type of disruptive software some project managers are reluctant to try. This stems from the fear that RPA will replace jobs, but this type of software requires a semi-structured workflow to be implemented into a system.
RPA software can assist project managers in new projects that might lack funding. For example, it can be hard to secure resources from other departments to fund a smaller project. RPA software can be used to minimize the need for human resources, so you can deploy the bots to run the main functions of the project and have just one employee assist. This can get the project off the ground in the pilot stage, making it easier to get necessary funding once the project starts to develop and prove valuable.
Alternatively, if the project does not prove successful, these software bots can be put on standby and reassigned to future projects in the same fashion. This software is low-risk and can be implemented to help create an effective, cost-efficient project management department.
End-to-end software comes in many forms, but for project management, it’s a program acting as an umbrella to other essential software. It allows employees to complete tasks from beginning to end, all in one place. This software replaces other components of project management software and can be integrated with other reporting systems to create a more organized, central workflow.
With end-to-end software, project managers can oversee the workflows of every employee on an assignment. This enables managers to track employee time and progress in real-time so they can be sure the project meets deadlines and stays on budget. This is especially important as projects get larger and more complex.
Additionally, reports can be tracked and logged in the software so project managers can go back and see how employees performed on past projects. Project managers can use this feature to better assemble teams for future projects, ensuring the employees on a project will be able to reach their individual and team goals based on historical data.
It’s important to have an effective system for project managers to oversee the workflow of employees across different projects. Employing end-to-end software can ensure your project management department is successful in reaching its goals.
All of the software mentioned is essential for effective project management. As your company scales in size, so will your projects. This will require more software to ensure that every project is running efficiently and can be completed within a specific timeframe. Implementing these tools will promote success across any project management department.