Top 10 Variables of a Simple Project Management Software

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A project manager (male or female) cannot expect to make his project a skyrocketing success without investing in a simple project management software . There are innumerable advantages associated with using a project management software for project delivery — one of them is the provision of a streamlined way to collaborate on project goals and objectives.

Each project management software comes with its own features that may not be perfect. You need to scale your business requirements with whatever stuff a particular program is offering. Based on rigorous use and overall high demand factor, the industry has laid out some preset features for every project management tool to have. Take them as the “bare minimum” perks associated with a reputable software available today.

Let’s go through the most basic components a simple project management software should have:

What Constitutes a Simple Project Management Software?

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. Project Planning:

The software should allow you to clearly lay out your project plan in the form of a blueprint, so you have everything right under your nose, and you don’t get lost in the maze of project deliverables. It should also have some sort of directory or records to keep a track of workload and progress made over time.

. Resource Allocation:

Likewise, a simple project management software needs to be equipped with a smart resource allocation toolset to help project managers delegate tasks. The resource allocation capabilities of a tool also help to analyze capacity overruns and burnouts.

. Time Tracking and Budgeting:

Time tracking capabilities also open up the door to elaborate budgeting. When you have the exact number of hours spent on individual tasks, you know the lump sum expense that will be incurred. That way you can put forward a killer budgeting strategy, without going bankrupt.

. Communication and Collaboration:

A simple project management software should at least include a direct, or indirect means of communicating with team members. Synchronized communication also acts as a bridge for effective collaboration and further make things easy to deliver. A personal message option, team chat, or comments within tasks — all serve as the most basic form of team communication and collaboration.

. Risk Assessment and Management:

A popular way of handling risks is through the risk assessment matrix. If your choice of project management software has built-in risk matrix for risk avoidance, you’re one step closer to successfully mitigate the negative impact it can produce.

Now that we’ve understood what essential elements should be a part of a simple project management software, let’s have a look at what manufacturing (or non-IT) and IT companies can take away from such tools.

How a Manufacturing Business can benefit from a Simple Project Management Software?

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Manufacturing businesses are different than IT companies. In my experience, these businesses are often times complex. They do not use a project management application in the same way as an IT counterpart does.

You need a very particular skill set and an even more powerful project management software to get things done the way they should be.

As demand and technology changes, it becomes absolutely necessary to invest in a professional system to improve your areas of planning, scheduling, production, and delivery. A dedicated project management software can help optimize a manufacturing business in the following ways:

1. Developing an Integrated Workflow:

This is one of the most fundamental benefits a project management software can provide to a manufacturing firm. Through this, the system is also able to make quick decisions for you, as everything lies right in front of you in the form of an integrated work structure.

2. Tracking Inventory Levels:

Having an overflow of the aforementioned variables creates havoc in factories. It ultimately affects your generated revenues. This should be motivation enough for you to go out, do a little research of your own, and invest in a tool right now.

3. Logistics Management:

Expecting to nail logistics without going for a project management software is a mistake you don’t want to make. A simple project management software will help you to keep track of your deliveries and their respective time. It will also aid you in capacity planning and optimized production patterns.

4. Reduction of Lead Time:

Gantt charts, timelines, Kanban boards, and task lists — utilizing these features of a project management software will help you in greatly reducing your lead time and deliver maximum value .

5. Approvals and Reviews:

Moreover, with independent workspaces, you can add collaborators or clients to monitor the progress and approve or disapprove accordingly. By doing so, you also make sure that all the amendments are addressed on time.

With everything aligned and reported on time, you will be able to make informed decisions and approve smartly.

How an IT Company can Benefit from a Simple Project Management Software?

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Regardless of the industry type in the IT sector, the advantages of using project management software always outweigh the cons. IT projects are deadline oriented. In order for things to proceed, it required project management, to say the least. If you don’t have the budget or an infrastructure for such software, you can at set-up a small scale monitoring service for your day to day projects.

Following are some example use cases where an IT business can benefit from such project management tools:

6. Planning and Scheduling:

A simple project management software allows you to define the scope, lay-out a timeline and put forward all the possible means of setting things in motion. This can be done through Gantt charts, timelines, task hierarchies, and other such functionalities.

7. Bug Tracking:

Another major advantage of an effective bug tracking solution within the project management software is that you can make changes to the product according to the requirements — and that too with zero defects.

8. Time Management:

If the software provides you with timesheets, that even better. Just keep recording the hours it takes to complete a task and make changes as your project evolves.

9. Budget Tracking:

The right tool will help you compare your estimates vs. the actual cost to analyze the difference and stay on track. Furthermore, it also helps in pinpointing the extra costs that might become big problems for you later on during the project.

10. Centralized Documentation and Communication:

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A simple project management software not only provides the above-mentioned advantages but keeps everything in a central location too. With all the information maintained at one place, the retrieval can be done by any team member, at any time. Moreover, with everything organized, there will be less clutter to go through to find the appropriate document.

The concept of slick communication also stems from the same. Having a single platform for all kinds of team communication leads to successful software projects, with minimum confusion. You may be wondering now if this project management software requires any kind of formal training.

Well, it usually comes down to the type of software you have chosen. Some of the tools out there make you cringe over unwanted features.

In Conclusion, It is about Scaling Needs. Vs. Requirements:

Otherwise, there are tons of programs which serve the purpose pretty nicely, without any need of formal training. If you liked reading this post, do let us know through the comments section below. We would love to hear your thoughts on how IT and non-IT industries are impacted by project management tools.

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Originally published at on July 8, 2019.

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