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A Simple Guide To Choosing An Ideal Project Management Software

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Unsurprisingly, the number of project management software solutions available today has increased manifold as managing projects efficiently continues to pose a formidable challenge to project managers. 

Even small and seemingly straightforward projects can be difficult to manage and steer in the right direction. Communication gaps, keeping everyone in the loop, failure to meet deadlines, and keeping track of project progress are some common challenges faced by project managers. 

Using emails, WhatsApp, and spreadsheets for maintaining records, sharing files, managing tasks, sending updates, and communicating with team members, clients, and stakeholders might be good for occasional use, but these are not designed for project management. 

The point is whatever discussions and file-sharing you have by using these applications are often forgotten and saved in an unstructured fashion. It means it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on in the project. Moreover, there is no clarity on responsibility when all team members are using WhatsApp and emails to manage the project

Project management is more than just collaboration and communication. Task delegation, workflows, file storage, proofing, custom reports, time tracking, and scheduling are some other significant aspects of project management that cannot be overlooked. 

As project management continues to become complex and tedious, it has become essential to use a feature-rich team collaboration and project management software to keep the process simple, organized, and accessible in one single platform. 

That said if you have never used PM software, choosing the right tool can be no less than a challenge itself. Sure, any tool will help you, but the key to delivering consistent results lies in choosing a solution that offers you powerful features under one roof at a reasonable price.

Before we dive into the list of tools that you can select from, we should first look at the common challenges, which can contribute to the failure of your project if not tackled on time. 

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Challenges That Can Throw Your Project Off The Track 

what is Creative Project Management? , how does Creative Project Management work?

Undefined Goals 

A study states that about 39% of projects fail due to lack of planning.

Poorly defined, unclear goals can make the whole team and project suffer. Poor planning and undefined goals invariably mean that team members are not following any set schedules. The members do not have any clear picture and concrete idea of what they are working on, why, and what are the objectives to be achieved.

Scope Creep

Nearly 50 percent of projects experience scope creep.PMI

Scope Creep is a natural and uncontrollable expansion for any project. This happens when defined project goals and deliverables are changed without adjustments to time, cost, and resources. Clients who ask for making unprecedented changes to the project during the execution phase are one of the main challenges faced by project managers and teams. 

Lack Of Accountability

25% of leaders surveyed feel that 10% to 20% of their workers avoid accountability. Lack of accountability among team members can bring the project to a complete halt. Irresponsible employees usually indulge in refusing to take the blame for the poor performance and rather shift the blame to others for their incompetence at work. If your project heads nowhere, you’ve probably experienced a breakdown in workplace accountability.

Improper Risk Management

Poor, inadequate risk management can strongly impact your project. Even small projects face the possibility of impact from potential risks if not identified and tackled efficiently, at the right time. Businesses can suffer disastrous effects such as regulatory penalties, financial loss, and loss of potential growth. Businesses with good risk management knowledge and implementation are found to be 15% more successful on average.   

Poor Communication

86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Miscommunication can lead to delayed information updates and execution, consequently resulting in reduced productivity, conflicts, misunderstanding amongst team members, and potential delay in the project delivery. 

Unrealistic Deadlines

A PwC study of over 10,640 projects found that only 2.5% of companies completed their projects successfully. Setting unrealistic or unachievable deadlines for employees is another formidable project management challenge that not only makes you miss deadlines but also demoralizes and stresses out employees as they work under relentless pressure to deliver the goods.

Lack Of Skilled Workforce

The individual performance of team members combines to ensure projects are completed and delivered successfully. However, if some of the team members do not have the required skills to efficiently perform the tasks assigned to them, your project may not progress the way you want or worse, it may lose track completely and fail. 

Dependency Conflicts

Most projects are interdependent, sharing people, equipment, resources, and deliverables. It means that a single project delay has a considerable ripple effect on related projects, which can cause disrupted schedules, resource conflicts, and might even set off costly contingencies to minimize risks.

How Using A Project Management Software Can Help Project Managers  

Agile project management methodology

Improved Collaboration

According to a survey by Queens University, 39% of employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough

Collaboration is the essence of teamwork. Top project management solutions like ProofHub, ClickUp, etc, are primarily designed to improve team collaboration and keep all members aligned. By providing useful features like online proofing, Kanban boards, discussions, group chat, notifications, etc, project management software helps managers to keep everyone in the loop. Every team member has a clear idea of tasks to do and start and due dates. 

Improved Task Management

Confusion related to tasks is prevalent in many teams where there’s no clear picture of who gets to do what. However, teams using a project management system with built-in task management software can manage tasks better by breaking tasks into smaller, manageable subtasks. Managers can create personal tasks or assign tasks to multiple people in one place. They can create to-do lists, set start and due dates, track time, and set estimates to make sure tasks are completed on time. 

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Improved Communication

You cannot underestimate the significance of communication, especially in this time of remote work. A top-rated project management software like ProofHub has an in-built individual and group chat feature that allows users to send DMs to each other and get replies in an instant. This feature saves a lot of time that is otherwise wasted on sending emails and then waiting for replies. Users can attach files and documents, use emojis, and have quick conversations with team members and clients on the go using one internal communication tool.

Improved Project Planning

Whether it is small or large-scale businesses, project planning takes a whole lot of time. But with project management software, it doesn’t have to be this way as managers can simplify projects of any type and size by automating manual tasks. With all the right tools put in one place, you can easily plan, collaborate, organize, and deliver projects of all sizes, on time.

Improved Visualization of Tasks

Project management is more than delegating tasks and turning up on the due dates to check if they have been completed or not. Efficient PM tools offer Kanban boards using which project managers and team members stay updated about the current status of tasks. You can see the work moving through multiple stages on Kanban boards or use to-do lists to keep high-priority tasks on top of your mind. 

Improved File Organization

Scattered files and documents is a big headache for project managers and team members. Another main benefit of using a project management solution is that you can store and organize all files online, which eliminates any possibility of them getting damaged or misplaced. You can store multiple versions of the same file, share file links with guests, and collaborate on files easily and smartly. Team members can easily find files without trawling through shared drives and links.

Improved Resource Management 

Budget is one of the most important things in project management and project management software can help managers in controlling the budget from the initial stages of work to the final delivery. By having measurable results of which employee has spent how much time on tasks, you are in a better position to see real-time costs and identify areas where too much money is spent.

Improved Integration of New Members 

Adding new members on board during the mid-way of a project can be an overwhelming experience for both parties as a lot of project-related information and context has to be explained. An easy-to-use project management tool with little or no learning curve can make it easy for new additions to review the project progress. They can easily make their way into the team, requiring minimal integration, and familiarize themselves with the tool and all its features.  

Improved Risk Mitigation

Identifying potential obstructions and employing constructive solutions are the skills any great manager must possess. A project management software helps managers to enhance their risk mitigation strategies and utilize all the available resources to deploy effective countermeasures. This also improves the overall efficiency of the team. 

Crucial Factors To Consider Before Choosing A Project Management Software

Is It Easy To Use?

Is the project management tool you are considering has a user-friendly interface and even new members can easily start using it without any learning curve? All team members should be able to use the tool and all its features efficiently. It should be easy to get started. 

Also, most businesses cannot invest adequate time, money, and resources in the learning of using project management software. Hence it becomes important for you to scrutinize the way you collaborate and contribute to the project, and use software that plays to your strengths. 

Does It Help With Task Management?

Projects are made up of tasks and having a tool that helps you smartly and easily manage tasks in one centralized location can help you get your projects delivered on time without compromising on the quality. Using a PM software with an inbuilt task management solution can help you to create, assign, monitor, and progress the work that needs to be done during the day. 

Task management software streamlines the process of managing tasks and gives you greater control over both tasks and teams. It is more than creating to-do lists and crossing them once tasks are completed. You can ensure a clear distribution of responsibilities by assigning tasks to an individual or group of people in one place.

Does it Foster Collaboration? 

The team collaboration and project management software must facilitate project coordination for teams of any size, either on-site or remotely. This will make it easier for every team member to stay updated about all developments in a project as well as provide inputs at any stage of the project.

 The tools should be inherently collaborative so that teams, managers, clients, and stakeholders are on the same page at every phase of the project. Even though the word collaboration holds a different meaning for different people, it should enable informed and quick decision-making for the team. 

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Does It Offer Time Tracking Features?

Do not even consider a PM software that does not include time tracking features; you’ll be doing yourself, your organization, and team members no good. Timesheets and time tracking will help you to monitor and record the amount of time that employees have spent at work, on a particular job, project, or working for a specific client. 

This will help eliminate time wastage at work and identify tasks that are taking more than expected time. You can Add multiple timesheets to record time data and use them for payroll, client billing, estimation, tracking, and even time management. See all the time data of team members across all projects in bird’s eye view without the need to jump through projects. 

 Is It Customizable? 

Having some customizable features always proves to be useful. The best project management software solution can easily be configured to meet your organization’s needs. So you must look out for the level of customization that software offers. Versatility is a highly important factor to consider since a large number of professionals today are working since working styles are expected to change over time. 

The software should allow you to access project details from any location, from any connected devices like PC, laptop, or mobile phone. You can add personalized workspaces for your projects to keep track of task progress. You can instantly toggle between board view and list view to get insight into your task lineup.   

Is It Scalable?

The software you’re considering should be scalable i.e. it should grow as your business grows. The software with limited features cannot cope up with your team’s additional requirements and usage. Check if the software provides you the flexibility to scale up or scale down as your business dynamics change. 

If you have planned to work with a project management software on a long-term basis then scalability assumes greater significance. Your team size and deliverables are likely to increase over time and so are your team’s needs. By automating as many processes as possible, you can reduce the workload on your team and yourself, which might have been manageable with smaller teams and smaller projects. 

Can It Manage The Entire Lifecycle Of Project? 

If your project is not insignificant, it would face problems, it will face risks, it will need an allocated budget, it will need resources, change requests, etc. Contrary to popular belief, a project management tool is more than scheduling, task management, and time tracking. So a given tool has all the right features your team needs under one roof, so it becomes easier for you to manage things in every stage of the project lifecycle. 

You should look for the following features in team collaboration and project management software.  

  • Task management software
  • Issue Tracker 
  • Kanban Boards
  • Online Proofing
  • Timesheets
  • Group Chat
  • Reporting
  • Project Budget and Cost Tracker
  • Scheduling Calendar
  • File Storage 
  • Gantt Charts
  • Integrations

Check whether a given project management software has the right tools to allow you to control your project from its inception to closure. 

Does It Give Real-Time Updates? 

The days of off-line systems are long gone by. These are the days when team members should be instantly notified of the latest changes in schedule and project managers should also stay updated on the current state of any/all tasks in the project. If there is any risk/issue highlighted, the team should get the information in time so that remedial measures can be implemented without any delays. 

A reliable and efficient project management software should update all the activities that happen in the project through desktop, email, and mobile notifications. Top-rated software like ProofHub also offers a useful notification feature where the name of a team member is @mentioned to catch the user’s attention straight away. 

Does It Offer a Reporting Tool? 

The project management software that can give detailed individual, custom, and project reports can help you analyze project progress can be of huge help in updating you with all the necessary project work. You can visualize every aspect of your project and plan to take future actions accordingly. You can also track an individual’s tasks, milestones, time data, and overall progress to analyze their performance. 

Burn-up charts help you to see how much work has been completed and at what pace they are completed to adjust plans accordingly. See detailed workflow task reports of tasks for each workflow in a project and get a clear idea of the number of tasks in each and how much work is progressing. 

Is It An All-In-One Project Management Solution?

Juggling multiple tools to manage projects consumes the significant time and efforts of project managers. So many companies have already invested a significant amount of resources while working with different systems. Would you want all the required tools under one roof, in one centralized location, or have them scattered across different systems? 

Undoubtedly, using an all-in-one project management software like ProofHub will put you and your team at a great advantage as you get to use all the tools from one place. You get greater control over projects and teams and enjoy improved collaboration among team members, clients, and stakeholders. 

Is It Reasonably Priced?

This one’s probably the most important factor even though it is placed at the bottom of this article. If you are managing a small business with limited resources then the price factor is quite crucial. There are a lot of differently priced software solutions available today and some of them can be expensive for you to afford. 

Some project management software charges per-user fee, which can be expensive if your team grows over time. Software like ProofHub is preferred by many businesses because it offers simple, flat-rate pricing sans per-user fee. You can onboard more members to your team without worrying about increasing costs. Before choosing one, try to look at the bigger picture; if the tool will help to reduce the overall business costs by improving efficiency and automating tasks. 

How ProofHub Can Be Your Go-To Project Management Software

ProofHub has rapidly emerged as the game-changer in the project management software market and it’s not hard to find out why. While most other tools offer users a limited set of features, ProofHub goes beyond and offers you all the powerful tools you and your team need in one central place for simplified project management. 

With ProofHub, you don’t need to invest separately on communication, reporting, and time-tracking tools. Little to no learning curve, fixed pricing plans, and ease of usage make ProofHub a quintessential project management software that any project manager must have in their repertoire. 

Whether it’s smart task management, online proofing, custom workflows, custom roles, and time-tracking, ProofHub offers you all of these and more at affordable prices as project managers enjoy greater control over tasks, teams, and project progress. Rated as one of the top three project management systems in 2020 by GetApp, Proofhub is used and trusted by more than 85,000 teams and businesses worldwide.  

 Conclusion 

There are many things to consider when choosing an ideal team collaboration and project management software. However, sorting out your requirements can prevent it from becoming an overwhelming task. 

Ideally, you should go for a team collaboration and project management tool that offers you more bang for your bucks. It means the tool that offers you the most powerful features under one roof at a price that won’t hurt your pocket. The tool should also be easy to use so that new members can easily get started with it without any learning curve. 

ProofHub has all the aforementioned features and qualities that make it one of the most trusted and reliable project management software solutions available in the market today. With more than 85,000 teams using it worldwide, this feature-rich tool offers more than many other tools at less price. 

You can sign up for the free trial and switch to the paid plan once you are sure that ProofHub is the tool that you and your team need for improved collaboration and greater control over tasks and projects. 

 Sandeep Kashyap
Sandeep Kashyap

Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, "Let’s go!" instead of "Go!" many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.


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