Project Management Software: Top 4 Features To Look For

Top 4 Features To Look For In A Project Management Software

Project management (PM) systems can be one of the harder IT investments an organisation can do. There are a multitude of different versions, with widely different prices and features, and choosing only one can be an exercise in frustration. But not all hope is lost, with the features to look for listed here you can narrow the search quite dramatically.

Why do you need a Project Management system?

If you are dealing with large projects, or tasks where many people are involved, you know that things can get a bit chaotic. Tasks delayed, no good overview and extra time spent hunting for information that you don’t have.

With a PM system in place this will be less of a hassle. Quickly get overviews of what’s being worked on, and see that everything is progressing according to plan and deadline.

It’s also invaluable to generate reports (internal or to clients) where the status of a project can be instantly relayed to involved parties.

With staff rotation, you also become much less vulnerable if all information regarding a project is documented in a central location, which is one of the purposes of a PM system.

What to look for when choosing a PM system

Resource management. One of the reasons you want to invest in a PM system is to better track and manage workload. See where an extra hand is needed, or to redistribute work away from someone on sick leave.

Make sure that the solution has adequate tracking features, such as scheduling, inventory and time tracking.

Collaboration. Getting people to work together is usually no problem, but getting them to work together efficiently is a different matter. With the help of a PM software, collaboration can be at an all-time high.

This becomes very apparent in today’s working environment, where working remotely is more the norm than the exception. If you can’t work with your team, regardless of geographical location, you are in deep waters.

Look for a system that have file sharing, workspaces and communication (such as chat or message boards).

Reporting and task management. While you would think that this is the core of what a PM system should do, there are better and worse candidates for this type of features.

Readable, accurate and easy to generate, reports should be a given. Charts showing the progress (such as Gantt) should also be present, and any information generated by the system should be customisable to your needs.

Task handling should also be a priority, re-assigning, time reporting directly on the task and easy set-up will help you in the long run. Remember, the work spent in the PM system should never trump the time being spent on actually fulfilling your task.

Ease of use. As mentioned above, the system has to be intuitive and easy to use. For staff to use a new solution, it has be understandable. Too technical, or complicated procedures for simple actions will meet resistance and may lead to people not using the features.

UI should be pleasant, any action needed from the employee (for example time tracking features) needs to be quick and effortless. Procedures should also be set up in such a way that the PM system is non-intrusive.

Reviews. A bonus point, see what other people have been saying about the software you are considering. Finding a great place to read project management software reviews is essential, there are many sites on the internet that hosts this information. Browse the Cloud is a great example where you can not only read the reviews, but also compare and evaluate different software.