project management software

What you need from your project management software

Project management software can’t make your product great, but it can help build a great project team – and that’s half the battle. A successful project manager knows that a successful project team needs to work as a cohesive whole, efficiently pooling their ideas and talents for a common goal. That magic chemistry happens when a great manager, a team’s belief in the project, and the right collaborative tools come together.

A great manager and an inspired team are not always a guarantee. Thankfully, the right tools are entirely within your control. Here are the ways your project management software needs to work you.

Delegate

In any project management team, every individual needs to know how they’re contributing to the whole. It’s important for morale, and crucial for the smooth operation of your team. The short-term tasks, goals, and priorities for a project can change rapidly as the work evolves and circumstances shift, so it’s important to clearly delegate roles and responsibilities – these will be the constant in a world of change. Your project manager must allow you to clearly delegate these roles, and to notify each member of the status of their individual tasks and responsibilities as and when goalposts shift.

Prioritize

Clear systems of prioritization will help your project team manage its workload efficiently. The best project management software out there will have a clear, visual, and easily-updated task prioritization functionality. Your team should be able to open their software in the morning and know at a glance what needs urgent attention, and what can wait until after their morning coffee.

Communicate

Email, messenger, text, group chat… Countless ways to communicate with your team means countless platforms each team member has to check for updates. Your team needs to communicate where they work, and that should be within one comprehensive project management software. Share updates in real time, trace the conversations relevant to any given file, and keep everyone in the loop – good project management software will have all these communications functions and more.

Share

How do you send files and updates to your project team? With one team member expecting to find the file in their shared drive, another hoping to receive it via an online platform, and another waiting for the download link, it can be a full-time job simply managing your project’s documentation. Find a project management software that allows you to access a clear inventory of all the documents that are essential to the project, in one place. Bonus points if the software allows you to sort and tag the documents.

Make decisions

Do you really need another meeting? Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and ferocious project manager extraordinare, has a famous ‘two pizza rule’ – he won’t hold a meeting with more people than you could feed with two pizzas. With large (and hungry!) project teams, try to limit your in-person meetings with a rule like this. Decisions need to be made, and lots of people on your team might need to be consulted, but a project management software can help streamline this process for those day-to-day decisions that simply don’t require a half hour discussion. Ensure your chosen software offers the ability to allow team members to weigh in, share opinions, and make decisions outside of the boardroom.

Photo Credit: Jason Scragz / Sapling / CC BY

One Comment

  1. Nadine Rochester

    I can see many benefits of using project management software and, although it should not replace vital components of the PM process such as regular face to face communications with your team, it can certainly aid the organisational aspects saving time and increasing efficiency.

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