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7 Key Factors: How to Choose Project Management Software [Bonus: Free Status Report Software]

 

 

Part 1
What Is Project Management Software?

Project Management Software are systems that help business leaders and project managers monitor project deadlines, costs, and payment schedules for contractors and vendors. They provide an overall dashboard for keeping every detail about a project in one place.

This software can also help stakeholders stay up-to-date on project happenings, and manage the quality of deliverables being produced.

The goal of project management software is to allow project managers and leaders to have an easier time of keeping an eye on all the components of a project at any time during the process.

Status.net – free software for project status reports (click here to create your account)

Part 2
The Importance of Project Management Software on Effective Project Completion

In an ideal world, there would only be one project happening at a time, deadline delays would be nonexistent, and project hiccups would never be a problem. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and companies often do have these issues.

There are likely multiple projects are happening at one time, there are stakeholders that need to stay up-to-date, various budgets to keep track of, and changes to the project scope that will occur along the way.

It is difficult to think of a world that did not include a digital means of tracking project management progress. It allows project managers and employees to stay on the same page, align strategic plans, express and act on objectives and goals, and establish orderly control. These are all features that are essential to completing projects efficiently.

These statistics reveal the importance of having an efficient project management software system:

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  • Fewer than a third of projects were completed on time and budget in 2016.
  • 80 percent of project managers are not aware of how their plans align with the organization’s overall strategy.
  • Businesses identified “capturing time/costs against projects” as their most significant project management challenge.
  • 44 percent of project managers are not using any project management software, even though PwC found that it increases performance and satisfaction.

It is interesting to think that many companies are not even using project management software to streamline project completion. As a result, it makes sense that many organizations are having issues with keeping track of deadlines and budget constraints. This is where project management software comes into play to make the process easier. Below are some of the capabilities project management software can offer to companies.

Status.net – free software for project status reports (click here to create your account)

Part 3
The Capabilities of Project Management Software

As years go on, digital applications become more advanced. There are a lot of things project management software can accomplish that was not possible in year’s past.

Below are common traits most modern project management systems contain:

  1. File Sharing and Collaboration

    Many systems allow workers to share files and work on documents at the same time. Workers are given permissions to access specific documentation to accomplish this.

  2. Task Management

    Project managers, can set tasks and deadlines, while employees can easily log on to see what has been assigned to them, the resources need to accomplish it, and how long they have to complete it.

  3. Calendar Syncing

    Effective project management software packages also allow for colleagues to sync calendars, deadlines, and meeting plans with their calendar systems such as Google Calendar.

  4. Time Tracking

    How long has a contractor been working on a specific task? How much progress have freelancers made on the project? How can project managers generate an invoice from time spent? Project management software enables managers and leaders to answer these questions easily.

  5. Budget Monitoring

    Project management software can also help leaders and managers keep track of money spent, remaining costs, and how much is left to pay for the project. As stated above in one of the stats, many managers go over budget. A good project management system would keep this from happening.

  6. Mobile Access

    Much of today’s business is conducted with smartphones. Therefore, modern project management software systems are enabling managers to give mobile access to the project. Workers can share files, update managers, and communicate with others on the go.

  7. Reports and Forecasting

    This is helpful if managers would like to look the results of a similar project that has occurred in the past to see what the outcome could be with a few new factors added in. Managers could do budget forecasting, create ad hoc reports on progress and research data used, and check in on any trends that are occurring with the project.

Many other specialized and custom features can be added onto project management software packages. However, these are some of the most common that could be included.

ProsperForms — set up a form and start receiving submissions from your colleagues in minutes. 100+ forms available: reports, logs, requests, etc. or build your own. View and manage submissions on Timeline and Dashboard screens, generate PDF reports. Get Started

Status.net – free software for project status reports (click here to create your account)

Part 4
Project Management Software Benefits

  • Keeps Everyone Aware of Pressing Deadlines

    After a while, email messages start to pile on top of one another, and it becomes difficult for employees to track or locate correspondence about project deadlines and critical completion dates.
    Project management software enables leaders to set expected completion times. They can even divide a project into smaller deadline dates. Therefore, employees do not have to wonder about when something is due or if they are staying on track.

  • Assign Tasks

    Much like the situation above; it is easy for an employee to forget what they have been assigned if there is not a place to store the information. Managers can quickly delegate tasks and roles to team members. If employees have any questions about the duties they have been assigned to carry out, there is a message thread for a discussion. This way, managers can see if there is any overlap in tasks or if something has not been assigned.

  • Monitor Budgets

    As mentioned previously, companies have a hard time staying on budget throughout the project completion process. Project management systems allow managers to allocate funds to various project goals, track how much a vendor or contractor needs to be paid, and see if the company can stay on budget. This means that there are not any surprises about where a department or team stands when it comes to cost.

  • More Streamlined Communication

    Many project management software systems have internal chat capabilities built within it. This means that employees can communicate with each other as they work and ask questions of managers. They do not have to wade through a ton of emails but can have their conversations archived to search for the information they need quickly.

  • Consistent Oversight

    Is a project veering off course? Are specifications being added that could create chaos for project efficiency? Seeing what everyone is working on, and their progress with it will help leaders keep project creep from being a problem.

  • Create Project Process Snapshots

    Stakeholders, especially senior managers, like to stay in the know about how projects are going. They might not need the details, but they will likely want a report that reveals a snapshot of the process. Project management software can do this. Also, if a new employee is coming on board to be a part of the process, reports like these can also provide some background to get them up to speed.

  • Involve Remote Employees

    Project management software creates a level playing field for those who might not be able to make it into the office. Having the ability to work on documentation at the same time as another worker or chat with colleagues can help to keep remote workers engaged and in the loop. Also, the work does not have to stop if onsite workers cannot make it to the office.

Status.net – free software for project status reports (click here to create your account)

project performance report simple

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project post mortem

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project progress report partners and stakeholders

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ProsperForms — set up a form and start receiving submissions from your colleagues in minutes. 100+ forms available: reports, logs, requests, etc. or build your own. View and manage submissions on Timeline and Dashboard screens, generate PDF reports. Get Started

 

project status report changes issues milestones

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project status report with finances

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project status report

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project status summary

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status report

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