Reasons why you need a project management tool
April 6, 2021
Project Management in the Digital Age
Project Management is a challenging endeavor that encompasses many areas, from employing a methodology to ensuring team members are aware of and accomplish their responsibilities.
This is difficult enough when everything is located in one place, but oftentimes pieces of a project are scattered across multiple mediums, such as spreadsheets, sticky notes, emails, or even living entirely inside someone’s head.
This can potentially lead to a nightmare scenario where, if a particular team member involved on the project were to suddenly be unavailable, it could cause the entire project to grind to a halt.
In the digital age we live in, this doesn’t have to be the case. There exist project management applications that allow you to take all aspects of your project and consolidate them all in one place, as well as streamline many of the more resource intensive parts of the project, to save time and money.
What is a Project Management Application?
A Project Management Application is a tool that helps you consolidate many of the requirements related to managing a project into one place that’s easy to use. The app should ultimately make managing projects much faster and easier while keeping everyone in the know about their own responsibilities and the larger scope of the project as a whole.
Useful Features of a Project Management App
Not all project management apps are created equal, so it’s important to perform due diligence when researching project management apps to understand what features they offer and how it compares to your needs. Below are some common features to look for, and how they can help your teams manage projects better.
Having a dashboard that displays all of the high-level details about a project in one place is a huge time saver. It allows you to quickly view and update important information about the project without needing to do a finer grained search.
Oftentimes, dashboards have reports baked inside them that show project timelines, due dates, time invested, and other important metrics. Dashboards can even be customized to show only what each user needs, and remove unnecessary clutter.
Tasks are the action items that drive a project forward, so the ability to manage tasks well should be a core feature of any good project management tool.
Most project management apps should come with the basic task management functions such as being able to enter a task name and description, assign users to that task, adjust the status of the task, and comment on the task.
Another great feature to look for is the ability to @ mention team members about tasks. This can send notifications to those users mentioned (inside the project management tool and/or via email), helping people stay up to date on the latest task developments. It’s handy for users that are very busy and need a reminder to go do something.
Some other key Task Management features to look for in your Project Management app are:
- Task Lists – Group all related tasks together
- Task Templates – Quickly re-create commonly used tasks
- Issues/Bugs Tracking – Identify and solve problems inside of tasks
- Custom fields/options – Customize your tasks to meet your unique business process
- Dependencies – Ensure tasks get done in the correct order and timeline
- Tags – Quickly reference important tidbits about tasks
- Milestones – Break your project tasks down into steps to work towards
Tracking time is another essential tool for any project management app. It allows workers to enter how much time they spend on the task so it can be tracked for reporting purposes, and for payroll.
Zoho wrote a very interesting article about the benefits of having a time clock for remote employee engagement that shows how powerful time tracking can be to keep people on task, especially as many people are now working virtually.
A good project management tool should have a robust reporting engine that allows you to track a variety of metrics related to the project such as workloads, issues, deadlines, etc. This allows your team leaders and leadership group to obtain the data they need to help address areas that need improvement, and continue to build on successful ones.
Security is such a critical feature to focus on in the present business landscape. As most of the workforce across many industries shifted to virtual work, lack of proper security has cost companies money, time, and reputation.
A strong security suite where data is protected and encrypted in the cloud, and users are required to use 2 factor authentication is a bare minimum standard to look for. Additionally, having the ability to control user access to projects, tasks and admin functions inside the system is just as important to protect from inside threats or accidents occurring out of ignorance.
Zoho Projects is a powerful project management app
At Positive Results™, we have used several project management apps over the years, but the one we’ve come to settle on for many of our clients and our internal use is Zoho Projects.
It is a robust project management application that focuses on the core requirements of project management while also integrating into Zoho’s wide suite of business apps, from CRM to Email Campaigns to Invoicing, etc. Not only does it possess all of the features mentioned previously in this article, it does so in one easy-to-use package. It can even be integrated with many 3rd party apps to ensure SMBs can leverage Zoho Projects while keeping it connected to the other systems they already know and love.
Positive Results™ is a training development and cloud solutions company that helps organizations analyze their business processes and develop solutions based on any gaps we find.
We are a proud partner of Zoho and use Zoho Projects in our own project management infrastructure. We work with clients to help them leverage the power of Zoho Projects to turn cluttered and confusing processes into a lean, streamlined, and understandable project flows.
If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:
Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions