10 Must Haves for Creative Project Management Software
Imagine a scenario of an organization having different kinds of projects with different professionals to handle them from many locations. Sounds like a conundrum, right?
In reality, managing a project is quite a task! To simplify every step of a project workflow, there are creative project management software products available. But before going into that, let’s see what it really takes to manage a project.
Project Management Software Adds to Business Efficiency
Every business and projects have their own requirements, features and workflow to manage. Be it a traditional business project or a creative one, certain things are common in every project.
Communication, collaboration, time management, workflow management, repository management, version control, flawless reporting, resource management and task management ‚Äì these are the most important feature of any project management software.
Creative Project Management: Why is it different?
When it comes to Creative Project Management, the most important thing comes to mind is its visual requirements. In creative projects, visually delightful and frequently changing ideas can go hand in hand always. So, managing a project with creative people and creative ideas can be a daunting task. The project management software that manages creative projects should have some features which will ease all these complexities and meet the deadlines.
Must have Features to look for in a Creative Project Management Software
1. Real Time and Efficient Project Planning:
Creative projects naturally include creative people with delightful and excellent ideas. To transform these ideas into components or modules of the project, a perfect planning is required.
Creative Project Management Software should have a very good project planning feature. This will allow the team to plan, allocate, assign, schedule and balance the tasks or components or modules during the complete workflow of the project. There should be dashboards included in project planning so that each and every update in the project plan can be visible throughout the lifecycle of the project.
2. Collaboration is the Key:
Project Management’s success of a creative project actually depends on how well the participants communicate with each other to share thoughts and ideas. Therefore, a well-built collaboration platform must be there in the project management software. If the collaboration is cloud based ‚Äì the geographically diverse team can read, reply, add comment, mark and communicate with all the participants of the project.
3. Resource and Workload Management:
In a project, specifically – when it’s a creative project, it is very important to manage its resources efficiently to meet the deadlines within budget and normalize project cost. Finding and allocating resources to the specific tasks, recruitment of new resources for different phases of the project, manage geographically spread resources and assign work to each resource ‚Äì all should come under best project management tools.
There should be provision to visualize workload on each resource, so that workload distribution and management becomes optimized, easy and handy.
4. Customization of Project Workflow:
Each and every project has its unique status reporting system and workflow. According to the roadmap of the project and requirements of the customer, the project workflow is defined at the beginning of each project. According to workflow status of the tasks and modules are defined. So, it is very important for a project management tool to have customization feature for workflows and status.
Customized workflow and status management enable project members to define everything according to their specific project plan.
5. Document and Version Management:
A creative project is based on documents, illustrations, mockups, prototypes, and designs. Project management tool for these types of projects should be essentially perfect in keeping a repository of documents, maintaining their version with every single update. It is also important to have version management of markings, comments or anchors on these documents.
6. Visual Timelines:
Maintaining timelines of the deliverables at the end of each day/week/module is important for a project to meet the deadlines. Creative people are not used to of reading great details of projects in text or words. Visual timelines using Gantt Charts are must have features for a project management tool meant to manage creative projects.
A visible progress of the tasks and modules of the project, helps the creative team become clear about the deadline.
7. Visual and Efficient Reporting:
Reports are the inseparable part of a project and project management tool. But in contradiction with traditional reporting, creative project reporting should be more visual, graphical and beautifully crafted. It should be easy to extract any type of report required using the reporting tool GUI. Visual and good reports leave an excellent impact on the customer. Also, creative teams will be able to convert necessary information into a visible report, and it will be easy for them to understand and interpret.
8. Review and Approval Management:
Review and approval of each and every component, starting from the project plan, requirements, roadmaps, documents, mockups, designs, prototypes, illustrations, all the deliverables and even timelines, ensure the quality of the project. At the end of the project, review, and approval of client for everything eliminates confusion for all the participants. Visual review becomes easier for the creative teams.
9. Accurate Data Management:
In the case of projects which are ad-based, the accuracy of a vast data set is essential. From data, the reports are created for these types of projects. So, the tool should be able to handle a good amount of data and maintain the accuracy of it. Tools that use cloud-based storage and management (such as Mavenlink, Wrike, Smartsheet, and AceProject) for creative project management) are perfect for such projects.
10. Integration with other design tools:
Last but not the least, it will be great for a creative project team to get access to their design tools or any other tool they use the project management tool itself. Integrated tools will reduce switch over time of the project members and increase productivity. Also, the tracking of progress of the tasks will be easy this way for the design teams. But this feature is not a must have feature, rather this is a nice-to-have feature in a creative project management software.
Creative projects are sensitive and tough to manage. Therefore, the software that will manage creative projects should possess features that are specifically crafted for such kind of projects. This will help inspire the creative people and allow them to expand their skills through the learning during the project.
Recommended Project Management Software
If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following: