6 Project Management Features You Should Be Investing In
The success of a project depends on the work of the employees and the proper direction of assets. With proper management, an idea can move from conception to completion with little to no headache. However, this success can be difficult to attain if you’re using the wrong project management system. With so many systems it can be hard to determine exactly what you really need. It is important to spend time looking at the features that will matter the most to your business needs before selecting a project management system that will work best for you.
Project management features and benefits
Every project management system has its own features and selling points. If you don’t know what you need, it’s easy to get a little lost in all the details. If you’re interested in getting the best return on your project management investment, you should be looking closely at these six features in your system.
1. Agile workflow system
“Agile” is a hot buzzword in today’s business world. It conjures up an image of nimbleness and mobility. The ability to adapt to new changes and break away from a rigid schedule can make the difference between a stale, failed project and a modern, successful one. It’s no wonder, then, that agile workflow systems are becoming a prominent feature in many project management systems.
An agile workflow system is one in which tasks are segmented into smaller “sprints”. These sprints are completed when necessary rather than in a set timeline This gives your employees the flexibility to act on real time feedback and react to problems that arise during the project timeline. If a problem or change arises during the course of your project, you will be able to address it without derailing your hard work. When a business is able to make use of agile workflow systems, it’s able to cut out the kind of institutional holdup that leads to so many failures.
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As a business owner or manager, the ability to easily check in with your employees is an invaluable asset. Valuable information like potential risks, budget issues, or how well the project is coming along can be seen in the reports your employees write. . ; Reporting also allows your employees to glean feedback on how they’re doing as well as areas areas where they can improve to help further project success.
Reporting features come in a few different forms. Some deal with literal forms that employees fill and submit on a regular basis. Other reporting features lay out organized frameworks to make it clear to whom an employee is supposed to report, or as well as where information should be sent or stored.. Other features allow for better analysis of data, turning raw numbers and words into something that can be used at a managerial level. No matter what form it takes, though, having solid reporting features helps keep everyone on the same page throughout the duration of a project
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Documentation may seem tedious, but recording thorough details can not only help keep a project on task – it can also record the methods behind successful or unsuccessful practices. This allows for a more objective view of how and why various parts of the business may or may not have worked. New employees shouldn’t have to come up with solutions that have already been used in the past, and established employees shouldn’t feel responsible for maintaining institutional memory on their own. When you have the right documentation procedures, you’ll be sure that all of the most important parts of your company’s operations are visible for any team member who might need to tackle a similar project.
Documentation is also an important way to be able to access the details of a project. Having a written work breakdown structure will allow your employees to validate decisions made during the course of a project, create more realistic standards, and check back on facts and actions made if a dispute or legal argument arises. Having a good system for documenting what you’ve done will not only help you to stay in line, but it will also create a paperwork trail that will allow others to view exactly what’s happened on your projects.
When team members keep knowledge to themselves, it can result in unprofitable overlaps and repeated processes. A collaborative environment allows every member of your project to see relevant data and communicate clearly with each other. This open environment can help facilitate the creation of new ideas and find ways to make your business grow. That is likely why some of the best project management features center around allowing every member of the team to collaborate.
Collaborative features come in many forms. For some, collaboration means having access to real-time chat channels and instant communication. For others, it means being able to share documents remotely and having the ability to interact with employees who aren’t on-site. Regardless of your definition, making use of these tools can help to ensure that every member of your team is on the same page and will get more opportunities to contribute in a more meaningful way.
5. Time tracking
Time tracking isn’t just about watching when your employees are clocking in and out. Good time tracking systems allow you to figure out how you are allocating your limited workforce and how well their hours are being used. If you’re able to look at your project and realize that too many hours are being distributed to the wrong areas, you can allocate those hours elsewhere before more time is wasted. This not only saves you money and energy, but it can also play a huge role in ensuring that you are able to meet your project deadlines without having to engage in crunch practices towards the end of the project’s lifespan.
Reliable time tracking can also help your employees realize the concrete contributions they’re making towards the success of a project. Your team members will be able to see the progress and effort they’re making towards personal and company goals. This can help employees realize the value of their time and keep their attention focused on what will help further the project.
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6. Budgeting and financial management
It is always wise to have a complete understanding of where your money is going. You don’t want to wait until a project is post-mortem to find out that you’ve put too much money in the wrong places. With the right budgeting features, you’ll be able to see financial spending in real time and make adjustments accordingly. Keeping up to date with your budget can help deter unnecessary spending and avoid project bankruptcy.
A financially conscious project management software will give you not only the ability to see the health of your financial spending, , but also the visibility to track your spending in a way that makes sense for your business. Instead of wildly guessing as time goes by, you’ll know when you’ve hit important budget markers as your team reaches them.
No matter if your project is big or small, you’ll want a project management system that will allow you to create realistic plans and structures, observe processes more perceptively, and act as quickly as possible when unexpected situations arise. This means investing in methods that not only allow you to predict what might come next, but also give you the flexibility to react to what’s happening right now. With the right features, you can use a project management system to amplify the way your business works, maximize your resources, and to gain the success that your efforts deserve.