Choosing an Effective Online Project Management Software: 3 Questions to Ask

Project management can be a challenge. Project teams are growing bigger and bigger each day, often changing throughout the project lifecycle.  And then there are customer needs as well, which are also changing rapidly. Multiple communication channels, market competition, and pressure from the c-suite add to the complexities.

How do you navigate your way and ensure that projects don’t fall apart? How do you streamline collaboration and organize small details and information effectively? Online project management software and task management tools are the obvious solution. However, how do you choose from the many online software tools that are available? Here are key questions to ask when evaluating the effectiveness of online project management software.

  1. Does It Simplify Resource Management?

18% of the projects fail because resources are forecasted poorly. Another 21% of them fail because there aren’t enough resources available.

Resource requirements change throughout the project lifecycle. A mere spreadsheet isn’t enough to track resources availability, need and engagements. Whichever task management tool you choose, it should allow you to track the overall resource utilization. This would ensure that you can re-prioritize recourses and tasks as and when required.

The best tools generally offer a robust view of the entire team’s workload, letting you know at a glance who’s working at full capacity and who can take on more tasks. The same information can also be viewed through calendar mode so that you’re aware of tasks in progress currently and the ones that are lined up. Accordingly, you can re-assign, re-schedule or re-prioritize, whatever may be necessary to manage resources effectively.

  1. Does It Allow You to Start Projects Quickly?

Robust planning and quick execution are balanced only when the project management software offers an effective way to create and set up a project. Many of these feature various forms and templates for the purpose, both of which are essential for effective project management.

  • Project Templates: Your chosen software should allow you to create and edit tasks through templates. Using these reduces the project setup time significantly.
  • Work Intake Forms: The software should feature customizable forms that provide necessary information to the team.
  1. How Well Does It Allow You to Track Progress?

When the number of projects increases and businesses grow, project tracking can be quite a pain if you don’t use the right collaboration software. The best of these are compatible with several operating systems and allow you to track progress without you having to micromanage the team. Opt for software that provides real-time information and generates automatic notifications for key tasks. The software should also generate red flags if any task falls behind the schedule or faces a lag.

Select a tool that maximizes project visibility for you, the project team and stakeholders. Any tool that features a dashboard view and displays active task status is often a good choice.

Considering the many choices out there, finding the best project management and collaboration software may take effort and time. Answering the above questions will help you narrow down choices and ensure that you make the right decision.