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🏆 Best Project Management Software for August 2021
Want to manage all your projects in one software? Achieve more milestones with project management software that's designed with custom features, perfect for collaboration and support for your team!
What is project management software?
Project management software is a software designed by different industries to help make the task of project management easy. Usually, this software uses various tools to make planning, scheduling, and resource relocation faster. The best project management software enables project managers to control their teams, create necessary documentation, training, and exchange communication throughout the project.
Why do you need project management software?
Project management software is essential if you work with a large team. The right software will make communication, collaboration, and tracking easy, promoting productivity. You will save more time and make fewer mistakes while you focus on the project. Here are some benefits of using project management software tools:
Keeping track of dozens of team members working on different aspects of the project is tricky. Project management software packages take care of this for you using easy-to-follow Gantt charts of the project timeline. These project management software Gantt charts are easy to update and are a saver when things change at short notice.
Making sure all teams up-to-speed and working as one is a challenge, especially when tasks overlap. Most project management software provides a solution to this. For example, some may allow an activity stream, so other members know what you are working on while others use instant messaging for essential inquiries. With such seamless collaboration reduces potential communication issues and saves time.
You’ve been there: a conference call scheduled at 10 pm starts 30 minutes later due to technical issues and time differences. Aside from wasting your time, such sagas make you appear unprofessional and unprepared. With project management software online, all your client needs is a password, and they can see your progress easily. Clients can even offer feedback and edit areas while you keep the project moving forward. No more late-night calls that last hours, no more note-taking, no more time-wasting!
Efficient Task Delegation
When handling more extensive projects that involve individuals in different departments and locations, task delegation can become a nightmare. With project management software, all you need to do is insert the task into the project timeline, assign the person, and provide instructions. You spend less time answering questions because all the team has to do is check the software and see their task.
Stress-Free Budget Management
Project management software helps you ensure the cost of the project is within limits. You will know which employees are productive and which aren’t. Most multi-purpose software systems provide quantifiable evidence to help you determine where you are spending too much.
Effortless Team Member Integration
Adding new members to an ongoing project can be stressful. You need to explain a lot of information as fast as possible so newbies can start working. With easy-to-use software, new team members can be updated from the start and review any changes in instruction along the way. This equates to less time spent on one-on-one meetings and more productivity within the team.
Ideal for Remote Working
Project management software frees you from the traditional office setting and allows you to work remotely while keeping in touch with the team. You can put your mind at ease knowing tasks are getting done without having to check physically confident your team has everything they need at their fingertips. With this software, all you need is an internet connection and you can take your work anywhere.
Everyone is Kept on the Same Page
Instead of correcting mistakes individually, the best project management software helps standardize processes. Standardizing gives a more professional appearance and promotes consistency. With everyone working the same way, you create a sense of teamwork and unity while saving a lot of time.
Flawless Document Sharing and Access
The best project management software keeps everything centralized while giving users more control over documents. This way, users can't misplace documents and any modifications can be easily tracked. Such real-time updates ensure more accountability and transparency over who changed things in the document. Everyone can locate documents without waiting for the latest updated file.
Core features of project management software
The project management software list is getting longer by the day, making selecting the right one for you and your team challenging. Although each project has different needs, here is a list of some of the most important features of project management software.
Large projects may consist of hundreds of people working at different times, on different tasks, and in various departments. Usually, your team will need to access each other’s work in order to accomplish their task, which makes collaboration a significant feature. You need a tool that allows quick communication between departments and includes features, such as team dashboards, file sharing options, and customer data sharing.
Reporting is essential to help streamline your processes and keep things moving forward. You need to know the problems your team is facing and how to solve them efficiently. Although every software may have different ways to create reports, KPI dashboard (Key Performance Indicator) and customizable reports are the two essential features to look for.
Project management software keeps all your data in one place. With quick access to your data, you will no longer need to switch between spreadsheets to find pieces of data. A comprehensive project management software lets you share files with a few clicks. Having everything in one place also makes reporting faster and more accurate.
The best project management software tools feature resource management, which outlines all scheduled resources and their costs. This information will help you properly allocate resources without overspending. You will also instantly be notified when a certain resource is being overused so you can decide whether to limit access or set new guidelines.
You can save time on tasks like invoicing, time-tracking, and reporting. With the right software, you can make accurate financial reports with ease. Comparing the planned budget with the actual budget is also made easy with the Cost Variance metric. Some budget management features to look for are time tracking software, automated invoicing, and budget reports.
Types of project management software
Single User or Personal Project Management Software
This type of project managing software is designed for home or personal projects. It works under the assumption that a single user will access and edit the project plan. A good example is project management software for architects or software for DIY furniture projects. This type of project management software is often installed on a desktop and can be used offline.
Pro #1: Affordable
Since this type of software is designed for a single user, it costs less. You can invest a small amount on this software and complete your project faster.
Pro #2: Works offline
Once you download the software, you can access it offline. This feature is ideal if you have limited internet access or live in a remote area.
Con #1: Limited function
Single-user software lacks collaborative features that Iimit its functions.
Con #2: Limited access
Since only one person can access the system, this type of project management software can't be used by teams.
Collaborative Project Management Software
This type of software is designed to accommodate multiple users at the same time. Each user can access, read, or edit information simultaneously and the edits are automatically saved in the system. Depending on the type of software, the levels of collaboration may differ, allowing you to regulate who can edit or view certain items.
Pro #1: Accommodates multiple users
You can add all team members working remotely to a single space for easy collaboration. Different teams can also communicate and share information efficiently.
Pro #2: Allows simultaneous file access
Multiple users can access and work on the same files at the same time. You don't need to worry about updating information because all changes are saved automatically.
Pro #3: Customizable file access
You can moderate each team member's access to files. This ensures all sensitive information is kept secure.
Con #1: More expensive
Since collaborative project management software has more features, it also costs more.
Integrated Project Management Software
Integrated project management software works with other parts of business operations, including CRM or other collaboration tools. If your project overlaps other business operations often and involves the customer relationship process, this type of software is ideal.
Pro #1: Keeps communication open
Constant communication between team members is made possible with integrated project management software. When each task is complete, the next person is notified to begin work. Team members can also strategize their plan of action on any task within the system.
Pro #2: Improves schedule monitoring
You can set-up specific deadlines on each task and allow the members involved to collaborate. If any issue arises, you can adjust the project schedule accordingly to ensure the deadline is still met.
Pro #3: Convenient for assessment and feedback
Assessing individual team members and offering feedback is more convenient with this type of software. You can speed things up and keep things in check at the same time.
Con #1: Complex to use
Integrated project management software makes use of many features to help you monitor your project. This requires some technical know-how.
On-Premise Project Management Software
This type of project management software is installed on your computer or server and you are charged a one-time fee to use the software. You can install project management software for Mac or other operating systems and use them for your team.
Pro #1: Safety of files
Since all your files remain on your server, you have better security. If your project handles sensitive information like accounts or tax returns, you may decide to install this type of project management software.
Pro #2: More control over the software
You pay a one-time fee granting you license to the software. You can use it; however, you want without worrying about constant updates, new configurations, and other common issues with online software.
Pro #3: No recurring fees
On-premise software does not charge you on a monthly basis and offers life-time access to the program. This is ideal if you want to avoid recurring costs.
Con #1: Requires an IT specialist
You’ll need to designate an I.T specialist to troubleshoot the software if it has problems, get rid of bugs, and address security issues. If most of your teamwork remotely, this type of software may not be a good option.
Con #2: Costly in the long run
The cost of hiring an I.T specialist and upgrading your server may be extensive.
Con #3: Limited mobility
You will only be able to access the software in your server which makes working remotely complicated. The only way you will be able to work at home or anywhere else is by using remote access which may pose some security concerns.
Cloud-Hosted Project Management Software
Project management software open source is installed in your server and can be accessed through the internet. Usually, you pay a monthly subscription fee to be able to use the software. You can find project management software for Mac compatibility or for other operating systems.
Pro #1: Affordable with low capital
Some cloud-hosted project management software programs can sell for as low as $20 per month, depending on the features they include. This is affordable for smaller projects or start-up companies with limited budgets.
Pro #2: Troubleshooting taken care of
Anytime you experience some bugs or security issues with the software, all you have to do is contact the vendor and they will provide support. This saves a lot of time and money hiring an I.T specialist and lets you focus on your project leaving technical support to the vendor.
Pro #3: Unlimited accessibility
Wherever you are, all you need is an internet connection and you can continue to monitor your project. If mobility is something you need, cloud-hosted management software is the best option for you. You get to hire people from all over the world and collaborate with them in one space.
Pro #1: Your files are in the cloud
This means that the vendor can access everything in your project. If you are handling a project with sensitive information or want to have maximum security, this may not be the best option.
Pro #2: Monthly fees can add up
A few dollars a month can add up to hundreds of dollars in a year, making the cost, in the long run, more than you expected. If you are looking for something to stick within the long-run, paying monthly fees may not be ideal.
Pro #3: No control over the software
Since you are completely dependent on the vender, you can lose everything if the vendor folds up. If you have invested a lot of time streamlining your project using their software, you will be left with nothing if anything happens to them. If stability and reliability is something you value, you may think twice before getting cloud-hosted software.
Who needs project management software?
Project management software is designed to help you manage multiple teams and projects at once. You can keep track of the progress of the project, monitor team members, and post updates in a single space. You can also generate reports to help evaluate performance, monitor budget, and team productivity. Communication is also made easier with built-in messenger Apps and team dashboards.
You can take care of tasks like documentation, invoicing, and time-tracking using project management software. With the right software, you can prioritize tasks, monitor your progress, and use your time efficiently.
You can handle multiple clients using the customer data sharing feature and share their information within the team. Others can edit, update information, and keep all customer data secure and accessible. All the sensitive information of your clients is kept safe and organized.
Project management software allows you to monitor the progress of your project at any moment. You can provide stakeholders with accurate estimates of completion and use simple reporting tools to increase productivity. The secure file-sharing feature also guarantees the safety of all project documents.
As a programmer, you need to provide multiple clients with sufficient updates. Specialized project management software enables you to share what you are working on with your client or team members. You can address glitches or bugs efficiently and tackle any other technical issues.
All aspects of the business can be streamlined using project management software. You can send invoices automatically, update documents and client information remotely and plan milestones easily. This software will help with time management and increase productivity.
Monitoring the progress of your DIY or home renovation project is effortless with this tool. You can create a priority list and make sure everything runs smoothly. This software also allows you to manage your documents, communicate with contractors, and stay within budget.
Step-by-step guide on how to choose your project management software
Step1: Determine your needs.
Project management software isn’t a one size fits all. First, determine who’ll use the software. Is it for your personal use, or is it for your team? But, regardless of who’ll use the platform, it’s essential first to assess the needs of the end-user since the software should be compatible with how you or your team works.
Step 2: Consider your budget.
The pricing for project management software may vary because of their built-in tools and solutions. The more features it comes with it, the pricier it gets. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to assess how much you can allot first so you can quickly narrow down your choices.
Step 3: Search and compare software providers.
Next, narrow down your search. Select the most compatible software for your work processes and needs. Read reviews as well as these can help you get some insights regarding the software. Also, compare the prices and see if the software is within your means.
Step 4: Give it a try.
Most of these platforms provide you with a demo or a free trial of their services before proceeding with your transaction. So, try them out first before you subscribe and implement them. This way, you can fully see if they can meet your needs or not.
Step 5: Implement your project management software.
Lastly, subscribe to your chosen project management software and proceed with the installation processes. If you’re working with a team, it’s best to give an orientation. Provide them with a video tutorial or a short training session so they can quickly get the hang of it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No one in your team knows what others are doing
If you are constantly bombarded with questions about what a particular department is doing, what should be done next, and so on, you definitely need this software. You need a tool that monitors your team for you and keeps them in the loop limiting unnecessary questions. With the right project management software, you can keep an eye on what everyone is doing, detect who is available, check on their work, and delegate tasks easily. All this in a few glances and clicks.
You are always out of time and over budget
With project management software, you can visualize your work on an actual timeline, calculate payroll easily, and even send invoices automatically. The right tool will give you the freedom to spend time with family while keeping up with deadlines.
Updating clients is complicated
Are you getting emails from unhappy clients who you forgot to inform about certain project changes? Is your partner questioning where your finances are going? Are you tired of having to explain every move you make via email or call? An adequate project management software can provide access to clients and partners, so they are always kept in the loop. You can focus on more important things, confident that everyone is up-to-date.
Your decisions are based on guesses
No matter how long you have been in the business, nothing beats solid data. Project management software gives you the power to make decisions based on actual, tangible, quantifiable data that guarantees success.
2-plan project management software is composed of three project management tools. Usually, the first is a free program used for desktop scheduling and the other is for project management tasks. A second plan is open-source software that makes collaboration between teams possible online.
The best project management software includes certain security features that help protect your data from unauthorized access. Usually, these security settings are flexible and customizable and dictate how safe your project will be. There are four aspects of security you should access when selecting the best software:
Network and system security. This includes using VLANs, firewalls, and other router technologies. Ideally, the software should ensure secure connectivity and has regular updates to ensure no loopholes are left for hackers.
Application security. This includes data sharing, data encryption, mobile applications, and user authentication. Your project management software should support various methods of authentication, including SSO, Azure, and OpenID. Also, make sure the software allows you to customize the password settings, history, and expiration.
Data encryption. Project management software should use minimum encryption of TLS or transport layer security 1.2 with an AES 256-bit algorithm. This means your information is protected using server authentication and data encryption.
Privacy. Look for vendors that have strict policies that limit access to customer data and allow you to dictate when and how they see their data.
A Gantt chart is a table that shows the progress of a project. With the aid of this, you can get a timeline of all the tasks and upcoming deadlines related to your project. A Gantt chart is also useful to recognize which tasks are dependent on each other and what milestones are coming up.
Risk management is the process used by project managers to reduce the potential problems that may have a negative effect on the projects’ timetable. Risks are unexpected events that are hard to determine but can have drastic effects on the project. Managers use this technique to manage risks efficiently.
FTE stands for “full-time equivalent” and is the number of hours worked by a single individual in a week. Generally, the FTE count is 2,080 hours, which is divided into eight hours per day for five days a week. Project managers use this to calculate the cost of a project in terms of money, time, and personnel. FTE is a valuable tool when making staffing decisions to help you manage your resources accurately.