Many people believe that a Project Management software tool does not have much utility as spreadsheets work much better and provide a cheaper option.
Before we debate this, let me ask you a question. Which tool would you use if you have to put a nail in a wall – a hammer or a screwdriver?
Most probably your answer would be hammer. It does not mean that a screwdriver is a useless tool. It only means that a hammer is a more appropriate tool for putting a nail.
Similarly, when it comes to project management activities like planning and tracking, you should use a proper tool. A spreadsheet software is a general tool that is good for performing calculations and maintaining records but it should not be used for managing projects.
A proper tool helps in automating activities like estimating, scheduling, budgeting, organizing, tracking, and reporting. A spreadsheet software can never do all these things.
Let’s take a look at the top benefits of using a project management software.
Benefits of Using Project Management Software Tool
Scheduling involves the following steps:
- Identification of activities
- Estimating duration, cost, and resources
- Identifying dependencies and sequencing the activities
- Assigning resources and developing schedule
- Adjusting schedule to meet deadline
All these steps can be easily performed by using a specialized project management software. By using it, you can establish a proper workflow so that project staff members know what are they supposed to do and when.
Furthermore, by using a proper tool, you can easily adjust the schedule when there are any delays or changes as the project progresses.
Most projects are constrained by limited budget. Budgeting involves controlling the project cost and delivering the expected goals within defined timeline and approved budget.
Generally, budgeting for a project starts in parallel with the scheduling. As soon as the activities are identified, you can initiate cost estimation. Since the schedule has to be managed in an overall budget you have to look at different permutations and combinations to adjust the project schedule within the given budget.
Scope, schedule and cost are considered as triple constraints in project management. You have to manage them together. It is not an easy task but without a project management software it becomes almost impossible.
With the help of a specialized software, you manage the budget proactively and adjust the project parameters as needed to stay on the track.
3. Resource and Task Management
Resource management is one of the most important aspects of project management. A lot of surprises come when you are dealing with people. People have their own needs and idiosyncrasies. In most organizations, people are shared between projects and each project has its own priorities.
If the project tasks are not assigned properly and people are not managed well then a project can get into serious trouble. This is where the efficient workflow management of a project management tool can come in handy. Through workflows tasks are streamlined and people know what are they supposed to do and what time.
With the better resource management and task management teams can work as a unit and achieve results that cannot be achieved otherwise. By using a project management software you can optimally utilize the resources through resource leveling.
4. Communication and Collaboration
Project management is a team effort and successful completion of a project requires constant communication and collaboration. A project management software has many in-built features for effective communication and collaboration. These features include:
- File and document sharing
- Personal and project calendar sharing
- Instant status updates
5. Project Tracking and Reporting
What is planning without tracking?
Project tracking consists of the comparison of project plans with the actual execution results. It keeps a record of time, expenses, resource utilization and many more things.
You cannot realize the project goals without proactively tracking the project and finding out which tasks have been missed, which are delayed, which are to be redone etc. Once you know the problems, you can reorganize the schedule and bring the project back on track.
Tracking and reporting go hand in hand. The progress of a project is measured through and documented using reports. These reports can be shared with the senior management and the client.
It is very difficult to do tracking and reporting without a proper project management software. It is cumbersome and time consuming.
Most businesses, whether small or big, do some projects. These projects take the businesses forward and make them more profitable.
Your business would not be different.
Each project has multiple tasks that are done by people. Sometimes these people are allocated to multiple projects at the same time. Most project tasks have strict timelines and delays could seriously hamper the project. Furthermore, many changes happen as project moves through so you have to manage these projects proactively.
A project management software is essential for today’s businesses. You should not delay in investing in project management software. You can start using RationalPlan today and check out the benefits yourself.
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