There are certain things that a project management software must have in order to be sure you pick the best one available and to maximize your return of investment.
One of the key features that a project management software should have is the possibility to track the progress, for both the project manager supervisors and workers that participate in the project execution. This is related to creating tasks that can be easily and clearly quantified or on short to create deliverables – tasks that have measurable parameters.
Analyzing the workload is very important feature that a work management software must have. Managers must be sure that an optimal work force is assigned to various parts of a project and that no overallocation occurs. Assigning more work force than it is necessary to tasks would be a waste of resources. A good project planning software must have the workload analysis process in inter-dependency with the list of analysis features.
Estimating budget costs and managing budgets makes a great difference between a good profit and waste of investment. A project scheduling software without a detailed cash flow, at task level, can do more harm than help. Tracking project evolution, in each stage, with a good correlation between costs and progress is very important to be sure that the level of funding is adequate at any time.
Also do not forget to check if the selected work management software is capable of handling multiple projects, being able to track resource usage (workforce usage) over multiple projects. You don’t want to assign a worker to two projects at the same time. In the case that it still happens a resource leveling mechanism is always welcomed.
Avoid project management software that do not have a trial version. It is imperative to check all the aspects before deciding if that one is the management program that best suits your needs.
Simplicity and ease of use is another key feature. You do not want to be forced to instruct all your staff in using an over complicated piece of software. Training costs can be greater than any benefit or profit that a work management software can bring. Sometimes the costs with training can exceed the price of the product.
So what to look for when choosing a work management software :
- possibility to manage multiple interrelated projects that share common resources
- a clean method to break down costs per tasks, budgets and estimated costs
- it is easy to use
- has trial version to test before you decide to buy it
- a clean interface
- detection of over assigned work force – resource leveling mechanism
- integration with other work management software (for easy transfer)
- scenario analyzing capability
As a final point, a good project management product must have a scenario analysis feature, giving the choice to imagine various scenario plans for projects and compare results in terms of speed, usage and costs.
A project management software that has all these features, at a great cost, with a free trial version is RationalPlan. The product is a complete work management software that can assist project managers in allocating resources, developing plans, tracking progress and, analyzing workload and managing budgets.