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What is Project Management Software? Analysis of Features, Pricing, Types, and Benefits

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What is project management software?
Project management software can be used to plan, schedule, and allocate resources to projects. The software enables users to collaborate and communicate with teams and project stakeholders, control the costs, and manage the budget, quality, documentation, and administration of all projects in a single platform.
Not all companies implement a clutter-free project management process. Formal project management may not be in our respective organizations, and we may often find ourselves scratching our heads due to difficulties in staying organized on our projects and collaborating with our teammates. Hence, every organization needs reliable project management software. Exceptional project management skills and cutting-edge project management software go hand-in-hand for efficient project completion. We must strive to plan, manage, and successfully execute our tasks and roles to advance our companies or organizations. We can use project management software for planning, scheduling, changing management, and allocating resources. The software enables us to keep track of our projects' current statuses and collaborate with other team members to ensure smooth-sailing task execution.

Benefits of Project Management

productivity wall art
One of the primary benefits of a project management software is increased productivity.
If it isn't obvious, efficiently managing our projects has multiple benefits. Proper project management primarily improves team collaboration through clear and organized plans. Furthermore, good project management allows us to define the roles of each team member, eliminating confusion concerning what we must accomplish. Best of all, it increases efficiency, resulting in success and a spike in ROI.

What Does Project Management Software Do?

cluttered table
A project management tool reduces unnecessary clutter and paperwork by automating everything in a single platform.
There are multiple things that a project management software can do effectively. Aside from helping us keep track of projects, there is a lot a project management software can do. A project management tool enables teams and clients to organize project-related tasks, assign tasks to key persons, and track real-time progress (or lack thereof). The management tool also reduces costs by eliminating manual labor and reducing staff time. These are but a few things an excellent-performing project management software, and we can get a better view of what it can do by looking at its features.

Features of Project Management Software

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The current workplace can benefit much from a project management tool.
Knowing the precise features we will need from a project management tool is tricky. So, we shall go over the various features of an outstanding project management software to make it easier:
  • Planning and Scheduling. The best software for project management enables task scheduling for all team members and setting deadlines and priorities. Scheduling task due dates notify members whenever the scheduled completion date is nearing and the tasks are still incomplete. It also features a shared team calendar where every member can check out the various activities scheduled for the month. The planning and scheduling features give us insights into who is ahead of the project, let us set realistic deadlines, and increase team productivity.
  • Collaboration. Software project management allows collaboration and communication through a quick channel. This feature specifically covers file sharing, team dashboards, data sharing, and team communication. We can view data and files in a centralized manner and access each other's work to complement our own.
  • Reporting. We need a KPI dashboard and insightful reports to get a thorough overview of how our projects are going. We need the data to identify our areas for improvement and our strengths. We can quickly address problems and provide solutions by comparing multiple reports and communicating with each other.
  • Documentation. Managing the team's project data can be challenging when we input them in separate spreadsheets. We can store and access our data in a single place with project management software. Not all tools can store all types of information, so it's crucial we discuss this with our software providers.
  • Project Budget Management. Larger projects entail bigger budgets and more expenses to manage and document. An Excel spreadsheet isn't an option for efficient expense management. We must look for tools that store budget report data, automated invoicing and time billing, and tracking. A great example of a project management and all-in-one tool can be seen in our HubSpot review.
  • Mobile App. A project management tool with a mobile app is an ideal candidate for investment. We can easily send approvals, provide updates, check notifications, and manage tasks on the go. Most, if not all, of the tools in this list have mobile apps.

Why Use Project Management Software?

Do we need project management software, and why so? As mentioned over and over in this article, project management tools bring many benefits to companies and organizations, especially for remote workers, where meeting in person is impossible. So, why do we need to use a project management tool, and what good does it bring us?
  • Establish clear goals. A project management tool helps us establish clear goals by creating detailed project plans consisting of objectives, tasks, roles, timelines, and resources. The tool enables us to set clear expectations on responsibilities and deadlines, preventing delays and increasing accountability. We can clearly outline and achieve our goals by using software.
  • Improve resource management. We can assign resources and track their availability through a project management tool. At the same time, it allows us to optimize project costs through budgeting and forecasting software, allowing us to allocate our resources properly.
  • Track progress. One of the most compelling reasons to invest in a project management tool is its ability to track progress through task lists, detailed timelines, and progress reports.
  • Forecast pipelines. A few of the best things about a project management tool are it provides us with revenue or pipelines forecasting through project analytics and insights, helping us understand the direction of our projects and anticipate revenue changes.
  • Identify risks. Reports, analytics, and insights give us access to our progress; they also help us identify project-related risks and potential issues, allowing us to plan and take action to avoid costly delays and impending issues.
  • Connect the tech stack. With almost everything going digital marketing, companies, and organizations require multiple tech and tools to operate efficiently in today's workplace. We can connect our tools to a single platform by using a dynamic project management tool. Think about Google Drive and Dropbox files, for example.
  • Focus on work. We must focus on our work to deliver the best results. We will get the right tasks and more done. We are less likely to waste precious time on less important tasks or to duplicate our work.
  • Create a systemized record. Our project management tools function as a record system for all our projects and related tasks. We can quickly and simultaneously store information and records accessible to team members and stakeholders.
  • Secure work storage. Putting our data on cloud-based software reduces the chances of work loss, helps us stay organized, and maintains our privacy. We don't have to worry about accidentally deleting an output or forgetting where we stored our records.

How Much Does Project Management Software Cost?

Project management tools come in various shapes and sizes (like us). As a result, it will make looking for the best value for money software. Functionality should be the primary feature we must look for in the software, but we have different budgets, so it's crucial to consider the cost as well. The cost varies, but a medium-sized business will expect to pay $16.88 per month on average.

What Is An Example of Project Management Software?

We always want the best for our business or organizations, so it is normal to ask, "What is best tool for project management?" There are plenty of paid and free project management software, but here are some of the best ones:
  • Asana. Asana is a project management tool best for enterprise companies. The tool provides a complete management solution, including tool integrations, task automation, scheduling, work assigning, ready-made templates, reporting dashboards, and security compliance.
  • Jira. Jira, owned by Atlassian, is a project management tool for software development. This tool works best for agile-specific management and is most useful for tracking bugs and tasks using the Scrum Process.
  • Trello. Trello is one of the most straightforward and user-friendly project management tools. The tool is a Kanban-board-style software by Jira's parent company, Atlassian. It doesn't have intricate features, making it suitable for simple and small project management. Trello's setup makes tracking the project's progress easy.
  • Monday. Aside from Trello, Monday is a tool best for managing small businesses and simple projects. Start-up businesses and organizations who are project management software novices will find the tool helpful as it offers integration with multiple apps, making it easy to get started. Our project management software Monday review is for anyone wanting to know more about the software.
  • Clickup. ClickUp is almost similar to Trello but has more features. Small businesses have multiple options, with Clickup being one. The software's intuitive and colorful interface makes it easily understandable and adaptable. ClickUp is the best choice for organizations and teams with limited resources and no need for numerous capabilities.
  • Smartsheet. For teams looking for a more innovative spreadsheet version, Smartsheet is the tool to use. Smartsheet interweaves traditional and modern project management.
  • Notion. Notion project management software contains an elevated system to create and store notes, documents, and sheets. The tool is best for notetakers and teams that need an organized space to jot down thoughts and ideas. While the tool is impressive for its function, it lacks collaborative features.
  • Wrike. Wrike is another excellent project management platform that is best for managing clients. The platform offers security and stackable storage in a straightforward format, allowing teams and clients to access information safely.
  • Workfront. Last but not least is Adobe's project management software, Workfront. Adobe developed the platform for marketing teams, so many users struggle with the software.

Potential Issues With Project Management Software

project methodologies usage stats
Hybrid project management approaches. Source: FinancesOnline
While working with a project management platform has outstanding benefits, we cannot deny it has potential issues. According to the Project Management Institute, weak processes are the primary reasons projects fail. So, companies turn to software to accomplish tasks, but it's not all a bed of roses.
  • Too expensive. Many project management platforms have numerous fancy features and a hefty price tag. The platform may cause the company to allocate a considerable sum of money to another area of expense. But if we really want to use software, there are free ones, such as Clickup and Trello, best for simple management tasks.
  • Lacking time. Although many tools are straightforward and intuitive, some team members can be reluctant to learn a new tool as they need to spend more time on other tasks.
  • No rollout plan. Companies must implement a rollout plan before implementing new software to ensure that team members have ample time to adapt to the software, particularly when the company has never used the tool before.
  • No trial and selection process. On top of the rollout plan, companies must conduct a trial and selection process, where team members are the participants. Team members are the primary users of the tool, so it only makes sense to consider the members' inputs.
  • Too complicated software. Despite researching the project management tool's functionalities and features, they are sometimes too cumbersome and difficult to comprehend. There may not be a problem with the team, but several tools are inefficient, clunky, and complicated.

What Are The Latest Trends in Project Management Software?

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Most marketing and advertising professionals are on top of all the trends related to digital marketing, advertising, and management.
The backbone of project management is the application of the skills, processes, knowledge, methods, and experience to hit project goals and objectives. Using the right project management software, we can rise to the inevitable challenges, including the changing trends. In the following years, we expect a more digitized project management process, further integration of complex technology, the use of hybrid project management approaches, the demand for soft skills, and the integration of artificial intelligence. We expect a rise in the figure of project management software users in the coming years, and we are here to witness this. We can learn more about other management software in this "Top 10 eCommerce Influencer Marketing Software in 2022" article.
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