Picking the right project management software to suit your business can be daunting. There are dozens of excellent products on the market to suit most needs, and even a few free versions that could be adequate for a small or one-off project. The reality, though, is if you have think you have a need to for a good project management software application, you are going to need something more robust than those on offer for free.
But before you open your wallet to spend your hard earned cash, do a little research into major industries that already rely on tracking software to increase their efficiency, and some of the technology firms that service them. Click here to check out the tracking products of iVolve, one of the leading technology developers to the mining and construction industries.
In the meantime, here are a few things you should know to help you decide what, if any, project tracking software will help you.
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What can project management software do for me?
As a basic tool, a project management system will help you keep a careful eye on your projects from start to finish, providing an avenue for you and your employees to adjust various aspects to suit changing needs and unexpected challenges. More superior programs have applications to carry out scheduling, monitor budgets and cost overflows, allocate resources, allow for clearer communication between project team members and other stakeholders, implement quality control procedures, and store and maintain documents.
Common business uses
Apart from the basic management aspects as detailed above, the single most important advantage of a project management system is its ability to coordinate between various tasks and outcomes within a single project, or across related projects. The software can provide examples where projects can interact successful, or where cross-over could inhibit productivity or create additional expense. They can also be programmed as an intuitive tool to help supervisors understand the ramifications of a mistake and to help them to develop tools to rectify errors. They can estimate the time individual tasks within the project will take to complete and provide suggestions on how to allocate resources – human and machinery – to meet or even beat deadlines.
What does project management look like?
Obviously, these programs are computer-based, so they don’t “look” like anything. However, they do come in different platforms to better meet various needs. The most common is ‘Desktop’, which is typically more responsive and based on graphics. It keeps the data on file within the organisation on a central data-base. The ‘client server’ model is designed to support multiple users working on different parts of the project, sometimes at different times. While the data is still held centrally, it can be accessed more widely. A ‘web-based’ platform extends this access further, as the data can be accessed through the internet while you are off-site from any computer without needing to download specialist programs. The down-side is these platforms usually come with a monthly fee on top of the purchase price. Finally, there is an integrated system which, as the name suggests, incorporates different aspects of all the platforms.
Whatever style of project management database you choose, the ultimate aim is for it to be functional, suitable to your business and working for you, not against you. Its priority is to improve efficiency within your organisation so you can increase profits.