With numerous tools in the market, the decision to choose project management software for your business can be difficult. And given that the project management software market is bound to grow at a CAGR of 10.67% by 2026, according to recent research, this process will only get tougher.
How do you sift through this long list to land the best software?
As you’ll see all through this post, choosing project management software does not have to be difficult. Several factors that will determine your decision include:
- The size of your company
- The industry you operate in
- The size of your team
- Your business needs
So, let’s discuss what project management software is and its importance, then dive into how you can choose the best one.
What is a Project Management Software?
Project management software is a platform that helps managers assign tasks to team members and track their progress. It’s an interface that allows team members to set deadlines, adhere to them, and mark tasks completed.
Businesses use project management tools to improve team collaboration and communicate more effectively. This includes enabling tasks such as scheduling and rescheduling, knowing if you missed deadlines, and getting real-time updates.
Every business needs a project management tool to clearly evaluate its key performance indicators (KPIs).
This next section discusses how you can pick the right project management software and why it’s important.
How to Choose Project Management Software: Features
While it’s important to have a project management tool, the decision to choose the right one is even more crucial. As such, you should assess each tool in detail to determine if it has features favorable for your business.
Here are features that your project management tool ought to have:
1. Task Management and Tracking
Project management tools keep tasks in a centralized location, making it easy for all team members to access and view them. Therefore task management and tracking capabilities are the most crucial features to consider when choosing the right project management software for your business.
These features help streamline your workflows. For instance, your project managers will have more control over assigning tasks for marketing projects. They’ll be able to track sprints and deadlines, sort tasks by date, and view progress as shown below.
For instance, if you’re planning to send out a newsletter, you can divide it into phases like writing the copy, designing the newsletter, A/B testing, and sending it out.
2. Ease of Use
Sometimes, it takes a lot of time and resources to train staff to use new software solutions. You may even have to do some type of consulting with third parties to enable better training for your team. Businesses prefer software with a user-friendly interactive user interface for this reason.
Therefore, ease of use is one other major factor to consider when you choose project management software. For this, you’ll need to assess the tools against your organization’s existing project management process.
This way, you’ll identify project management software that fits right into your existing system and addresses your pain points.
You want to choose a project management tool that is within your budget. This depends on the size of your team and the resources available.
So, carefully consider the pricing plans offered by the software to see if they offer the right features within your budget. It’s also a good idea to avail of free trials to help you gauge if a certain project management is suited to your needs. For instance, Kanban Zone offers a 30-day free trial and pricing plans for personal, professional and enterprise use.
4. Collaboration and Integration
An effective project management platform should help different teams work together. This includes helping teams track updates on project developments and keep tabs on team suggestions.
For example, accounting software for small businesses helps companies to manage their accounting activity in an effective way.
To foster interdepartmental collaboration, the project management tool should also be able to integrate with other applications seamlessly. These include lead generation software such as Calendly or Slack alternatives communication tools.
If the platform offers such integrations, it’ll save you time as your team won’t have to switch platforms to do the same tasks.
5. Reporting and Analytics
A reporting and analytics feature helps project managers look at performance histories for projects from an objective point of view.
You should thus choose a project management tool with a detailed analytics dashboard that is easy to interpret. In the long term, the reporting feature aids in future decision-making.
You can also track both group and individual performances and identify shortcomings from these reports.
Your business needs a tool that is going to adapt to changes such as the size of your team, your business growth, managing leads, and changes in your project management needs. Therefore, you need a project management tool that is scalable.
You need to know that your software can grow with you. Consider your long-term business growth strategy to choose the right project management software for your business.
Another factor that matters is the extent of customization for your software. Here are customizable features to look out for:
- Project templates: Your software should let you download templates, especially for repetitive tasks, and customize them too.
- Branding: Software needs to enable you to customize your brand and add logos to documents you export.
- Data columns: You should be able to customize data columns to only show what’s relevant to specific teams.
8. Smooth Communication
A project management tool should foster easy communication between collaborating teams. With remote work currently on the rise, being able to communicate effectively while working is crucial for teams.
Therefore, features such as the ability to leave comments, make suggestions and provide real-time updates improve team communication. This makes the performance even more effective. If it’s got a built-in live chat tool, then its utility is even better as your team would be able to communicate in real time.
Ready to Pick a Project Management Tool?
It’s crucial to choose project management software that works with your business processes and meets your objectives. Besides streamlining your workflow, it should also boost your team’s productivity.
While you’re choosing the platform, make sure you include your team in the evaluation process as they’re going to be using it. This lets you pick a tool that’s good for your team and can go a long way in improving its utility.