Online project management tools and software have been absolute game-changers for project teams and their managers since they began to be widely adopted. But, as with many elements of the tech revolution, one ground-breaking innovation is immediately followed by dozens of imitators looking to ride the coattails of the original’s success.
So how can a discerning PM identify the best project management tool for their needs? How can they cut through the marketing noise to find the software that will bring their team’s productivity to the next level? It starts with determining the essential elements that their project management tool should have.
Essential Elements of a Project Management Tool
- Makes Collaboration Simpler
Modern teams are characterized by how location independent their members are, which makes collaboration through a single work platform essential.
PM tools like Clarizen feature a number of functions that ensure your team can communicate quickly and easily across a number of platforms. This includes incorporating other applications such as Microsoft Projects and Slack, as well as allowing simple sharing of files, links and emails and the creation of context-specific discussions.
- Provides Clear Visibility
At any stage of the project lifeline, you and other stakeholders need to be able to see what’s happening with the project. A simple interface that helps users to navigate quickly to the information that they need means that time doesn’t have to be wasted either asking a team member for a status report or having to personally search through mountains of information to find what’s needed.
- Automates Processes
Many project managers can end up delivering less value than they should simply because they are doing things that they don’t have to. In fact, the Harvard Business Review found that managers spend 41% of their time on roles which could be done by others.
Standard processes, such as updating timetables, creating reports and keeping the project’s calendar on track, can be done automatically by effective project management software.
- Offers Immediate and Dynamic Reporting
Whatever the size of the project, reporting is going to be an essential element of a PM’s roles. This can be an extremely time-consuming and arduous task, involving dragging figures together, then finding and tweaking an appropriate template. Even after all that work, the report is out of date the second it is made.
A PM tool like Clarizen features the ability to instantly create either pre-set or custom reports, straight from the dashboard. These reports can be exported through Jira, Excel, or directly through email, allowing you to keep all stakeholders up to date with a few clicks.
- Grants Access Anywhere
As team mobility increases, so does the need for a single source of truth for the project: one location where everyone can log in, communicate, collaborate and find out what’s supposed to be happening at any given time. The online project management platform you choose should offer the kind of flexibility and ease of access that increases information velocity and ensures all team members are on the same page.
Choosing the right project management tools for your project can be the difference between stunning success and dismal failure. Fortunately, Clarizen features everything your project could require from PM software, from instant reporting to global and mobile accessibility. Talk to us today for a product tour so you can find out for yourself.