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Project management mobile apps are supposed to seamlessly compliment the principal desktop version, and make life simpler, easier, less stressful, and more successful for the workers who use them on a daily basis. At least, that’s the idea.

However, the reality in many enterprises is quite different. That’s because these apps are often viewed as obstacles rather than enhancements — which explains why they’re used as little as possible.

The problem here isn’t rooted in anti-technology workers clinging to the past. Workers are pragmatic: if something helps them, they adopt it. If something is harmful, they avoid it. That’s not obstinance — it’s intelligence! And so they’re being completely rational when they say “thanks, but no thanks” to apps that over-promise and under-deliver.  

In light of this, how can enterprise executives avoid inflicting harmful project management software apps on their unsuspecting workers? The answer is to choose an app that ticks all five of these boxes:

  1. Robust Functionality

Workers should be able to quickly and easily access all of the relevant information and features they need, such as creating, reviewing and updating projects; tracking time and expenses; and collaborating with team members by reviewing news feeds, and replying/liking team members’ posts. Simply put, if the app isn’t robust and functional enough, users won’t be able to continue their work journey while on-the-go and between devices.

  1. Mobile Profiles

Most workers don’t want the same information that shows up on their desktop to show up on their mobile device. For example, viewing a large work breakdown structure is fine on a large monitor. But on a tiny smartphone screen, it’s complex and confusing. As such, the app must support customizable mobile profiles that display the information workers want and need when they’re away from their desktop.  

  1. Push Notifications

Workers don’t have the time — or the inclination — to constantly check their device to see if there’s something they need to know. Therefore, the app must automatically send real-time push notifications to specific workers based on updates to their schedule or task list, or if there is relevant collaboration activity (e.g. there is a new post that mentions them, there is a new comment/like on one of their posts, etc.).

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  1. Custom Actions

Reminding workers to submit overdue timesheets, expenses and status updates isn’t fun for anyone. But it’s even more tedious when workers are on-the-go, because it means that project managers need to send multiple emails and voicemails (that grow successively more hostile!). To avoid this pitfall, the app must support custom actions that automate various project administrative tasks.

  1. Device Cameras

Workers should be able to utilize their mobile device’s camera to take a photo of receipts, and upload them directly to an expense report template. In addition to saving time and improving compliance, this eliminates errors and double-work.

The Bottom Line

It doesn’t matter how exciting vendors make their project management mobile app sound, how pretty the screenshots look, or how many adjectives are in the App Store or Google Play description. If an app doesn’t deliver all of the above, then it’s part of the problem instead of the solution — and workers, understandably, will use it as little as possible.

Clarizen’s feature-filled mobile app for iPhone and Android supports customizable mobile profiles, push notifications, custom actions, and device camera integration. That’s why it’s enthusiastically and rapidly adopted by workers who see it as part of the solution! To learn more click here.