Essential Features of Project Management Software

Ira Mataić / 14 May 2024
  • Industrija
essential-features-of-project-management-software

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Despite the benefits project management software offers, many still stick to spreadsheets and paper copies, falling victim to inefficiency and time waste.


With so many project management software options on the market, it’s hard to choose one that has everything you need.


When you do choose, you should check if the software has essential features for efficient project management.


What to Look for in Project Management Software?


We have previously covered everything you need to know about project management and why you need project management software, but how to know what you are looking for?


Depending on the project approach, processes, and needs, you will need different features or a flexible PM software that can adjust to your business practices.


Regardless of your specific needs, every project management software should allow for:


  • Project task planning and monitoring
  • Different visualization tools for continuous management
  • Task coordination and collaboration
  • Real-time progress tracking and reporting
  • Automated notifications and alerts
  • Tracking and analyzing performance metrics
  • Basic data analysis and reporting
  • Resource management

Project Planning Tools


When managing a project and a team, it is crucial to have clearly defined tasks.


Different project planning features help set project goals, milestones, sprints, tasks, and subtasks, along with due dates and responsibilities.


At the same time, visualization tools such as Kanban and Gantt charts provide a helpful overview of the project plan and progress, keeping everything on track.


Task prioritization

Having scheduled time slots for prioritizing tasks, helps you adjust project flow without disrupting the entire plan.


Shared team calendar

A shared calendar helps the whole team stay updated and easily attend meetings.


Planning and task scheduling

Planner tools help outline project tasks and simplify activity scheduling, supporting teamwork.

Task Management Capabilities


Project management software helps simplify project and task creation and management, saving you time.


You can break down a goal into multiple tasks and subtasks, organizing the whole process.


Being able to easily change project priorities, assign responsible team members, and define deadlines also helps effectively manage projects at every step.


Additionally, easily checking task statuses and receiving automated notifications keeps you in the loop.

Role and Team Management


Not everyone needs or should have access to the same features and information.


Being able to create, define, and assign project roles is important to keep a project running smoothly.


Also, easily adding and removing people from projects and tasks helps you keep everyone on track when new plans are set or a change happens.

Communication Tools


One of the most important collaboration features are different communication options that help you exchange and record information.


Comments

Having comments within projects and tasks helps you not only communicate but also record that information within projects in case it will be needed later.


Chat

Having an in-built chat can help you easily communicate with specific employees, clients, or whole groups of people.


This way, everyone is using the same tool to talk while being able to exchange different files and media.


Integrated e-mail

Integrating your inbox within PM software allows you to easily access everything you need in the same place.


An additional benefit is being able to create new tasks from e-mails or send information directly from the project management software.


Conferencing

Having the option to easily organize, schedule, and invite team members and clients to online video or audio calls helps you stay in touch without the hassle.


If you need to do a meeting, a presentation, or brainstorm, you shouldn’t have to create accounts and pay for outside services.

Resource Management with Time and Budget Tracking


Every project requires resources to be completed.


Most often, you need time, money, and a team, but you might also need different items or materials.


Since only around 43% of companies report mostly completing projects within budget, there is a need for better resource management.


Being able to track and analyze budgets, deadlines, team availability, and workload in real time and with reports can greatly boost your ability to manage project resources.


Prevent burnout, conflict, budget overflows, and wrong estimates with good overview and analytics.


Additionally, using historical data within the system, you can more easily predict more accurate budgets while anticipating and preventing issues.

Project Dashboards


Having the most crucial project data available with a single glance helps you continually monitor project progress.


Being able to pick and choose dashboard widgets enables you to customize the viewed data according to your needs and preferences.

Centralized Information and Storage


Having all project data in one place is great, but having client information, scheduled events, team member information, project budget, and plan, is even better.


In this way, you and your team members can easily access, view, and organize documents, images, spreadsheets, and other files.


Paired with contact information and a shared calendar, collaboration becomes simpler and more streamlined.

Integrations and Upgrades


Having the option to integrate existing software or upgrade as your organization grows can be crucial.


Good PM software should be flexible and support your work processes, not change them so they fit its features.

Customization


Project management software should work for you, making it easier to manage and be a part of a project.


Being able to adjust your project view, workflow, notifications, report parameters, and settings helps create an environment that fits you.


Also, being able to customize input fields, task statuses, information requirements, and other project parameters is crucial if you have specific project or workflow needs.