Project Management Software: Features and Key Benefits
- Project management software centralizes information, leading to increased productivity, smoother communication, and lower costs.
- For agency owners, the tool can also make task delegation more efficient, help collaborate better with remote workers, and allow for automation.
- When looking for the right software, keep the price, features and integrations, but also the core focus of the tool in mind.
Juggling multiple projects is a tough but necessary aspect of managing a business. To make matters worse, the stakes are almost always high. Disorganization leads to missed deadlines, frustrated team members, and ultimately, costly mistakes.
This is where project management software comes in. It’s designed to help you keep track of tasks, deadlines, and resources so that your projects run smoothly. In other words, it’s a must for modern businesses.
In this article, we’ll highlight the benefits of a project management system and what the key advantages of this type of software are.
What is project management software?
Project management software is a tool that helps businesses plan, execute, and track projects. It enables managers to assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress. Additionally, pm tools often include features such as project tracking and resource allocation.
Project management software is used in a variety of industries, from construction and engineering to marketing and event planning. It is a crucial tool for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses can use the software to streamline their operations, while large businesses can use it to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders.
While there are a variety of tools available at your disposal, many agencies start off with simpler software (or methods), depending on their budget, for instance:
a private note-taking application that does not allow for team collaboration
a kanban-style app that allows team collaboration but is not necessarily a project management tool (see our article on Trello for agencies)
a Google spreadsheet or Airtable that allows a bit more flexibility (and commenting)
All of those solutions are not ideal because they only solve one of many project management problems, namely having some sort of database for notes. What they lack is an easy way to manage project documents, tasks, budgets, and more.
Key benefits of project management software
There are many benefits of using project management software. Let’s look at a few key advantages that will bring benefits to the whole team:
1) Increased productivity
In case there are readers who question the productivity-boosting potential, let’s look at two very telling statistics from a recent Kissflow survey.
According to the report, only 25% of teams use project management software—the rest choose to do things manually with spreadsheets, email, and word-of-mouth. The same survey found that 77% of high-performing teams use dedicated software to manage projects tasks.
The takeaway? Using software for project management leads to significant increases in productivity.
2) Centralized organization
Managing a project effectively means staying on top of goals, tasks, risks, dependencies, budgets, assignments, deadlines. The point is, there are a lot of moving pieces. That’s probably why 1 in 5 project managers report feeling overwhelmed at work.
Project management tools are powerful because they organize all of this information and present it in easily digestible dashboards that help make informed decisions. On top of that, they make team collaboration a breeze thanks to the ability to invite internal and external team members.
The result? More organized, less stress-inducing projects. Plus, it’s easier to keep track of your agency KPIs if all data is in one place.
3) Smoother communication
When projects are disorganized, communication suffers. Things get lost in the shuffle, deadlines are missed, and team members start to get frustrated.
Project management software helps to prevent these communication breakdowns by providing a central platform for all project-related information. That way, everyone is on the same page, understands the expectations behind every project, and knows what needs to be done when.
4) Reduced costs
The benefits of pm tools extend beyond the realm of productivity and into the financial sphere.
Modern software allows you to optimize resources and prevent waste that leads to less costly budget and schedule overrun. Additionally, it can help businesses avoid the cost of mistakes, which are often estimated to be 10–30% of the total budget for a project.
5) Increased customer satisfaction
Last but not least, pm software leads to happier customers.
The logic is simple: when projects are better organized, there are fewer mistakes and delays. And when there are fewer mistakes and delays, customers are happier.
6) Easier task delegation
Many agencies struggle when it comes to tracking project progress. The more team members (and external collaborators) are involved, the harder time management and creating status updates becomes.
Here’s where managers usually come in, but even those need help to easily delegate tasks. We’ve already written about the best ways to delegate tasks, but it’s good to mention that project management software is instrumental to delegation. Instead of discussing back-and-forth who does what, managers can assign tasks they’re sure their colleagues can do for them right away.
7) Better remote collaboration
Agencies are increasingly relying on remote contractors, freelancers, and employees to get the job done. Everyone needs a tool that provides them with access to projects, visualizes project goals, and offers file sharing capabilities.
As many team members will work at different hours, the software in use should allow asynchronous communications, for instance through threaded comments and notifications. This ensures that the project team is on the same page even if they do not collaborate in real-time.
8) Possibility for automation
Modern project management software allows you to combine it with automation software such as Zapier, and build functionality on top of the existing features.
Although pm tools are very versatile, they might lack features your team needs, or you need to push data between different apps. Let’s say you’re running targeted email campaigns for a client, and want to sync the results back into your project management tool.
What should you look for in project management software?
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of project management software, let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider when looking at the available software solutions:
Price: It can range in price from free to hundreds of dollars per month. When choosing a tool, it’s important to consider your budget and the needs of your business.
Focus: Another important consideration is the software’s focus. Some tools are designed for businesses of certain sizes, while others are geared towards specific industries. For example, SPP’s role is to simplify project management for agencies offering productized services.
Features: When choosing software, it’s also important to consider the features you need. Some offer basic functionality such as task lists and calendars, while others include more advanced features such as time tracking.
Integrations: Finally, you’ll want to consider the integrations offered by the new tool you’ll be using. Not every software allows you to easily connect it with other applications. SPP, for example, integrates with many tools agencies rely on, such as Zapier, Google Analytics, and MailChimp.
Choosing the right software for your business can be a challenge. However, by considering your needs and budget, you can find a tool that will help you streamline your workflow, help your team collaborate with external parties, and increase reduce current bottlenecks.
Features of project management software to look for
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the size of your team, the nature of your business, and your budget. With that being said, the software you choose needs to have the features and functionality to support the projects you manage.
That may sound obvious, but hear us out.
Many software programs are powerful, but unspecialized. On the flip side, your projects are incredibly specialized—with specific goals that require specific features.
To illustrate, imagine an SEO agency is looking for a project management software. They might see that a more general project management tool like Wrike is incredibly popular and decide to give it a try.
In time, this agency will probably come to realize is that Wrike lacks some industry-specific features they need, such as automated client reporting on SEO progress and results. Since SPP offers a project management solution designed with SEO (and other productized service) agencies in mind, this is a core feature.
The moral of the story: choose a tool that is targeted (or can be customized) to meet your organizational needs.
Benefits of a project management tool FAQ
What kind of software is useful for managing team projects?
Project management software provides everything managers need to manage their team, ensure that deadlines are met, while also giving team members everything they need to fulfill their tasks.
Why use project management software?
Using a project management tool, companies can cut down on admin time by using features such as time tracking and team messaging. Everything related to their activities will be saved inside the same tool.
What is the purpose of project management software?
The purpose of project management software is to allow project managers (and everyone else involved) to make the most use of their time. The tool will help keep an eye on deadlines, provide a central place for tasks, and includes essential features such as time tracking and team collaboration.
What are some unique features of project management software?
Project management software features usually include everything a PM needs to get the job done, from time tracking to task management and reporting. This type of software usually unifies multiple different tools into a single one.
Why you need project management software
This article has demonstrated the benefits of project management software and why it is a crucial tool for businesses of all sizes. It helps you stay organized, increases your team’s productivity, improves communication, and reduces costs.
Additionally, project management software can help you increase customer satisfaction. When choosing a project management tool, be sure to consider your business’s needs.
If you’re looking for one designed for productized agencies, SPP is here to help.