There are a ton of project management tools available today, all designed to help individuals, teams, project managers, and executives manage projects more efficiently and reach company goals.
Most of the project management tools in the lineup are designed for various skill and experience levels. So you don’t have to be a veteran project manager to use most of these.
In fact, many leaders are forced into project management roles where they must select a tool to help manage team projects.
The good news is there are tools for highly complex and high-risks and tools for managing ongoing, daily tasks—and even tools to help you manage your personal life!
So, regardless of whether you own, operate, or manage an IT business or a marketing agency, there is a project management tool for you.
However, with so many tools available, how do you know which one is the best for your team?
In this article, we will provide you some tips on how to choose the right project management tool for your business.
It Starts with the Right Project Management Methodology
Choosing the right project management tool is a big decision, and should be treated as such. After all, if you put in a ton of effort to implement a tool, you want to ensure team adoption.
Before we dive into how to choose the right tool for your team, take some time to think about your current project process. If you follow a specific project management methodology (PMM), such as agile, then you will want to select a project management tool that supports that methodology.
For example, if you and your team follow a visual workflow, then you will ultimately want to select a tool that supports this, such as a tool with a kanban board.
If you don’t follow a specific methodology, then it’s important to choose one. The PMM you select will ultimately determine your process for project management and delivery. This is essentially how your team will manage and complete projects and collaborate.
Selecting a powerful project management tool will also put you in a better position to help create project plans at the beginning of each project; manage all tasks, phases, and due dates; and schedule operational processes.
A robust project management tool can help you:
- Build project plans
- Break down tasks into smaller, sub-tasks
- Assign team members and deadlines
- Track the project budget and schedule
- Oversee and control the process
- Organize communication and collaboration
- Identify and manage risks
- Measure performance
Let’s be honest: Finding the right project management tool takes time, research, and consideration. Nevertheless, if you have a reliable PMM in place, then selecting a tool to support your workflow becomes easier.
On the other hand, if your projects involve many moving parts, complex schedules, and multiple dependencies, then using a tool with advanced features, such as reporting project progress and Gantt charts might be a better fit.
What Makes a Good Project Management Tool?
When reviewing the long list of project management tools to potentially use for your team, take some time to think about your top priorities. Where does your team need the most help? Is it with budgets? Schedules? Collaboration?
Identify and write down your top three priorities. You can even ask your team what they would like most about using a project management tool. Once you have your “priority list” together, you can begin the hunt for the best project management tool.
Additionally, a robust project management tool or solution should provide you with the following features and capabilities:
- Resource management and allocation
- Collaboration and communication
- Reporting and analytics
- Flexibility and scalability
- Help and support
6 Features Your Project Management Tool Should Have
The short list above highlights some priority features, but here we have summarized our favorites, and why they are important.
1. Communication and Collaboration Functionalities.
We know you are probably sick of hearing this, but communication really is one of the most important elements of project management. It’s important to streamline communication across the team and with clients and stakeholders.
Therefore, finding a tool that can help increase collaboration through comment threads, alerts and notifications, and automating status updates can help increase collaboration and communication among project teams.
You can also find a project management tool that also integrates with other communication tools, such as Google Hangouts, Slack or WhatsApp.
2. Streamline Status Updates.
Similarly, a good project management tool should also make it easy to monitor project progress and get status updates. In some cases, you may want to use a project management tool that provides automated status updates to clients to help keep them in the loop on project progress.
3. Create and Monitor Project Timelines.
You can’t realistically (or successfully) manage a project without a clear and clean project timeline. Depending on the number of tasks, dependencies and relationships, and moving parts—and your project management methodology—you may need an in-depth project timeline. One of the best ways to monitor project timelines is with Gantt charts.
If you already use an application or a spreadsheet to create and manage Gantt charts, then consider looking for a project management tool with built-in Gantt chart capabilities.
4. Resource Management, Allocation, and Optimization.
We’ve mentioned this before, and we’ll say it again: Project management is really about managing people. Therefore, you need a project management tool that helps you with resource management, such as assigning tasks.
In fact, more than 40 percent of project managers claim that resource management tops their lists of challenges. As a result, approximately 15 percent of PMOs rely on spreadsheets for project management tracking.
If this sounds like a challenge that you face, then you would likely benefit from a project management tool that provides you and your team with visibility into your workflow as well as task dependencies. You can also create project templates that you can easily replicate for any new project in the production pipeline.
5. Reporting and Measuring Performance.
As a project manager, you have to keep an eye on performance. After all, your executive team or your clients are likely going to ask you for a status report or a report on performance at some point. You want to be able to show and prove your value; therefore, selecting a project management tool with advanced reporting capabilities is always good to have in your toolbox.
6. Visual Workflow.
As we mentioned briefly above, project management tools that support visual workflows, such as Trello, by providing a “kanban” view of project tasks is often a good fit for creative teams.
Rindle is also a tool that supports visual workflows, and is also equipped with some other features we mentioned above, such as Gantt chart timelines, communication, and file and asset management and integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox.
Project Management Tools Help Evolve Project Management For Your Organization
In our digital age, it is easy to get wrapped up in using multiple apps to perform and manage multiple steps and phases in a project. However, selecting the right tool and discovering ways to automate processes and tasks can help evolve project management in your organization.
A Project Management Tool You Can Count On
The sad truth is that projects fail at a staggering rate. In fact, most organizations have a 70 percent project failure rate. Without the right project management tool, teams risk missing key details related to project specifications and requirements, or even a crucial stage in the workflow.
If you are reading this article because you are trying to figure out which project management tool would work best for your projects, team, and organization, then consider giving Rindle a try.
With Rindle, you get an all-in-one project management tool with multiple features and functionalities—many of which we have outlined above. Rindle also supports a visual workflow, so you can rest assured that if you choose Rindle as your designated project management tool, you will find it easy to adopt, implement, and get team buy-in.
Take control of your projects, evolve your project management strategy, and save time and money while doing it. Give Rindle a try today.