software watch features project management
Software

7 ‘Watch For’ Features in a Project Management Tool

Here are the seven most important things to watch for in choosing and using the best project management tools for your project and your team.

For starters, never use any tool that forces you to change how you do your job just to accommodate the tool. Watch for tools and features that help you do your job more efficiently and effectively. They should not drive you to embrace new (or worse) methods just to use them.

Project management is a long-established business practice.

These tools are a natural development of tried-and-true methods.

Pretty much everyone who produces digital goods agrees: “Tools are tools. It’s how you use them that counts.” That being true, knowing the top team-focused project management tools is only half the battle. If you want to get the most out of a project management system, you must first understand how it works.

Listed below are the top project management tool features teams need and how you can use them in your setting.

1. Look for scalable task management for app, website, or product development.

Good project management begins with knowing and seeing what everyone is working on together.

To achieve that crucial bird’s eye view, look for a task management application that’s organized and flexible. In addition, watch for one that grows with your company and projects.

2.  Look for both Agile and traditional flexible project management planning.

Your tool shouldn’t limit your project management abilities. What if you want to use Scrum for Agile project management…or a waterfall model? Be sure to look for software that does not dictate how you operate. In addition, a visual means for managing your project’s progress, such as a Kanban-style board, is ideal.

3. Watch for clearly defined progress milestones.

What gets measured, gets improved.

It’s very important to track issues and project milestones. Keeping track lets you course-correct as needed before you go too far.

Look for tools that let you create a bigger project roadmap and track major milestones. Using this approach, you can keep track of tasks within the larger context of your project. When you do that, you ensure that your current work is helpful.

4. Look for team chat and communication tools that keep cooperation in the foreground.

Team and project management are built on communication. However, switching between apps and contexts can slow down or complicate workflows. In addition, it can cause more problems in a project and slow down output.

Look for a good communication tool that keeps all relevant conversations in one location. However, make sure you avoid only looking for real-time chat. Keep your staff updated without affecting their workflow. Do this by creating knowledge forums or blog posts.

5. Keep an eye out for easy access to documents and files.

“Where’s the strategy?” “Can you send me the landing page photo again?” Your desktop and downloads folders are probably messy enough without having to look for important papers and files.

Instead, look for a tool that lets you attach files to tasks, projects, issues, or blog posts. Once they’re up, make sure your tool syncs across all of your devices. Similarly, check that the tool syncs across all teams so everyone always has access to everything they need.

6. Watch for integrations for developers.

You may have noticed that some tools are more suited for your technical team. However, others are better suited for design, content, or product roadmaps.

While it’s possible to keep items separate, it’s simple to miss things or misread information. Look for a platform that works for everyone involved in the project. Involve both developers and marketers and above all, keep everyone informed as the project unfolds.

In addition, to make your project management system more developer-friendly, look for tools that tightly integrate with hosted Git and Subversion libraries. After that, check that they also allow for role-based permissions.

7. Check for time tracking and tight feedback loops.

Reporting is an essential part of effective project management. This includes knowing where you are in your project’s stage. It also means knowing how long tasks took and whether you’re on schedule to meet deadlines.

Look for tools that allow you to view time over specific periods and compare it to your estimates. This feature is a must if you plan to bill clients by the hour or want to show them how much work has been done.

Effective project management is a complex and challenging field. However, there are many tools and features designed to facilitate the success of your project. When you know what to look for in a project management tool, you are well on your way to success.

Renee Johnson

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