Is Your Project Management Software Doing its Job?
How to Tell If your Project Management Software Is Working Well
Project management software offers a number of efficiency-enhancing functions that can dramatically improve your team’s overall productivity. However, the functionality offered by PM tools can differ widely – not every tool is fit for the task it is assigned. There are a number of signs that can indicate that your PM tool is not up to the job. These indications can include the following:
- Inaccurate project scheduling
- Confusion among team members about roles and responsibilities
- Lack of clarity regarding priorities
- Failure to handle growth
- Poor relations with clients
- Excessive use of other tools
- New employees find it difficult to use the software
Inaccurate Project Scheduling
If you find yourself constantly having to make scheduling changes in your project management tool, this is a sign that it isn’t doing its job well. Your team members rely on accurate scheduling information to complete their tasks – if your project management tool doesn’t accommodate this, their efficiency is likely to be hampered.
While you can attempt to make up for your PM software’s deficiencies in this regard by adding scheduling information yourself, this is not an ideal solution by any means. Your time is better spent performing higher level supervisorial activities. Given that these duties may often require you to leave the office or be away from your computer, your ability to constantly keep the scheduling information up-to-date is unlikely to be as accurate as a PM tool that can update the schedule in real time.
Confusion Among Team Members about Roles and Responsibilities
If team members are befuddled by changing timelines, project priorities and other such issues, it is likely a sign that your PM software is not properly organizing and prioritizing project work. A well-designed tool of this type can handle schedule changes and priority realignments without everything getting thrown out of whack.
Your project management tool, at the minimum, should clearly define who is responsible for what and when each task is due to be completed. In addition, it should enable team members to communicate with the manager and themselves about the project to enhance the team’s productivity.
Lack of Clarity Regarding Priorities
If your PM tool doesn’t effectively communicate project priorities, teamwork can be affected negatively and your team members can end up wasting time working on discontinued or low priority tasks. Checklists that aren’t updated on a regular basis may contain outdated information that doesn’t accurately reflect up-to-date project priorities.
Modern project management tools should be able to clearly list project-oriented tasks in the order they should be completed. They should also enable you as the manager to assign tasks and automatically reorder them in terms of priority as changes are made. If team members are constantly contacting you to ask or verify which tasks should take priority, this is a clear sign that your PM tool may need to be replaced or upgraded.
Failure to Handle Growth
As your business grows, your PM tools and project resources should scale with it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with all project management solutions. If you find that your PM solution can’t handle the added strain of taking on additional projects, including projects which run simultaneously, a new software package may be called for. There are a variety of signs that your current tool is falling short in this area, including:
- Needing to add in manual processes as your business expands is one sign that your tool is having difficulty handling your company’s growth.
- If you find yourself taking notes manually, or using other programs to do tasks previously performed by your PM tool, your business may have outgrown the tool’s capacity.
- A crucial function of project management software is the ability to monitor project status at any point in time. If the tool is not performing this function properly it should be considered a red flag, most likely indicating that the software doesn’t have the capacity to properly handle your company’s growth.
Poor Relations with Clients
A poorly functioning PM tool can result in missed deadlines, bungled tasks, and budget overruns. All of these can lead to client dissatisfaction with the project. If you find that you are constantly having to put out fires related to these types of client disputes, it may be a sign that your tool is not able to handle the complexity of your business.
A well-designed Project management tool acts to foster mutually beneficial client relationships. Such tools offer accurate up-to-date status updates and other features that enhance your ability to keep clients informed about the progress of a particular project. If your tool doesn’t offer these functions or does them poorly it can jeopardize good client relations, making the acquisition of a PM solution that does offer them a priority.
Excessive Use of Other Tools
A good PM solution is comprehensive enough to handle a multitude of project management-related functions. If you find that, in addition to a PM tool, you’re also using time tracking software for billing purposes, schedule management software, and other tools, it likely indicates that your PM software is not up to the task of organizing your project management efforts as a whole.
Modern PM software enables collaboration between team members and facilitates client interaction by providing reliable, timely status updates. If an older tool which doesn’t support these functions, or one that doesn’t handle them well, is in use at your company it may result in project team members resorting to a variety of ad hoc solutions instead. To maximize the efficiency of your investment in PM technology, look to find a tool that supports a comprehensive feature-set which enables your staff to focus on doing their jobs rather than sticking with one that has them switching from one tool to another to secure the data they need.
New Team Members Find It Difficult to Use the Software
Simply having numerous features does not ensure a PM tool is fit for the task. If your PM solution is so complicated that new team members find it hard to use, the tool may be more trouble than it is worth. Project management software is subject to use by a number of employees who may not be technologically sophisticated. Because of this, intuitiveness is a key feature for software of this type. While your tool should have comprehensive functionality, it should also be easy to use so that your team members can focus on doing their jobs rather than spending excessive time figuring out how to use the software.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps project managers better organize their teams and their tasks. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…