Project management software is compulsory if you are already running a business. It will assist you to manage a project in every step from task distribution to set deadlines.
In order to start and finish your project faster in an organized way, there is no alternative to having a project management software.
Whether you're intending to buy a project management software or are updating the existing one, you must need a checklist before taking the final move. As you know, a checklist is crucial, no matter what type of project manager you choose.
When you're ready with your checklist for buying a project management software, you're not going to miss any feature after purchasing it.
So, let's have a look at this checklist that we have prepared for you.
Checklist – Why Should You Use a Project Management Software?
Before jumping into the checklist, let me inform you how a project management software will help you in many ways. Here, some of the key points are described for a better understanding.
Easy Team Collaboration: When managing a large project, it is important to develop communication with everyone associated with the project for a better output. A project management tool helps in cross-functional collaboration to simplify the team's work. You can communicate with the right people in the right project using this tool.
Task Distribution: Once you have this software installed, you will be able to easily distribute all the tasks across every team member. You can assign each member for a specific task. If anyone is not sure about their duties, he can check the tasks list what needs to be done and when to be done. It also enables you to indicate which steps are sequential and which tasks are dependent on one another.
Proper Planning: Without proper planning, nothing can be achieved. As you know, the project planning process takes a lot of time for mapping out all the important steps. Project management software provides you the ability to easily establish a hierarchy of tasks for effective and efficient completion.
Project Tracking: Another great reason to rely on project management tools is its project tracking ability. Tracking the progress of a project has great value. It allows you to collect data about team members to know their work pace. Using this data, a team leader will be able to make a more precise time estimation later on. This creates better performance and faster results.
Document Sharing: A project management software creates a centralized storage platform where team members can access all the necessary files and documents. This way, you can decrease the dependency on one another. Everyone can complete their tasks without shuffling thousands of emails for the required information.
Prepare a Checklist before Buying a Project Management Tool
I guess everyone of us has the experience of returning home without buying something that we were supposed to buy, just because we didn't make a list. Don't repeat the same mistake while buying project management software for your business.
When you are determined to buy a project management tool, you need to have a checklist. Your checklist should contain the below-mentioned topics.
Ease of Use
Ease of use should be your first priority. Make sure whatever software you invest in is easy to use. Some renowned tools are very complicated to use, and users require several days of training. You should avoid those tools because you're not going to train your every team member separately.
The best product for you will be something that you find easy to use, and that will suit your team perfectly. No worries; there are many tools that offer free trials, so you'll get a chance to see how it works before making the final decision to buy.
Project Planning Capability
The main role of a project management software is to let its users create project plans efficiently. When you are a productive project manager, you need to start the project by creating plans from scratch. Choose a tool that will allow you to do some specific tasks like,
- Project starting date
- Estimated time for the project to finish
- People involved in the project
- Special labels
Once you successfully planned these things, you will get your project done in the fastest possible time without missing any deadlines.
Ability of Time Tracking
As a project manager, you need to know the current state of every running project. Time tracking or progress tracking features of a project management software can really help you in this situation. Time tracking feature helps project managers to track contract work, employee hours, and billable time spent on projects.
With real-time project reporting solutions, you will be able to pull data from different areas of the project management software. Then, you can instantly use it to generate reports about the project's current status. It allows you to keep an eye on your team members' working progress.
Task Management Capability
The best strategy to complete a task is to divide it into many sub-tasks. It psychologically boosts the team members to reach the goal and, at the same time, minimize the ultimate pressure. Your chosen software should allow you to;
- Set dependencies on a task
- Create and manage subtasks from larger tasks
- Set a task to repeat or recur at a specified time or date
- Assign more than one user to a task
- Import a list of tasks from an external file
Time Saving Potentiality
Choose such a project management software that can save your time on a big scale. One thing every person hates is repeating the same task over and over again. This repetition will make trouble for catching the deadline. But, some tasks need repetition like you have to create a task at the start of every month or every week.
In this situation, features like recurring task of a project management software can help you. This feature will create the task at the start of every month without you remembering to do it. Not every project management software has this feature. So, choose wisely.
Pricing is a big “X-factor” while you are buying anything. Naturally, every startup or small size company wants to save money on their software as they run their business with a shoestring budget. Generally, tools with more features cost more money. But, there is no guarantee that each of those features is appropriate for your business.
So, go for a project management software that matches all of your requirements. But at first, be clear how much money you are ready to cost for buying your required tool.
Best Project Management Software in 2020
No one wants to compromise to ensure the best product or service for his business. So why do you?
Choosing the right one is sometimes difficult. But, when you are clear about what you are searching for, then you can easily find the best solution.
However, in this para, we are going to learn about some of the best project management software in the recent era. All these items are carefully chosen to assist you.
So, select the best one that matches most of your requirements.
WP Project Manager
WP Project Manager is one of the best project management software so far with its extremely easy to use functionality. It comes with both free and premium versions. More than 10,000 companies are actively using the WP Project Manager free version. It gives you the opportunity to create projects, assign tasks to employees, set milestones, and many more.
WP Project Manager pro version comes with more amazing features like time tracker, invoice, kanban board, Gantt chart, and stripe gateway. You can try the demo for free before buying it. Moreover, it comes with multiple pricing plans. So, my suggestion, if you value your money, then go for the WP Project Manager.
Key Features of WP Project Manager
- Gantt chart that will help you to know the project progress
- Kanban board for managing tasks
- Advanced time tracker for tracking time
- Auto generating reporting system
- 3 types of milestones – upcoming, completed and, late milestone
- Automated recurring task to avoid redundancy
- WooCommerce store and BuddyPress integrated
- Customize permission to control team capacity
Trello is the most widely known project management software so far. People love to call it trello board rather than calling it trello project manager. In trello, each project is known as a board. This board is divided into “Lists” and “Cards”. Cards are draggable. You can easily track the project progress through trello.
Unlike other trello alternatives, Trello is mobile responsive, so you can experience a seamless transition between desktop and mobile devices. The free version of trello must deserve a try.
Key Features of Trello
- Customization option for task cart with additional action
- Easy drag and drop approach
- Calendar view
- Commenting option with the task
- Quick checklist management task
- Reminder with email notification.
Jira is another popular project management software. It enables you to create project roadmaps to map out all projects in progress. It provides a drag-and-drop interface that allows a project manager to manage every project detail. The system offers functionality to create user stories and issues, plan sprints and distribute tasks across the team.
Jira has a mobile version for android and iOS users, that is not available for most of the Jira alternatives. Though Jira is mainly focused for enterprise level businesses, you can give a try as a startup.
Key Features of JIRA
- Customized Scrum boards.
- Provides Kanban boards for identifying the progress of tasks.
- Customizable project dashboard.
- Road-maps for planning the project's work.
- Powerful bug and issue tracker.
- Customizable workflows.
- Custom search filters to view what's important.
- Numerous Agile reports for tracking performance.
Upstream is a project management plugin that allows you to easily manage any type of project, right from within your WordPress website. Your clients can track the progress of their project via the front-end project view.
Though it hasn’t gained that level of popularity yet, it is much capable of assisting you in order to get your project done in an organized way. You will have the flexibility to customize your projects, tasks, bugs, flies, and milestones. The free version of Upstream is worth trying.
Key Features of Upstream
- Customizable front-end templates
- Beautiful calendars and Gantt charts
- Milestones tracker to measure the progress
- Bug tracking and issue reporting
- Fully customizable
- Developer friendly
- Project Discussion thread
Panorama is the last but not the least handpicked item on our best project management software list. It comes with an easy to use functionality and user-friendly dashboard. So far, it has got 1000+ active installations. It suits perfectly for any small size company.
Panorama lets visualize the project status instantly for the clients and team members. Each user will get their own dashboard to view their work in progress and it is also customizable. Furthermore, you will get a unique page for each project. It gives you the option to keep all the information like documents, milestones, phases, and tasks in a single place.
Key Features of Panorama
- Project discussion and task comment
- Email notifications
- Advanced task management tracker
- Built-in task calendar
- Project templates available
- Individual client dashboard
Make a Smart Move before Taking Final Decision
Now, you know the importance of using a project management software as well as the checklist for buying it. You also know some of the leading tools in this sector. Now, you are supposed to be ready to make the final action.
Wait! Suppose you have prepared your mind that you want to buy “X – project management software”. Then, it's time to compare your preferred one with other leading tools to identify whether you will get the best one or not.
A detailed comparison between features, price, and functionalities can make you clear what you are going to get if you buy a project management tool. So, make a comparison and be sure you are not gonna regret after buying your favorite project management software.
As a business owner or a project manager, you can’t deny the importance of having a project management software to make project delivery faster and easier. Follow our guide and make sure you have prepared a checklist before buying it.
Let us know your feedback regarding our checklist. Don’t forget to inform us if we have missed anything important that should be mentioned here.