Essential Project Management Tools for Any Situation

October 26, 2016
2 minute read

Essential Project Management Tools for Any Situation.jpgYou wouldn’t get far if you tried to hang a picture without a hammer and nail. Nor would you make much progress on a project without the proper management tools. Try as you might, you would struggle to finish on time and within budget, because you wouldn’t know where you were at, much less where you were going.

Here are six essential project management tools for any situation.

1) Budgeting software

Project budgeting software enables you to build plans upon realistic estimates for revenue and expenses. You can start with the budget of a similar project that you completed previously and then customize it based on your goals, deadlines, and resources. You can also update the budget and apprise your team of any deviations so that you can adjust the project accordingly. The last thing you want is to deliver the project only to then realize that you exceeded your budget, thereby eroding profitability.

2) Calendar

Team members and stakeholders should be able to view deadlines, meetings, and appointments through a shared calendar. This drives accountability and fosters cooperation in pursuit of common goals. It also allows you to ramp your resources up or down or to revise your schedule based on any unanticipated obstacles like scope changes.

3) Task management software

Knowing who is responsible for what and when it has been done helps everyone keep moving toward their goals. Spell out your tasks, breaking bigger ones down and delegating responsibilities according to who will do the best work and do it most efficiently. Assess progress broadly and focus your efforts on the most important work.

4) Creative management software

Your team may not always be on the same page literally but they should be figuratively. Foster collaboration with software that provides shared access to documents and facilitates feedback through digital proofing. This is an essential project management tool because it can ensure that everyone has the right information at the right time.

5) Resource management software

Your team requires the right balance of work to optimize productivity. Too much work can burn them out, thereby stifling creativity. Too little could bore them, causing them to fret away the hours until they can engage their brains in something stimulating. Resource management software helps make your agency work more efficiently by showing you who may be stretched thin and who has the capacity for more work. You can then reassign resources to keep everyone at optimal work levels and keep your project on track.

6) Integrated timekeeping tool

Knowing how long someone works on something is as important as knowing what they are working on. Creative management software simplifies timesheets by automatically adding tasks to the record so you can easily see the amount of time spent on each activity. Doing so will reduce the time your team spends keeping records while increasing the accuracy of your timesheets, which helps you maintain profitability and perhaps improve cash flow by eliminating questions about invoices that could otherwise delay payment.

Just as having a full toolbox is essential for doing any handiwork that may arise at home, so too having the right management tools is essential to keep your projects on time and within budget. These six essential project management tools for any occasion will help you work efficiently.

Did we miss something? Do you have any project management tools that you can’t live without? Tell us.

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