Nearly every small business, independent contractor and consulting firm can benefit from the use of project management software of some sort. This type of application will increase your company’s efficiency and productivity in a number of ways. Most project management programs include a number of smaller components, each working on its own particular task, but also integrating together in order to keep it all organized.
Scheduling is made much easier with project management software. The ability to track the time and efforts of all team members in one place would be great on its own, but most such applications also allow you to create milestones within your project. Progress toward the milestones is also tracked, giving the company’s leadership a much better picture of what is going on at any given time. Time off for holidays and vacations can also be recorded, allowing the company’s leadership to plan for and cover any gaps in the work force.
Project management software can be desktop-based or web-based, depending upon the actual program chosen. For instance, the Microsoft’s Project is an application that is installed on the hard drives of its users, while Zoho’s web-based project management tool can be accessed via log-in from any computer connect to the Internet. This may be the best alternative for businesses whose employees travel a great deal.
Making full use of the project management utilities involves a final, crucial step that many managers do not complete: reporting. Some of the reports available include those pertaining to employee efficiency and the meeting of targeted milestones. Reviewing the reports than can be produced gives management a overall picture of the project, including the employees’ time, labor and product costs and any variations between budgeted and actual revenue and expenses. Without this step, project management software becomes merely a scheduling tool and loses a great deal of its usefulness.