5 ways project management software is the solution to your productivity crisis
It’s no secret that productivity is a major challenge in our modern society. There are many reasons for this which include countless distractions and too many obligations. Social media platforms suck up our attention and work tasks seem to pile up endlessly.
Teammates and clients demand our time and pull us in dozens of directions at once. If you’re not careful, an entire workday will pass with little to show for it. That’s why many people are looking for ways to be more productive and stay on task.
Instead of being forced to deal with each task that pops up as if it’s a small emergency, project management software makes it simple to prioritize tasks that demand your attention and improve your productivity as a result. In this article, you’ll learn ways that product management software helps you increase productivity in your day-to-day activities.
More effective team collaboration
Team management is one of the top priorities at most organizations. If your teams are performing well then your company is performing well. The features of project management tools make it easier to ensure your teams are all on the same page and improve employee engagement. This is especially important considering the fact that disengaged employees cost US companies over $400 billion each year.
Software like Wrike makes it possible to set up a clear work breakdown structure. Each member of your team understands how their work fits into the larger picture and the people who’re relying on them to get their own work done. For example, if you’re creating a website for a client, the developer won’t be able to work until the designer is done and the designer has to wait for the copywriter. Proper project management will show these relationships, set a timeframe or due date for each person, and help all members of the team work together more effectively,
If there’s a challenge or delay, you’re able to see it immediately, make notes or chat about the situation, and correct course. Without the right tools, it may be difficult for the people who’re behind schedule to understand how it’s impacting the rest of the team. There’s a domino effect where every step of the process is impacted.
Efficient division of labor and resource allocation
A common issue facing organizations large and small is the ability to use the resources at their disposal efficiently. Some projects will take up too much time and money while yielding smaller returns while some projects have the potential to yield larger returns but they’re not properly funded and staffed.
Project management software can help you identify projects that have gone beyond their budget, those that aren’t producing a good ROI, and the ones that are underserved. With tools like Smartsheet, you can set up project timelines and alerts that let you know when individual milestones have been missed. From there, you can determine if it’s a problem of resource allocation or something else. If it’s because of resources, assign more people to the project and see how that impacts your ability to meet the deadline.
You can set up budgets and track how much you’ve spent and whether or not you’re within your stipulated targets. If not, reassess the true cost of the project vs the estimated ROI. From there, determine whether or not you should continue pursuing the project or if your limited resources would be better used elsewhere.
Centralized document storage
If you’ve worked in an organization without a dedicated project management solution, then you’ll be familiar with the challenges associated with document storage and sharing. Some of the documents you need are in an email attachment, others are in Google Drive, and a few more are within Dropbox.
When it’s time to find and make use of a specific document, precious time is wasted trying to find it. In many cases, it’s lost and you’ll need to recreate it or ask for it to be shared again.
Tools like FunctionFox make this a nonissue. All your project documents can be stored within the application itself under specific projects. Even if you’re using a third-party tool like Google Drive or Dropbox for file storage, you can easily copy and paste the share link to the proper place.
This may seem like a small boost in productivity but think about the impact of being able to save 5 minutes of searching for every document. If you interact with a dozen documents a day that’s an hour a day and 5 hours a week. If someone earns $25/hour then that’s a savings of $125 a week. This feature alone can more than pay for the cost of the software.
Visualize tasks based on priority
As mentioned before, there hundreds of obligations on your time and the time of your team. It’s a rare person that can instantly identify and prioritize tasks in relation to other things they need to get done.
Project management tools give you the ability to see everything that needs to get done for a specific project (or an entire organization) on a single screen. When a new task comes in, you can assess it against everything else you have in the pipeline and decide where it should fit in. A fringe benefit of this is ensuring the minor tasks that come in unexpectedly don’t fall through the cracks.
Many tools use color coding to prioritize tasks. When a task is almost due, it’ll be one color, when it’s late, it’ll be another color. This makes it possible to understand what needs to be worked on at a glance. In the end, you increase productivity by always working on the most important things.
Another way project management tools solve productivity issues is by giving you individual, project, and account level reports. You’ll be able to determine who’s performing well, who’s falling behind, and where your entire organization needs improvement. Not only that, in many project management solutions, you can share reports with clients and customers so they can get insights into how their project is progressing.
There are also different views for reports. You can use a line graph view for a limited number of data points, a pie chart for more data, and even bar graphs to compare different time periods. The end result is a clear understanding of how everyone on the team is performing. With those insights, you can correct course, improve team management, or keep doing what’s already working for you.
Of course, each platform has a different range of reports. Before choosing one, it’s important to understand how its specific reporting works and whether that’ll be ideal for you.
Proper project management can be the difference between unlocking productivity gains in your organization and stagnating because you’re being pulled in too many directions. There are two ways to deal with productivity challenges. The first one entails trying to brute force your way through and the second way is adopting modern solutions that’ll help you better manage your team, increase productivity, and improve your bottom line.
This article has gone through a handful of ways project management tools will help you become more productive. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg and once you start working with a quality project management solution, you’ll realize even more benefits to your productivity. If you’ve not done so already, take a look around our website and read the reviews of the top tools and shortlist the ones that meet your needs.