When you are operating a new or small business, staying on task is vitally important. With people often wearing more than one hat and working on a variety of projects, you are going to want to know where each project stands at a moment’s notice.
That is why many emerging and small businesses choose to rely on a project management system. Keeping every person and project on task on time requires a lot of organization, and fortunately there are several software solutions the handle the organization for you. Whatever project management solutions you choose, make sure your system meets the following criteria:
#1 – Document and File Storage
Keeping every file associated with a project streamlines the collaboration process. You don’t want everyone on your team downloading a file, storing it locally, and updating it individually. That is how you wind up with sixteen different versions of a single document. Make sure whichever project management solution you choose can store files for you, and make sure everyone on your team is working off of the same file,
#2 – Customizable Notifications
Do you want to be notified every time a task is completed, or only when major projects are closed out? Do you need to know if something is a day late? An hour late? A minute late? Every business is unique, and will need to be managed at different levels. Make sure your notification system can be customized to fit your unique needs.
#3 – A Calendar
This may seem pretty basic, but a lot of project management solutions are just to-do lists. Make sure the one you choose has an integrated calendar so you can track due dates and time spent on various projects. It will help you to determine your ROI on different initiatives.
#4 – Chat Capabilities
You probably want to monitor everything that has to do with your professional projects. By choosing a project management solution that incorporates chat, you will encourage your employees to have all of their conversations on the system. That way, if you ever need to reference something, you won’t wind up digging through text messages or email accounts. Everything will be right there in the software you use every day.
#5 – Project Templates
Project management isn’t easy, and sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. If you select a project management solution with pre-built project templates, you will have a guide to work off of. The people who created project management solutions are project management experts – so instead of reinventing the wheel, rely on their expertise with project templates!
#6 – Task History
Just like the “Pics or it didn’t happen” attitude, if a project isn’t recorded in a task history section, did it even get done? This section will also help you to review successful and unsuccessful projects, which can inform the way your organization handles things moving forward.
#7 – Project Tracking
It is important to know if certain projects are time-sucks. You may be spending a lot of time and money working on one project, which in the end yields little return. Project tracking software will help you to make those determinations by looking at the history of the project.
#8 – A Strong Ticketing and Support System
Murphy’s Law states that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Project management solutions are no exception. Make sure whichever software you choose has a solid customer support system for you to access when you need to.
#9 – Task Assignment
The brilliance behind project management software is that it eliminates any questions surrounding who is supposed to be doing what. If you can assign specific tasks to specific team-members, you will really be able to keep everyone focused and moving forward!
#10 – Exportable Reports
Metrics are vitally important, and you want to make sure you and export and save them. You know, just in case you need to show some important investors how sophisticated and efficient your team is.
#11 – A Clean, Nice Looking Interface
If your project management solution is ugly or confusing, your employees are less likely to use it. Aesthetics are important. Make sure whichever software you choose has taken them into consideration.
A good project management solution will completely change the way you do business. So do some research, choose whichever option works best for you, and get ready to watch your efficiency improve!