If you are not a big and complex company that deals with advanced project focused on industries like science or engineering that call for a dedicated project management solution, you should consider using an online project management software instead. In this article we’ll share nice key benefits of online project management software that make it a better choice for your company than a standard, on-premise solution.
Advancements in cloud technology make it possible today to implement real-time, easy to deploy online project management software. Thanks to faster Internet speed and more efficient cloud infrastructure that can match a desktop’s computing power, a small business has access now to the best solutions manned by top developers and hawked at good subscription rates, often for only a few buck per month. Better yet, some online project management software is free or comes with a demo version so you understand what you’re getting before plopping out cash.
We have listed nine reasons in our review of the benefits of online project management software. What is the top benefit? That depends on your priorities.
One of the immediate benefits of online project management software, 24/7 accessibility means you can work on your project anytime, anywhere there’s an Internet connection. Furthermore, most web based project management solutions work on cross-platforms; you can use the system on different computers and operating systems. Some vendors even provide a mobile version—an app or browser-based—allowing you to manage projects using your smartphone or tablet.
Gone are the days when you need to invest a huge capital on servers and I.T. staff to implement project management software. Instead of thousands of dollars, today, you just pay a few hundred bucks every month to subscribe to online project management software. A good Internet connection and some cheap computers are all you need to run the software. You don’t even need an I.T. specialist on board; many vendors provide full technical support to troubleshoot or address the technical issues about your system.
Using only the features you need now is yet one of the main benefits of online project management software. That means you only pay for the exact number of user licenses, feature, or add-ons. As your project gets complicated, you can add more features (and pay more); conversely, you can take down some features on a need basis.
Collaboration is at the heart of project management. With an online solution, your team members can work together wherever and whenever they are. Cloud solutions are best for projects involving an offshore team, but any team with mobile members should benefit immensely. Imagine keeping everybody in the loop for real-time changes, updates, or notifications through smart alerts. Likewise, members can share information to each other on various collaboration levels that you set. Some can edit project plan, while others can annotate it; still others can be assigned a read-only role.
You get access to full I.T. support to troubleshoot or address technical glitches. For a small business without a technical team that means a lot. Even if you have the budget to hire a technical person, he cannot match the level of expertise of the vendor’s specialists, who know the ins and outs of the software.
When projects can’t wait and deadlines loom, it’s nice to know that cloud project management software can be installed, not in days or weeks, but in minutes. As soon as you’re subscribed (payments can be processed online) you get a license key to access the system. Since most online project management software products are intuitive, you and your team can get to use it in no time at all.
The top project management software solutions today work well with popular business process software and productivity tools, such as, Google Docs, Zendesk, MailChimp, Salesforce, and CRM, accounting, and documentation apps. This means you can easily export/import files between these essential tools. Keep in mind that integration is critical since many projects require a close interaction between the project team, finance people, logistics department, and customer support.
You get frequent updates from vendor to keep your records accessible and compatible with other apps all the time. No need to worry about being unable to open a file in the future because its extension is outdated; worse, taking down the whole system some day because you need to update.
You can save time and money on employee training because tools are intuitive, anticipating new user’s FAQs. Furthermore, tutorials are kept simple, such as screenshots, videos, and tooltips.
Now that we’ve laid down the key features of project management software, let’s take a look at five of the most reliable solutions today.
An award-winning project management solution, Wrike uses folders and tags to help you organize tasks. The solution’s 3-Pane View is useful for quick look-ups, while enabling you to quickly drill down to each task’s details from the same interface. The result is you always keep tab of the big picture, like if deadlines are being kept, while keeping your teams and their individual members within your reach for urgent issues. Wrike also exhibits a social media-like activity stream where all users can @mention each other or broadcast to the whole team.
Asana is a highly scalable project management solution with excellent features for team collaboration and communication. Teams can share notes, organize and follow up tasks, attach a wide array of file formats and send/receive notifications in one location; thus, reducing, if not eliminating, the need for emails or third-party communication apps. The Focus Mode is especially useful to help you and your team maintain focus on important deliverables. The solution lets you customize the fields so you only track the key metrics.
Scrum Time is an agile project management solution that combines task management, workgroup platform and schedule planner in one interface. You can quickly delegate tasks, visualize project metrics, create reports on the fly and keep tab of the project’s overall progress. Its integration with Google Drive and Calendar extends its functionality to collaborate on a familiar cloud platform. Likewise, it features a built-in time tracker to help you assess how much time is being spent on specific tasks. The solution also adapts to Kanban-based projects.
dapulse is a highly visual project management software utilizing a single board from where to manage teams, tasks and missions. You can assign tasks to specific members, view project stats or plan for the next steps on the Board. The software is also configurable to match your scenarios, such as, adding rows (called pulses) to organize tasks or group similar items together.
Clarizen is an enterprise solution that features a social collaboration interface and makes it intuitive and adaptive to teams that are used to utilizing social media as their main engagement platform. It simplifies complex project structure by defining and connecting related tasks, projects and conversations. This gives everyone a clear picture where their roles and responsibilities stand against the overall project goal. You can easily plan and prioritize budgets, resources portfolios and projects.
Online project management software has clear advantages and, as cloud technology further advances, we can only expect more benefits. In fact, it’s becoming not a comparison between on-premise versus cloud, but a comparison of the benefits of online project management software.
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