Tools are useful implements that can be used throughout your career as a project manager to make your life easier, more organised and more efficient. While you may not need all of these project management tools below, you can pick and choose which software you think will be effective at helping your business projects day-to-day. Software is undoubtedly an excellent way to improve your teams efficiency, since the organisation and integration of management software is usually much more effective than old-fashioned pen-and-paper methods. These are just a few of the hundreds of programmes out there that you can use to help organise your business projects, regardless of what industry you work in: construction, IT, business. All project coordinators, planning engineers and management professionals could benefit from the use of these tools.
Oracle created software Primavera P6 is the latest version in the Primavera series and is used by project managers worldwide. The software allows project managers to add teams to a project by assigning tasks and ‘activities’ to certain members, track their progress in real time, and view comprehensive visual data of the project itself. This is a great way to stay on track, keep a close eye on any risks and send visual reports to your team on a weekly or monthly basis.
Evernote is more than just a notetaking app. Think of Evernote as Microsoft Word and Excel’s savvy and overachieving cousin. It gives users the opportunity to track projects with other team members, integrate timetables and Gantt charts, and set milestones for reaching certain goals. With internet connectivity, it allows new information to be updated in real-time so all collaborators have the most recent version of every document. Evernote can also be integrated with e-mail, communication software Slack and Google Drive for ultimate storage facilities.
Trello provides users with an interactive and digital noticeboard, which can be used as a simple but effective tool to manage ideas, tasks, ongoing projects and running to-dos. One of the great functions of Trello is the ability to communicate quickly and effectively without the need for the constant back-and-forth of e-mail threads. Trello also used the Kanban visual method which is known to be an efficient organisation method which uses boards, cards and lists to organise tasks and projects. This is a great option for those who enjoy more visual methods of organisation, and the satisfaction of seeing tasks placed in the ‘Done’ section once completed.
Asana is a great online webspace that can be used for collaborating projects between teams. Here, tasks can be assigned and discussed by team members throughout the clean but simple interface, which also integrates with software such as DropBox, as well as Google storage options. This tool is great for tracking progress of projects, as well as collaborating with easy formatting and simple design.
As a project manager, the use of a Gantt chart should become second nature to you. It’s a great way to visualise your project strategy by setting targets and deadlines. The easy interface allows users to easily and quickly start planning a project, and the integrated share functions allow collaborators to view up-to-date documents and tasks. Since TeamGantt is cloud-based, you never have to worry about losing your files, you’ll be able to access them on the go and produce reports at your fingertips.
MavenLink is another excellent software which is another excellent all-rounder. It can incorporate Gantt charts as well as analysis and budgets. What sets it apart from many other project management software is its timesheet features which allow users to create expenditure reports and track all accounting aspects of a project. MavenLink can help you predict future payouts for employees based on their rate of work and create invoices based on time and resources spent throughout a project.This can be especially helpful with project estimations and budget analysis within a project or across multiple projects.
7. CPD Learning
While not technically a project management tool like the others, CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, is a great way to keep your professional knowledge up-to-date and relevant. With new software and developments coming out each day in our technologically developed world, it is important to make sure you’re using the most efficient software and strategies for your role. Many online companies and institutions such as the Association of Planning Engineers offer CPD lessons which contribute towards your professional development. An example of a free CPD course we offer is the Primavera 2019 course which will help you to utilise the Primavera software to make your projects more efficient.
While this list is not exhaustive, there is a plethora of software and project management tools out there for your business to try out. Sometimes, it is about trying different methods and figuring out which works best for your team. You may find some features you find very useful throughout your project, but others not so much. If you haven’t tried any of the options on this list before, maybe give them a go. Similarly, if you haven’t tried any CPD courses or lessons before, it can be a great way to become inspired if you find you’ve stagnated in your career. Learn something new, gain valuable skills and ensure your professional knowledge is up-to-date so you can perform your role to the best of your ability.