Features to look for while selecting a project management tool for your small business
For any small business, the best way to ensure a culture of continuous success in their services and offerings is to seamlessly facilitate teams to work together on projects. Hence, the need for a simple yet powerful project management tool is a matter of high importance.
Every member of a team needs to be able to track and manage activities in their individual and group level-dependent tasks. From a simple tracker of daily meetings or scrum updates to enabling faster completion of dependent tasks, there are quite a few capabilities that small businesses must look out for while selecting a project management tool for their operations. Let’s have a close look at the top 5 features that every small business need in their project management tool today:
1. Resource Management
Without a doubt, any project management tool will be the key source for managing resources assigned to a project irrespective of the size or duration of the project. It gives a clear picture for decision-makers to lead efforts for new deals from customers based on the availability of resources free to take up the load.
Such a tool gives management the visibility of their resource utilization from past or current in-progress projects as well as their availability for future work orders. This intelligence about resource utilization and availability will be useful in setting the tone for a number of activities within the organization such as marketing, recruitment, budgeting, infrastructure and maintenance planning and much more.
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2. Manage Scope Changes
Every project that your team sets out to work will have an initial scope of work defined according to customer expectations. But in most cases, customer expectations change in short time spans. This leads to situations where a project or individual task scopes require a change in definition midway into their original implementation. With an effective project management tool, it becomes easier for managers to identify points of impact with the scope change and delegate responsibility for change management to every individual or group that may be impacted by the change.
Another important point to note here is that the intelligent insights you have into your team’s availability and task progress can be used to resist overwhelmingly large scope changes that have deviated considerably from initial customer requirements. It will be easier to give a data-backed response citing budgetary constraints, delivery timelines and resource availability for unaffordable scope changes.
3. Issue Management
In every project, it is the duty of the managers to identify obstacles and issues that prevent the project or sub-tasks from progressing. This becomes easier with a powerful project management tool.
When various stakeholders of the project report an issue, it is easier for managers to identify dependent task owners or groups who can step up to resolve the issue in the fastest and best way possible. A faster resolution will enable faster time to market for customer deliverables and effective issue resolution will ensure that the delivered product or offering will meet or exceed customer expectations and avoid returns.
Related Reading: 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Promote Collaboration Among Teams
4. Schedule Management
As far as small businesses are concerned, they face the challenge of having to deliver on customer commitments in the fastest schedule possible. This is vital in their growth journey especially if it is the case of a budding startup. Having to rely on manual documentation and spreadsheets to keep track of subtasks and activities is not a welcoming endeavor. Having to follow up with concerned personnel for updates will result in a lot of time and effort overhead which can slow down delivery timelines. This is where a project management tool can step up the game.
With effortless schedule management, easy and transparent team visibility into task progress, it becomes easier for managers to keep projects on schedule. It also offers insights for planning backup or replacement of resources in emergency situations without impacting delivery timelines.
5. File Management
Irrespective of the domain, any project will involve tons of documents and other files that need to be available for immediate access by all stakeholders. It may be related to project development, schedules, customer deliverables and so on. Without secure file storage and exchange channel, different personnel having access to the project will find it difficult to obtain relevant information on a need basis.
A project management tool will enable easier and safer access to files such as documents with features such as permission control thereby eliminating unauthorized access. This is a key feature to look out for in a project management tool for small businesses with the security aspect taking center stage to protect sensitive customer data as well.
With the rise of digital, organizations are re-thinking the way they monitor and manage complex customer engagements and projects. For small businesses, the need for effective project management is essential to keep a sustained growth in their business. With INFINCE you can build smarter business practices that enable collaboration among departments and organizations, and engage your customers and workforce better. With seamless project management capabilities, it can help drive success faster for your customer projects. Get in touch with us to see how Infince can support your project management efforts.