Agile Project Management Software

How to select the Best Agile Project Management Software

There are many types of project management software on the market but choosing the right one for you and your team is critical. Here are some questions to ask when assessing project management software options:

1. “Will my team uses it?”

You will only reap the benefits if your team adopts the software. They need to see that it will improve their daily work in a real way — making it easier to see what teammates are working on/responsible for, giving them a central place to communicate, complementing their work styles, and so on. Make sure whatever software you choose is easy to adopt and fits in with your team’s current habits, standard processes, and other favorite tools.

2. “Can multiple departments use it?”

No team works in total isolation. Easy handoffs, clear communication, prioritizing tasks, and coordinating projects with other departments require a tool that is flexible enough that everyone from marketing and design to accounting and IT can easily use it for their daily work. Look for a customizable tool that allows teams to create their workflows and folder structure. When everyone is using the same tool, communication and collaboration across teams are much easier and more efficient.

3. “Does it support transparency & clear communication?”

Being recognized for your efforts is not a trivial matter. When people feel their work is going unnoticed and unappreciated, they are not as engaged and do not put forth as much effort to go above and beyond. Positive feedback helps build good habits, strong teams, and thriving companies. As a manager, when you always know exactly who is responsible for which tasks, where work stands, and what the results are, you can share successes with execs, keep projects aligned with new business goals, and get credit for your team’s accomplishments. Look for a collaboration tool that notifies you of project updates and allows you to create “favorites” or easily track your high-priority projects.

4. “Is organization flexible?”

You cannot be efficient if you can never find what you are looking for — and neither can the rest of your team. Find a tool with an organizational structure that makes sense for your group, or better yet, one that lets you tailor your folder structure however you prefer. Also, make sure you can change the view to show the precise information you want to see, so you can quickly make sure important projects are progressing as planned or easily alter your schedule.

5. “Can you generate custom reports?”

Keeping spreadsheets updated, accurate, and organized takes a lot of work. Complicated formulas, data accidentally entered the wrong cell, tracking who made which changes and when and trying to find and fix errors is time-consuming and frustrating. And yet you need to account for how you are allocating resources, demonstrate your team’s efficiency, and pinpoint any areas where numbers are not meeting expectations to discover the root cause and most effective fix. Make sure your project management tool creates reports in real-time, so you always have the most up-to-date information, and those reports are easy to share or export.

6. “Does it easily (and securely) allow for external communication/users?”

Working with contractors, clients, freelancers, or volunteers has become a routine part of daily work for most teams, and yet so many are still resorting to email when it comes to communication. Attachments are too big, easily lost in old email threads, or get caught in spam filters. Keeping track of every piece of feedback or updated attachment in conversations 15 messages deep creates even more work, and it’s all too easy to miss an important comment or request. Many project management tools allow you to temporarily invite external users who only have access to certain tasks or projects, making it easy to discuss progress, get timely feedback, and make updates quickly and accurately.

7. “Does it integrate with other tools we use?”

While you want to be selective about the number of apps you use, no one tool will meet every one of your needs. And you should not have to give up the tools you love and rely on just because your team needs a better way to work together. When your task management tool integrates with your other favorite apps, it is easier for your whole team to fit it into your established workflow, so it doesn’t slow anyone down. One of the most important things to think about when selecting your software is your long-term strategy. Getting your team familiar and comfortable with project management software takes time and resources. You will want to make sure you’re choosing one that can grow and adapt with your team, not limit it.

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