5 Benefits of Utilizing Project Management Tools
Modern-day project management tools can be a lifesaver. Without them, project managers and their teams would have to resort to spreadsheets, emails, legal pads, and sticky notes. Hopefully, that’s not the way you and your developers are making a go of things. But it’s never too late to start if you haven’t yet discovered the benefits of project management tools.
Organizations and teams of all sizes save time, boost productivity, and stay on budget with state-of-the-art project management applications. Developers, team leads, and product managers use these apps to keep projects’ moving pieces on track and practice effective collaboration. Let’s review some of the top advantages teams can gain by implementing project management tools.
1. All Tasks Connect to a Strategy
It’s kind of difficult to work on something when you don’t know why you’re doing it or where it’s going. Having a strategy or road map to refer back to provides a sense of purpose. A visible or outlined road map also reveals how your assignments link to the team’s goals and desired outcomes.
Of course, team leads and product managers can say what the strategy is or write it down. But it’s all too easy to miss the forest for the trees once a project gets underway. In project management software, managers can map a strategy and connect every related step or assignment. Team members see how their work moves a project along and where handoffs should occur. You can visually assess when a project is veering away from its goals and rope things back in.
2. Improved Communication
Just because conversations are happening doesn’t mean a team’s communication practices are effective. Communication often becomes disorganized between emails, instant messages, and water cooler talks. Critical details might get lost in the shuffle, and some team members could get left out of necessary discussions. If communication isn’t centralized, there’s no guarantee that everyone is on the same page.
Project management tools help eliminate the confusion and frustration that comes from disorganized communication. Team leads and developers can share files, mention each other in discussions, and hand off or delegate assignments. Everyone sees who’s working on what and how things are progressing. You’re able to coordinate feedback and streamline the approval process. Communication delays are less likely to happen or become bottlenecks.
3. Balanced Workloads
Survey research reveals that at least eight in 10 developers experience burnout at their jobs. About 47% of software engineers identify demanding workloads as the main source of their burnout. High workloads can come from a lack of resources, staffing shortages, and the consolidation of job duties. However, demanding workloads can become the norm simply because managers assign too many tasks without realizing it.
Team leads might also assign multiple time-intensive tasks to the same developers. Because these assignments involve more concentration and work, they can cause other smaller jobs to fall behind. Project management tools let you see what every team member has on their plate and enable you to delegate tasks more equitably. You can balance and rebalance workloads to prevent employee burnout and missed deadlines.
4. Better Coordination for Remote and Hybrid Teams
Developers and those working in technology tend to have more flexible work arrangements. Since their jobs don’t always require a traditional office environment, surveys show that only about 15% of developers work in-person full-time. Approximately 43% of developers are fully remote, and another 42% work hybrid schedules. This means many project managers are leading teams that may work across separate time zones and home offices.
Relying on conventional tools like emails and spreadsheets to coordinate work among remote and hybrid developers is unlikely to cut it. You need cloud-based project management tools to keep deliverables moving and ensure everyone knows what’s happening. In these applications, you can set deadlines, follow up on work in progress, and communicate expectations. Whether developers are in the office or at home, they’ll know what they should be working on and when.
5. Realistic Timelines and Budgets
Time and money are two variables that can compromise and derail project outcomes. Clients and company executives aren’t too happy when software projects exceed projected deadlines and budgets. But when teams deliver projects on target, customers and upper management walk away satisfied. Setting realistic expectations for a project’s timeline and budget isn’t just good client communication. It prevents scenarios where teams overpromise and underdeliver.
A lack of sophisticated forecasting tools may lead to unrealistic timelines and budgets. Advanced project software contains resource management and budget forecasting tools that provide more accurate projections. Most of these forecasting tools adjust in real time, helping team leads reset client expectations if needed. You can also receive alerts if a project is going off track from the expected timeline or budget. In some cases, you might be able to course-correct in time.
Advantages of Project Management Tools
The right project management applications and tools are more than a recurring expense on a company’s balance sheet. They’re a solid investment that improves productivity, communication, and coordination. For development teams and their managers, project management tools can become the backbone of the group’s processes and workflows.
Benefits ranging from visual road maps to realistic timelines and budget forecasts enhance teamwork and client satisfaction. Project management apps eliminate chaos and miscommunications by centralizing and streamlining assignments and workloads. Utilizing the tools development teams need lets them work in sync with clear direction and purpose.
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