Team Project Management Tools: Pros and ConsThe Flow TeamLast Updated: April 22, 2020
The modern workplace is infinite. Teams enjoy limitless file storage, can collaborate from anywhere in the world, and have the ability to respond to messages and emails in real-time.
But project managers are only human, and so remain entirely finite. You only have 8 hours a day to assign schedules, track down deliverables, and prepare reports for your clients and supervisors. Without tools to visualize projects and organize workflow, it’s all too easy to lose sight of a critical task amidst the vast and ever-changing swirl of deadlines. Infinity is a big place for a little file to get lost in.
That’s why modern businesses rely on virtual project management tools. These tools serve as a central hub through which all of your team’s work is channeled. With the right tools, project managers can watch their team’s workflow stream past, easily noticing when a task is behind schedule.
But not all project management tools are created equal—and using the wrong tools can end up being more complicated and stressful than using no tools at all. So, we’ve compiled a guide to the pros and cons of project management tools to help you find the right solution for your team.
Project Management Tools: Pros and Cons to Consider for Your Team
First, the benefits. Project management tools must make your workplace more efficient, organized, and productive. They achieve this by being comprehensive—providing you a single portal through which you can manage your entire operation. This eliminates miscommunication, scheduling mistakes, missed deadlines, and lost files.
Top 5 Pros of Project Management Tools for Teams
In detail, these are the benefits your project management tool should provide:
- Visibility. Well-designed project management tools are visual representations of your workflow. They make it easy to plan, organize, and monitor at every level, so you can see your entire company’s workload, or a single team member’s, over a week or a quarter. When you can see everything that’s going on, you can quickly course-correct or re-prioritize where necessary, without missing any steps.
- Communication. Live chat features, project boards, and customizable notifications keep team members and managers in the loop, wherever they’re working from. Task or project updates are shared with everyone who needs to see them, and a running record of communication makes it simple to backtrack.
- Centrality. All aspects of a project—budget, steps to implementation, timeline to completion, even client feedback—pass through a single point. Managers never have to search different silos for the task or information they need. This eliminates time wasted hunting down that email from last month…or was it a chat?
- Real-Time Updates. When a task is complete, everyone assigned to it receives a notification. This eliminates the need to follow-up or check-in with team members to know when an assignment is ready for the next set of eyes. Managers don’t need to call a meeting to know their team’s progress—all they have to do is check the task. This helps work flow faster, and reduces the amount of time spent handling each assignment.
- Remote Work Management. Project management tools are useful for companies with traditional offices. But they shine when used to organize part-time or full-time remote workers. As a large portion of the workforce transitions to working from home, an ad hoc system of project management will jam up operations and create the conditions for critical mistakes. A flexible, scalable online workspace should make managing remote teams simple and transparent.
Online project management tools compete to offer these benefits to companies. But implementing a new online workspace isn’t always a success. To be sure that the project management tools you choose actually deliver, look out for these common pitfalls.
Avoid These 4 Cons of Project Management Tools
Online project management earns ROI through improved efficiency and communication. But if the management tools or platform you choose doesn’t work for you and your team, it can cost more than it’s worth. Here are the cons of project management solutions to avoid:
- Patchwork Solutions. As companies transition to online project management, too often they expand the use of separate, unrelated tools to communicate and track assignments. These solutions cover the holes, but they leave gaps. Project updates, tasks, and communication gets stretched between some combination of email, spreadsheets, design tools, videos, and recordings. Then, essential action items and time-sensitive information slip through the seams.
- Long Learning Curves. Work doesn’t stop just because your company’s learning a new system. If the project management platform you choose is overly complicated, difficult to understand, or adds unnecessary steps to your team’s workday, your employees will hesitate to embrace it. As they continue to rely on older, ad hoc management methods just to “get things done,” an unwieldy platform will fade into irrelevance. This creates redundant processes, cloisters of information, and a dispiriting sense of disorganization. This drains time, morale, and budgets.
- Unpleasant Design. Ambition fades and initiative withers when working underneath those hard fluorescent lights. Your project management platform is your online workspace—it should be equal parts calming and inspirational, creating a sense of competency and order. Environment shapes attitudes; attitude drives diligence and innovation. Fluorescence is out of the question.
- Rigid User Interface. Every company’s workflow is unique, and an overly rigid user interface can cramp productivity. Inflexible templates and a lack of customizable options can make an online workspace create more obstacles than they remove. This is especially true for larger or more varied companies, who have complex projects with many files to manage.
The ideal online project management solution should be intuitive, comprehensive, and pleasant to work with. Avoid incomplete tools, overcomplicated platforms, and frustrating experiences. So, how do you find the right one?
Help Your Teams Achieve More With the Right Project Management Tool
Before implementing any new project management solution, it should be researched and tested. To find the right one, experiment with several using free trials. Settle on the solution which allows you to centralize your entire workflow, and provides quick visibility into any aspect of your operations. If after a few weeks, you still can’t get the hang of a trial platform, spare your team the trouble of trying to figure it out themselves.
To help get your team excited about their new workplace, ask them what features will help them get their work done best. Keep up communication once you’re phased your new platform in—your team may discover new ways to streamline your processes that are worth sharing with the company.
There are many common pitfalls of implementing project management tools, but we’ve designed Flow to be as intuitive, comprehensive, and beautiful as possible. We’re happy to provide demos and answer any questions so that our clients can enjoy the benefits of our platform as soon as they begin using it. We believe the right tool should be a joy to work with, and we’ve built Flow with that goal in mind.
At Flow, we pride ourselves in offering the best and most comprehensive project management tools. Simplify your workflow, help your team achieve more, start getting more done, and enjoy work again. Start your free trial with Flow today!
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