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Project Management Systems – Six Reasons Why They Are Indispensable Comments Off on Project Management Systems – Six Reasons Why They Are Indispensable

man-162604_640Project Management Systems are used by big businesses all the time to good effect, and you can use them in your small or medium sized enterprise too. In fact, for a small to mid-sized company, you'll likely see even more of an impact to your business if you make use of one. Here are the six specific areas they can help your business:

1) Project Planning

This is the first essential task that any Project Management System must do. In particular, how this can help you is that it provides a detailed breakdown of tasks to be completed, task assignments to specific people on your project team, and an estimated time to completion for each task. Best of all, a robust project management system allows you to establish dependencies between tasks such that one task is not activated before its prerequisite task is completed.

2) Task Management

In simplest form, this functionality is tied to the Project Planning functionality, allowing the person that a task is assigned to to log into the software, view his/her deadline, and mark the project as completed when it is so. More robust solutions will also allow for periodic updates and progress bar style tracking of each task, to give the Project Manager a bird's eye view of where things stand with the project as a whole.

3) Document Sharing & Collaboration

People seldom perform their tasks in a vacuum. Even if they did, given the presence of dependent tasks, it's important that your project team be able to share data and collaborate on documents so that as the various pieces of the project begin to be knitted together, the documentation that surrounds it will evolve in real time with the project itself.

4) Shared Calendars & Contact Lists

Another absolutely pivotal, indispensable tool for businesses of any size is the ability to share your calendar. Given how closely the project team will be working with one another over the life of the project, being able to plan around one another's schedules is of almost incalculable value. Contact sharing may be useful to a somewhat lesser extent, because in a small to mid-sized company, everybody's got pretty much the same contacts, but it can certainly still be of value.

5) Time Tracking

Not only is this of value in terms of improving your project management team's skills at estimating times to completion, but it's also a good way to be certain that individual tasks aren't taking an inordinate amount of time. If they seem to be taking too long, you get an immediate and timely highlight, to allow additional manpower to be applied collaboratively to those tasks to help get them back on track.

6) Managing Bugs/Outstanding Issues

This is probably one of the biggest, most valuable aspects of project management. Bugs and outstanding issues can linger if not organized and addressed in a systematic fashion, and a good project management system will allow you to do just that. This keeps everyone's minds on the tasks that remain to close the project out, and ensures proper accountability.

Again, every one of these items are immensely valuable, regardless of the size of your company, but their impacts tend to be magnified in smaller firms, so if you own a small to medium sized company, remember that there are few things that will provide a greater impact.