As a project manager, you’re tracking everything. From project milestones, to team member roles and responsibilities, to resource allocation, you have a lot to consider.
In ye olden days, project managers would have to keep track of everything by hand. They’d draw their Gantt charts, develop deadlines on physical calendars, crunch numbers in the books.
What is project tracking software?
Project tracking software is also referred to as project management software. Per our official definition, “Project management software assists employees, administrators, and teams to manage team goals and long-term projects, and coordinate individual tasks. Project management software does this with a range of tools to manage workloads, monitor productivity, and allocate resources.”
These days, we’re fortunate enough to have project tracking software to record and even automate many of these time-consuming processes. Let’s talk more about project tracking software and how it can impact your work.
Project tracking software
Project tracking software, also referred to as project management software, is a digital log of all things associated with a project.
If you’re interested in finding a project management solution, check out our 21 best free project management software for 2019.
In this article, however, we’re focusing on the benefits of a project tracking solution, and why it can add value to your business.
5 benefits of project tracking software
Below, I’ve outlined just a few benefits of utilizing a project tracking solution. To read about even more benefits, consider checking out some of the reviews left on G2 for project management solutions.
Project management grid on G2.com as of May 30, 2019
1. Creates clear expectations
A project tracking solution can act as an ongoing reference point for any of the project team members who are working on the project. You can create documentation around roles and responsibilities, and can outline which deliverables each employee is working to achieve.
When all of these expectations are documented within an accessible solution, team members spend less time having to ask, “now what was my part in this again?”
2. Reporting and updates
As a project manager, you’re in charge of making sure all involved team members are progressing toward the overall goal. This is an incredibly time-consuming process if you’re having to constantly run from one team member to the next, asking for an update on their designs, etc.
Project tracking software will often create weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly reports that provide you with an overview of team progress and updates. This takes a lot of the manual effort out of checking up on everyone. It also makes your team feel less micro-managed, and more independent.
3. Increased productivity
In a project tracking or project management solution, all work is recorded digitally. Steps and instructions are communicated, and workflows are clearly outlined. When all employees have an accessible record of what to do next, they are empowered to do their jobs independently.
Think of it like a factory: a machine doesn’t have to ask what process comes next, it just passes items on down the conveyer belt and into the next step.
4. Definite resource allocation
While project tracking solutions are not accounting solutions in and of themselves, they are a great place to record the resources that have been used. For example, if you’ve hired freelancers to create the graphics for your email marketing campaign, you might have a board or section of the software wherein you upload those invoices.
Being that project tracking software is also an excellent internal communication tool, it’s simple for your employees to leave a comment saying, “X resource has been used,” or “X amount of resources remain.”
While you should be keeping a more official record of the project budget and available resources, your project tracking solution is a great place to make notes and continually communicate.
5. Fewer missed deadlines
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a project tracking solution is its ability to keep your team operating on your intended schedule. You can create projects within the solutions and set strict (or loose) deadlines surrounding individual tasks. Notification settings can also be configured to remind team members when deadlines are approaching.
By holding individuals accountable for their deadlines and participation in the workflow, you’re less likely to miss any predetermined deadlines. People tend to work more efficiently when they know their progress is being monitored, or when they know another person’s job depends on their own progress.
Staying on track
“Project tracker” is just one of the many hats a project manager wears throughout the project lifecycle. With so much going on, it’s better to invest in a quality solution instead of winging it and hoping everything comes together in time.
Wondering if a project is right for you at this time? Learn how to conduct a feasibility study.