As the days of managing projects with pencils, foolscap and good old brain power morphed into days of spreadsheets and shoeboxes, people began to realise that spreadsheets could actually provide them with a better way of doing things. Now we are experiencing a similar transition from spreadsheets and shoeboxes to an even better way of doing things with dedicated, specialised project management software. However, human nature shows that we are often resistant to change, and this is completely understandable with a decision to invest in project management software, as it is often a considerable investment.
But project management software is not what it used to be, and these days can often be easily customised to fit your particular business or industry. But if you’re still not sure whether to take the plunge and do away with spreadsheets, here are five great advantages of project management software that you could be missing out on if you don’t:
1. A central database
With project management software, you have a central database for all your project information, rather than spreadsheets scattered over different employees’ local hard drives. What’s more you can access the central database from anywhere with an internet connection, which means if you have offices in different locations, or employees wanting to access data from site, they can all access the same data. A central database also means your staff work more efficiently as they all have access to more data, and there is also better communication between your staff.
2. Greater document control
With a central database comes greater control over all your project documents. They are easily retrievable in the event of a dispute or claim and are never lost or misplaced. You also have greater staff accountability as each user has a login and you can then easily track who created, modified or approved certain documents.
3. Standardised processes
With project management software, all your processes become standardised across the organisation. Everyone enters the same required information when creating new documents, and all your reports for each document look and feel the same and give the same information. Gone are the days of different employees creating different document templates from one other, and this gives your organisation and project team greater consistency and unity if they are all working from the same information presented in the same way.
4. Less time for new staff to get up to speed
If you have a new staff member come onto a project half way through, they can easily get up to speed by simply checking the documents and reports already entered into you project management software program. Instead of having to collect information from local hard drives of employees all over the organisation, all the required information to get new employees comfortable and familiar with the project is collated and ready and waiting for them.
Project management software like IPM lets you integrate all your project data with your accounting system. This means no wasted time duplicating data from the project team to the accounting department. There is also only ever one version of the truth when it comes to accounting data, rather than what the project documents are telling you, and what the accounting numbers say and this gives you a far more accurate view of your project costs and spending.
What’s more, with developments in cloud computing, you can now invest in IPM Cloud, which is an online project management software solution with lower upfront costs. Instead of buying the software outright, with IPM Cloud you can subscribe on a per month per user basis. This often is well suited to smaller businesses that don’t have the IT infrastructure or funding to purchase project management software outright.
These are just some of the great benefits of project management software, so if you would like to find out more, please feel free to contact us or post a comment below.