Project management tools, like Hello Ivy, are an all-in-one platform where every aspect of a project is handled, from task management, calendars, team communication, to resource management. Every project management tool works differently, but many of them share the same type of functionality as some are must-haves when managing your work. The following aspects are essential features that good project management tools have in common.
Team collaboration and communication: One of the primary features of a good project management tool is that they offer excellent teamwork and communication capabilities. Smooth team communication is essential for any team to be efficient and on top of things. You don't want to be scheduling meetings all the time just to update each other, any great project management tool will make sure that everyone is in the know and on top of things which makes things clear and gives team members a feeling of being in control. Some examples of team communication tools are chat, commenting, mentions, discussions and message boards.
On the other hand, team collaboration is slightly different than team communication. Good team collaboration is all about the way you can work and be efficient together. Hello Ivy for example offers teams to work together in real-time in a document, meaning there's always instant feedback. Next to do that features such a file sharing, inviting clients, assigning tasks, viewing Gantt charts per teammate and sharing calendars all contribute to a better team collaboration.
Task Management: A good project management tool should have a robust task management system that helps users create and assign tasks, set deadlines, track progress, and prioritize tasks based on their importance. Most tools offer different ways to view your tasks such as a board (Kanban) view, list view and a calendar view.
It's also important to have the option to add a priority status to your tasks (how to prioritize tasks), add notes, set a status, add labels and give them a time window so the can be showed in a timeline view (Gantt chart).
Time Tracking: Time tracking is one of those features that some many project management tools offer but definitely not all of them. That's because this is a more specific feature and not necessarily invaluable for all types of teams.
Time tracking enables users to record the time spent on a particular task or project, which helps in determining the project's progress and estimating completed work. However, one pitfall of time tracking is that it can easily be inaccurate if the team is not using it properly (team members might forget to enable or disable it), and having inaccurate data might lead up to making the wrong decisions.
Reporting and Analytics: Strong reporting and analytics capabilities are essential for gauging the project's success. Project management tools should provide users with detailed reports and analytics to help them measure progress, identify potential roadblocks, and adjust their strategies accordingly. Reporting gives a project manager insight into the team's performance which helps to plan the next moves.
Integration: Because you will likely use more than just one tool to manage work, you want your project management software to be able to integrate with other applications such as Google calendar, Slack, email, and file-sharing services, to enable seamless communication and collaboration.
Resource management: the tool should allow users to manage project resources, including people, equipment, and materials, and track their availability and usage.
Customization: effective project management tools should be flexible and customizable, allowing users to adapt the tool to their specific needs and workflows.
Accessibility and User Experience: Finally, one of the most important things! The difference between a good and a great project management tool is the UX! The software can have all the features you're looking for but if the workflows and interface don't make sense or are too complicated you're not going to be able to be as efficient as you want to be (which is the goal!). A good UX is clean (no clutter), intuitive, simple and prioritizes the most important features. You know an app has great UX when the team can start working with it straightaway and understands most of it (0 learning curve).
To conclude, a great project management tool should be user-friendly, and intuitive, and support efficient collaboration, enabling teams to complete projects on time and within budget. It should make the team more productive and give them a feeling of being in control. There is less need for meetings and more time for real work.
Start a free trial with Hello Ivy’s simple project management tool and explore for yourself!