In the highly competitive business world, the giants usually dominate markets with large market shares and huge customer bases and as a result, the margin of error for small businesses grows smaller with each passing year. Failed projects can, therefore, prove to be damaging setbacks to small businesses, and some may never recover from such failures.
While failing projects are a reality of the business world, small businesses must do whatever they can to optimize their project management and put their best foot forward to ensure timely and efficient completion of their projects.
According to recent figures emerging from the world of business and tech, only one in four organizations use any form of project management software. This means that a majority of businesses and organizations are failing to make the most of product management suites and still work either with Microsoft Excel, its alternatives, or with traditional pen and paper methods.
Therefore, there remains a lot of untapped potential for businesses to reap the advantages of project management software. Read on to know more about how project management software for small businesses could prove to be a gamechanger in the years to come.
Five Reasons Why Project Management Software is a Must for Small Businesses
More often than not, project management software is associated with large businesses and companies employing thousands of people and raking in millions of dollars in revenue. This is in part due to the largely inaccurate belief that small business project management does not require the use of such software, but nothing can be further from the truth.
The challenges faced by small businesses are unique, and when these challenges are to do specifically with project management, there are a number of reasons why project management software must be considered:
Project Structure and Progress Monitoring
Small businesses often have to take on multiple simultaneous projects to work towards their revenue targets, and the difficulty of managing these projects cannot be understated. For each project being undertaken, every member of the workforce must be in a position to fully understand how the project will influence and help the organization reach its goals. With project management software, you can ensure that all your employees are on the same page with respect to the demands of the projects to be completed.Moreover, the project can be split into smaller tasks and allotted to separate teams with relative ease. Each member’s responsibilities can be outlined clearly on the software itself, which helps eliminate any sort of confusion or ambiguity.
Each project therefore automatically gains a definite structure that everyone is aware of. Aside from a structured approach,good project management software also helps the project manager track progress on a daily basis and make the decisions necessary to facilitate optimal performance.
For a small business to succeed, there must be complete alignment between all its stakeholders about the goals that are set out to be achieved.Collaboration and teamwork are indispensable to any workforce, and although the relatively lower number of employees at small businesses supposedly makes collaboration easier, this is not always the case.
Traditional collaboration issues such as poor communication, lack of clear demarcation of team roles, workplace conflict, etc., also plague small businesses and need to be addressed.
To a large extent, project management software may help overcome some of these issues by offering a unified platform where all members of the team can freely communicate with each other without any hassles.
Furthermore, external communication is made easier on these platforms since stakeholders are given access to necessary information to gauge progress and performance. Team members have a clearer idea of their roles and the prevalence of complete transparency and accountability ensures that everyone is doing their best to achieve common goals.
Efficient Budget Management
Small businesses are often forced to work within several budgetary constraints, which makes financial management vital to their growth and success. Even if budgets are relatively more liberal, financial efficiency will help increase profits, which is something that every small business must strive to achieve.With the help of project management software, you can keep an accurate track of project costs and expenditures to ensure that no penny goes unaccounted. Real-time expense tracking also gives project managers the ability to identify areas where expenses are projected to exceed budgetary constraints and take necessary cost control measures. There is also a reduced risk of misappropriation or wastage of funds.
As for accounting capabilities, project management software also saves a considerable amount of time and money in regular maintenance and updating of accounts. Most software options come with an automated invoice generation feature that will save you significant time and effort. At the end of a project, you can easily access all your expenses on one convenient platform with a list of all payments to be made or received.
Adherence to Deadlines and Time Management
Delivering results promptly and on time is one of the most critical needs of project management. As the saying goes, “time is money,” and failing to meet deadlines could spell disaster for small businesses since clients could be tempted to take their business elsewhere. It also results in damaging your business’ reputation and goodwill, which are both very key for the growth of small businesses.With project management software, you will be able to track each aspect of the project at hand and analyze project checkpoints and milestones to ensure its timely completion.
A good software will allow the project manager to create a virtual timeline that is visible to all teams working on the project. Tasks and deadlines can be easily set and accessed by all team members, and in case there is any delay in the overall progress, the problem area can be identified without much effort.
The project manager can also gain access to information about the total time taken for teams to complete specific tasks, the progress of pending tasks as well as tasks that are taking longer than expected.
Such valuable insights allow all project team members to stay on top of deadlines. Moreover, in case bottlenecks are identified in any aspect of the project, more resources can be redirected immediately to resolve the issue before it is too late.
Valuable Insight and Accountability
As explained earlier, task management software for small businesses help project managers to stay on top of every aspect of a particular project. The data collected from all your employees and the teams working on the project, such as completion timelines, delayed deliveries, difficulties faced, mistakes made, etc., can provide extremely valuable insights into what areas you can improve on when you take up your next project.It is therefore important to choose software that has excellent analytical and reporting features that offer you a detailed review of what is going on with your project in terms of financial management, performance, and timelines both during and after the completion of the project.
Another important aspect that is often overlooked in small businesses is accountability of all individuals who worked on the project. Project management software offers complete transparency regarding the performance of teams and the completion of tasks. This will help you identify employees who are not meeting your expectations as well as those who are delivering excellent results.
This sort of accountability is priceless in the long run. It will better enable you to take difficult decisions from time to time, such as letting an employee go for the overall benefit of the business.
With all these benefits and more, one can safely conclude that project management software can help small businesses drastically improve their performance and grow at a more consistent rate.
Although these software options may prima facie appear to be an unnecessary expense for a small business, the inefficiencies that creep into project management methods, such as the lack of scalability and mobility, will certainly prove to be more costly in the long run.
Small businesses must do everything in their power to build their reputation, and the problem-free completion of projects is an essential part of this process. Being equipped with a software like GamePlan’s Visual Project Management Software will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
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