10 Essential Tools That Have To Be Known By Every Project Manager
The Project Managers have a tough role juggling time, people, scope, quantity, and cost. It is virtually difficult to assure high-quality projects if you don’t include the aid of particular tools and software. Luckily, there are various applications obtainable for project managers to fit their specific needs whether they are time tracking, team collaboration, note-making, troubleshooting, or chart drawing.
Below you will find the major 10 essential tools that have been used by the project managers.
1. Microsoft Project
It has been developed to assist project managers in strategizing development, tracking progress, analyzing work volumes, and distributing resources. Despite its evident complexity, Microsoft Project includes an intuitive interface. MS Project is an eminently regarded software solution that can contribute greatly to the success of your project. It operates three main blocks: Resources, calendars, and tasks through connections among them. This software is practically a database with simple automation probabilities.
The major benefits of making use of MS Project are as follows:
- Work can be organized efficiently by using the Microsoft Project schedule.
- Convenient and complete tracking of all the changes and also project developments.
- Customizable schedules to concede with specific projects.
- Several possibilities for project representation, filtering data, and adding ideas.
- Prediction and also prevention of threats.
- Summary reports and effectual management of records.
Hence, MS Project is an incredible choice for companies, especially when the projects need frequent interaction among various departments.
This system has been built on Japanese management called the “Kanban” principle. It involves the consistent monitoring of each of the production phases. Trello is a great means for all standard projects and also it is convenient for individual assignments and command directives. The interface comprises different boards that represent the processes or projects in the organization. Each board comprises a list of various tasks, cards with comments, descriptions, color tags, deadlines, and files. The menu could be displayed as the calendar. Trello’s basic functionality is free and lets you work with minimal or no restrictions.
3. Microsoft Visio
It is the vector graphic application that has been created for the Windows OS. Hence, it has been accepted by project managers widely. It is an effective tool to present complicated information in terms of shapes, flowcharts, and diagrams. Even if someone doesn’t have technical or design skills, Visio helps them to translate their thought strategies into promising visuals. It is frequently used to quickly outline your concept with the help of diagrams to enhance and simplify the visualization of intellectual processes. Whether you need to create the organizational chart, process diagram, or network, you will have a wide variety of Microsoft Visio shapes and templates which are ready-made from which you choose your design.
Similarly, with Visio, you will be able to succinctly illustrate specific points by interacting with the other users. For example, from the organization chart, you might want to highlight the “hovering” issue and discuss the solution, which can later be applied to the new project. You can even import the data through Microsoft Excel with the help of Visio to produce clear and clean graphics for public reports and presentations.
It is another tool for developing a wide variety of charts, presentations, and graphs. With this app, one can easily add and quickly construct PowerPoint presentations, flow charts, mind maps, and also other images. This program delivers beyond 70 of these kinds of material. SmartDraw delivers the set of templates required for a wide variety of goals like decision trees, genograms, project charts, and multiple other forms of visual data. SmartDraw supports the cloud service so that you can share charts, diagrams, and graphics with the team. It is easier to use when compared to Visio and is available in both MacOS and MS versions.
It is a kind of web service. This application is accessible for Android, iOS, and desktops. The main purpose of Slack will be to build opportunities for groups or individuals so they can interact with customers or colleagues on any matters that are concerning the projects. It is the simplest application that has an intuitive and very simple user interface. You will be able to create a profile, and send and also read messages, and send files. Private groups are known as “channels”. The messages which are sent within the given channel are visible to the participants who are in that particular channel only. Slack supports beyond 100 web services, comprising Twitter, Google Docs, Dropbox, and also Trello, as mentioned above. One could use Slack to put together any of those services and also get notifications when any activities and changes arise.
6. Skype for Business
It allows the Project Managers to connect with their colleagues, clients, and team immediately, wherever they are. Skype supports mainly four kinds of conference calls: conferences that take place with instant messaging, conferences that happen with telephone connections, web conferencing, and voice and video conferences. Skype for Business connects users virtually from any device and helps them to work together on documents, share all desktop screens and also access particular desktop files or applications with the other conference participants who are collaborating.
Skype for Business has been designed precisely for the corporate area to enable business communications and also save on international and long-distance telephone calls. All the sessions on this are protected by encryption and authorization algorithms so that it’s the safest tool for the Project Managers to connect with colleagues and clients.
It is the tool that helps to build an immense knowledge base for the Project Managers. It could be used to develop to-do lists and also store all sorts of information in notes and files about your projects. In addition, it could be supplemented by the other tools required by the Project Managers. Evernote is a cloud-based tool for Project Management, which you could access using any device – PC, tablet, or smartphone. There are various tools in this, which in combination help you to handle your tasks effectively. It delivers assigned access for various users. You could use the individual notebook for personal tasks. If you are working with the team and willing to challenge the employees, then it will be reasonable to work on the pad with a public approach, allowing you to differentiate tiers of access for various kinds of colleagues.
8. VSDX Annotator
It is the Visio Viewer for all those who are working on Mac. VSDX Annotator is used by the Project Managers widely to collaborate on the Visio files in the multi-platform environment. VSDX Annotator consists of 12 annotation tools. These tools will let you make changes in the drawing on the Mac and also add your questions, comments, and notes. You can later save it as a Visio extension (.vsdx) or PDF for further editing from your colleagues. VSDX Annotator renders drawing content wholly and shows visually sharp images.
It is an application in project management that has been developed by an Australian company Atlassian. It’s a web-based tool that provides project managers the competence to manage multiple projects, workflows, and teams more efficiently. In Jira, the key concepts are tasks and projects. Projects are being used for the grouping of tasks. The tasks have been created within projects to assign the performers to these tasks. The tasks could also include sub-tasks and could be connected with other matters. As the projects are completed, the status of the tasks is automatically changed. Jira works excellently for sizable companies and teams, where managers and employees cannot visualize the project humanly as a whole. They might overlook certain vital tasks sometimes.
It is a software solution that is based on the Gantt Charts. It will allow you to manage and plan your projects online, apprehend the processes, create and also assign tasks to the members of the team, set deadlines, and then look at the percentage of tasks completed individually against the anticipated timelines. You will be able to share Gantt Charts that you have developed with your team and the customers, assigning the right to edit or view them to the dedicated users. GanttPro has a group of vital features, a few of which are consistent with the Agile methodologies, for instance:
- scheduling the tasks depending on priorities.
- distributing the tasks among the participants of the project.
- analyzing the critical paths to quicken the progress.
- intuitive scheduling.
- tracking the current progress to understand the stage of the project performance.
With such a vast choice of apps available for project management, one can have software suitable for their own and their team’s demands. We hope that the above list will enable you to decide on the precise software and boost your productivity.