Project management software is designed to help a variety of teams set goals and manage resources.
In some ways, project management has become more accessible for professionals who have never planned projects before, and in other ways it’s solidified as its own specialized field. Project management solutions, from portfolio project management to task management, offer businesses the tools needed to plan and execute complex strategies.
2017 Market Trends
As organizations adopt project management to meet today’s economic goals, several trends have emerged.
Project management roles have expanded. Soft skills and individual strengths have become essential alongside technical expertise for projects to overcome complex challenges.
Change management is a recent trend that strategically prioritizes the culture of an organization to support transformative projects. For modern project management involving the adoption of technology, businesses need to harness motivation for meeting milestones. Many organizations must fundamentally change in order to reach expectations. Change management combines HR with project management to prepare employees across an organization for success.
Greater Access to Data
A prominent business challenge today is dealing with siloed data. Departments and teams often don’t have a reliable or streamlined process to share information.
For enterprise businesses, centralized reporting is essential to guide decision makers based on what’s happening on the ground. Many project management solutions are adapting by integrating with a company’s existing reporting process, as well as adding features for instant messaging, sending pictures and appointment setting. With enhanced reporting and communication, team members can accurately plan and execute tasks, otherwise obstacles are hidden until its too late.
Mobility is a common trend for many users on-the-go or working from a remote location, and cloud technology has helped host these solutions for dynamic access. Features developed by project management software vendors have also helped teams flexibly communicate and easily track employee time. Contract workers are better managed in systems with these collaborative tools.
Agile vs Predictive
There are two common strategies for project management.
Predictive, also known as waterfall, project management requires the full scope of the project and all its resources to be designated from the beginning. Each sequence of the project must be completed one at a time before moving on. For more scientific projects, such as those in construction, this is the best fit.
Agile, or adaptive, project management is the best fit for services industries. Here, the project improves within each sequence, so the end product is sometimes different from the original vision. This is designed to overcome the rigidness of waterfall project management, making challenges easier to tackle.
Hybrid methodologies of both approaches are becoming more common to combine the benefits when projects require them.
Software solutions use a variety of features to support each strategy for project management. Building Information Modeling (BID) is one type of advanced technology that can not only project a 3-D model of a piece infrastructure, but can also project time and resources as 4th and 5th dimensions. As users map out the physical plans, they can also allocate time and resources for executing plans in detail. This is very useful for construction project management, and it has become a new standard for many federal contacts.
3 Vendors to Watch
We’ve looked into the project management software vendors that are keen to deliver on the diverse challenges of modern businesses.
Here’s a list of three top emerging vendors in the project management market:
Date founded: 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
What’s unique: Jira by Atlassian is best described as agile project management with a strong focus on collaboration. Users are able to create their own “stories” that are visualized as custom workflows where they detail how they’ll work through a project. Each story can be annotated and adjusted to fit milestones. With enhanced communication, tasks can be better distributed and executed for a vast number of different industries and teams.
Date founded: 2007
Location: San Jose, CA
What’s unique: Wrike is a best fit for creative teams that must upload documents and go through a series of edits and proofs for their work. Templates help save time with redundant tasks, and built-in timekeeping helps balance employee time. The solution also includes a dashboard for each user’s to-do list to stay on top of ongoing projects and deadlines.
Date founded: 2009
Location: Lutherville-Timonium, MD
What’s unique: TeamGantt is a very useful Gantt chart creation program that combines a timeline with tasks in an easily accessible environment. Browser-based Gantt charts allow users to quickly create new projects and share them with their team. With a very simple layout, teams are able to focus and communicate without clutter to visualize the project from start to finish. Then, they can reference plans on any mobile device.