In today's high-pressure business environments, adopting an agile process may be a great way to help you adapt and manage changing priorities.
An agile process can help teams work faster and make adjustments on the fly. But it requires a structured approach to project management. That's where a dedicated project management tool can help.
If you're still using spreadsheets or whiteboards to manage your projects, you might want to consider one of the many project management programs available. These tools can be a helpful aid in the success of your agile process by:
- helping improve team communication and collaboration,
- giving everyone on the team a clear overview of all of the projects and
- identifying bottle necks and potential problems so that you can react quickly.
Above all, they can save you time.
How to Choose a Project Management Tool
To ensure that you get the right project management tool for your agile process, consider a few of these aspects:
Does the software provide a variety of collaboration features that would help you quickly share information with your team? Features that could be helpful include real-time chats, shared calendars and voice and video conferencing.
Part of the agile process is the ability to accelerate communication between all stakeholders.
Mobile connectivity may be an essential feature as it allows team members to communicate on the move by accessing the tool from mobile devices. This may be especially useful if you have employees who travel a lot or who work in remote locations.
Ease of Use
Is the tool easy to learn and user friendly for non-technical users? What kind of tutorials are available to hasten the learning process?
If you encounter problems, what after-sale support is offered?
This may also be important if you want to easily and quickly measure the time it takes employees to perform certain tasks or if you need to track time to bill clients.
Are you comfortable using a cloud-based tool? If not, is the tool available as an on-premise solution (hosted on your own server)?
What kind of security does the vendor provide for cloud-based project management software?
Is there a free trial offered? This allows you to test several options before making a final decision.
Examples of Project Management Tools
Here's a brief rundown of some project management tools that could help make your agile process more efficient. (And you're in luck—all of these web-based tools offer a free trial.)
Paymo offers real-time task management, and a Kanban board to create a workflow for projects. The tool also gives you a quick bird's eye view of all your projects, with quick access to all the detailed project data that the team needs.
Wrike provides a visual timeline that lets you view your project's schedule and make adjustments in real time. It also gives you a view of team workloads so that you can more easily manage resources and track performance.
Basecamp consolidates everything you need for a project in one central place, from to-dos for tracking work to a schedule for posting deadlines. It also has automatic check-ins to know what everyone is working on, which means you can eliminate having to check for status reports.
4. Active Collab
Along with its web version, Active Collab offers a self-hosted version as well. Each team member has their own dashboard for their work, which can help everyone be more organized.
It gives you a quick snapshot of everyone's activities so you can plan tasks more effectively. Active Collab also has an @ mentions feature to start discussions and get instant answers from team members.
6. Zoho Projects
Zoho comes in two versions: one for classic project management and Zoho Sprints for agile teams. It offers charts showing actual progress made on tasks compared to what was planned. This can give you the opportunity to take any necessary steps to speed up the process.
Casual uses a visual approach to show everything about your projects at a glance. The tool helps with planning, setting milestones and displaying causal relationship of what should be done and in what order so you don't waste time in the planning process.
No matter the size of your enterprise, a dedicated project management tool can help make your agile process more effective. It can also help you maximize the potential success of your projects.
But, when it comes to project management tools, one size doesn't fit all. That's why it's important to research the wide array of tools available to find the one that fits your agile process.
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