Online project management is at the core of who we are and what we do at monday.com. From task management and risk management to resource allocation and bug tracking, managing projects across industries, teams, and resources become much more simple with our platform.
Online project management software is a SaaS (software as a solution) platform that enhances the day-to-day workflow of various project teams within an organization. The truth is that sometimes the difference between a successful project and one that falls short lies in the methods and tools — or lack thereof — used for project planning.
So how can you make sense of the project management tool landscape? Read on for our low-down on the essential features of an online project management software. Or, go ahead and experience them in real-time with a free trial on monday.com Work OS.
What is an online project management software?
Before we get into the features that make online project management tools successful, let’s first define online project management.
An online project management software is a web-based application that can be used by project managers and teams to plan, create, and execute projects quickly and easily. This includes everything from task coordination, resource planning, and team management, to collaboration, documentation, and budget planning.
What are the essential online project management software capabilities?
Any solid online project management software solution will include — at a minimum — the following features:
- Collaboration and communication: Include project stakeholders each step of the way via in-app and email communication
- Automations: Save time on routine, repeatable tasks
- Alerts/notifications: Be in the know at all times
- Visualization options: Think Kanban boards, Gantt charts, timelines, and task lists
- Calendars and schedules: Know when tasks are due
- Integrations: Quick, simple connections with your most-loved tools
- Reporting, analytics, and insights: Sharpen project management skills and start making data-driven decisions
Let’s dig a bit deeper into each of these features.
1. Collaboration + communication = transparency
Collaboration and communication — the “two Cs” — should be at the core of any business. If your team is not working together towards a shared goal, if they are not sharing knowledge (asking questions, providing feedback, etc.), projects are less likely to succeed. Online project management programs make it easy to assign and prioritize tasks, share files, and gain clear visibility into who is doing what … anywhere, anytime. This is essential for not only daily tasks but big-ticket, bottom-line-impacting areas like resource management.
Built-in chat and “mentions” features are also critical to pare down the number of disconnected emails and other project communications that fly around from team member to team member. These types of features foster and support transparency, too. monday.com considers transparency a core function of both our product and how we operate as an organization. In the aptly titled, “What transparency in business means to us and why it gets the best results” blog post, our co-founder and co-CEO, Roy Mann, defines transparency as making all information — numbers, roadmaps, plans, challenges, and concerns — readily accessible to everyone on your team.
2. Automations saves time
Tedious tasks typically describe the manual or even mundane parts of your workflow — like sending emails, requesting status updates, or even just passing a file or brief from one person to the next. While these are time-consuming and at times a hassle, they are still essential part of running a project. An online project management software will not eliminate these actions, but it can optimize and reduce the steps needed to cross them off your list faster through a life-saving feature we like to call automations.
In online project management software, automations are settings or capabilities that help users complete basic project management tasks and functions without their intervention. With the monday.com Work OS, you can choose from automation recipes or formulas to help get work done — you can automatically assign task owners, move items on a board, notify stakeholders, and more. You can also create your own recipes to create the most custom workflow and save time.
3. Alerts and notifications to help you stay in the know
Most of us are already accustomed to, and even welcome, notifications in our life — social media posts, breaking news, doctor appointments reminders, and even the basic alarm clock. What do most of these have in common? They bring our attention or focus back to something at the right moment. This benefit is certainly crucial in work management, too.
Online project management software has alerts to keep you in the know when a project task is complete, a deadline is about to be missed, or a teammate communicates with you. By keeping alerts and notifications within your online project management tool, it’s easy to track down notifications and comments and have a time log of everything — it also reduces your dependency and likelihood to multi-task by scouring your email inbox.
It’s also a great way for organizations to post central updates that can be easily accessed again and again. If you want to go next-level automation, monday.com has a “deadline mode notification” to alert you when a project/task completion date is approaching or is here. We also have update reminders and inbox reminders and full integration with your online calendar (which has its own way to alert/remind/notify you).
4. Visualization: the many ways to view project items
As we’ve mentioned before, daily tasks are the list of items that need to get done, things you have to finish each day. A simple task list is just one of the many ways you can view your project items. Most online project management solutions offer many visual views — from the more basic/simple task lists and timelines to the more sophisticated Kanban boards and Gantt charts.
Visualization options are important because —let’s face it — we all learn and absorb information differently depending on the project. In some instances, a simple task list will suffice. Other times, a more detailed Gantt chart is needed to fully grasp the entirety of the project. monday.com offers more than eight views including:
5. Calendars and schedules: know when tasks are due
Calendars are a great way to keep your project organized. Set due dates for various tasks within your project, know when the project is due, and so on. We mentioned in the “alerts” section that monday.com has a full integration with your online calendar. monday.com also has its own calendar — a view to see individual projects. Want to see multiple projects on one big monday.com calendar? We’ve got you covered with our calendar widget. You can use this to see one giant Calendar View for all dates across all relevant boards in your account, or sort it by project, team, individual, and more.
6. Integrations: quick, simple connections
An integration is simply combining (or connecting) software “parts” into one system to form an “integrated system.” And just about every software on the planet today include some form of of integration. Online project management software is no exception.Integrations are like extensions of any software solution.
Say, for example, you like your current online calendar and don’t want to use the one built into one of your SaaS platforms. No problem — integrate! Or maybe you love your CRM and want to pass data to it from your software program. No problem — integrate! There are even entire companies whose sole purpose is the integrate two platforms (see: Zapier, automate.io, etc). monday.com customers love our integrations because multiple teams across their organization can use them. For example, sales can use Salesforce, marketing can integrate with Hubspot, content can work with Semrush, product can work with Github — the list goes on.
Looking for monday.com integrations? They live here.
7. Reporting, analytics, and insights: all data-driven
And last, but certainly not least — reporting, analytics, and insights. It’s wonderful to have an online project management solution that’s visual, flexible, easy to use, and so on. However, if you don’t have any easy way to input, track, and analyze your data against KPIs simply, it’s going to be pretty challenging to confidently say your project was successful. This incredibly important for your own internal credibility and progress, but it also is something stakeholders will want to see.
The ability to instantly report on results means your team can quickly assess project successes and setbacks, pinpoint where things deviated from the plan, and (ideally) learn for the next project.
Still have some unanswered questions about online project management? We’ve got you covered.
What is the Project Management Institute (PMI)?
PMI is the leading professional association for project management and the authority for a growing global community of millions of project professionals and individuals who use project management skills. They aim to provide resources for project managers around the world to enhance their skills through many avenues such as courses and certifications.
What is project management software?
A project management software includes all the platforms and tools that help managers and teams plan, coordinate, and execute every aspect of project planning. It is essentially the software that is used to plan, organize, and allocate resources for managing projects.
What is the best project management software?
It’s no surprise that we believe monday.com is the best project management software out there. Our software includes all the features we just talked about to create an incredibly intuitive Work OS designed for teams that need to shape workflows and adjust project trajectory as the needs of their team or project evolve. Some of the other top project management software on the market are:
- Zoho Projects
Choose the online project management software with the right features
A quality, online project management software enhances the day-to-day workflow of teams within an organization with rich features like automation, integrations, visual views, etc., and empowers teams to get more work done, faster, more efficiently, and with fewer redundancies.
monday.com Work OS enables teams to plan, run, and track processes, projects, and everyday work with the freedom to customize it how they see fit.
Sign up now for monday.com to start building out your own online project management software on desktop and mobile.