Whether building a pyramid in the deserts of Egypt, launching a rocket into space, or making your new business profitable, successful endeavors require planning and forethought.
Is it possible to create great works without using project management? Yes, of course, it is — but project management tools make the whole process much easier.
With so many project management tools available, we’ll help you narrow down your selection by highlighting the most important features to consider. We’ll also explore what project management tools are, the best features that top project management tools offer, and the benefits of using them in your business.
What are project management tools?
Project management tools help individuals or teams plan, execute, track, and deliver project activities effectively and efficiently within a specified timeframe.They also allow teams to collaborate on a single platform, share files across multiple devices, and provide detailed status reports.
Examples of project management tools include:
- Calendars — to track and manage the project schedule.
- Gantt charts — to see the project milestones and dependencies.
- Kanban boards — to prioritize tasks and balance demands according to capacity.
- Dashboards — to simplify decision-making with real-time insights.
- Automations — to save time and remove repetitive tasks.
- Visual roadmaps — to brainstorm project ideas and tasks.
- Network diagrams — to visualize all the tasks, responsibilities, and project workflows.
Project management tools are not only used by project managers — you can customize them to fit the needs of different-sized teams with different goals.
What is project management software?
Project management software includes all the platforms and tools that help managers and teams plan, coordinate, and execute every aspect of project planning. In short, it consists of tools and apps designed to help you work more efficiently.
What project management tool features are most important?
According to a monday.com survey, the most important project management tool features that respondents across multiple industries and professions want are:
- Project dashboards (20%)
- Flexibility and customization (31%)
- Board views such as Kanban boards (32%)
- Efficiency-boosting features like automations (42%)
Here are all the essential project management tool features to consider:
- Planning and scheduling: Whether through a calendar, a Gantt chart, or a Kanban board, planning and scheduling must be at the heart of any project management tool to set milestones and dependencies and map out timelines.
- Task management: This feature allows you to create, assign, and monitor tasks and subtasks in one place using folders, templates, workflows, and calendars.
- Collaboration: Teams must work with internal and external stakeholders throughout a project. Collaboration tools let everyone operate together effectively in one place to move projects forward.
- File management: Edit and store your project files in one space and avoid any mishaps with built-in version control. Easily organize and share files, store assets securely, and build seamless, efficient workflows.
- Resource management: Who does what and when is a key component of any project. Quite often, individuals or teams assigned to a project have other jobs on their plate. Resource management allows you to coordinate people, track their time, and ensure they finish the work on schedule.
- Communication: This feature lets users have project-specific conversations and discussions by tagging team members, creating threaded discussions, and keeping conversations organized.
- Reporting: Project dashboards and reports let users visualize high-level data about projects, such as budgets, goals, schedules, resources, bottlenecks, and overall progress.
- Automation: Streamline processes and save valuable time by automating your processes, like status updates, due date alerts, assigning tasks, sending notifications, and tracking time.
- Integration: Organizations already have apps and tools for other aspects of their business operations, so make sure your project management tool integrates with them seamlessly.
- Customization: No two businesses work the same way, so why should a project management tool dictate what you do? Find a tool you can customize and tweak to support whatever system, process, or collaborative interaction works for your situation.
What are the benefits of using project management tools to manage projects?
Project management tools help users streamline processes and workflows to work more efficiently and effectively. Here are the main benefits:
- Better scheduling. A project management tool helps users plan and schedule multiple projects from start to finish in one place. They get a birds-eye view of everything and everyone, from internal team members to external contributors.
- Improved communication. Project management tools let teams collaborate effectively in a centralized platform. Users can communicate faster and stay-in-the loop with real-time notifications.
- Optimized performance. Project management tools provide templates to create repeatable project structures, automate manual tasks, and adapt to any project methodology from one place.
- Streamlined organization. Having all your work in one place makes it easier to coordinate efforts and scale workflows as your business grows.
- Reduced risks. A risk register lets you calculate project risks in advance and mitigate them with real-time data throughout the project lifecycle.
- Fewer redundancies. Different workload views help you manage team resources, assign tasks, spot duplicated work or redundancies, and adapt to changing priorities in your project.
- Enhanced reporting. Intuitive, visual project dashboards allow everyone to see the status of projects at a glance, so you can stay on track and reach your goals quicker.
Bring all your project management tools together on monday.com
With monday.com, you can replace all your individual project management tools with one fully-customizable platform. It enables you to create, plan, and collaborate on any project and deliver your best work with all of these features.
- Team collaboration: Work together seamlessly with embedded task lists, centralized files, shared notes, and real-time communication, including mentions, comments, and notifications.
- Customizable dashboards: Get a high-level overview of projects and tasks with intuitive and visual project dashboards.
- Time tracking: Use the Time Tracking Column to understand how much time it takes to complete a task.
- Budget monitoring: Track and analyze your total budget across milestones, categories, and/or boards.
- Visual boards and views: Create and assign resources and tasks with visual boards and multiple views, like Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and calendars, in just a few clicks.
- Customizable forms: Instantly create items and tasks on your boards through input forms.
- Templates: Hit the ground running with any of our 200+ templates, like this Agile project planning template.
- Automations: Streamline processes and workflows, like project approvals and tasks.
- Integrations: Work with all your favorite tools, like Slack, Dropbox, and Adobe Creative Cloud.
You get all these features and more on monday.com. No matter the size of your organization — from startups to large-scale enterprises — you can boost your team’s alignment, efficiency, and productivity by customizing any workflow to fit your needs.
Here are four frequently asked questions about project management tools:
What are project management tools and techniques?
Project management tools and techniques are the technology, methods, and strategies that help individuals and teams manage their projects, tasks, resources, and daily operations.
The tools help streamline processes and workflows such as planning and scheduling, managing workloads, and monitoring and tracking progress. The top project management techniques include:
- Work breakdown structure (WBS)
- Critical Path Method (CPM)
- Get Things Done (GTD)
- Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
- Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
What are program management tools?
A program management tool is similar to a project management tool. However, since programs consist of several related projects or a portfolio of projects, program management tools need more features to track these projects at a higher level with a broader overview.
What tools are used in project management?
Various tools are used in project management, from charts and diagrams to reports and dashboards.
- Calendar: to track and manage the project schedule
- Gantt charts: to see the project milestones and dependencies
- Kanban board: to prioritize tasks and balance demands according to capacity
- Dashboards: to simplify decision-making with real-time insights
- Automations: to save time and remove repetitive tasks
- Mind maps: to brainstorm project ideas and tasks
- Network diagram: to visualize all the tasks, responsibilities, and project workflows
What is the best software for project management?
There’s an incredibly wide variety of project management software — from personal to-do lists to comprehensive “all-in-one” solutions — available for businesses of any size.
To help you decide, check out our reviews of the best project management software, covering the pros, cons, pricing plans, and suitability for small, mid-size, or enterprise companies.
Which project management tools are right for you?
Regardless of the project size, having the right project management tools is essential to achieve your goals. Apart from being quick to set up and easy to use, the tools you select must be capable of meeting your needs and business requirements.
Ultimately, the right project management tools ensure everyone knows what is happening — improving collaboration and helping keep your project on track and within budget.
With monday.com, you get one platform to unify all your project management tools in one place. If you want more visual, data-driven, intuitive project tools, check out our customizable project management templates today.