Project tracking can easily get messy, especially as the number of team members, tools to manage, tasks, and resources increases.
One of the most beneficial ways to transform your team’s workflow is using a project tracking tool for your project life cycle.
When choosing a project tracking tool, it can be overwhelming to consider so many features and get lost in the sea of “Kanban boards”, “Gantt charts”, and all the PM tools out there.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What a project life cycle is
- Three features of project tracking tools you need in 2021
- How monday.com’s robust platform makes it easier to manage, plan, and execute tasks
What is a project life cycle?
Project tracking tools and software are paramount because they help you stay organized and accurate throughout something called the project management life cycle or project life cycle.
If you understand and follow this basic sequence, it’s easy to find where different features and functions of a project tracking tool can help you along the way.
The project management life cycle is typically divided into five stages:
- Monitoring and controlling
A project tracking tool provides you with a hub to log all details, task owners, and progress throughout each of these phases.
What are project tracking tools?
Project tracking tools are web- based or cloud-based software platforms that allow teams and individuals to plan project schedules and track project progress to improve team collaboration.
They’re a crucial weapon in any project manager’s arsenal, as they help them manage small teams and large teams in a number of ways including:
- Facilitating project planning
- Assigning tasks
- Tracking time
- Monitoring project task status
- Setting project timelines
What tools are used in project tracking?
Depending on what features and special functionalities a team requires, project managers may turn to any number of project management tools to track progress and time spent. Some popular ones are:
- Microsoft Project
For project managers and team members who want to be able to manage your projects in an intuitive and incredibly flexible platform—including the ability to create project dashboards and beautiful reports automatically—monday.com’s Work OS is a great tool for work management and beyond. More on this later.
What are the benefits of project tracking tools?
84% of project managers are struggling to find new ways to boost project team productivity.
With the right tool, project managers can make sure projects stay on time and within budget, all while improving the workflow experience for their team members.
Project tracking tools like monday.com inspire team collaboration and simple, real-time communication to increase engagement, project productivity, and success.
What are the top features to look for in project management tools?
Every project tracking tool has something unique to offer. However, at the core, workflow automation, mobile applications, and software integrations reign supreme in the realm of features.
In the following sections, you can see how they look on monday.com.
Workflow automation is one of the biggest contributors to project efficiency, as it prevents your project team from having to perform arbitrary tasks like moving tasks along the project pipeline and notifying team members.
Automations bring the most important aspects of your workflow to the forefront. Our platform allows you to create “automation recipes” to make a custom, automated workflow.
Here’s how workflow automation looks on monday.com:
2. Mobile apps
Project management software is about productivity, and there’s nothing less productive than a platform that doesn’t support mobile access.
monday.com has a dedicated project management app, meaning your team can access tasks and communicate in context on the go, from any device they like.
This is invaluable to project managers working remotely or with remote teams because they can track project progress and assign tasks on the fly.
3. Software integrations
Just because you are looking for a centralized project tracking tool doesn’t mean you should (or can) give up your existing favorite tools.
Naturally, whichever project management software you choose, you’re going to want it to play nicely with all of your other toys. monday.com seamlessly integrates with all of your favorite tools, so you can truly have all of your team’s work in one place.
Should you need to create something unique for your team, you can use our low-code Apps Framework to tap into your creativity and build unique tools.
If you typically rely on MS Teams or Microsoft for projects, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s just one of many integrations offered by monday.com. You connect it with monday to enhance it with embedded workflow and project management capabilities.
By now, we’ve covered why you need a project tracking tool. But what should you look for?
The top functions of a project tracking tool
Any project tracking tool’s effectiveness will be a moot point if you don’t set out with an intentional framework for using it. There are several components to address, so you can easily input them in your project tracking tool or project management software. These considerations alone can also help you choose the right tool:
- Create a project outline
- Determine clear deliverables, deadlines, and milestones
- Set realistic, clear, and measurable goals and decide how you will measure them
- Commit to regular meetings with your team and stakeholders
- Support transparency in all aspects of the project
You’re probably already thinking, is it possible for one software to support all of these functions?
monday.com: the Work OS project tracking tool
At monday.com, we define ourselves as a Work OS — a new software category that addresses the needs of our modern way of working.
To quote our Head of Enterprise Marketing at monday.com, Oren Ezra,
“A work operating system (Work OS) is a cloud-based software platform where teams create custom workflow apps to plan, run, and track processes, projects, and everyday work.
With a work OS, every team can create the apps it needs for everyday work. And when several teams in an organization use a Work OS, they can achieve even more together.”
We do that by empowering teams to manage their own workflows in the way that works best for them, such as tracking resources and creating project reports all in one place. The features and capabilities of our platform not only encompass the three features we mentioned before, they surpass them.
With monday.com, you’re not stuck within a single workflow view; you can switch instantly between different board views depending on your needs.
Take our workflow views for example. monday.com doesn’t limit you or your teams to a single workflow view; you can switch instantly between different board views depending on your needs. Users can choose the board view that works for them, without making everyone else conform to their need to work within one visual paradigm.
With monday.com, teams can also collaborate simultaneously on multiple projects — even editing lists and tasks in real-time. This greatly reduces dependencies and bottlenecks that prevent someone from making new updates or changes.
In the realms of accurate tracking and transparency, monday also features several ways to view and share project progress, including timeline views and dashboards. All of this information can then also be shared across an organization, and even with external clients.
Finally, if you’re not sure how to get started with your project tracking, or you want to see how other users have used the platform, monday.com hosts an extensive template center with ready-made templates and all the information you need to build the perfect project tracking board.
Improve your workflow with a project tracking tool
Whether you’re looking to improve team communications or simply speed up project timeframes, a project tracking tool is the best way to bring all vital information and collaboration in one place.
The best and worthwhile project tracking platforms will not only increase productivity, but also help you maintain project scope and budget through automation, integrations with your current tools, and the flexibility to work on mobile devices.
You can see this in action by checking out our team task management template on monday.com.