The words easy and project management software rarely go hand in hand. Hundreds of project and task management tools are on the market today but for some reason, easy to use management tools are hard to find. While it might take a little more work, we know user-friendly management tools improve job satisfaction, increase productivity and are well worth the effort to find. Here are three things you’ll always find in easy project management software.
Specific User Experience
One of the challenges of project management software is that it caters to so many different kinds of users. It is impossible, but unfortunately often tried, to take a one size fits all approach. User experience in your easy project management software needs to be tailored to your specific need and individual role. Most tools today are designed for the project manages and include lots of dashboards, reports, etc. While that may be useful for a project manager, it isn’t particularly effective for team members on a day to day basis who need to directly assign tasks, provide updates, and assist other members of their team. All of the fancy dashboards and detailed reports only get in the way and don’t assist them at all. An easy project management software solution considers the different and diverse personas needed and ensures that their experience is optimized for who needs to use it and what needs to get done.
Clear and Accessible Data
An easy project management software solution puts access to the project data, metadata, team, etc. in the palm of the user’s hands. In an on-the-go world, this critical information needs to be available whenever and wherever they need it. Having the data highly accessible can go a long way to improving the perception around ease of use. Data that is stored in a project management software solution is also highly integrated with other lines of business applications. If you want to make the solution easy, understand that users don’t want to enter data twice. If time is being tracked in the Project Management solution, create integrations to back-end billing systems. If you are doing project accounting, ensure that the project management system is integrated with back-end accounting system. The key here, don’t duplicate effort.
No matter how simple you try to make software, there will always be questions and concerns. The key is to get the answers to those questions quickly and easily. Effective help means that all the rich content built into help systems needs to be context driven. If a project manager is in a report then clicking help needs to take them to report help. If a team member is updating tasks or adding time to a task, clicking help should direct them to the task help area. Those clicks should not redirect them to a top-level help where they have to search again for what they want. Issues with software are inevitable, don’t make the help experience even more frustrating.
While there are hundreds of collaboration tools, project management and task management solutions out there, look for the ones that focus on the variety of user experiences represented in your project, have mobile and integration interfaces, and make getting help straightforward and easy.