IT project management software is a type of project management tool designed to plan and manage IT projects through their entire lifecycle. While different variations of project management software exist, most of them can handle a wide array of processes including general project planning and management, verifying technological capabilities, handling software integrations, database and storage management, and controlling costs to stay within budgets. Furthermore, planning for potential technology changes as well as security and data risks is crucial. Read the full software guide...
IT project management software is a more focused or specialized form of a standard project management solution. Its main goal is to increase efficiency by providing a clear path for team members.
Project management solutions are one of the most popular, commonly used collaboration tools among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as large enterprises. The majority of SMB buyers, however, prefer an IT-specific project management system to facilitate their internal information technology (IT) processes and other complex projects. This is not a surprise though, because most IT projects can match all other major projects tackled by SMBs when it comes to the complexity, scope and the number of individuals and team members involved.
As stated, IT project management software is a specialized form of a project management system. It is designed to seamlessly integrate with the different tasks, workflows and collaboration features utilized by professionals and teams in the world of IT, especially those in the software development sector. This particular project management platform is used by SMBs and large enterprises to manage a wide range of long-term business projects, complex projects that are expected to last for weeks, months or even years to finish.
The main purpose of a general project management solution is to improve the workflow and work efficiency of an organization, giving them the ability to manage, modify, complete and launch projects on time. This is achieved by increasing project visibility, which also includes all other related aspects and components, for all team members, other departments and co-workers involved in the project planning and development.
Team leaders and project managers have the authority to assign tasks, but individuals within the team also have the power to manage tasks by customizing how task lists are prioritized, allowing team members to streamline their work and optimize their workflows while still having the ability to meet goals and the project’s overall timeline.
IT project management software normally carries a more targeted set of features and collaboration tools for more agile methodologies, catering mostly to project managers and developers involved in long-term complex projects. With a premier IT project management platform, some of the features include bug tracking, product roadmaps for agile project managers, backlogs/historical logs, time tracking and Git hosting/subversion, which lets users easily manage code directly from the platform.
IT project management software can be categorized based on how they are deployed, how the services are delivered to the customer businesses and organizations. With that said, there are three main deployment methods available: on-premise, cloud-based and best-of-breed vs. integrated software. The latter, in essence, can also be considered as two different categories: integrated and best-of-breed project management solution.
This type of project management platform is hosted and installed on the organization’s local servers, which are usually housed in a data center, looked after and managed by an in-house IT team. On-premise software solutions often require customer businesses to purchase a single license that will give them access to all the applications and collaboration features included in the product. Other expenses may be incurred due to additional updates and upgrade fees, which are typically not included in the licensing cost.
On-premise IT project management software has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some organizations choose this deployment approach for security and/or pricing reasons. This is mainly because businesses with specialized software deployed on-premise generally have full control over their security protocols and data storage. Moreover, companies with multiple users may also prefer the on-premise option to reduce unexpected downtime caused by automatic product updates.
Cloud-based or web-based IT project management software is the preferred deployment/purchase method of the majority of small and medium-sized businesses and a few large enterprises across various industries, especially those organizations employing a small team of developers and IT professionals tasked with project planning and taking care of complex projects. Also referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS), this type of software serves as a versatile and feature-rich IT management resource for SMBs and their IT teams.
Cloud-based IT project management platforms provide users access to various collaboration tools and features via the cloud. IT teams can access the software and all of its offerings by simply using the web browser on their computer, tablet or smartphone device. However, most web-based IT project management software nowadays provides mobile support for all their tools and software products. This means users can easily access the platform and everything it has in store by way of a fully optimized mobile app for Android and/or iOS devices, which syncs directly to the central database.
IT project management software may also be categorized as either an integrated suite or a best-of-breed project management system. An integrated project management platform combines many different features and tools into a single suite, such as Kanban boards, Gantt charts, collaboration tools, task management and time tracking. Best-of-breed software, on the other hand, is a project management solution that specializes in a single function, such as task management. Of the two options, most SMBs and a few large enterprises prefer the integrated IT management resource approach to help lighten their IT load.
SMBs and startups that only need a basic project management system with fewer features and offer just the core functionalities will most likely choose the integrated approach. The common features included in an integrated project management solution are file management, team collaboration tools, learning materials, email integration, task lists management, Google Drive integration and more.
There are many factors one has to consider when choosing the right IT project management software for their organization. But not all businesses have the same demands or requirements from their IT management resource. For example, some project collaboration features may be important to a certain number of SMBs and startups, but not necessarily to other organizations in their industry. Some companies need just basic collaboration tools, while others may need more from their project management platform.
The following are the more notable deciding factors you have to consider when choosing a project management software solution:
Feature requirements are integral to selecting the right project management solution that can fully address your project management needs and responsibilities. Some project management system features and capabilities are best suited to very particular organizational needs. For instance, the Gantt chart feature serves as a project planning and tracking solution best suited for users who want to track the progress and overall status of tasks across multiple phases of the project development process.
Conversely, issue tracking is a feature ideal for team members that want to track customer issues, bugs, error reports and other technical problems. Companies with such a level of specificity should look into the product features to see if it can effectively address their needs when managing complex projects.
On-premise or cloud-based, that is the question isn’t it? These two deployment options differ in a variety of ways and they both have their own pros and cons that must go through your evaluation process so you can properly determine which is best suited to your business structure. For instance, an on-premise project management platform may incur capital or initial expenses that not a lot of SMBs and startups can really afford.
Cloud-based project management solutions, on the other hand, generally have a less expensive starting cost as they often follow a subscription-based model with different pricing plans offered. Payment is usually incurred on a monthly or annual basis and you can choose to end your subscription or upgrade to a higher plan with just one click of a button. Most cloud-based systems are designed to be user-friendly, scalable and accessible with mobile app support. This gives users the ability to use the software anywhere at any time.
IT project management software provides project managers the ability to create and assign tasks to the right team members and then track their progress using built-in dashboards. Collaboration tools and real-time file-sharing capabilities help expedite workflows, reducing time spent on easier, straightforward tasks and processes. This project management solution allows for efficient tracking of project performance across different team divisions and departments.
A feature-rich project management system can help improve an organization’s ability to manage its approved expenses on key projects. The software solution doesn’t just help project leaders manage tasks for each member of their team, it can also facilitate the process of budget tracking, specifically the estimated vs. the actual project costs. Project managers can proactively determine and address specific aspects of the project that may have exceeded the proposed budget.
Team collaboration is an important part of effective project management, especially when it comes to long-term complex projects. Even the simpler projects being handled by a small team will often require a certain level of collaboration among stakeholders, decision-makers, team members, business partners and external clients. Good IT project management software provides robust collaboration tools to help streamline workflows and optimize task lists.
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|Batch Permissions & Access||Control user or group access and permission settings for software or other systems.|
|Budgeting||Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.|
|Calendar Management||Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.|
|Contact Management||Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.|
|Contact Sharing||Share contacts across teams or platforms to give access to others or to migrate address books across different systems.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Dashboard||Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|Data Visualization||Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.|
|Expense Tracking||Track employee travel and other expenses to stay on top of budgeting requirements and reimbursements.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Gantt Charts||A particular type of flowchart using horizontal bars to illustrate time intervals. Mainly used to visualise the use of resources or duration of tasks over the course of a project.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|Resource Management||Manage company's internal and external resources efficiently.|
|Scheduling||Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.|
|Task Scheduling/Tracking||Schedule and track tasks and deliverables in form of to-do-lists.|
|Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons||Offers additional features or integrations built by third-party developers in form of plugins or add-ons.|
|Travel Management||Manage travel plans and expenses for employees, prospects or potential recruits through a central environment.|
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