Project scheduling software helps to streamline the task of designing and implementing online project schedules for organizations. These solutions help managers and leadership teams to efficiently plan their projects and regularly monitor them through the platform. In addition, the software acts as a central system that makes it easier for teams to work together and collaborate better on various projects. Read the full software guide...
Project scheduling software is a tool for businesses and organizations that want to stay on top of their projects and activities. It allows users to monitor and manage their projects while also helping track and schedule tasks. Additionally, the tool provides users real-time updates of a project or projects. As such, businesses are informed of developments as they happen.
The scheduling software is a seamless automated system that centralizes all work and activities related to a project. Scheduling and assigning of tasks, planning, reporting and resource management are done in a central database. Users no longer have to use multiple apps or resources to ensure that their projects unfold properly and efficiently.
A project tracking tool helps businesses identify the milestones, resources, phases, plotting and workflow of their projects. With access to all the components in their project timeline, teams get a visual idea of where they are in terms of schedule. Task dependencies encourage better team collaboration as everyone working on the project understands their individual tasks and roles, their responsibilities to the team and the relevance of their contributions to the success of the project.
Ultimately, what the project scheduling tool does is allow users to conveniently break down a project into different phases. As such, managers can confidently assign tasks to the right individuals and tracking team workloads is easier. Team members also know what to prioritize because the tool provides information about what needs to be done next. It helps keep everyone on the right track and right on schedule.
The most common features of a project time tracking software include task management, resource management, budget plan and project timelines or Gantt charts. These charts are the visual representations of the project status—what’s happening and when things are happening. A project manager will find a Gantt chart especially helpful for identifying dependencies. Additionally, users can benefit from calendar views that show their schedules, deadlines and tasks in a visual manner.
Project scheduling tools integrate and work well with project management software and other essential apps.
Project scheduling is a vital factor in project management. It uses charts in carrying out its functions and primarily, it utilizes the Gantt chart. There are other types and techniques for scheduling though.
As mentioned earlier, a Gantt chart shows users a pictorial or visual representation of their resources, milestones, deadlines and other task dependencies. Data is presented in bar charts either in a parallel or sequential manner. Each chart indicates task start and end dates.
Also known as project timelines or timeline charts, Gantt charts also allow users to determine the fastest, most efficient path to take to complete a task or project. Many users consider the charts as their visual task roadmaps. It helps them track progress.
The Gantt chart is recognized as the most basic method of scheduling because it easy and simple to use. Users don’t need any form of training of pre-requisite knowledge in project management to manage the chart.
The CPM or Critical Path Method is presented in arrowed lines with circles or nodes at the ends. The lines are the team’s activities and the circles pertain to the milestones. This method allows managers and their teams to determine the minimum and maximum times needed for the completion of a project.
Additionally, this method or technique provides users the capability to identify schedule dependencies, problems and bottlenecks and critical tasks.
CPM verifies the earliest possible project completion by adding critical path activities times. Likewise, it identifies non-critical activities through their ES and LS (earliest start and latest start) time, as well as their EF and LF, or earliest and latest finish time.
For projects that are a bit complicated or complex, the Program Evaluation and Review Technique is the ideal project scheduling method. Like the other methods, this also uses visuals or pictorial representations, particularly in a similar manner as the CPM.
Activities and their timeframe for completion are identified, but users are given more flexibility in finishing the tasks. It uses a formula that involves the optimistic time or minimum period an activity can be completed and the pessimistic time, which refers to the longest period an activity can be carried out.
This method involves two specific actions intended to shorten schedules: crashing and fast-tracking.
Crashing happens when users put in additional or more resources to the project timeline to ensure that completion is faster.
Fast-tracking pertains to shortening schedules by doing tasks simultaneously. As such, users work and complete more activities than otherwise planned.
Other project scheduling methods are resource levelling (adjusting schedules to maximize use of resources) and simulation (creating “what ifs” for determining probable project durations).
Project planning and scheduling can become a challenge if you do not know how to choose the right software for your business. With all the options available in the market, picking just one won’t be easy. As such, it is essential to keep in mind several tips when deciding on reliable software to help you monitor, manage and schedule projects and tasks efficiently.
As discussed above, there are several scheduling methods you can choose from. Determine what your business and project needs are and then find the technique that best suits these necessities. Remember to choose one that will help you keep your projects on track and on time. Also vital is this tip: quality is more essential than quantity.
The three most important features you should watch out for are task dependencies, shared calendar views or team calendars and Gantt charts or project timelines.
Task dependencies provide you and your team detailed information about various tasks and what needs to be done to complete the project. If you know and understand how the tasks are related to each other, why they are dependent on one another, then you’ll know what your next steps are in fulfilling the project timeline.
Calendar views give you a visual representation of all the tasks and schedules related to your projects.
Gantt charts, on the other hand, are vital in helping your team determine which tasks are more important or critical.
Apart from the three features mentioned, your chosen project scheduling tool should also offer time tracking, real-time scheduling, project reporting, resource management, budget planning and team management.
The software should be simple and easy-to-use, not only for you and your team but for the stakeholders as well. One that comes with a drag-and-drop functionality is ideal, especially if you do not want to waste time adapting to and learning how to use complex features.
Also, the user interface should be clear and intuitive.
The ideal project scheduling software integrates with other apps and systems such as Zapier, HubSpot, G Suite, Salesforce, Dropbox, financial software and CRM.
Customer support is an essential factor for every software or system. You have to choose a provider that takes care of its clients. Multiple platform customer service should be available any day of the week, 24 hours a day.
Try to find a project scheduling tool that offers affordable quality packages. You can also check their free trials so you can gauge whether the software is ideal for your business and if it will make for a good investment.
Small and mid-sized businesses can opt for freemium project scheduling tools.
Generally, project scheduling software helps businesses, particularly its managers, organize projects, schedules and their teams. The tool’s features help them identify tasks they should prioritize, track the task list and assign them to the right people, manage the project’s budget and manage the team’s workload.
The software eliminates the need to use manual resources, such as spreadsheets, in monitoring and managing schedules. More importantly, it automates and centralizes all aspects essential for the successful execution of projects.
Visual representations as provided by Gantt charts, kanban board and other pictorial illustrations make workflows—activities, tasks, schedules, milestones—more interesting and easier to monitor and understand.
Identifying and focusing on priority tasks is made easy because of defined task dependencies and regularly updated schedules.
With project scheduling software, project managers have a seamless way of determining bottlenecks and potential problems that can hinder the project. Since workload and milestones are highly visible, users are able to address issues right away.
Through task dependencies, there is a transparency of tasks and obligations. As such, team members know what their individual responsibilities are and understand what each of them should contribute to the project and to one another. This is a healthy work environment that encourages collaboration.
The software has features and tools that allow managers and teams to tweak or adjust plans and projects accordingly, without sacrificing schedule and quality. Milestones and deadlines can be rescheduled without any problems. All managers need to do is adjust the duration of the projects—using scheduling methods—so the period of completion is moved to the maximum.
|Analytics||Analyze and gain insights from data including web traffic, campaign conversions, sensoric output and more.|
|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.|
|Collaboration Support||In-application functionality to enable project collaboration between 2 or more parties.|
|Contact Management||Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.|
|CRM Integration||This indicates whether integrations with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software are supported by a software application.|
|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.|
|Email Integration||Integration with email clients or providers to create and send emails as well as view received emails within an application.|
|Employee Database||Manage and update employee records in a centralised database. Used to keep information about work entry, age, past roles and other employee details.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Google Apps Integration||Integration with the G Suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc.|
|Lead Management||Manage business leads to improve sales outreach processes or stay on top of prospect inquiries.|
|Multi-Account||Support for several different accounts, for example different social media platform accounts.|
|Multi-App||Support for several different mobile platforms such as iOs, Android or web applications.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Objectives Tracking||Set and track goals and objectives to help your employees manage their development and their efforts from progress to completion|
|Project Management||Manage projects from conception through the planning stage to delivery and post-project reporting phases. This allows organisation teams to organise resources, plan budgets and improve efficiency in the delivery of project objectives.|
|Resource Management||Manage company's internal and external resources efficiently.|
|Scheduling||Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.|
|Software Integration||Connect third-party software.|
|Task Scheduling/Tracking||Schedule and track tasks and deliverables in form of to-do-lists.|
|Time Management||Monitor and optimize how you're spending your time.|
|Workflow Management||Workflow management focuses on streamlining the coordination of tasks related to the work a business does.|
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