No matter how exciting it is to start working on a new project, there are still many hurdles the developers and the entire working team have to overcome. As the business grows and projects mount, things can easily get out of hand. Many different challenges may arise. Instead of reaching the desired goals, developers might get overwhelmed by the challenges and eventually face the prospect of failure. Developers who are aiming at ambitious projects need to focus on high-quality work and operate under schedule. To make sure that everything runs smoothly, they usually opt for a robust and client-friendly management system tool that will segment the tasks and help the team bridge potential gaps. Here are a few reasons why a solid project management tool has become imperative to almost any developer.
One of the crucial reasons why developers go for project management software is the fact it ultimately increases the team’s response time to comments and discussions. Since there are so many things that developers need to stay focused on, any interruption can have a damaging effect on their creativity. A good project management tool enables the team to distribute information on a “need-to-know” basis without interrupting anyone. Not only does it keep the team concentrated on work but it also improves productivity and keeps everyone in the loop. Creating clear and concise communication between the developer, designer, project manager, and other team members is of crucial importance so as to avoid any misunderstandings and disagreements. It keeps the collaboration straightforward and all the project-related information in one place.
While project managers usually act as intermediates between the client and the team, getting the client involved in the project from the start sometimes seems to be the least painful solution. A project management tool enables clients to see what developers and other team members are working on and provide feedback. If there is some sensitive information that should be kept within the team, it can easily be hidden. This way, a developer and the rest of the team maintain a healthy and simple collaboration with the client without making him feel uncomfortable and unsatisfied. It is important to constantly communicate progress and keep the clients regularly updated.
Clients are mainly interested in the final product and how much it will cost without caring too much about the time spent on the project development. Developers are advised to use the best project management tools in order to make more time for situations that require additional work, especially if the client asks for reworks and changes. They need to keep track of all the payments and most frequently the best solution is to charge by an hour. A collaboration tool automatically stores time records which is an excellent substitute for a timesheet and a perfect timesaver. This also serves as proof of the amount of time spent on the entire process and gives a client an important insight into the team’s work. Tools like TimeCamp can also help teams in this.
Since working on large projects requires a constant flow of money, the billing process should be quick and easy. Developers sometimes take responsibility for payments because they need them to be fast and efficient.
The project management tool gives an opportunity to invoice time records on the project and to group them according to different categories such as job type, task, or project. This makes it easier for clients to review invoices and finish payments in just a few clicks. Also, it keeps them well-organized and enables the developer to keep a track of the entire invoicing.
When starting a project, many developers have to face not so glamorous part of it — project planning. There are multiple tasks to be completed and they need a way to consistently organize their work. Most project management tools have a column for each project where it is possible to create various groups of tasks depending on the given project and the category such as:
This way, the workflow becomes easily manageable and straightforward. Another benefit of this feature is that it gives an overview of all the projects and their tasks in a Project Timeline report which helps developers track the busiest dates and avoid them accordingly.
There you have it. If you want to keep your team organized, deliver the best results within desired timelines and budget, and triumph on your next development cycle, having an efficient project management tool is a big help to achieve that goal.
This was a guest post for the zipBoard blog by Rachel McPherson, VP of Communications at Active Collab.
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