Project management

What features do some workers need?

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Not everyone needs access to all the features of your organization’s project management platform. From executives to IT staff, make sure you give the right software features to the right workers.

Image: Romantic Studio/Adobe Stock

If your teams are starting to jump on the project management bandwagon, you might not know which tool is best for you. After all, there are plenty of platforms available to help make managing these projects not only possible, but considerably easier.

When you start looking at each platform, you find yourself inundated with features. Some services offer so many features that it can be quite overwhelming. Do your teams really need all these features?

SEE: Recruitment Kit: Project Manager (TechRepublic Premium)

While this is an important question to ask, especially when your budget comes into play, there’s an even better question you should ask: what features are needed by certain teams or employees? If you can answer this question, you will be better equipped to make the right choice.

What is the answer to the question I asked? Well, in all honesty, it varies from company to company and from project to project. However, some features are more suitable for some workers. Let’s see if we can demystify this here and now.

Which workers need which project management software features?

Managers and executives

While you may think managers and executives need constant visibility into every feature of a project management software platform, think again. All this group needs to see are the overview features: dashboards, reports, forms, Gantt charts, Kanban boards, workload reports, billing and accounting, time management, burndown charts, task dependencies and time tracking.

What’s important for managers and executives is the ability to quickly see what’s going on and to be able to create actionable data for that work. They need to be able to see that a project is on time, on budget and progressing smoothly. Everything else is a distraction.

Developers

Developers need to be able to quickly interact with the project management tool to track not only what they’ve been assigned to do, but also what they’ve accomplished and how others are doing. Developers need tools to help them manage these busy periods, where a specific goal has been assigned along with a deadline.

For this purpose, developers need kanban boards, scrum, sprints and time tracking. They will also need to integrate with third-party services such as GitHub so that they can track their commits and other development activities. They will need file sharing, bug and issue management, and communication and collaboration features. For more advanced users, workflow builders and automation tools can offer a serious advantage, as they can help make work a little more efficient, reliable, and repeatable.

PR and marketing

The PR and Marketing department will not need the full feature set of other users. This is due to the nature of their job, where they really only need to know the delivery dates so they can plan their marketing campaign for the new product.

To do this, PR and marketing need as many reports as possible. That means dashboards and analytics tools with a calendar twist. If you rely heavily on PR and marketing, you’ll want to make sure the platform you choose offers customizable dashboards and plenty of tools to present data in an easily readable form.

IT and operations

IT and operations will work with developers to ensure the infrastructure is there and up to the task. They will need to know if there are any issues that are causing misfires in the project. To do this, IT and operational staff will need features such as dashboards, communication and collaboration tools, reports and forms. Since these departments may be involved in the testing phase of the project, they will need access to the bug and issue tracker in order to submit tickets.

IT and operations staff may also want to access documentation. After all, these two teams will most likely be responsible for deploying the project, so they will need to have all the necessary documentation in place to be able to undertake the final stage of the project.

Other staff

If other staff members are connected to the project but do not manage, develop, market or deploy what is created, you still need to give them access to certain features so that they stay informed. The features you can include them on are calendars, communication and collaboration tools, basic reports, documentation, and bug and issue submission tools.

Remember that what you allow these staff members to use will depend on their role in the company, so distribute these features wisely. You certainly don’t want the wrong staff member to have access to a board where they could wreak havoc on the project.

Conclusion

Every project, company, project management tool is different. If you create a list of features you need per department, you’ll get a definitive list of what you need for that platform and the choice will be exponentially easier.

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