What is Exactly Online Project Management Software?
Though the question itself may sound trivial but it is important to understand it in two perspective.
- What is meant by project management Software (PMS)?
- How different is it being “Online”?
Firstly the way most people think about project management software revolves around task management. But project management is much more (depth & breadth) than task scheduling. It is about project financial, project resources, change requests, issues, risks, meetings, documents, communication, control, etc.
Secondly online project management software is different and in fact, far better than traditional desktop based software like Microsoft Projects. We are talking about collaboration, seamless communication, single source of truth.
Now let’s look at this article in these two perspective, and online project management software with Kanban board feature.
What is a Kanban board?
It is like a whiteboard but more of digital. It has cards, which represent activity to perform in different state. One can move a card from one column (activity state) to another column, which indicate change in progress of activity.
Typically the activity states are “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”; but depending on how your activity would flow or navigate in different states, you can set up different/ additional columns.
If I were to put it in one sentence: why you should use Kanban board, the answer is “don’t look other places for activities assigned to you or status thereof, use Kanban board and find your answer on the board”
With kanban boards, you can:
- Visually see work in progress
- Instantly understand impediments (things causing you to delay) and take steps to remove them
- Improve communication between yourself and others on your team
- Empower teams to self-manage visual processes and work flows
- Inspire team collaboration
Let’s look at the Reasons Why You Should Use Online Project Management Software with Kanban Board functionality
If Gantt Chart is For PM, Kanban Boards is for Team Members: More Visual
“One picture is worth a thousand words”. And that’s the fact why human mind prefers visual form than other forms of data presentation.
Without a doubt, Gantt chart has been a most sought after form of project scheduling and favorite of project managers. But the complexity of information presented in Gantt chart in online project management software (like task dependency, baseline, estimation type, priority, related issues, risks, etc) may not have same relevance to team members, as much it has for project managers.
In fact, team members are more likely to get confused when they will see somebody else’s tasks, cross project dependencies etc.
Image 1 Kanban Board in Online Project Management Software
Hence team members would find it extremely visual and easy to work with Kanban board. Tools like ZilicusPM provide My Kanban Board view especially designed for team member, showing only relevant project tasks in the form of cards for them.
Ease of Use and Flexibility
In general, online PMS offer great deal of ease of use. With kanban board, team members can clearly see specific cards assigned to them. S/he can easily know the state of the card whether it is ToDo, Doing or Done. The interesting part of Kanban board in online project management software, is to update card state, team member can simply drag-and-drop the card to desired column state. Viewing, creating, moving, updating card is really simple.
Flexibility, Ability to Customize States
Also project managers can design kanban board design as it may suit to the project. Some project may have simple three state flow, whereas other project may require advance flow of cards with certain conditions.
And while team members will view cards across projects, they will be able to view and move cards according to the project specific workflow of cards. That’s the flexibility I am referring to.
Kanban board in online project management software is a great platform for project collaboration. Any change in project schedule means corresponding card will get updated. Any update to card state or comments get reflected to main schedule. Cards provide transparency for project team members as well as project manager. It is much more collaborative than excel spreadsheet, emails or shared documents. It serves as a single source of truth for entire project team.
The visual representation of work means team members as well as project managers can get better idea about workload and deadlines. One can easily see why project is blocked from progressing, what is causing bottleneck, etc. It enables project teams to visually see the work currently in progress, identify when, how/who can cause bottleneck.
There are empirical findings that indicates that focused work leads to higher success. With kanban board, project manager can provide such a focused view for project team, and enable them to apply their energies on concerned card at a given point in time, thereby increasing their productivity.
You can as well check the video below about Kanban Board in ZilicusPM.
Zilicus offers All-In-One project management software ZilicsuPM that provides complete project management control for project and portfolio managers; at the same time makes it really simple for project team members to stay on top of things. If you have been managing projects with conventional spreadsheet/ MS Excel templates or emails, it is the right time to start using online project portfolio management software. ZilicusPM is great platform for better project collaboration. Take a screenshot tour of project management software tour ZilicusPM and Sign up for 30-days free trial of project management software ZilicusPM