Let’s face it: project budgets are among the hardest to prepare yet the easiest to miss.
Project Management Software is a digital tool that allows employers to manage their projects more efficiently. But this doesn’t mean it’s an easy task for you to find the best tool for your project budget!
Many online platforms are available, and choosing from them can be daunting. So, in this article, we have gathered several tips on how you can use project management software tools for better results and eventually save money too!
1. Set a realistic budget and schedule
Don’t try to accomplish everything at once, be realistic about how fast you can proceed and how much you can spend at a given time. Remember, project cost overrun is a reality, with 28% of projects failing because of wrong cost estimates.
Setting a realistic budget can help you avoid overspending and wasting time. You can use online tools to calculate project management software costs and compare them with your budget.
The best way to set a realistic budget and schedule is to start with a small project and expand from there. To prevent cost overrun, be sure to include contingency funds, as well as labor costs for your team members in your budget. If you’re working with an outside vendor, make sure the contract includes a cancellation clause that will reimburse you for any fees incurred if you need to cancel the project before completion.
2. Evaluate your current workflow
As with any project management software, the second step is to evaluate your current workflow. This will help you determine how best to use the various features of your chosen project management software.
For example, if you already have a task list in place but don’t have any budgeting or cost tracking capabilities, then it might be difficult to use project management software to its full potential.
Ask yourself: Is the project management software going to be used only for budgeting and cost tracking, or do you also want it to handle other tasks like scheduling? If so, then look for a solution that offers both.
Most project management tips and tricks also recommend the need to determine whether the software will integrate with your current tools (such as if you’re using ERP systems) or if you’ll need to use two separate applications instead of one ERP side by side.
3. Track expenses continuously
Once you’ve set up your project budget, it’s important to track expenses continuously and make sure they don’t go over budget. In this era of business process automation, you must proactively automate your financial workflow and never wait until a project is completed. If not, there’s a good chance that some of your expenses will have already been incurred and it will be too late to adjust them.
You can’t know what an expense is going to be until it actually happens. That’s why project management software that lets you track expenses as they happen is key to successful budgeting and cost tracking.
You should be able to enter expenses into the system as soon as they occur, rather than having to wait until the end of the month or quarter before recording them.
4. Keep a centralized document hub
Keep all documentation related to the project in one central location. This will help you keep track of everything and make it easier to find when you need it. It’s also one of the key project management ideas to keep a running list of the documentation that is required for your project. This way, you can be sure to have everything on hand before starting work on the project or spending any money.
It’s easy to lose track of important documents and other files that you need to keep track of as part of the project. If they aren’t in one place, they can be difficult or impossible to find later on. Hence, many businesses, big or small, use an ERP software.
This uses the same idea as HR software, most of which uses a centralized location for employee data. In case you’re planning to have one or upgrade your existing platform, it’s best to carefully research for one. Try checking out some BambooHR reviews to help you identify the must-have features of an effective HR software to better manage your project teams.
5. Communicate regularly with all stakeholders
You must frequently communicate with everyone involved in the project, and make sure they are aware of any changes or additions to the budget along the way. If there are any changes to the budget, you must communicate those changes immediately so that everyone involved knows what they need to do next. There are plenty of efficient project management platforms with good communication features for this purpose.
If you don’t communicate with your team, they won’t know what to expect and may be surprised by changes in the budget later on. This will only serve to slow down progress and create confusion among the team members.
Even project management for non-project managers suggest that every stakeholder must be aware of what is going on with the project and how much money has been spent so far. It can also help prevent problems down the line, when a person who thought they’d been included in all decisions suddenly realizes they weren’t.
Project management software provides excellent tools that can help you stick to a tight budget on your next project. However, you still need to be aware of what you’re spending and make sure that the budget is realistic. You should always include contingency funds in your budget so that if something unexpected happens, there will be money available to deal with it. Be sure to keep track of all expenses associated with a project so that they can be reviewed at any time by anyone involved. Finally, ensure all project documents are strategically stored and accessible as well as keep everyone on the same page through constant communication. All of these will help you meet your project financial goals and overall targets.