At times, our clients seem reluctant to adopt our project management tool to help handle their web design or marketing projects. It's not surprising, given how many systems and programs businesses have to use on a daily basis these days. Some of them think that learning how to use a simple project management tool is wasted time; there's always emails, after all! But there are many, many reasons why we love to use our project management system over reams of emails… and, when you come to learn about them, why you should, too.
First, project management systems keep everything in one place. Neither we or you have to keep a separate file folder for documents and another folder in your email for project-specific communications. The PMS (yes, I know, but let's call it that anyway for the sake of space) keeps all files, messages, invoices and calendars together, sorted, in one place. And since it's web-based, you don't even need to install it on a computer. Just type in the correct address on your browser, and you have access to everything related to the project.
Our PMS also facilitates contact between us and our clients. Because of the messaging system inside the PMS (which you can tie to your email address, if you like), you can contact one or multiple members of your project team without the need for forwarding or using CC and BCC. If your email is tied to the messaging system, you can get an alert for messages in your project in your inbox, and you can also reply to those messages from your email. And you don't need to keep those emails in your inbox, since the PMS keeps them all together anyway.
It also makes project management easier and cheaper. In our experience, it takes about twice as much administrative time to manage a project without the PMS than with it. That's time that's going on our client's invoices and in our operational budget. And honestly, we'd rather finish your project earlier than later! There's a reason why we have an overcharge fee for projects managed without the PMS. This tool proves its usefulness especially well when we have to reference to earlier (sometimes by years) conversations between us and our clients. Without the PMS, this involves going to through years of complicated email conversations with files, forwarding and CCs. With the PMS, we can search for the message and find all related files in a few seconds. It's really that simple.
The PMS also allows us to track time effectively. With support projects, our PMS lets us track time to the minute, saving our clients precious support time (and money) and letting us evaluate our time usage and fine-tune our work methods to be even faster and more efficient. During the quality assurance and support phases, the PMS allows us (and the client) to track issues through to-do lists and time tracking. You always know what's going on, and you can always contact us through it.
In fact, the PMS improves transparency and communication. You always know what we're doing, and you can always contact us about it. The conversations are neatly sorted, and it's easy to keep each conversation in a separate message thread. In the case where the help of another company is needed (such as hosting or server issues), we can easily add them to the project so they know what's going as well. The PMS keeps everyone informed and aware of all the aspects of any project. The system enables us to set milestones and calendars, which keep you informed of any change in the project timeline.
Honestly, it's not that complicated. PMS are meant to be intuitive and easy to use; it wouldn't be helpful if it was complicated. Everything is easy to understand, and each PMS has online help available. It's a small learning curve (a couple of hours, tops), but it pays off in the long term.
We like it because it keeps everything simple: time tracking, client and team communication and file management. All together in a single place, easily accessible through an intuitive online dashboard. We just love it!