What Is Project Tracking Software? (Benefits and Types)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are many software solutions for business processes, including software for tracking project progression. These software tools are often lightweight applications that can integrate with more in-depth project management software solutions. Exploring a list of some helpful project-tracking applications can help you identify one that suits the business' needs and goals. In this article, we define project-tracking software, list its typical key features, discuss its benefits and share a list of project-tracking applications for you to consider.

What is project tracking software?

Project tracking software can be an independent application that provides project teams with features for overseeing project health, deliverables, timelines and goals. They're either lightweight applications specific for tracking project progression or they might make part of a larger project management software solution. Many organisations typically choose project management software (PMS) rather than project tracking tools, as most PMS solutions provide tracking features along with other project management functionality, such as scheduling and delegating tasks and reviewing performance. Depending on the software solutions the business implements, project tracking tools can integrate with PMS systems to collect and visualise project data.

Related: Understanding the Importance of Project Management: A Guide

List of project tracking tools to consider

Here's a list of project tracking tools that may suit your projects and team environment:

Monday

Monday is a flexible project management system providing you with an abundance of features for customising and monitoring workflows. One of the most enticing aspects of this PMS solution is its customisation capabilities. You can customise most visualisations, create activity boards and set custom tasks for each activity. Team members also have access to a tab clearly showing their responsibilities, duties, due dates and priorities. Monday has an accessible and relatively easy user interface, allowing all team members to utilise the software with ease.

Related: Project Management Basics (With a Definitive Guide)

Kintone

Kintone is an excellent project-tracking system that provides great flexibility when creating workflows, sharing data, setting goals and generating reports. A great feature for project managers is the ability to generate quick reports for a variety of metrics. This can help you quickly visualise and analyse key performance indicators and develop reports for executives, clients and investors. Kintone can also be an excellent tool for enhancing collaboration in the project team. You can access all your communication through a single tab and apply filters to identify discussions based on date, topic, project and even data.

Related: How to Be a Successful Project Manager: Skills and Qualifications

Runn

Runn is a versatile project-tracking tool for information technology (IT), software development, architecture, engineering and consultancy industries. It has excellent features for visualising roadmaps, customising work schedules and monitoring project finances. A relatively unique feature that Runn incorporates is a financial forecasting model, helping you identify the future expenses and profitability of the project.

Related: How to Start Project Planning: With Project Stages

Workfront

Workfront is a relatively large project management solution provided as an enterprise SaaS. It has an abundance of features for automating activities, generating reports and visualising project progression. A useful functionality of Workfront is its compatibility with mobile devices, allowing you and team members to access project data remotely. It can also integrate with many management systems, making it an excellent choice for large organisations with an extensive IT infrastructure.

Related: A Guide to Creating a Project Progress Report (With Tips)

Key features of project tracking tools

Before exploring some of the key features of project tracking applications, it's often helpful to understand that not all software products may offer the same features. Some project-tracking tools are PMS solutions, so they may provide you with an abundance of software features. There are some standard features, though, that most project tracking solutions offer.

Below, you can explore some key functionality provided by many project-tracking applications:

  • Creates work schedules: Most project tracking and PMS solutions offer features for scheduling activities and team members' responsibilities. You can delegate tasks to team members, set timelines for activities and review the team's progression toward completing these duties.

  • Set objectives and targets: When identifying project progression, it's usually important to set benchmarks to compare the team's progression. These benchmarks may be goals and targets for the team to achieve, which project tracking applications often provide.

  • Track resources: All projects typically involve an abundance of resources, from people and technology to materials and tools. With project tracking tools, you can effectively manage project resources by identifying current resource consumption rates, allowing you to allocate resources efficiently.

  • Manage finances: Depending on the project, you may have many financial elements to monitor and review, such as invoices, expenses and budgets. You can often manage, review and automate many of these financial responsibilities by using a software tracking application.

  • Customise alerts: Communication between team members can be crucial when operating in project team environments. Software tracking applications can usually improve team communication by automating alerts for team members when tasks are overdue, near their deadline or require immediate attention.

  • Generate project reports: As a project manager, you may have duties for reporting project progression to important individuals involved in the project, such as executives, clients and investors. Software tracking tools often provide features for generating detailed reports from the data collected through the tracking tool.

  • Set user permissions: Depending on the project team, there may be varying levels of access permission for project data. A project tracking tool can allow you to set and customise access permission to data on the tracking tool.

  • Visualise roadmaps: Creating a roadmap is a helpful procedure for ensuring the project team understands the high-level goals and deliverables for the project. A project tracking tool often has features for visualising roadmaps that enhance the team's understanding of goals, targets, timelines and deliverables.

Related: Different Types of Software for Project Management

Benefits of using project tracking tools

Below, you can explore some of the typical benefits of using project tracking applications:

Enhances collaboration

A major benefit of using a project tracking application is that it usually improves the team's ability to communicate and collaborate. Team members can all review the same data, such as task allocations and activity progressions, enhancing the team's cohesiveness. For example, if a team member is unclear about their responsibilities for an activity, they can use the software tool to review the task delegations set by the project manager. The team member might identify that their colleague is responsible for that activity. When team members understand each other's duties and responsibilities, it often enhances communication.

Related: Top 10 Tips on How to Work Collaboratively In the Workplace

Improves project management

Arguably, one of the major benefits of project tracking tools is that it substantially enhances your management capabilities. Access to real-time project data can provide you with many valuable and accurate insights, improving your decision-making abilities. For example, without a project tracking tool, you might ask each team member what their progression status is for their activity. This can consume valuable time you might otherwise spend more productively. If you use a project tracking application, though, you can identify the team's progression from a single visualisation, allowing you to make quick and informed project decisions.

Related: How to Improve Project Management Skills In 9 Steps

Increases productivity

Depending on the project tracking tool, it may incorporate a variety of functions beyond tracking and visualising data. Some tools can allow you to automate activities, such as invoicing, reporting and scheduling. By automating tasks, you can provide yourself with more time to spend on important activities. Project tracking applications can also increase the team's productivity by enhancing communication, cohesiveness and accountability. When team members can compare their productivity against their colleagues, it can motivate and encourage them to be more productive.

Related: How to Measure Productivity In the Workplace: Complete Guide

Provides effective security

For projects that involve a substantial amount of data, there may be elements of risk involved in data security. There may be external threats, such as hacks or malware that can corrupt or illegally distribute information. There might also be internal risks of losing data through integration procedures. By using a project tracking application, you can keep all your data centralised. If you use the project tracking tool as a software as a service (SaaS), the software provider is likely to incorporate advanced security systems for storing your data in cloud-based servers.

Related: Cybersecurity Tools: Definition, Importance and Examples

Enables project transparency

Project transparency essentially refers to open communication, data access and interactions within a project team. Using project tracking systems usually improves project transparency, as you can customise access permissions. The entire team can review the project roadmap, the goals and targets, project progression, work schedules and team member accountability. This can greatly enhance collaboration and communication within a project team environment, ensuring the team aligns with the project goals and deliverables. The reporting features provided by many tracking tools can also increase transparency between the project and the executives, clients and investors.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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