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Construction Project Management Software: The Ultimate Showdown

Keeping all the elements of a project in sync can be a challenge. For HVAC, construction, and plumbing contractors, a single mistake in the job process can be costly, which makes total control over projects essential.

Since the dawn of the computer age, digital approaches to project management have come to the fore. It’s now a race to find the best construction project management software that defines a contractor’s climb to success, and with the right construction management software, no project is beyond your reach.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about project management software, introduce you to the top construction management software applications, and provide you with a construction project management software comparison. Does your business need premium project management software? Read on to find out.

Primary Functions of Project Management Software

Primary Functions of Project Management Software

You’re convinced that construction management software takes organization and efficiency to a whole new level, but what does project management software do?

To a degree, that depends on the project management software suite in question. Some types of software do more than others, and there are plenty of “project management" tools that aren’t part of an overall software suite. For instance, Microsoft’s Enterprise versions of its Office 365 suite include a lot of tools that work for project management, but the primary purpose of that software suite is document generation and collaboration.

Software suites explicitly designed for managing every aspect of a  project are actually quite rare. In most cases, these applications offer additional functionality, and specific construction management software tools are components of larger team management suites.

While the exact functions provided vary between construction management software suites, each option covers the following basic parameters:

  1. Planning

Even free project management tools help you plan your projects. Planning is such an essential part of project management that any software that didn’t provide this functionality wouldn’t be of any use. The exact degree to which project management software helps you plan your projects, however, varies depending on the software suite you choose.

  1. Task management

Once your project is underway, you’ll need tools to make sure your team completes tasks efficiently and accurately. Task management is a critical component of many project management software suites, but not every project management program offers this functionality.

  1. Data sharing and collaboration

Your team will need to be able to communicate freely and clearly to complete projects efficiently. Most organizations use a medley of multiple operating systems, device types, and software suites, so useful construction management software makes proper collaboration across platforms possible.

  1. Support and error management

Things go wrong in every project, and every project management software application has its flaws. Proper project management software helps you recover from errors, and it includes support that gets your team back on track after slowdowns.

  1. Task tracking

Get the impression that one segment of your team is holding tasks back more than any other? Task tracking, also known as time tracking, is a valuable tool that allows you to check the time it takes to complete each task within your project.

Top Project Management Software Options

Without any further ado, let’s introduce a few of the best project management software tools for your team:

Top Project Management Software Options

About Project Management Software

What is project management software? Before we answer that question, we’ll need to examine another: What is project management software supposed to be?

A project management software application organizes all the various components of a project under a single umbrella. No matter how many different facets your project might have, it’s always possible to become more organized, and functional task management software helps your entire team communicate, collaborate, and get the job done faster.

Collaboration software comes in many shapes and sizes. At the dawn of the second decade of the 21st century, however, it’s already clear that mobile devices and cloud computing are coming to the fore in the business arena. We’re gradually moving toward a paradigm in which our data follows us wherever we go, and electronic devices form an ever-interlocking web around every member of the international professional class.

Rather than serving as cages, however, these devices act as prostheses or exoskeletons that allow business professionals to accomplish undreamed-of feats. With just a few devices and software suites, a single asset can perform work that would have tied up more than a dozen workers as recently as 20 years ago.

For this techno-utopian dream to fully take root in the world of business, however, it’s essential to use tools that properly exploit the fantastic resources that mobile and desktop devices have become. Workflow software can even get in your way in extreme cases, so learning how to find the best project management software on the market is essential. With the right construction management software, you’ll take your company a decade ahead of the competition in no time.

Who Needs Project Management Software?

Who Needs Project Management Software?

Professionals across a wide variety of fields need project management software to keep their teams organized and their margins profitable. Any industry that includes projects involving multiple team members can benefit from project management software, and this technology is essential in the following three professional fields:

Electrical contractors

Working with electricity isn’t like any other discipline. One wrong move and you’ve sustained a severe injury or even lost a life. Therefore, proper planning is even more critical in electrical contracting than it is in other forms of architecture, engineering, or maintenance.

Electrical contractors need to be able to follow rigid, multi-step protocols every time. In many cases, complicated systems nest together to create a cohesive project, and the multi-dimensionality of electrical engineering demands excellent organizational tools.

The best project management software tools on the market accommodate for the technical complexity of electrical tasks by providing workflow optimization services for team-wide operations. As mobile devices become increasingly useful in electrical fields, multi-device integration also becomes more critical in electrician-oriented project management software.

Plumbing contractors

When a leak springs in a brand-new building, it’s the plumbing contractor that bears the blame. Whether it’s repairs or new construction, proper task management is essential to success in plumbing contracting.

The best project management software tools for plumbing will make it easy to keep track of operations throughout the project site in real-time. From there, you’ll gain access to a top-down overview of everything that’s going on in your plumbing project. It’s only with this birds-eye view that you’ll be able to make sure every part fits together and water always goes where it’s supposed to go.

HVAC contractors

Clients rely on your expertise to keep their spaces clean and safe for employees, family members, and anyone else who steps inside. There’s a lot to keep track of on any HVAC-related job, and organizing new projects is the most challenging aspect of an HVAC contractor’s career.

The best project management software for HVAC contractors makes it easy to establish and share safety protocols. HVAC installation can be hazardous for workers, and the primary purpose of installing high-end HVAC equipment is workplace health and safety. Keeping projects tight and making sure that team members can communicate effectively is every HVAC contractor’s dream, and the right project management software can get it done.

Paid vs. Free Project Management Software

Paid vs. Free Project Management Software

What’s better: premium collaboration software or free project management tools? Even with just this brief look at project management software we’ve covered so far, it’s clear that there’s a big difference between free project management tools and professional workflow software.

The world of project management software is no different from any other facet of the digital age, so the same truths hold. For years, developers and consumers alike have agreed that if you aren’t paying for a piece of software or a service, you are the product. Even if you aren’t the product, free or “freemium" software is never as robust as paid options.

Why? It all comes down to simple incentives. People who make paid software have the lure of money to improve their work, and they can also access better resources with the capital they gain from software sales. As a result, paid developers make products that are better across the board.

Whether you want to optimize your team’s sharing capability or adequate planning resources are most important for your project, the best project management software will not be free software. Construction management software is only as good as the time and resources that went into it, and when you have a steady inflow of capital from license sales, you can go the extra mile to create genuinely superb products.

When you’re gearing up for a new project, keeping costs as minimal as possible is the goal. Adding another expense to the roster is the last thing you want, but investing in the best project management software early in the planning stages can save you a lot of money over the long haul.

Regardless of the scope of your project, coming prepared increases your chances of success. Whether this project will make or break your company or you’re just trying to expand your client pool, investing in high-end construction management software will end up being worth it.

We’ve covered the best project management software on the market, and we’ve explained why this software is so essential for your company. Most of all, however, we’ve imparted all that project management software can do. Business technology has come a long way in the last decade, and enterprises around the world can now benefit from project management software that is as sophisticated as it is intuitive.

Remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to project management software. Consider your needs seriously and select the software suite that will give each of your team members what they need to shine.

What’s Involved in a Project?

Involved in a Project?

Every project involves a variety of key players. Stakeholders, project managers (PMs), and team members all work together to delineate the parameters of the project and bring it to completion. For a project to be a success, everyone needs to understand their roles, and they must carry out these roles effectively.

Projects have distinct beginnings, middles, and ends. These sections of a project’s lifetime group into the following stages:

  1. Conceptualization

 The conceptualization stage of a project is the least structured. Project conceptualization often happens organically as your company’s needs change. In other cases, team members work actively to conceptualize new projects that will add value to the company.

The only goal of the conceptualization phase is to come up with the idea that you want to execute. It isn’t necessary to have a clear plan; all that you need to do is recognize a good idea when it slides across your desk.

  1. Planning

Once you’ve found an idea worth pursuing, you transform it into a project during the planning phase. It’s during this stage that you and your team come up with a definitive plan that you’ll use throughout the lifetime of the project.

The planning phase is the most critical part of the project cycle. Without proper planning, you’ll reach a point in your project when a team member doesn’t know what to do, or when a crucial detail hasn’t been included. From there, a domino effect of disaster occurs that dooms every project that comes in its path.

A proper project plan includes clear goals, expected costs, required materials, timelines, human resource applications, and a whole medley of other critical factors. It takes years of experience and a scientific attitude to do project planning right, and the latest business technology tools make getting prepped for projects fool-proof.

  1. Execution

If you’ve adequately planned, executing your project should be smooth and worry-free. Any flaws in your plan, however, will make themselves painfully apparent during execution. Executions also become stressful when your operations aren’t fully synchronized. Many companies get flustered in these situations and run around putting out fire after fire, but you can avoid all that wasted effort with a little bit of proper planning and organized execution.

Once you’ve completed the execution phase, your project will mostly be over. You’ll still need to record the results of your project, however, and prepare for the results of your efforts. A properly executed execution phase presides over its operation, cleans up the after-effects and ties up all the loose ends of a successful project.

  1. Termination

The termination of a project is the decisive moment that each of the contributors agrees that project-related activities have ended. Now’s the time to read the tea leaves and find out what the future will bring. The newer factors you must assess once it’s all over, the more significant the impact that your project had.

Throughout each stage of your project, you’ll need to establish proper protocols for making sure the execution process is a success. Termination is the perfect time to assess the steps you took to manage your project: Are your methods effective, or do you need to invest more into project management?