Last updated on November 23rd, 2023 at 05:15 am
Project management is a science in its own right; people go to college to earn degrees in the field. The project managers are then tasked with making sure the timeline of their projects – from inception to implementation, and beyond – stay within set boundaries and milestones to keep time and cost in check.
We have all seen Gantt charts and Kanban boards in project rooms where team members study them, and check their projects and tasks’ current statuses, to see if they are lagging behind, right on time or ahead of their due dates.
A project management software solution helps the project managers stay within the set limits and boundaries, thus, ensuring successful completion. But, not all businesses – or their project managers – are lucky enough to find a software solution that addresses all their project management requirements.
In this post we will look at how a custom project management software solution can help you manage projects – in 10 special, creative ways – for your business and how you can start customizing one for yourself.
What is custom project management software?
Custom project management software can be defined as a digital solution that was created to meet specific, unique project management requirements of a business' project planning and resource management processes.
It may be developed to address one specific issue with their existing project planning and resource management process or to implement a change in the whole process – from start to finish. A custom project management solution is usually a last resort taken when no off-the-shelf or premium solutions can be found on the market – even after you've taken several free trials.
In the past, once the decision was made to implement project management software, developers would work for months to deploy a custom solution.
But now, thanks to low-code online database development technology, citizen developers can create fully-functional applications and solutions that manage projects – without the need for IT experts.
This means the solution you develop would have unique custom project management features to address your specific requirements.
Why would I need custom project management software?
Well, the main reason anyone would want the best project management software is that they need to work with all the input from (or the output to) other project management tools, modules or systems that would otherwise be incompatible.
A central, custom project management solution would be able to cater to the data input/output requirements and serve as a bridge to one or more time tracking, resource management or related systems.
Perhaps, you have looked around at the best project management software solutions that are available on the market and even taken a couple of them out for a test drive using their free trials. And yet, you are still not satisfied with the workflows – or any other feature – they have, and you can’t (or aren’t allowed to) configure them exactly as you would need them to be.
The only choice left for you to do would be to go ahead and convert those Kanban boards and Gantt charts into their digital equivalent: off the wall and into a cloud database.
Then again, you may already own a project management software that you have been using, simply because you had no other option. You may have had to go out of your way – or execute absolutely unnecessary procedures – to painfully extract the results you sought.
Well; not anymore. You can now build a custom application to meet all your project management requirements.
Are the best project management software development solutions worth it?
Admittedly, the cost of developing custom software – for project management, or otherwise – is almost always higher than buying the premium solution off the shelf (as you'll find out as soon as your free trial is over).
This is because your business needs to pay for design and development, support and maintenance, and resource management for a custom development project. The more time spent developing your custom project management features, the higher the cost will become.
Even after the software has been developed and deployed, it will inevitably have bugs. This will require back-and-forth efforts between the customer and developer to make the appropriate fixes.
Only once that is done, will you be the proud owner of a custom project and time-tracking solution that addresses your exact, unique requirements.
But, don't be discouraged…
You don't have to start pinning your Gantt charts back onto the notice board just yet; because there's a way out. There are ways to make your new project management application worth every single cent.
- Choose an online database design and development platform – this cuts costs by providing a cloud-based platform to develop, test, and even deploy your solution; you can also store your data in the cloud.
- Go for a low-code development application – cut development costs by getting rid of programmers; enable your citizen developers to create tools for the processes they already know everything about using only drag-and-drop development methods.
- Take the whole project into the cloud – once the development phase is over, cut the costs required to run your custom project management software by moving it into the cloud. There are no maintenance, overhead, and upgrade costs required. It is all taken care of by the cloud service and hosting provider while you simply continue to manage projects.
How do you create custom project management software?
The only way to create the best project management software developed in-house would be with an online database platform.
But, apart from the cost, there are many more reasons:
- Selection of templates – you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The best custom cloud database design platforms already have templates that you can simply adopt, tweak, and deploy; this includes project management solutions that keep track of your due dates.
- Low-code development – you don’t need to learn a new programming language. The best of them will let you create your project management solution, or any other application, using drag-and-drop actions; and although they are easy to create, these very applications will also be very powerful and highly effective.
- Excellent back end and infrastructure support – you don’t need to worry about the servers, routers or any other hardware issues; the database design platform will have a hosting solution that is, perhaps, better than anything you could ever build in your own IT department.
- High accessibility – you also don’t have to worry about connectivity or availability issues; your new project management software will be hosted on the cloud.
- No headaches – you can focus on the development, deployment, and administration of your project management solution and leave all the maintenance, security, upgrading, and management of both software and hardware resources to the development platform and hosting service providers.
The 10 creative ways to use custom project management software
Ok, let’s jump straight in and have a look at how your custom project management software can help your business deliver tasks and projects on time.
1. A project management and time-tracking stack
Custom project management software means you can integrate it with other applications. In fact, you can create a chain of project time-tracking applications that individually perform unique tasks and yet link to one another.
For example, you can add your custom project management software to a Zapier project so that it can be triggered by solutions like Slack, Dropbox, Trello or Skype.
2. Take advantage of the latest technology
If your business finds itself falling behind when it comes to technological advances, you can take advantage of the latest software solutions and hardware infrastructure by creating new custom project management software.
Your business will be able to leverage the feedback, input or datasets which were created for other, “modern” or advanced technologies without the need to upgrade your older systems. Needless to say, make sure you test for backward compatibility during the free trial.
3. Leverage legacy systems
On the other hand, just because you have legacy systems or still use old data formats doesn’t mean they need to be excluded from the project. In fact, these old data sources could serve as critical inputs for your current and future business plans.
You can use your new custom project management tools to either temporarily work with your legacy data, have it stored in a newer database system or even permanently parsed into a more current data format.
4. Take the project online
It makes perfect sense to take your whole project online – including your new custom project management software.
This also means your business can expand its reach and bring all the team members on board and even add external experts and consultants – no matter where they may be located.
5. Cut costs… even more
A well-designed custom project management software can help you cut costs in several ways:
- Team members can stay home – Employees can simply update the project management tools from their home offices.
- Cut communication costs – If any of the team members on the project are unclear about a point, or they don’t know what to do in a particular situation, all they need to do is refer to the project management and time-tracking software.
- Save paper costs – Not only does this save money on paper copies, but it is also a more environmentally friendly alternative.
6. Cross-project management boundaries
Don’t let your project management process be limited by the methodologies of your industry alone. Why would you want to be limited to just the ways you’re "supposed" to do things based on the industry norm?
The point is: the software is yours; build it to fit your specific business needs.
7. Clear the path with precise workflows
Project managers can set up automated workflows so there isn’t any confusion about what goes where or what needs to be done next.
This will cut time that is wasted due to erroneous workflow paths while also improving team collaboration.
8. Stay on top of errors and issues
You can use alerts and notifications to get your team members to react, and proceed to finish a task. Thanks to alerts, errors and issues can be resolved before major time-consuming disasters occur.
9. Create transparency reports
One of the best ways of encouraging team members to work harder and achieve a common goal is through transparency. Custom project management software can be used to create reports and graphical presentations that let every team member know how valuable their contribution to the project is.
10. Extend project working hours
Project managers can extend the number of working hours spent on a project by accommodating team members working remotely in different time zones or even different countries. This way, with the project management tools streamlining work schedules, people from all over the world can be brought on board.
Start building your new custom project management software today
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