How To Build Custom Project Management Platform From Scratch

・6 min read
How To Build Custom Project Management Platform From Scratch

Smart managers understand that the most precious resource their companies have is the time of their employees. This is one of the reasons why a project management tool is so helpful in managing tasks, timelines, teams and products.

Project management tools are built to support work, efficient collaboration and transparent communication. Especially now, when more and more businesses are turning to outsourcing and outstaffing, using good PM software may become crucial for the success of your company.

If you are wondering how to build a custom project management platform to increase the productivity of your company and organize internal processes, this article is for you.

Why do business owners opt for project management tools?

There are many reasons why business owners choose to use project management tools for their everyday tasks. Interestingly, it is not only to speed them up. Let’s dive deeper.

1. The need for new methods

Research from 2016 shows that around 60% of prospects are still using manual methods like emails, spreadsheets or even pen and paper. Non-PM tools like Google Apps or MS Office management packages may eventually not be enough. This is why business owners are looking for advanced and custom solutions for project management.

2. Business metrics

Are you constantly wondering for how many products it took too long to pass the tests last year? Or how many internal projects have been actually completed this month? A custom management platform is a great solution to track business metrics like these and many more.

3. Improving communication

Custom project management can help you achieve a more efficient communication process. It may also cut down the email clutter and introduce a more smooth collaboration in various scenarios

4. Assessing performance

So you know how much profit your company made last year but have no clue how to evaluate individual team members? A custom-built project management platform can help you review that data.

5. Distributed business models

If you rely on freelancers, contract workers or remote teams, PM software will allow you to manage the workflow and connect with everyone to ensure a smooth connection.

Why build your own PM?

When you finally decide to start using PM software, you will probably ask yourself whether to use an out-of-the-box solution or create a custom project management platform.

Out-of-the-box software

Pros

  • cheaper
  • ready to use

Cons

  • limited or none adjustments possible
  • may not suit your needs, e.g., a massive amount of unnecessary functionality

Custom solution

Pros

  • fitted for the needs’ of your business
  • scalable and flexible

Cons

  • takes more time to develop
  • can be expensive

If you decide to go for a ready-made platform, keep in mind that you may miss out on features like time tracking, cost tracking, task dependencies or subtasks. However, if these functionalities are crucial for your business you should consider building your own PM product.

How to Build Your Own Software for Project Management

When building your own project management software the first step is to define your own workflow. Pay attention to all the possible scenarios while keeping it simple.

Your PM solution should be a tool that complements your productivity. If the workflow is not defined properly, the software will not be able to help you manage it.

Defining your workflow also means defining your goals. Think about the features you need, get opinions from other departments that are going to use the solution. Carefully organize the requests into ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ features. Assess them with a cold head, keeping in mind the bigger picture.

Remember to document your existing process thoroughly. Define who does what, in how much time etc. Test, confirm and validate to avoid growing a complicated process. Beta testers will find any redundancies that should be eliminated. Once you establish that, test again.

Ensure that each team member who will be working with the software is 100% comfortable and familiar with it. Plan extra time for an implementation stage. Have multiple training sessions for your employees and encourage them to take their time and become acquainted with the new system.

Must-have features of PM software

Some solutions lack certain features while offering ones that are useless for you. However, there is a common set of features that make a quality project management app. They are:

  1. Task management - one of the basic features that helps to plan, schedule, define and assign tasks. You can also set priorities and monitor deadlines
  2. Collaboration and file sharing - when the majority of tasks is completed by several people at different stages, a collaboration feature is crucial. It is also nice to have a file-sharing feature to enable team members to upload and store files
  3. Reporting - it can give you a thorough overview of your projects’ progress
  4. Time tracking - track time spent on tasks. It is crucial for the team’s productivity and allows keeping track of costs and estimating time in advance
  5. Email integration - it can enhance collaboration since there is no need to switch back and forth between different platforms while working on a project
  6. Budgeting - make price estimation easier and more accurate

There are also additional elements to consider:

  1. Resource tracking - it allows monitoring capacity and availability of people, production units, empty rooms and other supplies
  2. Invoicing - it helps to track payments and expenses and generates invoices for clients
  3. Risk analysis - an advanced tool that helps to identify threats, risk correlations that make more accurate estimates
  4. Portfolio management - it lets you forecast roadmaps for the project, manage team resources and track progress with real-time planning

Summary

Having a project management tool is a big deal. It helps to organize everyday tasks performing them quicker and more efficiently.

Some businesses choose to work with ready-made solutions, however, they have to face the lack of personalization. A custom-build project management software, although more expensive, will give you the freedom of scalability and full customization.

When building your own product, it is crucial to prepare a well thought out plan and list of must-have features. After the development, remember to test it on a small group of people, implement the feedback and release it. Allow your employees to get accustomed to the new tool and it will surely bring you benefits each day.

If you are looking to outsource the development of your custom project management software, we are here to help you. With years of experience in product development and graphic design, we will create an amazing solution suitable to your requirements.

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