So let`s talk about product-centric vision. Nirav Patel answered the question “How do I find the best project management tool?”

Nirav Patel, IT Project / Product Manager with 12 years of experience talks about must-have features:

Must-have features for good project management software for creative teams:

  • Time tracking – This is an essential component of overall productivity, allowing project managers to keep an eye on costs while enabling stakeholders to estimate time beforehand, log the time spent on each task and notate what was accomplished in that time.
  • Invoicing – Often integrated with the time-tracking feature, invoicing can be highly automated.
  • Budgeting – Estimating project costs is not only easier but also a lot more accurate with project management software. The ideal budgeting feature allows for time and expenses, cross-charging, multiple rates and currencies, cash-flow requirements, labor, expenses, and automatic calculation for both actual and re-estimated costs.
  • Risk analysis – Incorporating data that includes threats, opportunities, risk probability, sensitivity analyses, risk correlations and a wealth of other components related to risk probability, the risk analysis feature ensures far more accurate analysis of the project life cycle.
  • File sharing – A key component of collaboration, file sharing establishes a central location for all project documents, sending out notifications whenever a modification occurs. Whether hosted on local servers or in the cloud, file sharing should provide security as well as an easy interface that keeps everything organized.
  • Email integration – Another important element for collaboration, email integration prevents stakeholders from having to navigate between two different platforms when working on a project. This feature typically includes email tracking and history, automatic email reminders and a variety of templates for quick communication. Many platforms also have the ability to integrate email addresses with all known social media profiles associated with that email, further connecting all means of communication.
  • Issue tracking – Issue tracking allows the monitoring of a variety of different problems, allowing stakeholders to report issues requiring attention. Issue descriptions are tracked in real time, with notifications created for status, systems affected, and documentation and reporting.
  • Gantt charts – A critical component of planning and scheduling, Gantt charts provide a wide-angle view of the project through a visual timeline. The Gantt-chart feature allows you to see what all stakeholders are working on, monitor deliverables, and compare planned items versus actual results. This insight helps project managers refine delivery estimates and prioritize tasks to further streamline the process.

In my opinion – the list is far from “must have”.

File sharing – not an issue today. Sometimes it`s better to keep anything in one dedicated place. For example, creative teams need such huge storage so it`s cheaper to keep all shit in hard SSD. So I don`t think that file storage and sharing module is a must-have requirement.

Invoicing – the same… Maybe it`s set up and invoice flow doing its way without project workflow

Budgeting – … maybe it`s a cool case when everybody understands the unit economy in the company. But if manager tracking project PnL in any other way – that`s Ok

Gantt charts – all pm software I used I did it with frustration about Gantt charts. Finally, I realized that I don`t need it. My approach differs. So not must-have too

Risk analysis – that`s what everybody used ti learn at the institute but… does anybody decreased risks on 2009, 2014, … Project Management is not about risks. I know that assignee can be sick leave and you must have a plan for this. But software…? It`s a waste of time setting up all this thinks you can’t manage at all


Project Management is about resources: time, money, people AND client requirements. So all tasks must give you the right result if they are done in time. So think about task description, track resources you burn on tasks, and communicate about requirements with team and client. That`s key points of project management. I don`t sure that Gantt`s charts helping many projects be well-done in-time. We have to fins our own simple recipe of productivity.

Interviewer and master of all trades behind Approval Studio. Free demos, creative talks, ideas, and lots of communication in general. One project manager to rule them all with a decade of experience in the industry. Knows everything and more about artwork proofing and is more than willing to share this experience with you.

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