Components Of Task Management Software

By Joseph Young

Task management software can help make your job easier. It can provide valuable insights into your projects,making you more profitable. Task management software can also automate your processes and reduce the administration around a project. Well discuss what to look for in a system.

When looking for task management software, the first thing you want to do is find a system that has the ability to track budgets and actual time by tasks. This is important so you can look at the project at any time and see how it is progressing. Tracking budget to actual time by task allows you to see if any task is over or under budget and act accordingly. If you have an overage, seeing it as soon as possible allows you to analyze the cause of the overage and make corrections. If the overage was caused by an increase in the projects scope, you can be proactive in asking the client for a change order, before you have gone too far or completed the project and have lost your leverage. Budget to actual reviews are also important to learn from. When a project is complete, you can see where your estimates were incorrect and use this information for the next project. When you have multiple employees estimating new projects, these historical reviews can highlight trends in employees capabilities. If you see areas where an employee consistently underestimates projects, you know that you need to increase future estimates from that employee prior to releasing the estimate to clients. This awareness can be the difference between profits and losses.


While having the ability to track time by task is important, it is also important for the task management software to be flexible and allow you to track time at the right task level for your business. You also want a system that will allow for the right tasks to be used. You want the task management software to allow time to be tracked at an overall level for smaller projects or less complex projects. If the project is less than forty hours, it may not make sense to track in too much detail. You may take more time entering employees time and figuring out what happened than it is worth. In those cases, tracking at the job level is sufficient and you want the task management software to be able to accommodate you. On the other side, if the project is larger, complex, or has many employees working on it, you may want to break down the project into smaller tasks that can be analyzed. This will call for a system where you can have the number of tasks desired. Additionally, different types of projects will have different tasks. Your task management software should be flexible enough to allow you to define the tasks you need versus using the ones the software thinks you need. You should also have the ability to change these for each project you have, if you want.

Another component of the task management software you should look for is ease of use. The system should facilitate your processes and make you more efficient. Setting up projects, defining tasks, recording time and expenses, and billing that time should all be done in as short of time as possible. One way for the system to do this is to allow templates to be created for each type of project you have. You could also have a Save As function. Either way, the system should allow for recurring data to be populated on a project and only require you to enter information that is specific to that project.

On the invoicing side of a project, you will want to make sure the task management software allows for simple billing. The system should allow time to flow from timesheets into invoicing, avoiding the need to manually re-enter time and potential mistakes. The software should allow an invoice to be created and edited on the screen, without unnecessary steps. Making changes to the rate you bill, the hours charged versus written off, or the total amount to invoice should be easy. On the invoice, you want the option to include the level of detail the customer requires. Once the billing has been completed, the information from the project tracking software should automatically flow into the financial modules accounts receivable and the general ledger. This allows you to track the balances due from customers, by projects as well as have an accurate accounting of your revenue.

Finally, the task management should give you the ability to retrieve information about each project that will provide you with the knowledge to analyze your business. Some of the data you will want to review and understand is actual time versus budgeted time by tasks and the overall project, amount of time written off on each customer or project, employee utilization, realization rates by employee, customer, or project, and customer profitability.

Good task management software allows you to gain insights that are key to running your business. It can also facilitate efficient processes to run your projects. The right software can help you become more efficient and ultimately more successful.

About the Author: Joe Young is President of Beyond Software, publisher of

task management software

for small companies. Beyond Software brings project functionality to companies in an easy-to-use way that allows you to run your business more efficiently. For more information go to Source:

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