Project management software for startups: what to look for
Blog: Monday Project Management Blog
When the startup is just you and your cofounders, it’s easy enough to collaborate and distribute work — you don’t really need a system.
But once you hire a few employees, that’s no longer the case. Keeping everyone working on the right thing at the right time takes a lot of work.
That’s where project management software for startups comes in. With the right solution, you can streamline your entire company’s workflow and make it easy for teams to manage themselves.
In this article, we’ll cover exactly what startups should look for in project management software.
What is project management software for startups?
Project management software tailored to startups is scalable, customizable, and easy to adopt. It makes it easy to digitize your company culture and keep the work flowing, even with a distributed or fully remote team.
The best platforms go beyond pure task management and offer order management, workflow automations, and even customer relationship management.
Beyond the high-level features, you want a product that’s easy to use, so it doesn’t slow down your workflow or onboarding process. The last thing you want is a management tool that new employees need an extra week of training for.
A key part of growth is the ability to rapidly onboard new employees and scale an efficient company culture. You need a software platform that helps, not hinders, that process.
10 surprising use cases for project management software in your startup
If you get too hung up on the name, you may think that PM software is only for large projects. But that’s just not the case.
One of our clients, Moneytree — a fintech startup based in Tokyo, Japan — now uses monday.com to manage over 25 unique business processes.
Virtually anything the team used to handle with clunky email threads or spreadsheets now lives in a custom digital workspace.
In particular, it’s made onboarding and knowledge management easier throughout the entire company.
Information that used to get lost in long email threads is now right there in the right place, attached directly to a particular project or business process.
With the right software, you can go way beyond project management of unique, one-off projects. Let’s explore some of these use cases.
With PM software, you can effectively catalog, monitor, and manage your company’s resources. This goes for technical equipment, rental locations, or even people.
By having a real-time dashboard of available resources, you can make better management decisions.
For example, you’ll be able to schedule building projects so you can minimize rental equipment or contractor costs.
You can also figure out how to assign talent across teams to deal with changing demands and last-minute orders or projects.
With a basic project management tool like a to-do-list app, you probably won’t have this option. But most serious full-scale platforms offer time tracking, including for specific project tasks and work items.
This feature is especially useful for managing outside contractors and freelancers that you pay on an hourly basis. It can help you forecast monthly payroll costs and see which projects and processes most of your resources go to.
Another benefit of time tracking is that you can let your employees work on a flexible schedule.
That’s what matters most to remote workers in 2021. They even rate it higher than working from home or not having to commute,
According to a Buffer study, the flexible schedule is the number 1 benefit remote workers experience.
It allows people to work during their peak hours, even if they’re slow in the mornings. You can also take naps, run errands, or train during the day, then get back to work.
Sounds pretty good, right? With time tracking, you can let your employees set and track their own hours.
And if you have this functionality right within your project management software, all the better.
Employee onboarding and training
Hiring and training employees is a crucial part of growing your business. If you want to become a unicorn, you need a reliable process that scales your company culture.
How do you do this? With a standardized workflow for hiring, onboarding, and training new hires.
This use case is perfect for project management software.
With monday.com, you can use custom templates like this employee onboarding checklist and assign it to every new hire.
You can include files and explanatory docs directly to tasks, which lets you standardize and streamline the entire process.
A new hire can’t contribute to the team if they don’t know what to do or what’s going on. If you leave them to figure stuff out independently, it can take a long time before they’re firing on all cylinders.
It takes a while for new hires to reach full productivity. That’s not something you can afford as a startup. So make sure you create an efficient onboarding process to speed things up.
Document and knowledge management
It’s not just new hires that can struggle to find crucial bits of information. If you’re working with emails and spreadsheets, it’s easy for data to simply get lost in endless email threads or someone’s hard drive.
In startups, when teams and projects are often changing at a faster rate, this is even more important.
Project management software can also act as a skeleton framework for managing crucial knowledge.
With monday.com, for example, you can add all documentation and files directly to project work items and deliverables.
You won’t struggle to find a wireframe, prototype design, or product specifications after someone leaves the job.
Beyond just helping people organize their work, PM software can also help you eliminate meaningless tasks.
Most startups use a wide variety of different software apps and tools to handle their business. That means there’s a lot of checking different dashboards, data entry, copy and pasting, and collating data for reports.
There’s a ton of menial tasks related to data.
The average employee loses 60 hours per month to easily automatable tasks.
With monday.com, you can start getting rid of some of that unnecessary labor. Using our robust integrations, real-time dashboard, and automation builder, you can create a new, smarter workflow.
For example, instead of manually collating data from a CRM and Facebook ads to create weekly reports on campaign performance, you can set up a real-time dashboard.
Inter-departmental silos — a lack of communication between teams — can hold your company back. For example, customer service may already know about an issue that the product team should address.
You want this type of information to easily find its way to the right people. No department should have a monopoly on data that might help other teams perform better.
For example, if someone reports a bug to customer service, you want that information to reach developers ASAP.
This type of team collaboration is crucial for delivering a good customer experience.
It’s not just a collaboration tool. PM software can also help you manage support operations.
You can create a board that makes it easy to track, categorize, and prioritize all incoming support requests.
With monday.com, you can also create support request forms that are directly connected to this board. Then, you can set up a workflow that notifies a certain agent when a request in a specific category comes in.
If you have service SLAs for enterprise clients, you can even create a separate workflow to guarantee faster response times.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Are you struggling to adopt a CRM platform for your startup? Instead of hard-to-learn enterprise software, you can handle CRM-related activities from within your PM software.
Not all project management tools can handle this use case, but monday.com offers a wide range of customized templates and workflows to do just that.
Use our smart tools to keep your customers happy and convert more leads.
Marketing planning and management
What’s a more important startup project than planning the perfect marketing campaign?
You can set up an integrated marketing dashboard that automatically pulls data from ad platforms like Facebook Ads.
Then it’s a simple matter to monitor your spend across channels, incoming leads, and individual campaign performance.
With monday.com, you can even use our virtual whiteboard app to brainstorm early-stage ideas. Once you settle on a few, you can add them to a detailed campaign calendar or Kanban board.
monday.com is the perfect solution for marketers and creative teams.
If you want to sell more products, you need a better handle on all your leads. You should know which ones to prioritize and which stage every potential client is in at any given time.
You don’t need to use expensive vertical SaaS solutions for this use case. PM software offers all the features you need to create a similar overview of your leads in many cases.
For example, even a simple table overview that covers current status, potential deal size, and last contact date can go a long way.
From resource management to time tracking, support, and sales pipeline management, the right project management platform is a digital multitool for your startup. Do you have any business processes you want to standardize and streamline? PM software can help.
What startups should look for in project management software
Now that you understand some crucial applications, let’s cover the necessary project management features.
Workflow management and automation tools
You want tools that go beyond a simple to-do list. It’s a good idea to find something that lets you create a custom workflow for different processes.
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt if it lets you automate all the small, recurring tasks that eat up a lot of your team’s time either.
monday.com has a track record of helping teams better manage their workflows. For example, Seer Interactive saves 1.6 hours per person per week with our software.
Not only that, but it also boosted cross-division collaboration and overall project visibility.
Visualization tools — Gantt charts, timelines, and more
Text alone is a bad way to gain a high-level overview of a project or your business’s status. A Gantt chart is an advanced project timeline that outlines dependencies and milestones.
That’s the bare minimum of visualization that you want from a project management platform.
Ideally, you also want a real-time dashboard of multiple projects or processes and other ways to visualize crucial data.
monday.com offers Gantt charts, timelines, calendars, dashboards, and custom chart views for all your projects.
If you can’t tailor the platform to your workflows, it might just be more trouble than it’s worth. You don’t want to try to develop a new way of working from scratch to suit the new platform.
For example, if you have an Agile culture, you need a platform that can handle it.
Reliability and uptime
Even planned downtime costs companies $5.6 million per year, according to a study by IBM. And unplanned downtime can be even more destructive.
The last thing you want is for your project management solution to be unreliable. Every time it goes down, it becomes a lot harder for your teams to work.
Advanced data security
Especially if you use it for customer support or CRM, data security is a massive priority. You want to go with a company that has robust security policies and a platform with 2-factor-authentication and advanced access controls.
You don’t want the whole company to have access to sensitive data.
Ease of use — for fast adoption
The last consideration isn’t a feature but might be the most critical consideration — usability. You want a platform that makes your employees’ lives easier, not harder.
If they’re struggling to learn the platform for weeks or months, productivity will go down, not up.
Why monday.com is the perfect project management platform for startups
We’ve already shown you a few of the things our platform can do for your startup. monday.com can handle every use case we’ve mentioned, from time tracking to workflow automation.
What makes our platform uniquely suited for startups is its extensibility — you can create the exact digital workspace your team needs.
100% customizable to meet all your needs
Even though we offer a catalog of 200+ premade templates with monday.com, you don’t have to stick to a script.
You can customize all boards to suit your workflow and needs, whether your team is Agile, uses a Lean Kanban workflow, or something else entirely.
“I immediately found monday.com to be really flexible. When there is a new need, it flexes and fills the gap for me. Now we use it company-wide.” – Paul Chapman, Chief Executive and Founder, Moneytree
Easy to learn and master
There’s no weird jargon or unnecessary workflows on monday.com. The interface explains itself, and we’ve got a thorough catalog of tutorials and how-to videos to help you master our platform.
This leads to great adoption rates and cuts out the limbo phase, where your team struggles to figure out who’s on the platform and who’s still using email.
Managing projects doesn’t have to be complicated. With an easy-to-learn platform, you set your company up for success.
The last thing you want is to lose access to crucial lead information or your whole project plan. At monday.com, we’re dedicated to maximizing uptime so our clients can always access their digital workspace.
We offer reliable uptime monitoring and notifications, as well as a track record of uptime well over 99.95%.
Our pricing plans are perfect for a startup and any small team or business.
The basic pricing plan that includes unlimited projects and basic features costs $8/seat per month.
Even our advanced pro plan that offers time tracking, automations, and other advanced features costs $16/seat per month.
And you don’t need to pay for third-party client accounts. You can create unlimited guest accounts and control their level of access.
PM software isn’t just for projects anymore
For startups, the right project management platform can act as a digital Swiss Army knife. It can help you manage and optimize a wide range of business processes, from onboarding to resource management.
What makes monday.com such a startup-friendly option is our library of 200+ templates, complete with visualizations and logical automations. You can start optimizing your processes in just a few clicks.
You can, for example, use our recruitment and onboarding template to manage and train all your new employees.
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