Well-defined and efficient project management is really important while working on any kind of project. There are generally many steps that must be managed for a project irrespective of the size.
In case you are out in the market looking for a project management tool then chances are highly likely that you have heard about the benefits offered by Zoho Projects. In case you have not then Zoho Projects is probably the best tool in the form of an online project management software that helps businesses keep track of tasks, collaborate, and stay in tune with updates.
It is a useful platform that can be very helpful for resource allocation and project management processes. What separates Zoho Projects from its counterparts is that it is a huge platform that allows integration between different applications.
In this blog, we will be taking an in-depth look into all the features and the advantages of Zoho Projects.
What is Zoho Projects?
Zoho offers powerful project management software that consists of four basic modules available in each package as well as in the free version. The modules that are included in the Zoho Projects are Tasks and Milestones, Project, Documents, Meetings and Forums, and Calendars. All of these tools are an important part of the off-the-shelf capabilities of this excellent application.
As the requirements in a company keep scaling up and need intensification, the add on modules like time tracking, wiki, chat, and billing can be added without any problems to the application so that an economical solution can be provided for smaller businesses.
After understanding what is Zoho Projects, we will now see the various methods in which this software facilitates a seamless task allocation.
1. Project Planning and Collaborating
Planning the projects and collaborating with other team members can be very difficult, but it is important for the businesses. Fortunately, Zoho Projects makes it simple for everyone to get on the same page by enabling to import documents from different applications like Open Office, Photoshop, PDF, ZIP files, and Microsoft Office.
In case you wish to take this a step further you can create intranet pages or wiki pages where the team members can create, share and respond to the project-related content like documents, presentations, video clips, spreadsheets, etc. Zoho implementation
offers drag and drop tools that make it simple to build and update customized pages within minutes.
In case the priority is on what you need then Zoho Projects also offers message boards where one can create a thread to post topics, spark conversations, and encourage collaboration. If you wish to keep the conversation going on, there is also an option to create a chat room where team members of a company can be invited. With the built-in chat feature, everyone can come together to discuss some important things, share different ideas, and also solve problems in real-time. There is no need for app installation as Zoho Projects includes the chat feature and the most amazing thing is that the complete transcript is saved so that the team members can go back later for reviewing the conversation in case it is necessary.
2. Configure a Staff Portal
With the help of Zoho Projects login
, it becomes possible to add your staff users from your own organization while also adding customers to the project portal. This makes it much simpler for the complete staff and customers to effortlessly coordinate tasks that happen in one place.
In addition, it is also possible to create multiple projects. In fact, you can assign the staff and customers to some of the dedicated projects just as you wish and feel as necessary. The customers don’t need a Zoho account to be added to the portal.
While you create a project, there is also a dedicated email for that specific project. Anybody who emails this address can automatically log in for an issue for the project.
3. Setting Tasks and Milestones
With the help of task management, task dependency views, and project milestones, it becomes possible to carry out resource allocation and report on any function. You can set the tasks and assign them to the staff just as you feel it is necessary.
Other than this, it is also possible to set the due dates for tasks so that they can be delivered in a timely fashion. With every task, there is a timer equipped anyone who is assigned a task can log in their hours while undertaking and completing that task.
A task can have attachments and instructions and it is also possible to form a dependency where beginning one task will depend on the completion of another. Right after the task is completed; the dependency can be set to close. Additionally, custom statuses of tasks can also be configured. The milestones must be logged separately. Either they can be associated with tasks or you can set a milestone for a set of tasks.
4. Log Issues at the Time of Project
Almost no project is perfect and there is always an underlying issue to be found. A separate tab with the names of Issues or Bugs can most likely exist so that the customers can log issues or problems that are likely to occur. As it has been mentioned previously, a fixed email address can be mailed in order to log into an issue.
Issues also have time tracking and other times so that one can log on how long it takes for fixing something. There is also a scope to add the attachments wherever it is necessary. The default statuses available are open and closed but the custom statuses can also be added.
The issue section is actually a centralized platform where the customers can communicate their issues and an organization can respond to them and fix the problems accordingly.
5. Gantt Charts
Gantt Charts can be just another way to visualize the progress of the tasks that are underway. They allow you to see every detail of a project including the task lists, percentages of completeness, overdue tasks, dependencies and milestones. Every category is assigned a different colour which makes it easy to identify and distinguish the tasks.
Besides this, the rescheduling and reorganizing of the tasks are also made simple with the use of Gantt Charts. You can alter your plans by adding the tasks, dragging and dropping a task from one area of the chart to another and then editing the milestones just as it is needed.
Moreover, you can also switch the views on a chart depending on the kind of information that is needed. If you wish to know which projects are due in the coming time then you can switch the view of the Gantt chart for showing the upcoming due dates first. Finally, the Gantt Chart can be customized based on your preference including scaling a chart, filtering the information and exporting the task data just as needed.
Zoho Projects makes accounting simple by having all the individuals working on projects to log their working and non-working hours into the Zoho platform. Timesheets can record the beginning and end date of tasks for tracking the cost and time spent on parts of a project. You can set the timers for a task and once you stop the timer, the entries of time spent get automatically logged in the timesheets.
The timers help greatly in calculating the real working hours consumed by a project. In case you need it then the Zoho Projects contains a detailed breakdown of all tasks complete all through the duration of each project. Furthermore, there will also be an option to log time daily or weekly based on the kind of project.
You can establish an approval process and billing status for the timesheets. Make sure that you select a default billing status for the entries before logging time. You can also establish a well defined approval process for the entries so that it becomes simple to filter and view approved and unapproved entries.
In just a single click, you can send your customers, stakeholders, project managers and timesheet reports with regards to specific projects so that they can understand what work has been completed. With so many timesheets being logged in the system, you can also choose to view the reports based on the users, billing or even some window of dates. Once the reports have been viewed, you can choose to export the timesheet data as the PDF, xls or csv files.
7. Automating Tasks
Automation is yet another core benefit of the different tools offered by Zoho and Zoho Projects is by all means no exception to this rule. With the help of Zoho Projects, you can create automated email notification rules for letting all the important parties know when an issue is logged in and when an issue is assigned accordingly.
Other than this, it is also possible to set business rules where the automated tasks can be done when a project issue offers a high security level. You can also use a webhook that allows a third party application to perform an action that is based on a Zoho Projects task.
A perfect example of a webhook is sending a message to a user whenever there is an urgent escalation. Zoho has custom functions that make configuration for customized automation possible which is not available straight out of the box in Zoho Projects.
Finally, Blueprints can be used to refine the project’s processes. It helps in configuration of custom statuses and actions that follow much before, during and right after the custom status. When you are working on an issue, you can set the status to “In Progress”. Right after this happens, the customers are notified that a task is in progress. When the task is finished, the status can be set as “To be tested” so that the customer can review. Blueprints are highly useful for segmented task automation.
8. Zoho Reports
An advanced analytics and a business intelligence application, Zoho Reports helps in pulling up data and clearly mapping it visually. The integration of a project management software like Zoho Projects with Zoho Reports can offer an in-depth insight on the team’s progress while turning the data into actionable insights.
Zoho Reports offers a bigger picture with a customizable and an insightful dashboard. You can easily create a wide range of reports such as project status, burning down charts, using hours, planning and executing actual reports that help a team connect dots and putting project insights into action.
9. Zoho Invoice Integration
The built in integration with the help of Zoho Invoice helps in automatically generating invoices with logged timesheets. In case you wish to streamline that process for accounting, ensure that you check out the Zoho Invoice application as well.
Zoho Projects provides time tracking functionalities that optimize the performance of a project, calculate the task time, and help in exporting timesheet data in the desired format while sending invoices for payments using the Zoho Invoice. It is possible to load the timesheet data into the Zoho Invoice by clicking the Create Invoice option.
10. Document Management
Acting as an effective and a safe place for storing and sharing the files, Zoho Projects helps in keeping the files organized while allowing a team to share and access files as needed. It does not matter if it is a document, video, report, clip or spreadsheet, you can easily send and save all files in the Zoho Projects.
A good feature of Zoho Projects is that it saves the previous version of files while making it simple to recover files and return to previous versions when it is needed. Finally, Zoho Projects includes a powerful search tool that also helps in finding the files without searching through everything. Zoho Projects helps in making document sharing simple from any location.
As it has been mentioned above, Zoho Projects helps in making project management processes simple and efficient. However, the platform also makes it simple to automate many processes and save time with automatic reporting and workflows.
It is simple to view all your projects, who is working on the projects and share the documents relevant to a project. You can also integrate different applications to Zoho Projects that makes everything even simple to manage. All in all, Zoho Projects is a powerful platform that comes with many advantages.
In case you need any more assistance in setting up Zoho Projects for an organization or even if you need support for integration tasks, get in touch with Encaptechno
for expert help. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced professionals will be delighted to support you.