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How to choose the right computer equipment for your business to increase your productivity and efficiency without it costing the earth.

Business software helps you complete a range of tasks. Choose the right software, provide support and train your staff with our introduction.

It is highly likely that you depend on the internet for some aspects of your business. Find out how you can use the internet more effectively.

Good communication with customers, partners and suppliers is vital for business success. This summary explores business communication methods.

How would you cope if your IT system failed or was breached? We cover the main IT security issues and how to protect against them.

Good IT management can help you choose, use and implement IT. Our overview helps you manage IT in a way that maximises the return on your investment.

IT support is vital if you rely on your IT system. But how can you set up an effective safety net in case things go wrong? We explore the options.

Getting the right IT is just the first step. Appropriate training, policies and working practices can help you maximise return on your IT investment.

Project management software

Business project management software can assist with the planning and scheduling of projects, helping you estimate timescales and produce a realistic plan to deliver on time

Do you need project management software?

You could be developing a product, revamping your website or running a marketing campaign. Whatever the nature of your project, good business project management can help ensure it runs smoothly.

However, traditional dedicated project management packages take real effort to learn. Many offer capabilities far in excess of what's needed for straightforward projects.

For example, a project to run a direct mail campaign to your customers might be a simple undertaking. With only a few key tasks, it wouldn't require project management software.

However, taking a whole new product to market might involve hundreds of inter-dependent tasks performed by lots of people, over a longer time period. Project management software would probably be useful for this project.

Why use project management software?

Project management software comes into its own when you need to plan one or more projects involving several people. Most packages allow you to input tasks, create dependencies between them and build a plan to get the project finished.

Additionally, project management tools can demonstrate what could happen in different circumstances.

Once you've added the tasks that make up your project, you can rearrange them or change dates to see how that affects the project overall.

For instance, what would happen to your launch date if your web designer provided the designs for your new website a week late?

Project management apps can also improve how a team of people is organised and how they work together. It makes it easier to keep track of objectives. If things aren't going to plan, you can input new details for the affected parts of the project and the overall timelines will update automatically.

Most project management tools will also produce Gantt charts, giving you a simple, visual representation of what needs doing to bring a project to its conclusion.

It’s important you understand the limitations of project management tools. While they can help you plan and schedule projects, they can’t define processes for you, nor manage the people involved.