Instructions, deadlines, and responsible people are all key elements of task planning. But if you want to scale up and broaden the scope of your operations, project management integrations are essential. Ranging from communication platforms to performance analytics and risk management, they enable you to connect all the diverse elements of your project planning into one central place.
As you grow in ambition and teams become more complex, the importance of robust and well-connected project management software integrations is unavoidable. These additional apps allow you to streamline your internal processes, remove excess work, and reduce human error, all while providing a more efficient, professional service to your clients.
In this article, we’re going to delve into 12 of the top integrations you can add to your project management software, and reveal how each improves your internal efficiency and external performance. So, if you’re a project manager with an eye for growth, let’s dive in.
Essential integrations for comprehensive project management software include:
Billing and invoicing
Reporting and analytics
Integrations enhance the functionality of project management tools by:
Offering extra functionalities
Providing actionable insights
Optimizing project efficiency and outcomes
Specific integrations address unique project needs, ensuring tailored solutions, efficient workflows, and maximized resource allocation.
Integrated tools centralize data, enhance real-time communication, and provide shared platforms for seamless team collaboration in both remote and in-house formats.
Right up there among the best project management integrations is a CRM — mission control for everything related to your customers. Linking your CRM to your project management software keeps your sales teams on the same page as everyone else in your project. No purchase will go unregistered, and no complaint will be unheard, allowing you to align your project planning with customer needs.
By automating processes between the two apps, you can launch tasks in response to a sale or a received email without lifting a finger. This way, you can react quickly and effectively to customer demands, such as running a helpdesk and ticketing system for your customer service department.
A CRM integration goes beyond streamlining your workflows, it boosts customer satisfaction throughout your projects. And in a world where customer satisfaction is paramount, linking your CRM to your project management is a win-win.
Understanding how your team spends their time is crucial for both project monitoring and project budgeting. Time-tracking integrations let you log how long people spend on specific tasks or entire sections of your project. With a clear idea of how long tasks should take, you can improve your project planning, maximizing productivity without overburdening people.
Zooming out from task time tracking to a more big-picture perspective, you can also implement time trackers to log each employee’s daily schedule. Clock-in/clock-out functions, available on desktop and mobile, give everybody the autonomy to log their own hours, with non-compliance flagged to managers through notifications. Although time trackers work well for in-house teams, they are gold dust for remote teams that need to monitor attendance.
When you’re in the middle of a high-intensity project, the last thing you want is to spend valuable time writing up repetitive invoices. Automated invoicing integrations streamline the billing process by pulling data from different areas of your project and assembling them into professional, accurate invoices for your clients.
Billing and invoicing software combine elements of multiple project management integrations. It takes hours worked from your time-tracking apps and combines it with contact details from your CRM so you can collect all the necessary information with just a few clicks of a button. You can produce invoices in PDF form and then send them directly to your contact person via email or SMS.
The benefits of integrated billing and invoicing are twofold: It is, first and foremost, an excellent timesaver, removing a whole host of repetitive administrative steps. But the same process also removes the potential for human error, keeping your projects smooth and professional.
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But in the grand scheme of things, payment apps are essential for project budgeting as they record and categorize all your expenses. Managers can make a list of all expenses incurred and compare them against the planned budget, giving accurate and honest financial reports to clients and stakeholders. Payment software will flag up outstanding payments, and teams can quickly and easily check the status of invoices and reimbursements for full transparency.
There’s no way to run a project without all the files and resources you need to have close to hand. And while it’s technically possible to work with unintegrated apps, the time, effort, and risk involved in constant downloads and attachments puts undue stress on your projects.
When you integrate a document management system, you give your project teams full access to all the relevant materials they need. In practice, this means you can write up a task card with links to important resources, knowing your team can get on with the job seamlessly. As a centralized system, it avoids the chaotic mess of files spread across different computers or email threads, streamlining your project execution.
The best document storage apps offer access permissions, too. By being selective about who sees what, you can maintain file security even on large, convoluted projects.
Clear, effective communication is at the heart of successful projects, so making it one of your project management integrations is unavoidable. From quick chats to confirm minor details to massive video conferences to discuss project milestones, all your project communications should be to the point and transparent.
Now, with so many remote teams, fluid communication has never been more important. Integrating real-time chat tools means your team can talk as they work, while updates and comments in each task card give everybody clear progress updates. Meetings should appear in the calendars of all attendees with a simple link to a video call, and if all these apps are integrated on the same platform, you significantly reduce the risk of miscommunication and participants not turning up.
For full transparency, the best communication platforms archive all your conversations. This is a boon for project monitoring as it allows you to refer back to previous instructions, decisions, or feedback with a simple search tool.
You can find automations across the board in your project management integrations, and the more you use, the smoother your work will be. Sure, you want to use your team’s human creativity, but it’s a huge productivity boost to outsource repetitive, time-consuming tasks to automations.
Automations like dependencies are native to most project management software, and give managers the time and headspace to focus on more creative tasks and project monitoring. Automations can improve almost any other area of your work. For example, you can accelerate absence requests to save managers and the HR department on basic administration tasks. Similarly, you can automate data capture and analysis from your project management tools to get reliable performance reports instantly.
Calendars are among the core project management tools, so integrating them into your arsenal should be a top priority. With a birds-eye view of your project milestones and each individual’s workload, you can easily spot upcoming deadlines, events you need to work around, and gaps in the schedule that you can put to good use.
By integrating your calendar with your task management tools, you can ensure work and meetings don’t overlap, giving people more manageable and sustainable schedules. But when important events come up, you can set notifications to remind your team a day before and five minutes before. As all of your tasks and calendars are fully synchronized, you can save time on manual follow-ups and leave a large chunk of organizational admin to your algorithms.
Reporting and analytics integrations will combine data from task timing and KPI achievements to customer satisfaction and budget compliance. But more than just data wrangling, these tools will assess the information at hand and provide a comprehensive view of your project’s health, progress, and areas for improvement.
One of the benefits of these project management integrations is that you don’t need to wait until project milestones to gain insights. You can automate weekly status updates, monthly financial summaries, quarterly performance reviews, and even ad-hoc monitoring if you suspect a certain area needs special attention.
Reporting and analytics are ideal for teams to self-assess and find new ways to improve. But they are equally effective when it comes to keeping clients and other stakeholders in the loop about your project’s progress.
With so many moving parts in your project, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture and identify ways of improving. But by adding feedback and survey tools to your project management integrations, you can take valuable opinions on board from clients, but also team members, that you wouldn’t normally hear. For example, at the end of each sprint, you can request opinions on what worked well and what didn’t, as well as suggestions on new risks or areas to capitalize on.
Feedback forms and surveys link up with your CRM so you can send them out to your entire database or specific segments. Include a mix of questions to gain relevant, actionable insights that you can apply to adapt your project execution. All responses feed back into a centralized database where you can take out reports, statistics, and graphs to get an idea of trends and preferences going forward in your project.
There are few better ways to gauge how customers are reacting to your efforts than through integrations with social media platforms. Sure, it’s possible to run channels separately, but integrations bridge the communication gap, giving you real-time engagement with customers and a centralized hub for interactions and data collection.
Project managers can use social media integrations to scan the web for mentions and even reach out directly to unhappy customers. At the same time, data such as likes, shares, and views are fed back into your project management system, giving you insights into how your marketing strategies are performing.
This constant connection to your audience is a great advantage for fast-moving teams who frequently adapt their iterations and integrate minor adjustments based on customer feedback.
Even the best-planned projects come with risks. But that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind and act like they’re not there. When you combine risk and project management integrations, you can identify and categorize your risks and plan to accept, transfer, mitigate, or avoid them ahead of time. With a risk level attached to each task, you have a guide for where to focus your attention when the pressure is on, and can avoid projects being held up by a lack of preparation.
The best risk management apps come with analytical tools that take data from past projects, current market trends, and team feedback. This way, you can predict potential risks before they even crop up and put contingency plans in place.
As is plain to see, project management integrations can seriously level up the software you’re currently using. By tweaking and customizing your tools, you can cut out time-consuming tasks, lower costs, and ensure your entire team is working in the most efficient way possible.
But where do you get all these add-ons?
Bitrix24 comes fully equipped with all of the project management software integrations in this list. But if you do need to connect your hub to external tools, we have a huge array of integrations with the most popular apps out there.So, if you want to streamline your project management workflows, sign up for Bitrix24 today and get started!