Why Should I Use Performance & Reliability in Project Management Software?
Performance and reliability are two key components of any project management software. Performance refers to your software's responsiveness, stability, scalability, reliability, speed, and resource usage. The greater the software performance, the better your experience will be when you use the system. Reliability is an aspect of performance that refers to how consistently the project management software does what it’s supposed to.
For example, if your project management software takes an hour to run a basic report, there’s a performance issue. On the other hand, if it can run reports within 30-seconds but you get an error message half of the time, there’s a reliability problem.
Aspects of performance
Here’s a general description of each aspect of software performance except for reliability, which will be covered in more detail in the next section:
- Responsiveness: This measures how well the system responds to commands and prompts. This can include how fast search results populate as well as how relevant they are to the keyword you searched for.
- Stability: Software stability refers to how stable and reliable the project management software is over time. If you walk around your house with your cell phone in hand, do the service bars fluctuate widely or do they stay the same? If you always have one bar, your service may not be responsive, but it is stable.
- Scalability: A scalable software solution can support the growth or reduction of your business. For instance, if you go from five employees to 20 or 10 projects to 100, scalable software can accommodate the changes without a drop in performance.
- Speed: Speed measures how fast actions are completed within the software. This can be anything from logging into the system to running huge reports.
- Resource usage: Resource usage refers to how much of your available resources are used up by the software. If you’ve ever run an application that suddenly slowed down everything on your computer, it was using too many resources.
Reliability, availability & maintainability
Reliability, availability, and maintainability are three common and interconnected system attributes that help you evaluate the value of project management software.
Reliability can be defined as the probability of the software performing its intended function under stated conditions without failure for a given period of time. For instance, if under proper conditions, your software does what it’s supposed to 999 times out of a thousand, then the reliability rating is 99.9%
Maintainability is the probability that the software can be repaired in a defined environment within a specified period of time. Increased maintainability implies shorter repair times. For instance, a cloud solution with 24/7 live support will have a higher maintainability rating than a locally installed solution with limited support.
Availability can be defined as the probability that a repairable system or system element is operational at a given point in time under a given set of environmental conditions. If your system shuts down for 12 hours every weekend to process updates, then its availability rating may be 92.86% (meaning it’s available 156 hours out of a potential 168 hours each week.) Therefore, even though it may be highly reliable, it has a lower availability rating.
What is uptime?
Uptime is the amount of time the software is available for use. This measure is very convenient for comparing software options as it takes reliability, maintainability, and availability into account.
The opposite of uptime is downtime, which refers to how long your software is incapable of completing the functions you need it for. Any software downtime can negatively impact your projects by forcing you to do one of the following:
- Delay until the system is back up
- Use an alternative method, which is typically more manual and less efficient
Every time your team is unable to use your project management software, productivity is impacted. Plus, if employees are regularly forced to rely on painful workarounds and manual methods, it can impact morale and even cause employees to quit.
Software downtime can also result in other negative repercussions for your project and business. For instance, if you can’t present a dashboard or issue a report at the agreed-upon time, it can decrease stakeholder trust and confidence.
When a customer didn’t receive an update when they asked for it, your reputation can be damaged. After all, the customer likely does not care that it was a software issue and not negligence. If failures happen repeatedly, they can call into question your ability to successfully manage the project.
No system can have 100% uptime. However, it is reasonable for software to maintain 99.99%. The reason for this is that 0.01% downtime is typically needed to install patches and release updates.
Since patches and updates can be planned in advance, for maximum availability, the software vendor should announce upcoming downtime well in advance and schedule it during a weekend night, when it should have the lowest possible impact on businesses.
How does security relate to performance & reliability?
How secure software is can directly impact both its performance and its reliability. For instance, security breaches can cause downtime, allow in viruses that disable key features or provide hackers with an opportunity to alter your data. On the other hand, overly cumbersome security features can slow down the system and block integrations with other applications.
For optimum performance and reliability, you should look for project management software that offers first-rate security using highly secure data centers and servers with built-in disaster recovery.
Select a software option that securely backs your data up nearly every second, onto safe and reliable servers, with real-time database replication. This will speed up the recovery of any lost or accidentally deleted data, thereby increasing the software maintainability and availability.
When your project lives in the cloud, you and your team can access important project information anywhere and anytime it's needed. This functionality means that whether you’re at a client meeting, networking event, or working from home, cloud-based software keeps information at your fingertips instead of stuck in your colleague's local computer folders.
How does cloud software impact performance & reliability?
Opting for cloud-based project management software can result in greater performance and reliability for your entire team.
Good cloud project management software offers first-rate security while still enabling you to access your software from anywhere, at any time. Even if your laptop crashes or gets stolen, you won’t lose any data. All you need to do is switch to the mobile app or another computer, and you can instantly log back in and continue working.
With cloud software, the initial setup and any future patches, updates, or subscription upgrades can happen instantly. This means that there’s no time wasted downloading or installing software. Plus, you never need to worry about working from an outdated release, as you gain instant access to all important software improvements.
Cloud project management software enables team members to work together and share information quickly and easily, even if they’re on other sides of the globe. With all of the project documentation and files stored in the cloud, you can share, store, and access all the files you need without waiting for someone to send you an email or having to return to your office.
For instance, imagine you’re in a client meeting at a customer site and someone requests a project update. If you’re relying on local folders and intranet sites, you will need to ask someone to send you the info or tell the client that you can’t provide an update until after you leave. With cloud software, you can access your project and view real-time changes right from the customer site.