Project management solutions help businesses with every facet of running a project. From planning and scheduling, managing resources, controlling finances to generating reports, such software has got your back. Generally, these platforms help organizations increase the chances of their project’s success. According to Hive, 77% of high performing projects utilize project management software.
But just like with anything else, you can only maximize the value of a project management solution if it fits your business needs.
5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing Project Management Software
In a survey conducted by PWC, they found out that 50% of the reasons for project failures are attributed to missed deadlines, bad estimates, scope changes, and insufficient resources. The right project management platforms should be able to help you overcome the aforementioned problems and become more efficient.
But with tons of project management solutions in the market these days, finding the right one for your business can be intimidating. To help you in the process, below are some pointers you should keep in mind when shopping for one.
1. Assess your needs
To be able to find the right product, you should know what your business exactly needs first. Will you be using it for scheduling and planning? Do you need a tool to help you keep track of the progress of your projects? Do you need help in managing resources and improving the team’s communications and collaboration? Should your software need to have a reporting tool? Does the team who will use the platform consists of only a few members or is it a huge organization? Creating an inventory that reflects everything you’re looking for or need in a solution will help you narrow down your options and make your search for the right tool easier. The best software for project management should be able to meet your needs.
2. Read software reviews
User reviews will give you an idea about what to expect on a product, both good and bad. Nowadays, customer reviews are available at your fingertips. Specifically, find information about the functionality, quality, ease of use, and support of the best project management software you found in the market. It would be better if the feedback is written within the past 12 months. Technology is fast-paced. Many things can change in a short period of time. Reviews made a year ago may not be relevant today anymore. Therefore, an online review of an old version of a particular product is basically useless. The feature that a reviewer likes or hates may have been changed since then.
3. Check the basics
The features of project management solutions may vary from one product to another. But they do share some common and important features, which you should check out when searching for a product to purchase. These features will help you become more efficient and effective in managing projects.
- Project planning and scheduling
- Time tracking
- Team communication and collaboration
- Project budgeting
- Billing and quotes
Generally, a reliable platform should include tools that could help improve your project management workflow.
4. Test drive
A top project management software usually offers a free trial while other vendors allow short testing of their products. You can take advantage of these offers to avoid wasting money on the wrong product. You could try bringing together a small group of users from different departments of your company to take the product for a test drive. Ask for feedback from them. This way, you will know whether the product can meet the needs of your teams or not. What’s more, you can also make your team feel they were part of your business decision making. Apart from testing the features, also evaluate the vendor’s responsiveness. Do they respond to your queries and concerns immediately? Or does it take them days to send a response? A reliable vendor should be able to attend to your needs immediately so your operation won’t be interrupted.
5. Assess Onboarding Timeline
Evaluate on-boarding timelines before you finally sign up for your chosen project management software. Some of the things you should consider include the type and timeline for implementation, the amount of training the staff needs to go through, the role of team members, document migration, and integrations needed before getting started. In business, time is money. Meaning to say, a software that takes a long time to implement is also robbing you of possible income.
Choose What’s Right For Your Business
No two project management application is exactly the same. Which is why it is important to take the selection process seriously. A small organization, for instance, will have different needs than a large enterprise with a huge team. Examining each software closely and asking the relevant and right questions is the key. Choose project management software tools that complement your team.
Furthermore, don’t forget to check the platform’s usability and ease of implementation. If your staff can’t learn how to use the platform or at least the learning process takes too much time, then you’ll less likely benefit from it. Additionally, a solution that brings with it a clunky rollout and gives your team a headache will never be good. So choose wisely.
With the right software, you can streamline your project management process and deliver higher quality work. It can eliminate or at least minimize the problems that may arise when you use manual methods when managing projects.