How to Choose The Right Project Management Software
For any project, choosing the right project management software is critical. It will underpin the efficiency, effectiveness and collaboration in the organisation as well as streamline processes and task management. Therefore, when it comes to identifying the right software and project management tool there are a wide variety of things to consider. And we have put a list together that identifies what you should consider when selecting project management software.
Decide Why You Need It
When starting out on your search for the right project management software, it’s important that you determine a clear list of requirements. A great place to start is to look at the current problems you are facing in the project management lifecycle. A useful exercise to undertake is to map out all of your project management processes. And noting how long each one takes, seeing the time to carry out each process will give you a good idea as to where time is most spent and where there may be inefficiencies. Understanding why you need software will enable you to consider the different functionalities. And how the software can complement your team. You might want to save time, require more tracking and reports or alter the work style. It’s all about identifying how you get to the end goal through utilising the right software.
Whether you manage small teams run complex projects or you want to streamline your project management processes, choosing from the right project management apps can help you decide what you need it.
Go Beyond What You Know
You may have a particular software in mind that has come in the form of recommendations from colleagues or advertising you have seen. But this only gives you a surface level view of the software available on the market today. It’s common for many people to choose the software they have heard of without even thinking about it. You need to think outside of the box. And assess all options to determine which ones are a strong fit for your organisational needs as often times project management software is tailored to a particular aspect of project management be its task management and work delegation or high-level portfolio tracking. It has to complement the needs of your project management teams as well as the business requirements. Keep an open mind, read reviews, seek out specifications and make better decisions.
You could even talk to your network, ask team members and carry out research. Compare the features and then narrow it down to those that work for you.
How to Choose The Right Project Management Software? Seek Challenges With Implementation
Now that you are this far through the process, you have to identify the challenges that might prevent you from implementing new software. This can range from resistance from the team to expensive training session and even data migration problems that can occur. Identifying barriers to adoption is a key consideration when choosing a project management tool. You’re going to need to get your team engaged. And onboard otherwise, you are wasting any great functionality the tool provides.
Cost and Functionality
The cost and functionality of the software are equally important and mutually dependant. As with many things, projects have a budget, yet the software must incorporate all the functionality needed to ensure a successful completion. It is common for project managers to see new features that cause them to overlook problems that might not be solved. Therefore, you need to make sure you are clear of the features you are going to need and even benefit from. Do you need gantt chart functionality or file sharing to stay on top of collaboration? Whatever it might be, it can be tempting to follow the latest trends in digital technology that can mean you miss out on the features that are best suited for your specific needs.
Try It Out
It is common for the majority of project management software to come with a free trial giving you the chance to test it out. If it isn’t on offer, simply ask them for a free trial as this will enable you to determine if the product meets your requirements. This is a moment to identify how well it works and what it might not do by incorporating a cross-section of the project management team to test it with you. Use project scenarios that are realistic and gain an understanding of your software requirements. As you begin to work your way through the software, ask the team to provide feedback. They might all have different ideas of what works and what doesn’t.
The free trial is designed for you to thoroughly examine the software. Kick the tires and evaluate whether it is what you are looking for. Give team members the feeling that they are part of the decision-making process. And ensure that you communicate openly about problems. Again, if you come across any problems don’t cast the software aside. Use it as an opportunity to test out the customer support. And see how quickly they rectify problems.
How to Choose The Right Project Management Software
Consider Collaboration and Control
Project management has changed through the years. And it was once about project managers gaining control although unproductive status meetings would often slow things down. In recent years, things have changed in the business environment. And so, projects are now more important although they are not considered to be mechanisms used to deliver. As a result, project managers have seen a change in their role. A change where they are no longer seen as co-ordinators of project planning. Now it is about collaboration. And so, team members use software to see what tasks they must complete and what the priorities might be across teams.
The collaborative environment makes it easier for managers to stay on top of what is happening across the board. And providing them with real-time feedback and progress.
Slow progress reports are a thing of the past. And now it is about being proactive and being a part of the development of the project. Therefore, when looking for your new piece of project management software, you need to find that balance. A balance between having control yet still can work collaboratively. While you will want to make sure it has the range of functions and features you need, you still need to make sure it allows you to assess the effectiveness of the collaboration features that the tool offers.
How to Choose The Right Project Management Software?Consider Timelines and Going Live
Before you sign on the dotted line and agree on your chosen project management software, it’s important that you run through your rollout plan and ensure it is as smooth as possible. At this point, you should think about timelines for implementation. And whether it is going to be smaller, phased or rolled out organisation-wide. This will provide adequate onboarding and training to stakeholders, while being able to identify champions and key advocates for the software. And the role that they will play in ensuring that the deployment becomes a success. Along with this, it will also ensure that all relevant documents are available while allowing all migration activities to be considered as well as the setting up of key integrations for end-to-end business intelligence. You will also need to identify the standard of start-up support that the vendor will provide. Along with technical support moving forward.