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Tips for Choosing the Right Project Management Software for your Organization

project management software

Project management software can make or break your organization. The right one makes your work easier and streamlines your operations. On the other hand, the wrong project management software can bog you down by adding time-wasting tasks to your in-tray.

So, how do you separate a good project management software from a bad one? Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer. Instead, you need to assess your needs and find a solution that best addresses your most pressing concerns. Though often a long process, it’s the only way to find the best fit for your project.

The following seven questions should guide you through the needs assessment process until you identify the perfect solution.

1. Do you need project management software?

Your first job is to determine whether you truly need a project management solution or if you can resolve your existing issues through alternative means. Generally, a company needs project management software when coordinating several individual business units, internally and externally, with multiple objectives and deliverables.

2. Why do you need project management software?

This next step requires that you identify and list down shortcomings or constraints within your existing processes for which a project management software solution would be valuable. For example, most organizations use project management software to resolve poor email etiquette, eliminate collaboration constraints, enhance project accountability and transparency, and improve team communication and conflict resolution.

3. What types of project management software are available?

The simplest project management solutions are Task Management solutions designed for small teams and businesses. Next up are Balanced Solutions and Work Zone Solutions, better known as Tier-2 Balanced solutions. Then at the top of the chain are sophisticated Enterprise Solutions designed for large organizations. All three are available as on-premise or online project management software.

4. What project management software features do you need?

This is where you marry your objectives with the different solutions at your disposal offer. For instance, most solutions offer project dashboards, task management, scheduling & planning, and communication tools. But do you need these tools? More importantly, do the tools, as designed, fulfill your unique needs? Reporting, budgeting, onboarding, and API integrations are other features to consider.

5. How easily can you adapt the solution to your work environment?

It makes little sense to bring in a complex solution that may not even fit into your operations in the first place. Therefore, after matching a few project management software solutions to your needs, find out which ones are easiest to integrate into your work environment.

6. What does your team think?

If you believe that you’ve identified two or three very good options, the next step is to get buy-in from stakeholders, including the C-Level staff and end-users. Begin by test-running the solution, so everyone gets a feel of how it works. Then get feedback through surveys, meetings, and joint discussions. Do they find the solution easy to use? Does it solve the previously identified problems?

7. Is it affordable?

Finally, you’ve found two or three very good solutions that can solve your needs. The solutions also come with all the features you need most, are easily adaptable to your work environment, and your managers and end-users like them. The last step is to compare the prices and pick a value-for-money solution that best fits your budget, keeping in mind that the most expensive solutions aren’t necessarily the most suitable.

Wrap-up

The best project management tool is one that solves your short and medium-term challenges, not the flashiest one in the market. So, rather than jump onto trends, begin your search by analyzing your needs and evaluating different solutions to identify the one that best addresses those needs.

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