IT departments were among the first to adopt however, software for managing projects is becoming a necessity across all fields. The complexity and scope of projects grows as is the requirement for collaboration and interdependence among a organization’s internal departments. Effective coordination and seamless handoffs of the project’s moving pieces are equally important between companies and their suppliers.
When a business is creating an innovative website or building an entirely new building the project’s many parts require a unified effort. Tools for managing projects provide central ways of assigning tasks, monitoring the progress of projects in setting goals and timelines and coordinating across teams. Although the majority of applications have basic functions and features but they may differ significantly between different applications.
Understanding what your company needs to gain from using a tool for managing projects can be the very first thing to picking the right tool. Other considerations and scenarios could influence your choice. This article provides guidance on how to find out which project management tool is the best fit for your team.
Prioritize Your Pain Points
Your business wouldn’t be looking for a project management software in the absence of any underlying pain issues. Perhaps, for instance, employees have suggested that meetings need to be more structured and that there needs to be more accountability for actions items. Perhaps communication between employees or departments aren’t quite as easy as it could be. The assignments are being dropped and some people on the team appear to be taking the burden more than other employees.
To determine the features you require from an app, you must make a your own list of challenges that arise during project execution. When you match these requirements with the capabilities of the software for managing projects it is possible to prioritize your options. For instance, let’s say you discover that uneven work loads and lack of coordination are the primary reason for late deadlines. In the future, features like personalized views and automated handoffs of assignments are likely to be at the top of your list of priorities.
When you are able to align an application’s capabilities with your needs and ask your team members if they consider those features to be effective solutions. For instance, a tool might have a beautiful interface, but it may not offer an accurate overview of the timeline or the progress. If tracking the progress of everyone on their projects is a challenge activities logs and automatic status updates can prove useful.
Determine the Scope of Use
A small-sized business with five employees might not require to share project details with outside vendors. However, a medium-sized or large company may want to share data, communicate project timelines and coordinate work with third organizations. Without a common tool to work with, deadlines and other crucial information could easily be lost in the shuffle.
Although some project management software run locally on your computer, other are cloud-based. Local apps are ideal for businesses that don’t require to share data about projects with vendors outside of the organization. These apps let internal teams gain access to project data provided they’re using devices from the company on your network. This could be the ideal option if internal teams are the only ones on screen for in the near future.
However, Cloud-based services are more flexible and useful when remote employees or other individuals require access to your network. It is still possible to control who is able to view and modify the data, and sometimes more effectively than local applications. Additionally, you’ll set the conditions for future growth in your team as well as collaboration with remote and independent employees.
Evaluate Potential Learning Curves
The decision to invest in a project management tool that is scalable and includes features that can solve your problems is one aspect. But it’s a whole different game when you’re trying to get your team members to utilize the software you’ve offered. The purchase of a solution for managing projects that’s hard to understand can be more costly than having one at all.
When you are in the selection and assessment process, let employees test on the applications in your shortlist. A lot of project management apps offer demos or free trials to allow you to test. The team should go through the interface and try out the functions using a fake project. If the trial or demo duration is enough you can load a real project into the tool and test how it performs.
After the test stage, gather feedback from your team members to mix with your personal observations. Find out if the functions and features within the program performed as expected. Was the interface simple to navigate and comprehend? Find out if the features actually help solve the problems you’ve identified. Make a list of any problems or gaps that surfaced during the test and determine if the team is of the opinion that it is essential to train the team.
Consider Integration and Workflow Capabilities
The tools for managing projects aren’t only self-contained or stand-alone capabilities. A lot of these applications are able to integrate with other applications your company may use. For instance, a program may have an API integrated to you Customer Relationship Management as well as instant messaging applications. Integration tools like these could help your team’s work across multiple applications and save them the hassle of switching between the various apps.
The employees of your company will enjoy a tool that can support their current methods of workflow and procedures. For instance an IT development team who is accustomed to working in sprints will require the ability to assign more complex tasks into subtasks. Also, a team that plans using visual cues would require features which mimic Kanban boards , or Gantt charts.
Because introducing an additional application will require employees to change gears to integrate and work with it, workflow capabilities and integration that complement existing processes will decrease resistance. This means that employees will have a much easier time getting used to the software and gaining its advantages. The leadership team won’t face the same uphill struggle convincing the team why making use of a project management tool is essential.
Selecting the Right Tool
There are so many choices that you can choose from, picking the ideal application for managing your project for your company may seem daunting. It can be difficult to determine which one to pick and can easily become distracted by the multitude of promises and claims about functionality. This is why it’s best to begin with an internal list that is based on the issues that your team is facing. If it’s unclear definitions of roles or a lack of understanding what assignments are in place Determine which issues are most troublesome.
After you’ve determined the reasons your company requires the help of a project management software then you’re able to begin choosing the appropriate one. The ability to match features available to what you’ve identified as your “why” is a good beginning, but you have to determine who is going to use the tool. After that, evaluating the user-friendliness and compatibility can narrow your list to the top contender.
Your business will receive the solutions it requires to boost the efficiency of project execution.