No two project managers have ever been the same. They all have the necessary software for managing people and work. Which is the best tool?
Project managers have formal training in coming to their positions. That typically means a college degree. They’ve been curious about what their team members are up to at all times. They like being in control until the very end. What’s needed is software for managing projects to support their daily work. With that in mind, these are the important things to look for in any tool used for that purpose.
1. Get your cloud covered.
Make sure that the software is online. Ideally, have it developed in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS). This will help you avoid problems with installation and the huge cost of licensing and the discomfort of having to deal with the disruptions caused by upgrades.
It also increases the likelihood of being able to work from any computer at any time.
Many veteran project managers are still a little bit hazy about the reliability of the cloud. They may also not fully understand how to use it. But in today’s fast-paced, increasingly digital world, they must learn to both use it and understand it.
2. Insist on project management flexibility.
Explore the product to be certain it will be able to conform to either an agile or waterfall method of working. Though many project managers believe that waterfall is an old-fashioned method, it’s better not to be stuck in any particular method of working. The wise manager always has several shafts in his quiver.
3. Scalability is key.
You may be a tiny creative agency with three large clients right now, but will this tool handle everything when you suddenly gain the market? It’s better to have a flexible product as opposed to one that cannot expand with your needs. Remember what the Good Book says about new wine in old wineskins? The same truth applies here.
4. You’ll get as much as you put in.
Do you have the ability to access information once you’ve entered it? An application that provides many options for reporting can be extremely beneficial later on. Without reports, how do you prove the need for additional staff or the above-and-beyond hours that team members have worked? Overtime is not a bad thing when it brings in more profit and increased customer satisfaction.
5. Have the control you’re wanting.
Another thing that project managers have in common is the need to control. Find a solution that allows for the control of the project and also the members of your team. Be sure to include both internal and external communications records, documents, and the scheduling of work. If you feel like you’re in the middle of the action, there’s less need for panic or confusion.
6. Make sure you have wide browser compatibility.
There are a lot of individuals who consider themselves IE fans and would prefer a Windows environment. Find a program that can work effectively in all browsers and, at a minimum, in Mac as well as Windows.
7. Make sure it’s stunning inside and out.
The project management software you’re eyeing today is sure to look attractive and shiny on the company’s site. But what’s in store for you, your staff, and the company once you’ve sealed the deal? Do they offer training? Are there support teams? How much are the hidden charges? Do you have up-to-date documentation that allows self-learning?
8. Make sure that workflows…flow.
Maybe your business is recognized for its web design. The software you choose should not just be suitable for specific types of work. Make sure that the built-in workflow can take on everything from printing projects to large-scale branding campaigns.
9. Have one place for all your projects and new business.
The ability to have everything you need each day in one location will result in an increase in return on investment. Select a program that is able to handle time-sheets for employees. You also want it to handle the prospecting process for business development and your job budgets, files, and more. The more comprehensive it is, the more likely you are to benefit from it.
10. It’s important to simplify your processes and not create noise.
Every project manager is likely to have several projects on the go at any given moment, all in various stages of development. The application for tracking projects needs to keep everything clean and well-organized. The winning app will let you effortlessly switch between clients, projects, tasks, and expenses. And be aware of where you are in the system.
If you’re in the market for project management software take the time to review these points. Project managers who are honest with themselves will find some good takeaways in the above material. Remember the greatest fault is to be aware of none!