Project management software may promise that it can reduce your costs by 40 percent, drive up growth of your company and facilitate an open and instantaneous communication line between all stakeholders in a project, but none of that matters if your own employees refuse to use that software correctly. Choosing the right software is more than a matter of choosing the one that sounds like it does the most – you must also consider some of the elements included in this article by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. She advises that any effort in choosing the best project management software should begin with a full needs analysis.
Get a grasp on what kind of information you want to capture – as small as individual working hours or as broad as an open space for collaboration and not much else. Another piece of advice comes from Sid Haas, vice president of business development at LKCS. Haas advises that CIOs should consider cloud-based services to save money and allow users to connect to the solution from anywhere through the web. The third tip is one that your staff will thank you for as much as your project managers: make sure that the software you choose doesn't look like a mission control board for a lunar landing:
“Look for project management software that is both intuitive and generally in-line with how your organization works,” says Jon Payne, president, Ephricon Web Marketing. “If it doesn't meet your specifics out-of-the-box, then be sure to choose a solution that has built-in custom fields and the ability to rename fields and categories,” he says. “You should change the labels in your software to suit your business, not the other way around.”
Also make sure that the app integrates with other core items in your business like email. Also establish the goals of the software early on – removing ambiguity can help better define which software solutions are going to be the best for the organization. And, if nothing else, make sure you shop around. Many project software vendors offer a free trial period, and that can be a great way to get a hands on feel for a product without the risk of choosing the wrong one.