When it comes to project management software, there are hundreds of options available. How do you know which software is right for your organization? More than half of all software implementations are unsuccessful, wasting time and money for the organization. However, choosing the right software plays a huge role in successfully adopting project management software.
Some organizations believe that simpler is always better when it comes to project management software, but this is not always the case. For instance, if software successfully tracks tasks and progress but requires PMOs to move back and forth between file sharing, markups and versions, client feedback, resource management tools, and more, then it’s only an added step in an already complicated process.
A truly effective project management software will streamline processes as much as possible. Efficiency experts like to talk about the idea of minimizing clicks or screens. The fewer screens/tools you need open at a time, the fewer clicks it takes to get something done, and the less double-entry you have to do, the more efficient you will be.
Which Qualities to Look for in Project Management Software
When you’re looking for the right project management software for your organization, it can be helpful to start with a group brainstorm about the different steps needed to take a project through to completion. This includes making sure the bid is accurate through to the time it will take to finish the project, allocating resources and tracking progress, managing feedback and collaboration, final approval, etc. Use this to compare against features available in project management software.
In addition, we recommend choosing project management software with the following qualities:
1. Modern Design
While it seems like aesthetics would be a minor factor in project management software, it actually can play a large role in how a user feels about and interacts with the platform.
Clean, modern aesthetics are an indicator of trust and reliability in software. It also fundamentally helps improve productivity by minimizing distractions (mentally or practically), which can occur in a cluttered dashboard.
2. The Right Features
Taking a little extra time to pick the right project management software will make all the difference when it comes to implementation and utilization. Analyze different project management software options to find which are closest to your “wish list” of features. When analyzing these features, keep in mind where you will be 2-3 years from now. Does this software have the ability to scale with you as you grow, or will you be forced to switch to another software down the line?
3. A “Just Right” Price Point
What is your budget for project management software? Chances are it’s either too high or too low. Companies who enter into project management software comparisons with a very high price point may fall victim to choosing project management software that is more complex than their team needs to function efficiently.
Conversely, those who come into the shopping process with a price point that is too low may settle for project management software that may be clunky, outdated, or simply doesn’t have the features your team needs to work more efficiently.
When doing the cost-benefit analysis, take into consideration how much the project management software will add to productivity. If it’s simply being used to track tasks and time, then it likely won’t add much to your team’s overall profitability. However, if the project management software will help to ensure more accurate projections and fulfillment, minimize inefficiencies, and maximize margins, then it will provide a more significant ROI.
4. Compatible with Devices Your Teams Prefer to Use
Make sure the project management tool you choose is available on your teams’ preferred devices. If your team members are often on the road or working remotely, make sure there is an app available on mobile devices that syncs reliably.
5. Great Support Team
Look for project management software that has a reliable and responsive support team. Depending on the size and complexity of your team, it can be helpful to have a well-trained, responsive staff ready to help with implementation, answer questions, provide training or demos, and help make your software experience go as smoothly as possible.
6. Robust Reporting
Business intelligence is becoming more and more important to successful companies, and it’s no wonder why. Powering your company through data can minimize waste and maximize margins, making the company more profitable. It can also help to make your company’s growth more sustainable by finding sticking points or areas where your company can be more efficient or successful.
Don’t gloss over the reports during your project management software review. If your organization has a COO or CEO, it can be beneficial to have them sit in on this part of the product demo to discuss whether the reports provide the level of detail needed to make real, impactful change in the organization.
Mavenlink is a collaborative project management platform that streamlines resource management, project management, collaboration, project accounting, and business intelligence in a single platform. Explore our features or try Mavenlink today!