The ability to consistently and effectively manage the constant stream of projects that services businesses are delivering is critical for predictable and sustainable success. However, even the most skilled project manager can’t keep up without the aid of a reliable project management solution.
As businesses grow and projects increase in size, scope and quantity, it can be easy for teams to either purposefully or incrementally build their own project management solutions instead of choosing an existing purpose-built system designed for their needs. While this may seem like a simpler, less costly decision at first, the problems pile up quickly.
These are the top 10 reasons why you should rethink building your own homegrown project management system.
1. Sunk Cost: Even the simplest internally-developed project management solutions require financial investment to create something helpful. Cost will only increase over time to correct issues and expand capabilities to fit changing business needs, ballooning cost beyond what was initially expected.
2. Lost Time: Building and maintaining a system requires major time investments. Companies that build their own solution will often have existing employees work on the system along with their typical tasks, which will take up hours and days that could be used on billable projects, limiting their overall profitability.
3. Integration Issues: Project management solutions should be able to connect to other systems for data required in completing a project, but this may not be possible with a homegrown solution. Without effective integration capabilities, your project management solution will exist in a bubble, limiting its abilities.
4. Shifting IT Ownership: Internal project management solutions will be owned by select employees who are placed in charge of keeping the system working. However, in the event that any of these employees leave the business, their ownership will need to be transferred to another team member, which can create complications behind the scenes. New team members may not have the same IT skills, and will certainly not be as familiar with the homegrown system as those who created it.
5. Resource Expansion Complications: Becoming a successful business naturally leads to taking on new resources. However, a homegrown project management solution may not be prepared to take on a large amount of new team members that need its capabilities. As resources and usage expand, the system may become bogged down from overuse.
6. Spreadsheet Usage: Spreadsheets are the bread and butter of project management. Everyone uses them and, even when dedicated project management systems are adopted, many managers will continue to use them. Internally-developed project management solutions will likely have to contend with team members using spreadsheets, which can create conflicting project reports and insights that limit solutions from reaching their true potential.
7. System Breakdowns: Homegrown project management solutions are relatively new, untested, and likely contain bugs that result in unexpected breakdowns. When this happens, all related tasks will slow down or be put on hold, sending developers into an all-hands-on-deck situation until the issue is resolved, losing valuable billable time for a business.
8. Differing Team Uses: Basic, internally-built project management systems are typically designed to only work in specific ways and for specific needs. However, as these solutions are adopted throughout an organization, different teams and resources will likely try to use them for their own needs. This will likely result in either the system creating time-consuming complications for users or force developers to update the system for more uses.
9. Overloaded Capacity: Project management solutions should be designed to handle as many projects and tasks as possible. However, homegrown solutions have inherent capacity limitations that will inevitably be exceeded as a company grows. When this happens, a system can break, demanding major overhauls and creating unnecessary complications until a solution is found.
10. Continual Updates: Keeping project management software up to date and properly aligned with team needs demands consistent updates. As such, development work on the system will never be truly finished, keeping the previous 9 reasons ongoing as long as the solution is in use.
Find a Project Management Solution That Works for You
Are you ready to see what a successful project management solution can do for your organization? Mavenlink can provide you with the insights and control needed to succeed in the services industry today.