Whether you work as part of a close-knit team, or belong to a global corporation, being able to successfully deliver projects on time is essential. An effective way to ensure this happens is by using project management software; managers and their teams will benefit from using it by improving communication and collaboration. There’s a wide range of software available, with free and paid for options – here’s some considerations for choosing the right one for you.
Project management software enables you to easily track the progress of multiple projects. This is particularly useful when there are several different teams contributing to a project, and for team members who work remotely or in another country. Most importantly, it helps everyone stay organised and accountable for their individual input.
There are many different levels of functionality available across a wide variety of software, helping with things like task management, scheduling, and timescales. For smaller teams, a simple spreadsheet might be enough for everyone to refer to and stay on track, but when multiple departments or external agencies get involved, project management software becomes essential to keep everything running efficiently. It can also negate the need for constant meetings, which often eat into valuable work time and have a tendency to overrun (anyone who’s worked in an office before would probably agree that less meetings is a good thing!).
Consider the users
You won’t always please everyone, but you need to find software that your intended users are comfortable using. Users aren’t just the immediate team members working on a project, but can include higher levels of management, key stakeholders, and your clients. Think about different access levels that you might need for these different types of users.
What’s your budget?
Agree this with management before you start to look at options. There are plenty of free project management software options available if your budget is tight (or non-existent), which give you a decent range of basic features; many have the option to upgrade to a paid version with enhanced functionality. The level you need largely depends on how complex a project is and the individual requirements you feel it needs.
Try it on for size
Sometimes it’s hard to know what works for you and your team until you’ve tested it in a realistic situation. Don’t be afraid to trial several different options and see how they compare before settling on one, that way you’ll be able to make an objective decision and choose one which everyone feels confident using. Encourage all the different users to give their feedback on different software, what they like and dislike about it, and how easy they found it to use.
Making sure users use it
Consider how you will physically get every user to use the software – organise training sessions and demos so everyone is on the same page, remembering to tailor to different types of user and access levels. Communicate clearly to all users the benefits of using this software, and the features that will make their life easier, promoting why it will help the whole team work more effectively to encourage people to use it. Regularly check in with users to see how they’re getting on with the software, and flag any concerns or ask questions, so everyone is getting the most out of it.
Finding the right project management software for you and your business needs is crucial for running projects efficiently and meeting deadlines. It’s not just useful for project managers, but benefits everyone involved from ideas through to completion, removing much of the stress, keeping people focused, and helping everyone to organise their own time to support the entire team. Consider the points we’ve set out in this blog and you’ll choose the best option for you and your team with confidence.
This entry was posted in Tools & Tips