So your company has decided to invest in a solution for Project Management. This is excellent news! But, what now?
You must be wondering: what kind of tool should we use? Should we get a tool to install on our servers? Which features are most important? Will we have time to train users? Is there a solution that can manage the complete lifecycle of our projects?
With these questions in mind, and considering the variety of tools available today with different functions and prices, we have decided to give you a little hand with the decision.
These are the 10 questions that you should ask before buying a solution for Project Management.
1) What kind of solution should we use?
This question is the starting point of your search. To answer this question we have made a useful filter. The first decision we need to make is whether we want a web solution for Project Management, a solution hosted in the cloud or a solution installed on our servers.
Often, this choice takes cost into consideration, since web and cloud-hosted solutions are often more affordable. In addition, smaller companies generally do not have the resources to manage the internal installation of a solution.
2) Is the solution intuitive?
The system should be easy to use and extremely intuitive, to the point that your team does not need to undergo extensive training! At the pace at which we work today, your team will find it frustrating if they have to spend a lot of time learning how to use a Project Management solution that is complex and difficult to learn.
3) Is the solution collaborative?
Even if the word “collaborative” has different meanings for different people, the tool must be inherently collaborative. The Project Management solution should enable your team to make informed and timely decisions.
4) Is it simple and does it deliver the necessary information to the right people?
This is an extremely important feature. People involved with the project should only have access to the information that is relevant to them.
The Project Management solution should offer this function to avoid undue access to sensitive data and also to prevent the people involved from being bombarded with irrelevant information.
5) Does it offer real-time communication?
Say goodbye to “off-line” days. Today, teams must be immediately advised of any changes.
Furthermore, the project manager must immediately know the status of all the project activities. Should any risk, incident or problem arise, the project team should be notified as soon as possible.
6) Does it offer control panels?
Critical information that senior managers (decision-makers) need should be summarized and easily viewable.
For example, a dashboard with indicators of project status, budget, resource usage, progress and risks, displayed clearly with charts, tables, warning lights and so on.
7) Can it manage the entire project lifecycle?
Your project will face challenges and problems. Whether they are risks, resource constraints, delays etc. You’ll need a Project Management solution that has the ability to manage resources (human and/or assets), risks, time tracking, expenses and more.
Make sure that the project management solution under evaluation offers the resources you need to effectively manage your project from planning to delivery.
8) Is it an integrated tool?
Would you like to have project information spread across multiple tools instead of concentrated in just one solution? Probably not.
In our experience, using multiple software packages for project management dramatically increases the risk of using incorrect or outdated information and data. This risk is almost zero when we use an integrated Project Management solution.
9) Does it offer mobility?
Would you like a tool that offers you the flexibility to use it anytime, anywhere?
Today, we all like to have information at our fingertips at all times.
Therefore, the solution needs to offer mobility, with access to project information wherever you are and whenever you need it, through internet-connected devices such as notebooks, smartphones and tablets.
This makes the answer to the first question that was raised at the beginning of the post even more important.
10) Will this solution for Project Management be useful at all times for the company?
The solution should be modular and offer you the flexibility to be expanded, or even reduced, according to the needs of your business.
Obviously, these are only some of the issues that should be addressed by your company before choosing an appropriate Project Management solution. But, it is a great starting point, given the numerous options on the market today.