How to Choose Project Management Software

ProjectManager.com

Project management software is changing fast. Choosing the right one for you and your team can be hard, so Jennifer Bridges, PMP, helps you pick smartly.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

criteria to consider when you choose project management software

In Review – How to Choose Project Management Software:

Jennifer started by asking why people want project management tools. Her experience informed her of three reasons why people would be in the market for pm software.

  1. They’re setting up a project management process
  2. They’re upgrading a current tool
  3. They’re replacing a current tool

There are a lot of reasons why you’d want to upgrade your project management software. But how do you do this effectively? Again, Jennifer suggested these three steps:

  1. Make a list of features you want
  2. Ask your team what they’ll need
  3. Plan ahead for future growth, features that you may not need now but will in time

So, what do you want in your project management software? Jennifer has you covered here, too! She recommends choosing a PM tool that has all of these features:

  • It’s online and accessible anywhere
  • It reports in real-time, giving you a more accurate picture of the project’s progress
  • It has alerts to notify you when statuses are updated and remind team members of impending deadlines, etc.
  • It can have notes and attachments, preferably at the task level, to foster collaboration and better communication
  • It can store documents in the cloud to make everything easy to retrieve when needed
  • It has a dashboard that gives you that snapshot view of everything about the project in one place
  • It has access levels, so you can see things that you need to see but team members or vendors do not

You can always use Excel spreadsheets and Word documents as templates, but they’re standalone and limited. Of course, a good project management software can integrate them, too.

Pro-Tip: Another thing that Jennifer didn’t have time to go into is that you may find individual apps that have one or two of these features, but it’s problematic to string a bunch of them together and jump back and forth. Far more efficient and productive is to find one pm tool that has all these features and can integrate with other systems you use.

Thanks for watching!

Transcription:

Today, we’re talking about how to choose project management software. And I have to tell you, software is changing so fast these days, it can be a daunting and even overwhelming task for anyone.

So, today I wanna talk through a few reasons why people would choose project management software, a few simple steps on how to choose, and help you think through how to plan for a feature-rich software tool.

So, first of all, let’s talk through a few reasons why, or a few scenarios, when people choose project management software. The first one is, they could be setting up a process for their project management. So, they want a tool to help support those initiatives.

Number two is, they could be upgrading a current tool. Maybe it works for the most part, but maybe there are some features that they need, or may be missing.

Number three is, maybe they’re replacing a current tool that nobody uses, so they wanna select something that’s more intuitive, or simple and easy to use.

A few simple steps in how to choose is, number one, make a list of the features that you want.

Number two, ask your team what they need because you wanna be sure that you are looking from it from all aspects. Again, to circumvent, having a tool that no one wants to use, you wanna be sure that while you’re doing this, you include all the features that you need and want. And number three is, plan ahead for future growth.

In most cases, this is a pretty significant thing that you’re doing, and hopefully the tool you use will last you for some time, so you wanna think strategically. So, although you may not need the features right now, you may in maybe six months or a year, so go ahead and plan for future growth.

Okay, so let’s think through planning for a feature-rich software tool. So, what I recommend is making a list of all the features that you want, and then ultimately when you get this list, you wanna overlay it and compare it to tools that you’re considering. But, let’s look at the features.

First of all, I recommend online. You want your team members, or even yourself, if you’re traveling or out of the office, you wanna be able to access it anytime, anywhere, online.

The next one is real-time data. As data changes throughout the projects, it will help you manage the project more effectively. It will also help your team members to be able to complete their task more efficiently and successfully.

Number three is, be able to provide alerts. Maybe you, or your team members, wanna know when their tasks are due, you may even wanna know when tasks are completed, or even if your milestones are met.

Number four is, being able to provide or attach notes. You may wanna attach requirements, or some kind of documents, that people can collaborate and provide input to. You also, on certain tasks, wanna include maybe an invoice.

Also, being able to store your documents that you can access, or team members can access, or even version control. Then, being able to have dashboards that you can customize.

You, as the project manager, wanna look at different levels of information, different than your team members. You can also customize something even more specific for your stakeholders, and then, being able to provide varying levels of access.

In some cases, you may have third parties, or vendor partners, or contractors, who have access to your system, so you may wanna provide them a certain, or different, level of access.

So, if you need a project management tool to help you with your projects, then sign up for our software now at projectmanager.com.

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