In this video, Jennifer Bridges, project management expert, shows you how to choose the right online project management tool for you and your team.
Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!
In Review: How to Choose an Online Project Management Tool
One of the most important things you can do before starting a project is to decide on the right online project management tool to use, said Jennifer, and she goes on to show there are many choices, one of which is sure to meet your needs.
To begin and figure that out, a smart project manager will first ask the team for their input. You’ll want to discern what the options, features and capabilities of each software project gives to your needs.
The common needs, Jennifer noted, are as follows:
- Is it robust enough to suit your work environment?
- Does it integrate with other tools?
- Can it offer more than just a task list?
- Will it provide a dashboard to monitor the project in real-time?
- How good is its project planning, status reporting, time tracking, project scheduling and tracking features?
Once you’ve gone over the needs of your project with your team members and then compare that to what the various online project management tools offer, then you can make an informed decision about which project management software is going to help you bring your project in on time and under-budget.
Pro-Tip: Another aspect of purchasing an online project management software suite is cost. You may or may not have restrictions on how much you can spend to get the right tool for the job, but most likely you’ll have not been given a blank check. Therefore, you’re going to want to be extra-careful when doing your due diligence and making sure you project offers a trial period to determine if it is in fact the right one for you.
Well today we’re talking about how to choose an online project management tool. The great news is there’s so many choices out there and today we want to help you narrow down your choices.
The first step, we believe, is to ask your team for input. Literally sit them down and go through the different options, features, and capabilities they need to be able to perform effectively. So when we do this we literally create a checklist of the organizational criteria, of needs, and features.
Some common needs look like this:
- Robust enough to use across the entire organization because different members of the organization may use pieces of the project for their own reporting and tracking purposes.
- Being able to integrate with other tools like maybe e-mail marketing system, maybe a common calendaring, or even an invoicing system.
- And it needs to be more than a task list. For you as project manager, just having a task list really doesn’t help you with the monitoring and the tracking that you need for your team.
- Some of the features are project dashboards. So for a project manager to have a dashboard to be able to see the health of the project.
- Project planning allows you to schedule your tasks and your resources effectively.
- Status reporting allows you to be able to customize reports for the project team members versus the stake holders.
- The time tracking provides time sheets for your team members to be able to log time online in real-time.
- Also project scheduling and giving you the capability to have dependencies on your project.
- And project tracking. Project tracking gives you insights into your budgets and your resources. And then Gantt charts is being able to give you a great graphical view of the project.
So now that you have the criteria, your needs, and your features, now what you do is you identify the tools that you’re interested in and then you evaluate these tools against this criteria. When you make a simple checklist and then you evaluate if they have these, then you’ll be able to see which of these tools meets your needs.
You can also look at which one has the needs and then versus the cost. You may or may not have any restrictions on cost but being able to see these versus the cost is important.
So here are a few tips to help you narrow down your choices. And if you need an effective online project management tool, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.