9 Tips on Choosing the Right Project Management Software
Originally published at project-management.com
When you are running a demanding project you are sure to have a lot on your mind. However, you should definitely find the time to think about how to get the best possible project management software.
By following these tips you can make sure that you get the software that you need in order to meet your objectives and reach a successful conclusion. Of course, the right project software will also serve you well for your future projects too.
No matter whether you have a big or small project, you will have a budget that you need to stick to. Making this money stretch to cover everything that you need is likely to be one of your toughest challenges of all.
The truth is that when it comes to project management software the cost isn’t likely to vary hugely from one provider to another. However, what you need to be aware of is whether you truly get value for money.
If you get the quality software that you need then it will be money well spent. On the other hand, if you make a bad choice then you may end up paying for something that doesn’t suit your needs.
2. Security Issues
The question of software security is something that project managers sometimes don’t consider fully until it is too late. You certainly don’t want to wait until your project management software has been hacked before you put some thought into this.
Right from the start of your project, avoiding security issues should be high on your list of priorities. Choosing a highly secure and well-built piece of software will help you to feel safe in the knowledge that your work is safe from hackers.
Even if you aren’t dealing with particularly sensitive information, you will want to keep your work safe and secure at all times.
3. Online Access
Cloud-based technologies are now vital to project teams all over the world. Of course, if you work with a remote team then it is going to be even more important than in other cases.
Yet, even if everyone works in the same physical space this is a fantastic way of easily sharing and storing information. Having online access in your project management software also makes life easy if you decide to work from home or from another office one day.
Perhaps the easiest way to look at it is that if you don’t have a cloud-based solution then you are probably going to waste a lot of time un-necessarily when it comes to accessing and sharing information.
4. Collaboration Opportunities
Even with online access, it isn’t a given that your team will be able to collaborate effectively using your software. This could prove to hold you back in terms of time and in the quality of the work that you ultimately deliver.
Every good project manager knows that they need a strong and effective team working behind them. To this end, you need to look for project software that offers genuine collaboration opportunities and can be used by everyone at the same time.
By making it easy for everyone to share ideas and work together you can get a true team effort that allows you to use your team’s different skills to good effect.
5. Intuitive User Interface
When you are hard at work on a tough project the last thing that you want is to have to spend a lot of time learning about the software that you use. This is why the best project management software comes with a highly intuitive user interface that lets you carry on managing your project instead of having to get trained on this new system.
Ideally, you and the rest of the team will be able to open it up and get to work right away. There should certainly be no need for lengthy training sessions.
In addition, you will want to feel comfortable that it is so easy to use that there is no real risk of people getting it wrong and making costly mistakes.
One of the main issues when it comes to the list of features is in understanding how many you really need. For a start, it isn’t simply a question of the more features the better.
Instead, you will want to find project management software that gives you exactly what you need. There is no real benefit to getting a new piece of software that is packed with features that you will never use.
Indeed, if you have too many features on it then it could just serve to confuse everyone and complicate your project further.
7. Opportunities for Customization
Any good developer should always offer you the opportunity to customize the software if you need this. Maybe you will want to add in some additional features or ask for some extra tweaks that you feel are necessary.
In fact, a professional software development team should encourage you to look for ways of customizing the product to meet your needs. They will understand that one piece of project management software won’t be perfect for every company.
This means that you should spend some time thinking about what you really need, before going back and asking for it.
8. Achieving Integration
Another interesting point to bear in mind is around the integration that you want with other systems and processes. A great example in this case comes with project management software that integrates smoothly with Google.
If you get this kind of integration, then you can link in effortlessly with Google Drive and your Gmail accounts. This might not sound like a big deal but it will make life a lot easier for you in the long run.
This is another point in which you need to first consider is what would suit you most, as different companies have varying integration needs.
9. Try and Compare
Not every project manager is aware that they can ask for a trial on any software they are interested in. Every type of project software can be tried in this way, which is a massive advantage when it comes to making a good decision.
If you are trying to make up your mind on a piece of software then getting a trial run with it can help you to make up your mind. By testing it in the real world you can get a solid opinion on how well it will work for you.
This will also let you show it to your team and get their feedback on how useful it could be.