Making a decision on project management system investment is often a complex manoeuvre. Companies seek project management software or management tools to streamline the project, yet it often adds complications if the correct tools are not vetted properly to fit the needs of the business.
When a project management tool ends up taking more time to wrangle than the project itself, it can be disastrous. It is easy to blame the system rather than the buyer of the solution, so it pays to invest in the process of selecting the right system for your project and overall company needs.
Define the focus
A solid project management tool can assist everyone across the organisation. The vast majority of the project management software available on the market can streamline information gathering, make data input simple and can offer a user-friendly dashboard interface, in addition to automated reporting. Even though both free and expensive solutions can offer this, you need to set the fundamental foundations on which you build your project management solution.
The tools of the trade
When looking at technical specifications, you need to decide between web-based or SaaS solutions. Web-based project management software is great for startups and can include free software tools offered by Google. Costs are lower for web-based solutions, as SaaS can include hardware and software components such as servers, terminals or access points, licenses, implementation and ongoing maintenance. However, SaaS often provides high adoption rates, lower initial costs, painless upgrades and seamless integration with existing software.
1. Governance: keep it strong
A solid governance foundation results in better ROI, stronger team motivation because everyone knows what is required and, significantly, the avoidance of many failure pitfalls. Strong governance in project management also gives you the necessary controls to deliver success against budget and ensure stakeholder assurance. Simply put—without governance in place, your project management software system won’t deliver its full potential. It is only as good as the input you invest in it.
2. Process: etch in the team
A strong project management team should be across the project management processes and make them a part of their DNA. If this is in place, whichever system or software you choose will have a fighting chance of delivering success.
3. Communications: open and flowing
Poor communication is the bane of any project. With the right system in place, communication can be amplified. A good PM system will allow you to keep all directives and iterations in one place. Hours wasted on email or multiple communications platforms can cause distractions and confusion. By keeping all project communication in one place, clumsy mistakes due to bad or untimely communication can be eradicated.
Should planning be a recurring issue, you can address it by building on your system and buying a solution like Project Management as a Service (PMaaS).
What are the key project management software features to seek?
Time tracking: this allows project managers to keep an eye on costs while enabling stakeholders to estimate time beforehand, log the time spent on each task and notate what was accomplished.
Invoicing: usually automated and integrated with the time-tracking feature.
Budgeting: calculating estimated project costs is simpler and far more accurate with project management software. You should look for features that plug-in time and expenses, cross-charging, multiple rates and currencies, cash-flow requirements, expenses, and revised costs.
Risk analysis: data input should include threats, opportunities and risk probability.
File sharing: web and SaaS-based programs allow for extensive collaboration. File sharing sets up a central location for all project documents, alerting all team members whenever a modification takes place.
Email integration: streamlines collaboration and stops stakeholders from having to shift between platforms.
Investing in a Graduate Diploma in Project Management can assist in empowering knowledge and amplifying decision-making skills on behalf of your business. Learn more about our leading online programs by speaking to one of our admissions managers today on 1300 701 171.