Project management tools are an essential part of running a successful project. Many businesses use these software programs to manage their projects. The right tool helps track projects, manage tasks, keep teams updated, create reports, and assign deadlines.
While there are several types of project management tools available today, choosing the right tool depends on several factors such as cost, complexity, and use case.
Here are 7 considerations to make before picking a new project management software application.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Project Management Tool
What type of functionality do you need?
It would be best to think about which types of features your organization will frequently use when deciding the ideal project management tool. For example, if you will only be working with small projects, it would be best to choose a simple PMS tool with fewer features.
However, if you want a customizable or advanced tool, then you can look at more complex systems such as JIRA or Asana. Also, it may not always be possible to find a free version of any given tool.
When evaluating a tool’s capabilities, consider the amount of time each team person spends managing their projects. If some people spend little time doing this, you might have to accept less functionality and lower quality than if others in your team spent more time on this task.
How easily can the tool be customized?
Some solutions offer limited customization options compared to others. Do you really need to customize every aspect of the interface, or can you stick with the default layout?
Be aware of any limitations around adding new fields to forms. There may also be certain modules that cannot be changed, and you may feel frustrated if some parts of your workflow aren’t flexible enough.
Can your system handle large volumes of data?
If you plan to use the tool for your entire staff or organization, you must ensure that it can cope with considerable amounts of data. Some data structures take up huge amounts of space, so you will need to know whether your system’s amount of data being stored and processed will grow over time.
How much time does it typically take to save and access files – critical if some of them are shared across many users?
Which applications will integrate well with yours?
Your chosen tool should integrate smoothly with your existing suite of business apps; otherwise, it will be difficult to communicate clearly and efficiently, and your teams will experience frustration when trying to move forward.
Look carefully at how compatible the various applications are, including those created by third parties.
Does the tool meet your needs now, in the future, or both?
Choosing an effective tool requires balancing current versus potential needs. Do you anticipate needing lots of customization later on, or are you looking for a quick way to get started?
Will you require a lot of support from IT, or is your company self-managed? You may also need to decide if something like Basecamp or Trello offers everything you need now but is missing critical features down the road.
Think about what your current project management processes are and how they could change over time. Determine if these changes will require additional steps, information tracking, or other modifications to existing workflows. This insight into your own process helps avoid having to reinvent the wheel after deployment.
What will prevent you from getting stuck with the tool?
Be sure to understand all the different ways your tool prevents you from getting back to work while it runs. Are there any limits in terms of scope, time, and materials for certain activities?
Is there a minimum number of employees who can access it at one time? Also, determine if your chosen tool includes training material, documentation, or tutorials.
How much does it cost?
Finally, consider the total investment required to get your solution up and running. A lousy choice here is likely to end up costing more money than intended.
You’ll also be better served by finding a solution that has proven its mettle over several years rather than an unknown quantity.
This way, you have confidence in knowing that the solution will continue to perform well throughout the lifetime of your project without breaking down under pressure.
The Bottom Line
There are many tools out there that can help you manage projects. The right one will depend on your needs and budget; therefore, consider these 7 crucial tips when choosing the best one for you.