It takes a lot of time, sweat, and political will to adopt a new project management tool, but its all worth it if youve chosen the right one. A great project management tool can net you incredible savings on time, effort, and money that go far beyond the softwares original cost.
Dont believe me? Lets run through it:
A good project management tool can save a project manager lots of time. A great project management tool will save everybody time. A great tool wont save one person time at the expense of others (like if the data entry process is slow and clunky). Its features will speed up important processes or aspects of your workflow, like keeping all of the documents in one place, for example, or helping organize tasks in a way that maximizes peoples schedules. The net result should always be a faster workflow.
Great project management tools make it easier for your team to do their jobs. Not necessarily write code faster or anything like that (though that would be pretty cool), but streamline the administrative and organizational parts of the job so that you can all focus on the actual work. If you can take away (or at least minimize) the pain of planning, collaborating, and coordinating, the team will have more energy to get the job done faster.
Project management tools come in a range of pricing options, from free to not-quite-college-tuition. But a great project management tool is an investment that doesnt just stop at a project. A great project management tool can help you do more projects in less time, develop your team, and maybe even offer insights (through reports and other performance data) that will help you grow your organization. All these go a long way towards increasing your bottom line.
Bringing it All Together
A project management tool has to be able to bring you all three benefits to be considered truly great. If it saves you time and effort, but breaks the bank, then you may need to shop for a more affordable option. If its cheap and saves time, but requires a lot of effort to keep updated (either from one person or from everybody), then your team will lose interest in the tool as the project goes on.
All the benefits I mentioned above can be interlinked. Reducing the amount of time on a project means less effort involved, which translates into fewer hours spent, which means room for more projects. Money/hours saved with the project management software could be used to train teams, which improves their skills and lets them do their jobs faster and more effectively, which again translates into bigger savings and more earnings.
So as you review project management software features and go through your test runs, keep the three benefits I mentioned in mind. Is this tool saving you time, effort, and money? If so, then youve got a winner!
Image credit, Flickr, 401(K) 2012