What are you using to manage projects today? Most project managers we speak to are still using spreadsheets. They come to us in search of something more powerful and efficient; something that will reduce their stress and increase their growth. The solution that they’re looking for is project management software; a one-stop-shop for all of their needs. When they discover that software will cost significantly more than using a spreadsheet, they disappear into the weeds of cost analysis-paralysis.
If that’s you, don’t worry. We won’t judge. We know that making a purchase like this brings up some uncertainties, especially if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.
In our experience, there are three outcomes you should expect with a successful project management software implementation:
- Avoid Duplicate Data Entry
Re-entering data into another spreadsheet or system every time it’s updated is a huge waste of time. This happens when you receive information about project changes from your stakeholders. You have to add the information and then update the team via email. Then your team has to go in and make the changes in their own spreadsheets. Sound familiar?
With work management software, everything is created in a single shared environment. All of your team members will have access and receive real-time updates as changes are made to a project, providing maximum visibility where needed. Re-entering data is an unnecessary inconvenience, not a requirement.
- Stop Waiting for Approvals
Another time-waster is when team members complete a task and must wait for approval before moving on to something else. This could take days. By using work management software, they can send and receive requests for approvals in the messaging pane of the task. To approve (or not) just click ‘Accept’ or ‘Reject’ and avoid delays that lead to wasted resources.
- Absent or Infrequent Status Updates
Human error can slow things down in the world of project management. We often finish a task that someone was waiting on and move on to the next thing without letting them know. This is unnecessarily common and adds up to hundreds of wasted hours. By using a project or work management tool, all communication is handled in one space which forces team members to be immediately accountable to each other. This level of communication helps projects move along quickly, ensuring that they are completed on time, leading to happier clients.
- Accurate Time Tracking
Most work management software comes with time tracking capabilities. This helps to manage and track your resources. It shows you how much time people are spending on tasks and how that adds or takes away from the project. When you’re using spreadsheets, people may not be reporting their time properly, which adds to the margin of error, increasing the risk of project delays and the probability of going over budget.
- Resource Optimization
One aspect of project management that’s difficult to manage properly is resource management. Even if you had a separate spreadsheet for every resource, your ability to spot patterns among hundreds, if not thousands of data points is limited. A good work management software will provide a way of storing and collecting all of your project data and compiling it so that you can get the big picture and prioritize your resources more accurately. Good resource planning and management is critical to the success of any project.
- Reduce Stress
One of the greatest benefits we’ve seen with our clients is the reduction of team stress due to the proper management of their workloads. Our customer, SES Consulting, reported a 20% drop in employee stress due to their use of resource planning via our project management platform.
Hear what their team had to say about their experience in this short video: SES CONSULTING
Learn More: Resource Planning
So, Is Work Management Software Worth It? Calculate the ROI.
Now that you have a good idea of all the things that could go wrong, it’s time to ask some hard questions about your current ROI.
Here’s what you need to evaluate:
- How much time are you or your project managers spending updating spreadsheets?
- How much time are your team members then spending to update that same spreadsheet (but their own copy of it)?
- How much time is currently spent in meetings?
- How much time on average is spent waiting on approvals?
- How long does it take to plan a project? What is the current process?
- How long does it take to create reports?
- Are you or your executive team able to identify key trends?
The real question to ask is: How much money are you losing by using the wrong tools? To answer this question, you can use our ROI Calculator.
When you see how much time and effort the right software can save you, the decision becomes clear. The question then becomes, “do we want to take on more projects and expand our department or company?” The answer to that is almost always yes.