Do I Need Project Management Software?
Deciding whether or not your company needs to buy project management software can seem like an involving task, especially if you have never used one before. But there are a few solid indicators that, when present, suggest investing in project management software is a beneficial business move.
So, how do you tell if you, your company, or your team needs project management software? Check if you are suffering from any of these work-related symptoms:
Symptom One: Poor Organization
A good indicator that you need project management software is if you frequently find yourself with dealing with problems caused due to poor organization. If your last work blunder came as a result of losing files or forgetting a deadline, then you are a great candidate to benefit from project management software.
Project management software has many functions that help you get organized. Not only does it provide a place to store all project related information—from schedules, to project milestones, to resource loading reports—it gives you a bird-eye’s view of everything going on in your project so you can tell within seconds if something needs your attention.
Symptom Two: Communication Problems
Another work symptom that can be cured with project management software is poor communication amongst project stakeholders. If you have problems keeping the lines of communication open with your project team, clients, partners, or vendors, project management software has tools that make contacting project stakeholders effortless.
Project message boards provide an avenue for clients and team members to discuss project progress, report issues, or make requests. Messages boards with audit trails stamp each message with the time and date and then organize them in threads for easy searchability and access. Eliminate time spent searching through your inbox and fax files by keeping all project communication in one place.
Symptom Three: Imperfect Planning
The final sign that it’s time to use project management software is if you have difficulty with project planning. If you consistently guess the time it will take to complete a project inaccurately and this causes you to have hard-to-meet deadlines, or if you have trouble allocating the proper budget and resources to a project in a planning stages, project management software can be of assistance.
Project management software is storage for historical data. By analyzing previous projects timelines and budgets you get vital insights such as “how much time did the last marketing project take?” and “what was the actual budget used for hosting the previous healthcare conference?” With past data stored in the project management software, you can use that information to make better estimates for client quotes and more realistic timelines for your team.
What Project Management Software Cannot Cure
Despite the many benefits of project management software, it is unfortunately not quite magic (though I hear the developers are working on it).
Unfortunately, investing in project management software does not automatically transform you into a superhuman project manager. It does, however, provide the tools to become one. So if you are looking to get organized, and improve project communication and planning, then project management software is for you.
Image credit, aeu04117, Flickr
Vanessa Fiorido watches a lot of YouTube at work. Sometimes she blogs about project management.