If you are to run smooth and successful project across a number of teams and perhaps even entire departments, then you definitely need a project management tool. In the modern business world, it’s no longer a question of whether or not you need to introduce this software into your processes, because you do; it’s a question of finding the right type of project management software that will fit your company’s needs, and accommodate all of the day-to-day requirements of your teams.
You might be under the impression that you can still get by with a single Dropbox folder or a simple set of online tools like Docs and Spreadsheets, but in reality, these outdated tools offer little in the way of collaboration, real-time reporting, task management and exporting, or data security. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the five tips that will help you finally choose the ideal project management tool for your company, so that you can take your business forward.
First and foremost, you can’t hope to achieve much with a tool that is difficult to set up, and even worse, a tool that’s difficult to integrate into your daily processes. The reality is that even the most tech-savvy of employees can be apprehensive when it comes to adopting new technology, so it’s your job to not only ease them into the new software, but it’s also your job to pick a project tool that is easy and intuitive to use right out the box. This is your first elimination criterion.
The good news is that almost every tool out there offers a free trial period, so don’t hesitate to give it a go before making any big decisions. Now, instead of basing your decision on your own user experience, be sure to get your team members involved, and ask for their honest feedback. Make a checklist of wanted features as well as some deal-breakers, and have your employees fill it out after a few days.
Traditional collaboration tools, and especially those that are mostly free to use, are notorious for their security flaws and the numerous backdoors they have that someone could exploit to gain unwarranted access to your projects – which means your business and client data, too. Needless to say, you can’t let something like this happen, because it only takes a single data breach for your brand’s reputation to plummet and for you to lose your clients for good.
The tool you use to manage projects and collaborate through with your internal and external team mates needs to be air-tight, boasting industry-leading security features such as a privacy shield, top-level data encryption, and regular backups. What’s more, this software should allow you to manage your privacy settings how you see fit.
When it comes to the most important part, the tasks and how they are managed, there can be no compromise. The software you choose to integrate into the process should provide you with a number of task management features that will allow you to run a smooth and seamless collaborative process while making sure that everyone is up to date, engaged, and involved throughout.
Given the need for businesses to manage certain tasks within a number of projects, business leaders have been looking to replace traditional tools and find a Trello alternative, for example, that allows their teams to stay flexible and agile no matter the complexity of the project, or a cluster of projects. Having the ability to update and manage tasks simultaneously across projects is just one of the features you should be looking for in an innovative project management tool.
For a project to run smoothly, you have to stay on top of all relevant metrics and create actionable reports every day. Traditionally, this has been a huge waste of time for project leaders, which is why the tool you’re using needs to offer everything from real-time reporting, all the way to interactive dashboards, task overviews, performance reviews, charts and graphs, and more. Simply put, the more information you have at all times, the easier it will be to make sound business decisions and keep the project moving forward while minimizing the risk of errors or setbacks.
Modern companies no longer work solely with their in-house employees. As the outsourcing culture continues to thrive in the digital day and age, more and more companies are starting to work with external partners and service providers in order to cut costs while capitalizing on the top talent in the industry – all without having to hire new full-time employees.
Unfortunately, not all project management tools will allow you to share your work with external partners, which is a must-have feature if you are to run an efficient and effective operation. Make sure that the tool allows you to bring new people into your project easily, and that you can include entire teams and agencies into the process.
Having a project management tool is no longer an option for a growth-oriented business, it’s a necessity. With these tips in mind, you should have no problem picking the best project management software to fit your company’s needs.