Top three indicators that you’re ready for a project management tool
How do you know that excel and email no longer suffice?
Project management is critical for an organisation of any size, for accomplishing goals and reaching new milestones. But the question remains, how do you know if your organisation is ready to take the plunge and invest in a project management tool?
A business in its growth stage looking for scalability and to establish processes that can be maintained and sustained over a long and fruitful future, is more than likely, well-positioned for a project management solution. For project-centric organisations, there’s no question that a PM tool is necessary for managing demand, resources, time, etc. But for other organisations, the answer isn’t always as clear.
That’s why we decided to conduct an interview with 150 software buyers – to help us identify the top three indicators that a company is ready to upgrade from their current practices, such as using email and excel, to more sophisticated project management systems. This white paper will reveal the three indicators that drive companies to invest in a project management tool.
The need to manage deadlines, track status updates and budgets
The most consistent answer we received for why companies have decided to upgrade to a project management software was due to the need to manage deadlines, track status updates and of course, budgets. These companies require project managers to provide project status reports (what phases the projects are in) and whether or not they’re over budget, to department managers. The buyers’ top priority is to provide transparency and a summary view of all ongoing projects within the company and to have this information displayed in a project dashboard.
We had a few buyers who needed to manage client training and coordinate demonstrations. They wanted a solution that would help track tasks and monitor the completion percentage of projects. They also required a clear view on which clients had received product demonstrations and training, as well as a system that would serve as a repository for all projects.
In other words, the system will allow stakeholders to get a holistic view of all ongoing projects and the ability to compare their current statuses with their defined objectives.
Companies have tasks that depend on each other and are part of a workflow process
Next point on the list of critical reasons why our surveyees decided to buy a project management tool, is that they have processes within their organisation that require systematic approvals, or a multitude of interdependent tasks. For example, when one team member completes a task, it automatically moves to the next team member’s queue. One example that came up several times was in the case of marketing agencies. The ad copy they produce for their clients needs to go through an approval workflow, to make sure all the required stakeholders sign off on the final ad, before it is made public.
Some typical benefits of workflow management are:
- Ensuring that processes are followed
- Automatic distribution of information
- Workflow based notifications
- Document creation
- Roles based workflow
The need to track time and billable hours
When it comes to managing resources and budgets, it becomes incredibly challenging to do so without the ability to track time and even more so, billable hours. Add to that the layer of complexity of various billing rates for tasks and people, and what should be a simple process turns into a project of its own – unless of course you have a tool that seamlessly tracks this information for you.
One comment we consistently received in our survey is that before purchasing a project management tool, a variety of products were being used to keep track of costs associated with certain tasks and different contractors, and that information was starting to get lost. The ability to keep all information in one place, especially as you continue to grow, plays an integral part in success.
Ultimately, companies that have their sights set on expansion and project and information management were keen to implement a robust solution that would sustain them over the long term. The purchase of a project management tool was a clear investment and protection of their work and efforts as they continue to evolve and scale their business. There are numerous tools to consider, and the right one will depend on the needs of each organisation.