Using an adjunct to manage the completion of a project or task is certainly not a new concept in the world of business management. Over the last few decades, many companies have produced their own version of project management software to be marketed to flourishing businesses across the globe. Any business looking to start-up or grow can be easily overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products available to them. Here are a few questions worth pondering when searching for the right product:
1. Is this software able to scale with my new business?
Projecting the trajectory of a new venture’s growth can be fairly tricky, and depend on a variety of factors both internally and externally. Visit the company product’s FAQ, or ask a sales representative how the software adapts to a sudden increase/decrease in users, changes in task loads, or changes in the amount of clients you will be serving. A great way to judge scalability is to look at the current companies using the software. Is the product only utilized by businesses of a certain size, or is there a variety in the customer base?
2. Is the software user-friendly?
If the software is too cumbersome or difficult on which to train users, your company may be embarking on a bumpy road. The key to ensuring a smooth implementation is to clearly understand what your business does, and the needs that must be met. A small retail toy company with 3-4 part-time employees will more than likely not need the same depth and versatility in a product as a national chain retailer would.
3. What kind of picture does the software provide for the administrator?
This is perhaps the most important concept when shopping for Project Management Software (also the one typically overlooked). Think about the sanity of whoever will have oversight of the operational tasks. This individual, or group of individuals will need to have the ability to quickly assess progress towards completion, make changes on the fly, and maintain accountability at all times. This implies that the software must be future planning-oriented--you would be surprised to know that many products are not--and be able to give a top-down overview of the entire company.
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Michael Chiovitti, Chief Talent Strategist
Eden Resources, LLC