In every business, the use of project management tools has grown increasingly significant. Project management software aims to make managing teams and tasks easier and more effective. It should be easily accessed by multiple users and be able to organise the project development process.
Project managers and stakeholders have utilised the use of project management tools since it automates various basic operations such as project planning, scheduling, reporting, and so on. Whether you own a startup or a well-established company, it has become critical to use project management software.
Project management tools can either help or hinder your team's productivity by adding time to simple activities. So in order to choose the most suited tool for your team or company, you need to understand some aspects of how to choose the best software and what criteria that project management tools should have.
How to choose the most suited project management tool
Adapted from Zapier, we can conclude four steps to choose the perfect project management software for your company. The steps are explained as follows.
1. Determine your needs and challenges
Not all project management tools solve the same issues. As a result, determining your specific needs and challenges is an important first step in choosing project management software.
Some teams are focused on keeping the process organised and on track. While others need a logical way to communicate about work in progress. Still, other teams require a scheduling or budgeting component in their project management process.
Besides that, you'll also need to identify the challenges; parameters that you have to work within. For example, you may have a specific budget for the app, another company may need the app to work for a certain size team, and another may need a simple integration with other software.
Try to make a specific list of all the needs and challenges your team or company is facing. Be clear about which options are potential fits and which can be eliminated right away.
2. Make a list of app options
After determining your needs and challenges, you can make a list of app options. The options may need to fit your team, unique bill, etc. You can list them down according to their functionality or any other specification.
3. Test the apps with your team and get feedback
Without testing it, it's nearly impossible to decide which project management tool will best serve your team's needs. That's why your team needs to be onboard.
To test the options, use them with your team. Here are some of the things you'll want to test so you can see how they work.
- Give your team access to various permission levels
- Create real tasks and assign your team members
- Adjust notifications
- Create various project-shared views (calendar, Kanban, or anything available)
- Set deadlines and mark completed tasks
After testing all the options, be sure to ask the team members about their experiences using the app as well as the features or capabilities they like or don't like. Gather all feedback before deciding which tool you will use.
4. Cost calculation and justification
Introducing a tool to your team will cost a lot of time and money. That's why finding the ideal solution will significantly simplify your project management workflows. It means that the program might eventually pay for itself.
It's crucial to explore the landscape of products available to meet your needs and compare the cost of buying and implementing it versus the cost of not having it. But it's more important to look at the value it's providing so that you can justify the cost.
The important criteria for project management tools
1. Communication channels
According to Zentao, it will have great benefits for project management tools to have communication channels. It can be a messaging tool to accommodate the need for communication.
A messaging tool will keep conversations organised in the virtual workspace so that the messages can be retrieved easier. It will keep the team responsible and productive. It also makes it easier for the team to track back any activity in searching for any important messages regarding project development.
2. Task management
Rachael Ray from GoodFirms states that task management is an essential component of any project. A task list can be an interactive collaboration tool that allows you to easily follow the progress of tasks. Task management consists of several features like calendars, schedule management, file sharing, subtasks, project description, etc.
Efficient task management allows you to list tasks in the order in which they must be done and quickly allocate those tasks to team members. Important files and data can also be shared both within and externally. It also allows you to prioritise tasks and set deadlines so that everyone in the team is on the same page. Task management can have a display of Kanban, list view, Gantt charts, etc.
3. Documentation & file sharing
It is usual for many documents to change hands each time. Documentation makes it easier to track revisions and keep everyone updated on changes. Also, it allows you and your team to store important files or notes regarding any project.
As a project manager, you should look for a tool that can give your team access to a repository where files can be downloaded, uploaded, locked, revised, or tracked for any changes or updates.
While file sharing gives you access to send, share, and exchange files with everyone in the team. If you have any external members, it should allow you to share files with the external members as well.
According to Project-Management.com, stakeholders and sponsors may like a project management tool which has a built-in dashboard and graphical charts.
Besides, having a customised dashboard can give a rough assessment of everything going on at a glance. That's why it's important to be able to have an interactive dashboard. You should easily display relevant data and metrics.
A business usually uses a variety of software and services to ensure its success in the industry. It is crucial that a project management tool integrates with other existing tools glitch-free in order to accomplish this purpose. It is also beneficial if the project management tool contains the ability to fetch data from other tools and software.
You also need to look for tools that support multiple platforms of devices such as iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, etc. This purpose improves the mobility of the team using any device.
As one of the most important features, security is a component that a project management tool should have. The integrity of your project is maintained by ensuring data safety.
You must understand the comprehensive security components that the project management tool offers like login access control, authentication methods, end-to-end encryption, etc. Moreover, you will need to analyse the disaster recovery strategies and protection against ransomware offered by the software. Make sure that all those security services are an all-inclusive feature, not add-ons.
7. Customer support
It goes without saying that any software or service will eventually have some problems. Software is more likely to break down or lag, which seriously lowers productivity.
Before subscribing to any tool, analyse the type of customer support provided by the software provider. It is important to know whether they provide single-channel or multiple channels support.
These criteria aim to improve your project management and implementation. However, in addition to the above criteria, specify any particular standards that your team needs. Since they will be using the project management software, communicate with your project managers and team members to understand their needs.
Do you know that VirtualSpace contains all these criteria as a project management software? VirtualSpace is the ultimate project management tool that you and your team need. It streamlines your project implementation with its features. Moreover, it simplifies your team communication with its real-time chat tool hence VirtualSpace suits every remote team. It allows your team to communicate from wherever so it will maintain your team's productivity.