Project Management Software

Businesses have been successfully managing complex projects in Microsoft Excel, via email and even on paper for decades — but are these tools truly the best ones for the job? While it may be tempting to immediately look for a project management software platform when you’re starting a new technology project, that’s not always the best solution as it can introduce unnecessary complexity for your team. There is a fine line between being able to fully utilize a project management solution and finding that it simply gets in the way of progress. Project management is misunderstood at many organizations, so it’s important that you’re realistic about the potential adoption rate of team members. Take this online exam to determine whether it’s time to invest the money and energy in bringing a project management platform online.

Is Your Organizational Ready for Change?

It’s just a reality of life that there are some people that are more willing to accept change than others. If your project is being spearheaded and supported by a group that is a bit change-averse, you might get better traction by focusing on the details of your IT project instead of attempting to also bring a new project management solution onboard at the same time. Conversely, if you are in the 23% of organizations that use standardized project management solutions across the organization there might be some scope to consider adding another layer of complexity to your project. PMI, the Project Management Institute, has a recent study that shows only 58% of organizations truly understand the value that is delivered by project management solutions. If there are questions about the value of the practice of project management, chances are good that any new PM software initiative will meet with significant resistance from teams — especially if you don’t have the executive support that you need to be successful.

Do You Have the Support of Key Executives?

While it’s great to have line-level management spearheading your initiative, if you don’t have the support of key executives across the organization it’s going to be challenging to drive change. Project management is something that truly needs to be part of the DNA of your organization. Having different teams utilizing a variety of project management solutions is a recipe for disaster. If you’re already in this space, you’ll need significant buy-in from executives in both business and technology sides of the organization in order to ensure that you will gain user acceptance. If the executives do not fully believe that implementing the PM software is crucial to the success of your initiative, it might be best to backpedal and try again at a later time. Just as with every major project, your project management software or process implementation needs an executive sponsor who is willing to take the conversation to the highest levels of the organization.

Is it the Right Time to Make a Change?

Every business goes through ebbs and flows that can have a decided impact on organizational imperatives. If your business is solely focused on revenue generation activities with few available funds to invest in a new platform, you’re more likely to gain support for a new software or hardware project than pitching a project management update. Timing is everything in business and in life, and it helps to pick a time where other factors are relatively stable before you attempt to introduce a new process for managing projects.

Project Management Solutions

What is the Complexity Level of Your Project?

It’s nearly impossible to quantify the complexity level of a particular project. Even projects with only a few hard deliverables can be complicated in terms of the individuals who are involved or the systems that must be integrated. If you already have a system in place that allows you to do the majority of these tasks, you may not need additional project management software to be successful.

  • Define individual (not team!) responsibility for each task
  • Identify deadlines and prioritize workloads
  • Create high-level timelines that can be communicated across the organization
  • Collaborate with internal and external team members
  • Identify and manage gaps in your deliverables
  • Target bottlenecks and their impact on the project

Determining your level of executive support, the willingness of your organization and individuals on the team to change and whether you already have a solution in place that addresses the range of needs for systematic project management will help you determine whether it’s time to make an investment.