How To Choose A Project Management Tool

How To Choose A Project Management Tool

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·Jan 20, 2023·

7 min read

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At present, there is a need to know How to choose the project management tool because of that will best fit the needs of your business. More than 90% of small businesses tend to ignore this as a part of regular operations and end up being messy and unorganized in the long run. Having a structured way to manage projects can increase your team’s productivity by more than 30%. Whether you are a large enterprise or a small SME, every manager has to deal with project management daily.

Putting some time and resources aside to slowly integrate a complete project management solution is essential for everyone. But most people struggle to find the right project management solution for them. If this seems relatable to you, keep on reading.

How to choose a project management tool

The first point to start is whether you truly need a PM solution or not. For most companies, the answer is YES! Even if you are a small company like an agency working on only 2-3 projects with a 5 people team, this is the right time to start. Companies spend more than 2 hours every day doing redundant meetings that can be eliminated by having a streamlined mode of communication. That’s exactly where a structured project management solution comes in.

Change is difficult but when you have a small team, it is a lot easier to implement any solution. This puts you in a great position to scale. Because slowly, every activity that your team does get documented. So, if you are handing over more than 2-3 projects, it is time for you to choose a project management solution.

Choose the right project management solution

Different project management solutions tend to cater to different demographics. If you are a full developer’s team, you will like JIRA. If you are a heavy user as a PM, you might like ClickUp, if you are into documentation, Notion is where you go and if you want something simple & affordable, you go with Onethread. But even other than this there are a lot of options in the market and as a business owner/founder, it is on you to find out what suits the needs of your team perfectly.

1. Assessing your project management requirements

You might be an agency and are working with campaigns and clients instead of projects, so it is important to perfectly break it down into your needs. Do you need a daily task tracker, whether you want to track time, or are extensive reports valuable to you? All these questions need to be answered before you go and choose a solution.

A simple way of doing this is to write down 5-6 important functionalities you would want in a solution. These are essential for you. Then add some other features you’d like to see but these aren’t dealbreakers for you.

2. Go through user feedback

There are a lot of websites like Gartner, G2, etc. where you can see authentic user feedback and compare with a few products you want. That will give you a clear idea of how different types of users have perceived different products. Finding similar used cases to yours will help you decide on the right product for you.

If you have a few solutions in mind, you can even go through their socials and landing page to see how their users have felt using the product. Go through their Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. communities to see what the conversation is like. You will be able to gauge what people like and hate about certain solutions.

3. Select a project management methodology

If you go through theoretical knowledge, there are multiple ways to manage projects. Although most small teams prefer Agile methodology these days, it can surely vary depending upon the team size, type of companies, and people involved. As a founder, it is up to you to find out the most relevant project management methodology for your team. Different project management solutions are more adaptable to serving different methodologies. Be it Waterfall, Agile, Kanban, Scrum, etc., or even a mixture of a few, there is a solution that will fit your style.

4. Talk to your team

Project management at the end of the day boils down to employees giving updates regularly. If they aren’t used to it, they won’t be giving regular updates, rendering the whole thing useless. Talk to them to see what they’d like in a solution. More passively, you will create an obligation for everyone to use it once they have given their opinion.

So, it doesn’t look like you are pushing this on your team. Rather it will make lives easier for everyone involved in the operation.More companies only look for what top management wants than what their employees would love. If your employees’ lives don’t get better with the use of a solution, they are just going to ignore the solution and the whole operation will fail.

5. Understand the extent of usage

So, once you have figured out the methodology you should use and talk to your team, it is imperative that you figure out to what extent you are going to use the solution. That means you set up clear expectations for your team and the solution. You can take inputs from people on the ground, project managers, or mid-management. There is no set rule in place. But project tracking tools vary a lot depending upon to what extent they can take data.

Some project tracking tools are easy to use like Onethread and then some are very heavy like Jira/ClickUp. If this is the first time using it for your team, it is better to go simple and make it easy for teams to give updates. If the full team is very used to project management solutions, opting more a more complex and heavy solution can be the way forward.

6. Project Management Solution Demo

Once you have gone through a few selection processes and have narrowed it down to a few solutions, it’s time to sit for a project management solution demo. Almost all quality product has a live demo of the product. You can just click on it and go through each solution to see which fits best with your requirements.

Most solutions also provide the opportunity to sit with an executive who will help you go through the solution and give you a personal demonstration. That demo will be even more helpful as you can ask your questions and make sure you have a complete understanding of the product.

7. Have a long-term plan

No matter what solution you use, implementation will be a long hard road. This means, as the founder, you have to be patient enough to make that adjustment. Productivity might go down the in first few days. But in the long run, you will increase transparency, productivity, and accountability and have a clear process in place for anyone new coming in. Be prepared to take that short time bump in the road with grace and lay out the path for long-term improvement.

Our survey of more than 300 companies has shown us that most companies fail to implement any solution because they give up within a few weeks of starting the solution. If you don’t have the bandwidth to go through the first few weeks, it is probably better to wait a bit till you are ready to commit.

8. Create a critical mass within your organization

This is relevant if you have a team of more than 50+ people. Don’t try to digitize and automate everything at once. That is a recipe for disaster. You need to get a team of 15-20 people and 2 projects where you can successfully implement a solution. That will create a critical mass of people who can be advocates for that solution within your organization.

People respond a lot better to their colleagues than to their bosses. If you can create a group of people who understands the solution completely & like working with it, they will be able to help others come on board and also help them implement it in all other projects of the company.

Project management is a must if you want to run a company with smooth structures in place. Having a robust PM solution will put you ahead of the competition regardless of what kind of company you are in. For long-term growth & sustainable development, there is just no alternative. But it is equally important to choose the right one. Not to over-complicate the lives of your employees. Make minimal changes and slowly adopt to a more digitized way of working

There are a number of different tools that can be used, so it is imperative how to choose the project management tool and goals. Some common project management tools include time tracking, communication software, and issue identification and resolution software.

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