Committing to an intense new routine or a strict to-do app can be a pretty tough task to tackle. There are the reminders, the deadlines, and that nagging sense of guilt you get when you fail to check a box on the list. It gets even worse if you find that your app or routine is missing some crucial element, and you only notice it halfway down the road. Now imagine all that trouble translated to a team scale and experienced by anywhere between half a dozen and a hundred people. Instant headache. Avoid it with these few simple tips for choosing your new project management software.
What are the collaboration feature capabilities?
Project management software is primarily defined by how useful it will be in your given group setting. After all, you cannot manage a project successfully if the whole team is not cooperating smoothly, can you? So you need to ensure that your chosen program is flexible enough and has all the tools your collaborators will need down the road.
In an ideal case, you would be able to choose something that is similar enough to the way your team already communicates, either in person, online, or both. Visit this link to get some more info on basic communication styles in a work environment.
This is especially important if you have more than one team cooperating on a project. If the new software clashes with the communication pattern that you all already adopted, you can bet your next paycheck that no one will make any honest effort to transition to it.
Are there any better alternatives?
Even if you got the impression that you have found your dream program, you should take the time to test out at least some three to five alternatives. There is always some little feature or functionality setting that makes the difference, and that little something may be just what you need to bump up your work routine. You can opt to track and maintain your collaborative project management with ClientFlow, for example, despite having started out with, say, Trello. Your needs will keep changing as your business progresses, so always be open to giving a fair chance to software you may have not tried before. Remember, you have to be flexible just as much as your tools.
What does your team think about it?
Never skimp on getting feedback, and keep asking for it until everything is crystal clear to everyone. The new software has to be something that your teammates will actually use on a daily basis. It has to be able to solve whatever problems made you go looking for it in the first place. Most importantly, it has to be something that will not disrupt your workflow.
A common mistake is downloading a program and then getting lost in customizing all the details. Focus on getting results from it first. One practical solution is to run a trial period and have everyone participate. Let the people you work with see how intuitive the interface is, whether the program delivers on the promises its developers and sellers make, and whether it is good enough to beat the one you were previously using.
Take special care to avoid inertia among your team – that terrible limbo where everyone is waiting for someone else to get started on things. Gather everyone together, review the pros and potential cons of the new tool, and then work together to find it a spot in your group. Have a plan for how to fit it into your workflow and consider what changes it might cause to your processes. It is also handy to set some team goals regarding the new program – a way to measure its efficiency, or tracking the changes in communication that it sparks.
Will it fit your implementation plan?
Your new program needs to be easy for everyone to use. Also, make sure to avoid the project manager becoming the only one to use it. Exploit your new software to its full potential.
Learn more about software implementation at this link: https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/software-implementation-plan/
It cannot be something that will suddenly clash with people’s habits, even if your team are tech-savvy folk who learn new programs easily. Prepare your team members for the possibility of information being in a different place, and make sure you can connect the new software to the old to ease the transition.
Does it justify what it costs?
Before you settle on a new piece of software, consider what it will cost you in the short term and whether it will really pay for itself later on. When you introduce a new collaboration tool, you will need to invest time and money into it. People will need to pay subscription fees, you might need to migrate project data and contacts, and everyone will have to learn how to use it to its full potential from scratch. That consumes a lot of resources, temporal, financial, and others (like patience).
Especially be careful if you have to implement your new software across a whole department or company, as the costs will increase exponentially. Good rules of thumb are: do not choose anything that takes more than 30 minutes to set up, opt for the simplest system that meets your needs, and always do a test run with a smaller but representative group.