Project planning software is an effective tool needed by most busy teams. According to a survey, 97 percent of companies believe that project planning is essential to business performance and success. Yet, do you know how to choose the right software? In this post, we will guide you to choose the most suitable project planning software for your business.
Why Choose the Best Project Planning Software?
Finding the best software will lead you to many questions to answer. To reach your goals, first, you need to define why you need the best project planning software.
The growing popularity of project planning software has led more entrepreneurs to take on the daunting task of creating the most useful project management tools in the world. It is no overstatement to say that there are hundreds of project management software tools out there.
Choosing the right tool without the right guidance can be a bit confusing. Yet, when your business’ performance is at a bargain, it is worth it!
Do You Really Need Project Planning Software?
If you are reading this post, then the answer is obvious, you do. What are the main activities and processes you want to manage with the tool? Do you need it for task management, project planning, team collaboration, or budget and expense tracking?
You need to understand all the potential problems and flaws in the new configuration tool. Don’t forget to discuss with your team members about their needs and expectations. After all, it is your team members who need to use this project planning software.
Once you have figured it out, perhaps then you may think that all you need is a simple task management tool. Or maybe you need any other specific solution for managing small processes in your project.
Think About the Features You Need
Before you start browsing those project planning software reviews, you need to know what to look for. The first thing to do is make a list of the activities you want to manage with the new software. To give you a hint, below are some features most project planning software will offer you:
- Project planning and shared calendar
- Task management and to-do list
- Project dashboard with KPIs
- Collaboration tools and messages/comments
- Report and performance tracking
- Customer relationship management
- File storage and sharing
- Resource management
- Budget and expense management
Deciding which features and tools you want from the software is essential. Why? It will prevent you from getting hooked by some irrelevant features of expensive software tools.
Which Tools Work Best for Project Planning Software?
Web-based, desktop, integration, client-server, all these choices can be very confusing. If you are collaborating with multiple people or remote staff, web-based tools can be the best solution. The main advantage you can get from these tools is that you can access them easily from any computer. The best part is, you can even access them without having to download the software.
Where Does the Best Project Planning Software Fit into the Workflow?
There are three most important requirements that you should consider when looking for the best project planning software:
- Ease of use
- Easy integration
If you are running a relatively small project team or work for an agency, you need a comprehensive agency project management tool to manage your work, clients, time, and budget. That’s all.
On the other hand, if you are part of a large company, make sure that your project tools fit your entire workflow. Accordingly, it should be compatible with other software.
For example, if you need to link your customer profile to your project, you need to synchronize your data with the CRM software of your sales team.
In some cases, comprehensive software may eliminate the need for other tools. This means that you would get fewer tools to switch to. Additionally, you would get a complete picture of your project’s performance. Well, doesn’t sound like a good privilege?
The answer to the question above depends on the complexity of your workflow and project. For example, if you run an agency that works with multiple clients, such as PR agencies, you need software that can track time and charge clients accordingly.
The simplest solution is to stick to the list of features you need. Then, you need to find the right software that offers all those required tools. However, if you already have software that covers CRM functionality, file storage, or accounting, you can simply integrate them with your new software.
Keep in mind that not all tools in project planning software can synchronize data across multiple solutions. Thus, you need to look for the one that can.
Check Out the Scalability, Support, and Security Features
When you are viewing some project planning software reviews, you need to check out about three important things. Here they are.
It would be great if you don’t need any help at all. Yet, this is the best scenario and probably would not happen. Check out if the software provider offers a support portal, email or phone support, and demo sessions. You can even ask for a demo session before purchasing any software.
Make sure the software can catch up with your growing team and meet all your needs at the same time. It is a good idea to look for software with hierarchical user roles, permissions, and access rights.
Security should also be your concern when looking for software that can handle sensitive data. This information is usually not available on software vendors’ websites. However, you can email the provider to learn about the process of controlling infrastructure access and customer data access.
Last but not least, check out the user experience and price of the software. When you start your research, make sure that low prices do not obscure your judgment. Eventually, you should place the software costs as the last element of the decision-making process.
So, are you ready to find the right project planning software for your business? Hopefully, this guide assists you.
Have a great day!