How you know that excel and email no longer suffice
Project management is critical for an organization of any size, for accomplishing goals and reaching new milestones. But the question remains, how do you know if your organization is ready to take the plunge and invest in a project management tool?
A business in its growth stage looking for scalability and to establish processes that can be maintained and sustained over a long and fruitful future, is more than likely, well positioned for a project management solution. For project-centric organizations, there’s no question that a PM tool is necessary for managing demand, resources, time, etc. But for other organizations, the answer isn’t always as clear.
That’s why we decided to conduct an interview with 150 software buyers - to help us identify the top three indicators that a company is ready to upgrade from their current practices, such as using email and excel, to more sophisticated project management systems. This white paper will reveal the three indicators that drive companies to invest in a project management tool.
1. The need to manage deadlines, track status updates and budgets
The most consistent answer we received for why companies have decided to upgrade to a project management software was due to the need to manage deadlines, track status updates and of course, budgets. These companies require project managers to provide project status reports (what phases the projects are in) and whether or not they’re over budget, to department managers. The buyers’ top priority is to provide transparency and a summary view of all ongoing projects within the company and to have this information displayed in a project dashboard.
We had a few buyers who needed to manage client training and coordinate demonstrations. They were in need of a solution that would help track tasks and percent completion of projects. They needed to have a crystal clear picture for which of their clients had received product demonstrations and trainings, and a system that would serve as a repository of all projects.
A powerful project management system will provide:
In other words, the system will allow stakeholders to get a holistic view of all ongoing projects and the ability to compare their current statuses with their defined objectives.
Here’s a view of Genius Project analytics, which enables users to drill down to the smallest details:
2. Companies have tasks that depend on each other and are part of a workflow process
Next point on the list of critical reasons why our surveyees decided to buy a project management tool, is that they have processes within their organization that require systematic approvals, or a multitude of interdependent tasks. For example, when one team member completes a task, it automatically moves to the next team member’s queue. One example that came up several times was in the case of a marketing agency. The ad copy they produce for their clients needs to go through an approval workflow, to make sure all the required stakeholders sign off on the final ad, before it’s made public.
Some typical benefits of workflow management are:
Here’s a view of Genius project’s workflow management, which can be defined based on the needs of the organization:
3. The need to track time and billable hours
When it comes to managing resources and budgets, it becomes incredibly challenging to do so without an ability to track time and even more so, billable hours. Add to that the layer of complexity of various billing rates for tasks and people, and what should be a simple process turns into a project of its own - unless of course you have a tool that seamlessly tracks this information for you.
One comment we consistently received in our survey is that before they purchased a project management tool, they were using a variety of products to keep track of costs associated to certain tasks and different contractors, and that information was starting to get lost. The ability to keep all information in one place, especially as they continue to grow, has been an integral part of their success.
A project management tool will ultimately allow organizations seamlessly provide:
Here’s an example of time reporting in Genius Project:
Ultimately, companies that have their sights set on expansion and project and information management were keen to implement a robust solution that would sustain them over the very long term. The purchase of a project management tool was a clear investment and protection of their work and efforts as they continue to evolve and scale their business. There are numerous tools to consider, and the right one will depend on the needs of each organization.
To help clarify the differences we invite you to refer to this Market Landscape Report: Navigating the PM & PPM Software Sector