As technology advances, modern software solutions have been able to offer increasingly impressive functionality. The complexity of many of these offerings makes it incumbent upon companies to take care to select the tools that are right for their business. Matching a solution’s features to your firm’s needs is essential to getting the most out of your IT budget.
The following tips are designed to help you in choosing the work solutions which best fit your company’s business requirements.
Evaluate Existing Solutions
Before acquiring new project management software tools, it makes sense to look at what you already have. Evaluate which of your solutions appear up to the task and which are not getting the job done. This provides you with a starting point for determining what type of programs you should look to add. Be sure to consider changes to your firm’s workflows, which may have resulted in making some of your existing solutions less-than-ideal for the job. Workflow improvement is also something to keep in mind. Look for workflows that could stand improvement, and then seek out solutions that make these improvements possible.
Draw up Criteria
After evaluating your current solutions and identifying the areas where improvements can be made, the next step is to specify criteria for selecting new solutions. The criteria you select should detail the functions and features each solution is expected to offer. The cost of the solution and the level of support provided by the vendor should also be taken into consideration as well.
Eschew Paper Where Possible
While paper may still have a few uses in the modern business world, when it comes to selecting a software solution, look for tools that eliminate the need for paper. The most efficient workflow systems are self-contained, keeping all relevant information in the digital realm. Using paper records is simply redundant in such cases. Thus, unless there is a direct requirement for paper records or reports, focus only on solutions which are paperless.
Expand Existing Solutions
While there’s no point in using software tools to accomplish things they are not designed to do, in some cases you may not be using your existing solutions to the full extent of their functionality. Before purchasing news tools, evaluate your existing solutions to see if their usage can be expanded to handle other functions. Some solutions may offer add-on options, giving you the ability to address further functions without needing to introduce a completely new tool to your system. If you find that adding a new tool is necessary, look for one that offers comprehensive functionality, so you don’t end up needing to use multiple solutions where one can be used more efficiently.
Try the Pilot/Demo
Many software solutions offer demos or free trials to give you a chance to kick the tires before buying. Take advantage of these offers to evaluate whether the solution in question performs as advertised and if it can handle the issue/s you need it to deal with.
Select Realtime Collaboration Tools
The ability to collaborate in realtime is a huge productivity booster. Many collaborative solutions, including Google Docs, Dropbox, Slack, among others, have been designed to make it easy to stay in touch with and share files and other information with project team members.
Take Cost into Account
Completing a project on time is desirable, but doing so on budget can be just as, if not more, important. Make sure you consider the cost of each solution used on a project to ensure that it can be justified from a cost/benefit standpoint. Be sure to consider the time needed to operate the software as well, which can add substantially to the overall expense of adopting a tool.
Look for Dashboard view
Most modern solutions offer dashboard view, which provides you with a convenient way of viewing the major relevant indicators tracked by the solution. When selecting a new software tool, make sure that it offers dashboard view functionality.
Try Different Methodologies
The wide variety of project management and collaboration solutions available makes it much easier than ever before to try out different methodologies. When choosing a project management tool, look for solutions that support the use of a variety of methodologies.
Use Virtual Meeting Technology
Increasingly, project team members are being sourced from locations all over the world. This enables firms to bring the best talent together to collaborate on a project regardless of location. A variety of virtual meeting solutions are available to enable video, voice, and text meetings. Adding this type of functionality to your project management repertoire is highly recommended.
Embrace the Cloud
Utilizing the added efficiency of cloud solutions is a powerful means of improving project management results. From remote access to collaboration software to easier monitoring of project tasks, cloud computing can significantly improve productivity. When selecting work solutions, verify that they offer the ability to take advantage of the efficiency the cloud offers when appropriate.
Pick a Technology Guru to Spearhead the Effort
Most companies have an employee or two who are ahead of the rest when it comes to keeping up with the latest IT developments. Whether or not you have a separate IT department, look for an individual who has the interest and knowledge to lead the effort to evaluate new solutions and let them take charge of it.
Beware of Tool Creep
With a plethora of attractive solutions available for just about every conceivable function, it can be difficult to avoid “tool creep,” which occurs when too many solutions are in use. This syndrome can degrade, rather than enhance, efficiency, as switching from tool to tool or trying to get them to effectively communicate with each other can be an arduous chore. Try to use a unified project management platform when possible. This cuts down on integration issues and allows you to focus on managing a project, rather than managing software tools.
Keep Your Old Solutions as a Backup
While installing a new software solution will, ideally, enable you to begin using it right away, this is often not the case. Even if the installation process goes smoothly, it can take time to get your personnel up to speed when it comes to using the tool. Because of this, retaining your old solutions as backups in case of any hiccups during the introduction of a new tool is often recommended.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps manage your projects and lets you collaborate with your team in real time. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…