Managing projects effectively without the right-fitted tool nowadays is almost impossible. Working with the wrong tool may exacerbate problems that already existed and may cause additional costs. However, choosing the proper tool is not as easy as it seems to be and may become a great challenge for some teams. But how to choose the best project management tool when there is a wide variety of them on the market?
This article will show you how to do it in only 5 steps!
Step 1: Identifying your current problems
Define the team’s problems
First things first, you should find and identify correctly your current problems in the way your team works. Such problems could include for example:
- Too many time-wasting meetings
- Lack of communication between team members or departments
- Overflowing email inbox
- Uneven workload between team members
- Disorganized projects and missed deadlines
It is recommended to write these pain points in a list so that you can treat them as starting points, a definition of what features you want in your future project management tool.
What’s more, you should also pay attention to the methodology you used in your current project management. Not all the tools can cover the needs of working with Agile, Waterfall, or mixed approaches.
Define criteria for selecting project management software
Obviously, apart from defining your teams’ problems, you should also take into account some more factors like:
- Budget you have
- Team size (and potential for the tool to scale with you)
- Integration options
- File storage capacity
- Security requirements
It is undoubtedly the most important and difficult step in the whole process because without having listed your real problems and requirements, the chosen tool might appear to be improper. Again.
Step 2: Research the project management tools
Now, when you have your requirements defined, you can start looking for the best possible project management tool. There are a couple of ways to do it. You could:
- Do the research by yourself (it will be really time-consuming)
- Talk to other project managers in your industry (they could recommend you some tools based on their previous experience)
- Check out recommendations on the industry websites, blogs, and YouTube channels (but there’s a risk that you will not get all the information you need to make a decision or the quality of them will not be high enough)
- Ask professionals for help (we do recommend this option!)
Why do we consider the last option the best of all listed above? The answer is: it minimizes the risk of making the wrong decision which is one of the most important things in project management, isn’t it? What is more:
- You will save precious time and money by hiring experts, who will help find the best solution for you and your team
- You will get some helpful recommendations regarding the available project management tools
In Genius Gecko we’re working with many project management tools on the market and if you’re looking for someone to help you do the analysis and pick the best tool for your needs, look no further!
You can contact us using our contact form, or by sending an email to: email@example.com. We will schedule a free consultation during which you will get all your questions answered! Do not hesitate, we are looking forward to chatting with you and finding the best possible solution together!
Step 3: Test out the chosen project management tool
No matter how you chose the tool, you should check its functionalities in action. Almost all project management tools on the market offer a free trial (on average it lasts 30 days), during which you are able to find out if it comes up to your expectations. If one doesn’t have a full-featured free trial, then reach out to ask for it because many companies are happy to offer it if you ask.
Remember that this is the stage in which your team’s help is inevitable. To test any tool properly, you should gather together a small group to pilot it. Chosen people ought to have different functions because the more diverse the potential opinions are, the easier it will be to prevent future issues. The pilot team should also have an occasion to test the tool while working on a small but real project if possible. It will later help to evaluate if the tool meets all the needs (that were listed before in the first step).
Do not forget also to test out the customer service. Implementing the new tool always takes time and brings a lot of questions. It is always a big plus if the chosen tool has a well-functioned support team or help desk in which you can solve your potential problems.
Step 4: Get feedback from your team
After completing the trial it is essential to gather feedback from your testers. These exemplary questions may help get a clearer view:
- Would the new project management tool make your workflow more or less efficient?
- What did you like the most/least about the tool and why?
- How much time would be spent updating it?
- How much time did it take you to get started using the tool properly? Do you still have any problems with it?
- How likely would you be to recommend the tool?
- Is it worth its pricing?
Remember that the team members’ feedback is critical before making the final decision. People should have a pure willingness to work with a particular project management tool. Otherwise, the investment would be pointless and may cause unnecessary issues.
Step 5: Choosing the best project management tool
Do you still remember the list of your requirements and pain points that you were supposed to do in the first step? Before making the final decision, you are obliged to check if chosen project management tool covers all the listed needs. Now you have got two options:
- If the tool comes up to your expectations and gets the teams’ approval – you can purchase it and start the implementation process.
- If the tool does not meet the criteria – you should come back to the second step and search for a better option.
All things considered, choosing the best possible project management tool is not as simple as it may seem to be. It is a quite complex process that requires the involvement of a pretty large number of people. Without expert knowledge, it can turn into a time-consuming nightmare for the project manager and the whole team.
Remember, if you struggle with choosing the right tool, want to save time, or maybe just want to avoid unnecessary stress, reach out to us and see how seamless this process could be with the world-class expert’s help. You can fill out the contact form or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.