The world of PM tools is getting bigger and bigger and it’s difficult to navigate and find the right solution. It’s easy to get stuck in a solution that isn’t fit for purpose but you won’t change because it’s just too painful to carry everything over to a new system. How to avoid that? Where to start?
If your agency has reached the critical level of complexity (to a point where managing everything on excel or spreadsheets isn’t viable anymore) then answering these questions should help you in making the right decision. Put Simply, there are 3 things to think about:
The Biggest mistake people make when choosing a tool is thinking or envisioning a specific feature or set of features. Why is that important to you? WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
Make sure you know what your objective is as a business. Whether it’s efficiency, growth, scalability, increased profit margin, etc, QUANTIFY it. Write out what the success looks like in practice. Write it in numbers: hours, days, weeks, dollar value. Make it real so you could measure your success against that. Ambiguous goals are the same as no goals at all.
Second biggest mistake when choosing a tool is focusing on the Macro before the Micro. Focusing on the Management before the troops on the ground.
Understand the process and steps your people are having to take on a daily basis and have them come up with ideas on what would help them. Speaking as a provider – nothing is more valuable than a list of issues that people would like to have solved so we can focus our development efforts on that.
This will also take care of your biggest concern which is ADOPTION. People will use tools if they have influenced the decision-making when choosing it. Don’t tell your people what to use, but ASK what issues they would like to have solved and THEN present the tool as the solution to them.
Needless to say, your solution provider should help you with any and every onboarding and training you and your team needs. If they don’t, find another provider. You don’t just want a tool you want a business relationship with the knowledge that you will be taken care of regardless of any arising problems.
From understanding your objective and what your people need to do to get there you will basically have a requirements list of What this tool will need to help you to do.
The first question from more tech savvy people will be whether to build or buy? Building your own system is great if you need a short-term solution that you are not looking to scale out. There are a few things to think about. First is Money. Most think they will save money by building their own solution. The reality is you have initial development costs + running costs as well. On top of that, there is no easy way of scaling this as your business grows and becomes more complex.
From experience, I would recommend trying to find a smaller start-up solution that is on the right track of developing what you need and get them to work with you to develop your ideal solution. You will save time, most likely money, as well and you will not have the hassle of supporting the solution in the long run. Home Built systems will not scale easily and you will waste a lot of unplanned resources on this internal project.
In Project Management Tools there is always the question of whether to get a one-stop shop or multiple solutions to integrate into one PM Suite for you.
In my opinion, putting together your own PM suite from different solutions is far superior to any ERP/ PSA system. Why? Would you prefer one jack of all trades or a set of masters in their given area? There is a reason why we specialize as people – the same goes for software.
I hope this has sparked a few thoughts ideas on where to get started when choosing your PM tools.
In Price&Cost we run free Discovery sessions with people where we help you figure out the answers to these questions so you would know what you need to look for when choosing the right PM tool for your team.
Book a time here: https://calendly.com/priceandcost/demo/
If you are interested in learning more about Price&Cost, a Project Management tool for your Project Financials, please see out website at https://www.priceandcost.com/