Selecting the Right Project Management Software

People often ask me the same question: "What's the best project management software?" By now, you should know the standard answer in project management is ... it depends. The topic of software selection is no different. It depends upon a number of factors. Here are some of the factors you should consider, examine, and compare before selecting the "right" software for you.

Cost vs. Functionality. The costs and capabilities of project management software vary considerably. Systems can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Consider how much power you need with respect to the size of project the software can handle, the features you're likely to need or benefit from. Make sure you keep an eye to the future: consider functionality not only in terms of what you need now, but for the near term as well.

Capability vs. Ease of Use. There's a general relationship between the capability of project management software and its ease of use. I once knew a company whose need for computing power in their project management software was not really that great. However, the decision-makers felt that they wanted maximum horsepower in their software, "just in case." Unfortunately, proper use of the software required sending people off to a month-long, intensive training program and to periodic refresher courses thereafter. The company had difficulty breaking people free to take the training. After two years of hacking their way through the use of the tool, they abandoned it and bought something simpler.

Compatibility with Other Systems. Consider how your project management software will have to interface with other communication, accounting, or reporting systems already in use in your company.

Documentation, Startup Support, and Ongoing Technical Support. How much support can you expect from the manufacturer and/or the company selling the software? Consider important issues, such as the documentation you'll receive, the setup and startup support you can expect, and the long-term technical support you'll get.

Consider using several sources of input, including the experiences of others and rating guides, before making your final selection of project management software.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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