Project managers today are grappling with many challenges. These challenges are about managing project requirements, project deadline, project team members, project communication, project stakeholders, managing project risks and so many things s/he has to track almost simultaneously. As much complex the project becomes, it becomes challenging for project manager. Wherever there are complex things to deliver, it is an opportunity for project management professionals. The business situations are far more demanding today. It requires project teams to be equipped with right set of processes collaboration platform and project management tool. Establishing standard process requires involvement of experienced leadership. Selecting the right project collaboration and project management platform, that would foster stakeholders engagement has become very crucial today.
Here is quick guide that informs you well about project management software choices available today and how to select web based project management tool for year 2016 and years onward.
Project team should ask itself few questions well before you start searching for project management tool
• How complex and long duration projects would you be delivering?
• What will be the typical project team size working on a typical project at once?
• Which all project management capabilities, to what advance level, do you want to use?
• Project management readiness of your team/organization for a project management tool?
• Will you need smartphone/tablet access for project details?
• What is your budget, how much money can you spend on project management tool?
• Do you need in-house project management tool or web based project management tool?
As you will get answers to above questions, you will have to decide between types of project management system to use. Whether you would like to use
1. On Premise Project Management Software
2. Web based project management tool
Each one of them have pros and cons. Let’s look at advantages and disadvantages of each type of PMS.
Webbased Project Management Tool
This is also known as cloud based/SaaS or online project management tool.It is one of the most popular type these days especially among SMBs because of lost cost and spectrum of functionality available.
Costs: Because web based project management software take advantage of cloud infrastructure and common product deployment model, vendors of web based project management tool are in position to pass on the cost advantage to customers. These tools are available without contractual obligations (like 5 years terms), customers can opt for month on month basis renewal and for any number of users. From customers’ perspective there is no need to maintain software or hardware.
Mobile access:By its nature, these tools are available online, web based tools can be accessed from anywhere at any time. It also means that vendors can provide mobile access for web based project management tools. Online project management software like ZilicusPM offers distinct apps for iPhone and iPad, Android based smartphone and tablets.
User Interface: Online project management tools are new age tools, built using latest technology and improved user experience design. This makes web based project management tool a better choice for organizations to address adoption challenge.
On Premise/Enterprise Project Management Tool
There are plenty of enterprise project management software available which are quite expensive, requires heavy training and customization. But these tools are perceived to be more secure since the data is hosted in company’s premise and companies can have option to go for greater customization.
Now there has to be a checklist of features that a project management tool should have. Let me share list of some of these features.
Project management software features
• Project Scheduling, Gantt Chart
• Resource Management
• Discussion Forum, Commenting
• Expenses Tracking
• Issue Tracking
• Risk Management
• Document Sharing
• Email Integration
• Portfolio Management
Software Support, Availability
While selecting a web based project management software, some of the important parameters businesses should evaluate are
1.What is the availability of web based project management tool? 99% of the time?
2.When does a vendor carry out upgrade, maintenance? Every week? Once in a month? And how likely will that affect your business operations?
3.How frequently does vendor upgrades project management software?
4.How responsive is he for support tickets, training requests?
5.What is services level agreement for managing support tickets?
6.What kind of support model is available – on Phone, email, website portal?
Once you take a trial of web based project management tool, you will get better idea of project management features available, you will get better sense of support responsiveness. It will help you in making the decision.
Project management professionals concerned about team productivity, or executive management who would like to get clear picture of projects under execution, are in constant look out for RIGHT Project management tool , until they find one. Businesses should procure the most effective and collaborative web based project management tool that whole team will embrace for it simplicity and performance; not only for year 2016 but for years to come.