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How to Choose Project Management Software

Scott Orlosky has over 25 years of experience in marketing, sales, and application support in a B2B environment. Scott’s career has involved the application of technology solutions to a variety of manufacturing and customer support issues. Scott is passionate about customer service as a strategic core value for business success.
Explore project management software for business efficiency and task tracking. It’s not just for complex projects; it can enhance operations. How to Choose Project Management Software

Sooner or later you have probably run across some Project Management (PM) software and wondered if it might be useful for your business. Before you just dismiss it out of hand, take a moment to understand what project management software can do. Most people have a pre-conceived notion of what PM software does. Makers of this software have promoted it as a solution to getting control of and organizing a complex development project. And even though most PM software is designed around that particular type of task, there are a lot of ways to use the PM structure as a way to run your business and also to improve the way your business operates.

As a starting point, it is useful to think of PM software as a way to capture unique data and information about your business that is difficult to capture any other way. Here are a few examples:

  • Keep track of personnel activity over time.
  • Maintain an historical list of tasks and completions.
  • Illustrate which activities or information are connected to each other.
  • Keep track of when people are available (not on travel or vacation).
  • Track internal audits.
Project Management

The timeline charts that PM software generates are reminiscent of spreadsheets. For this reason, a lot of people think that a simplified spreadsheet would be a good substitute for PM software. However, the one thing that spreadsheets do not do especially well is to link tasks to timelines in a way that makes it easy to edit changes to timelines. This is one of the real strengths to PM software. Given their flexibility, here are some ways you could make use of this type of software.

  • Keep track of which people are working on which projects, and what their next assignment is. This could be useful if you provide services (like installing or updating software) to a lot of clients.
  • Capture in-house processes (order entry, managing receivables). This is a way to codify those processes and use them as a training tool.
  • Analyze in-house processes (New Client On-Boarding, New Product Launch). This could be a way to streamlining existing processes and demonstrate compliance with ISO 9000 series requirements.
  • Keep track of a complex process (New Product Development) to meet time and budget constraints. This is a “typical” use of PM software.

There are about a half dozen or so PM software offerings available that have stood the test of time and are generally well reviewed. If you want to take a look at these products and read a little bit about each to get a sense of what you can get in terms of features and at what cost (some have free trials) just click this link.

Each software package has their pluses and minuses. Take your time to do some window shopping, keeping in mind what you would like to accomplish with this software that you are not currently able to do. With that goal in mind, if you find a match then give it a trial. You might be surprised how quickly you can put together an activity timeline and start seeing some results in terms of understanding how your business really works.

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