Five questions to ask yourself before choosing a project management system for your business
What is a project management system?
A project management system is a great investment for any business working in collaborative projects. That’s why we’re surprised to see that many small and medium sized organisations still collaborate via email or other file sharing systems, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
Sometimes business owners approach us about installing a CMS solution in their organisation, but they feel unsure of whether it’s a good investment. Our recommendation is that any business where staff are collaborating, and need to organise tasks in a structured fashion, will benefit from a CMS.
In fact, as soon as there’s more than one task, one step or one person involved, these units need to be organised, regardless of the type of business you’re running.
One system for the entire organisation
For larger organisations, one of the biggest challenges when implementing a CMS is to find a system that suits both the analysts and the creatives. We have seen many businesses where the finance team is working with one project management tool – typically Excel – and the creative department are working within a different tool – typically a cloud service. This might work great until these two departments need to collaborate in a more formal process.
But we also have freelance clients working alone who are using a CMS to organise their tasks, collaborate with clients and send invoices.
Questions to ask yourself before choosing
So how do you know what system to choose? There are an abundance of CMS solutions out there and it can be hard to know what to look for. We’ve put together a list of some questions that can work as a guide to choosing the system that is right for your business:
1. Do I need the CMS to create timesheets?
This might not sound like a central question but the fact is that the ability to create timesheets is one of rather few differences between the various systems out there. By answering this question you can limit your possible choices substantially.
2. Do I need it to integrate well with other software or cloud service?
Are you and your colleges frequently using other systems or services like Dropbox or Gmail? If you are, it might be worth looking into a system that integrates with these services.
3. Will I use it to send invoices?
As mentioned, many freelancers and small businesses without a dedicated finance department could benefit from investing in a CMS with the ability to send invoices. Again, once you’ve decided whether you want this function or not, you’ve limited your choices considerably.
4. Do I want to be able to invite clients to collaborate?
Are you solely producing work for your internal team to use or does it make sense to enable third parties to take part in the creative process? Do you need to present information to a customer or client? If so, what should they be able to see?
5. What system appeals to me aesthetically and functionally?
At the end of the day, choosing a project management tool is a bit like choosing a web browser – there are differences but a lot of it comes down to personal preference. Like with any IT solutions, you and your staff are expected to spend hours every day working within the system and it’s important that everyone feels comfortable with the choice.
Whether you need help implementing a system or want advice on the most cost effective solution, our consultants can help.