by Diana Berryman
Published on 14 July 2015
The right project management software can make or break a business. It's a strong statement but if your competitors are on the case with the latest tech to create a smooth project from beginning to end, ensuring better collaboration, communication, scheduling, and tracking for employees and clients, then sticking with emails and file sharing isn't going to cut it.
But choosing project management software is not something you should rush into. Here are 10 things you should ask yourself before you take the next step.
This is essential for trying project management software for the first time, as if you pay up front and you find your app too complicated or lacking in features there is little you can do. Look out for software that has a free trial or even a free platform for limited members of staff so you can try it out first.
If you have a tried and trusted system it could be a nightmare to have to transfer all of your staff and customer information from one to the other. So look for software with great integrations.
Choose a project management software where you can pick which employees you want to work on each project, and where you can also invite customers to get involved and collaborate.
Some apps and software have built-in time-tracking capabilities so you can measure each member of staff and pay them correctly. You can also use time-tracking to cost out projects for your customers.
Choose software which allows for file uploads or integrates with your existing file storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Box. Having all of your important information in one place will save you time.
If you use an app that can generate invoices directly from your time tracked working for customers, you will cut out human error and save the embarrassment of putting wrong information on a bill.
Of course you can! When you have project management software that tracks time, performance and generates invoices, you can accurately measure what is going in and out of your company to the nearest cent.
Good project management software will improve collaboration - internally with your teams and departments, as well as in different locations, in your supply chain, and with your customers - which will then cut out hours of work every week and therefore save you money.
For global and virtual teams, having really great project management software can make your business. Not working together in the same office, or even the same country, means communication has to be faultless so get it together, all on one platform, for seamless, smooth running projects.
Project management software will cut out the hours you spend emailing your team and replying to emails sent to you. It will reduce problems caused by lost documents, instructions or information. It will reduce poor communication by creating clear and precise tasks and deadlines and it will allow you to accurately pay your employees and invoice your customers via great time-tracking and automatically generated invoicing systems.
New Zealand civil engineering firm Chester Consultants uses WorkflowMax to run its engineering firm in Auckland. Company director Steven Rankin explains the benefits it has delivered to the company: "WorkflowMax has increased efficiency, compared to what we used to do, it's far more efficient for quoting, invoicing, and finding data. Just being able to look at a quote and then look at time, and then assign individuals to a job. Before, we didn't have the ability to essentially allocate a job to staff, and then have that come up in their list, whereas now, obviously, we can do that."
Toronto-based engineering and training firm APT Training has also benefited from WorkflowMax's time-tracking functionality. Kyle Probart, APT's director, explains: "For our customers, traceability in timesheets is a key benefit. The time-tracker adds credibility as it's a real-time recorded, not just block entries made by staff."
This post is brought to you in conjunction with workflow management software provider WorkflowMax.