Managing projects when you already lack the human resources to do it is quite a challenge for businesses that are fast-growing. In smaller teams, it is usually one or all of the founders who wear the project management hat.
Being a business founder in 2021 is no joke – the markets are unforgiving, the pandemic is unnerving, and the business pressures cease to end.
This is where you need the right project management tool that can amplify your output efficiency. All this while juggling everything else and hustling to make it big.
There are multiple project management ideologies and more tools that you can care to count that are built on each. The thing is, your business is unique. Sure there are competitors. But they are not doing the exact same thing you are.
You will have to look at which tools can solve the problems for you. Your team is different – so you can’t just consider using what your competition is using before fully evaluating if it fits your specific business needs.
Here is what you need to consider before you pick a tool:
What are your project management needs?
The whole point of a project management tool is to let your team work together on the projects that you have. But what does that specifically mean for your business?
- What problems are you trying to solve for your teams?
- Which projects need greater attention?
- How do you envision this to work?
Some businesses have a lack of communication due to which projects take over to lift off or lie in development hell for far too long.
Others have a problem with how the projects are organized and who owns them in the team. Few more deal with the work being distributed fairly unevenly.
You will have to work out the issues you are trying to solve before you figure out which one to choose.
At what rate are you looking to grow or scale in the next 12 months?
A project management tool that works for you now may not be the best choice when you onboard new team members. Or maybe it will. There are some who work well for smaller teams, some for larger, and some well for all team sizes.
- Do you plan on keeping your team super lean?
- Is there a rapid growth plan, which means very many new members in the team?
- Do you plan to grow, but slow and steady?
How you see your team and organization structure growing in the coming months will have an impact on the tool you choose.
What are the features the tool needs to have to help you the most?
Most tools out there have more or less similar features. In fact, it could hard to tell the differences between each tool at first glance.
Once you start looking at it more carefully, you’ll notice the differences. Different tools are built keeping in mind different features as key.
These could be differences in features such as:
- Ease of use
- Visualization via a dashboard
- The ability to customize the interface
- Planning visibility
- In-app communication capabilities
- User roles and functions
These are a few. There could be and will be more. You will need to make a priority list of the features you must have, and evaluate tools based on each of them.
Take trials and do test runs
Once you have a grip on what you are looking for, next get an idea of the different project management tools available in the market. And how each works for your particular needs.
The best way to do that is to make a shortlist of the tools you like that also fits your requirements and also your budget. Then, try each of them out. You will not know how they work until you actually use them. Demos and product pages can tell you only so much.
Create a project on the tool and start using the tool in real-time. Playing around with the features is one thing, seeing it in its element is another. See how it copes, how your teams are able to use it, and if your objectives for choosing a project management tool are being met.
Now try another. Rinse and repeat. Your team will get a first-hand idea about each tool and they can tell you how each is working. This is better than dumping a tool on them and asking them to play catch-up.
This is also a good time to test the customer service capabilities of these tools that you are trying out. You will run into issues at some point, and you will need to know their ticket response and resolution capabilities.
A great tool doesn’t necessarily indicate great customer service. This is an aspect that is often ignored, and one which comes back to haunt in scenarios where your work is disrupted due to lack of support.
Let us know how your search for the right project management tool has been like, and which tool you did end up choosing. We’d love to know your review of the project management tool that you are using.