There are two ways marketers use technology. One is to enhance human interaction, and the other is to automate the process. The reality is that we’re often doing this simultaneously. Successful marketing requires keeping many balls in the air at once as you conduct research, create and execute campaigns, and measure and refine campaigns while managing various workflows and deliverables.
Thanks to the rise of sophisticated project management software products, it’s easier than ever to keep projects flowing. However, with such a wide range of available options, it can be difficult to determine the best project management software for your business. Here are a few key factors to consider when contemplating a move to a new project management program.
The cost-effectiveness of new software is a consideration for even the largest corporation, but it can make-or-break small businesses or start-ups. When it comes to user-oriented software, one has to weigh the benefits against the actual monthly costs of licensing and support. Project management solutions are no different. Smaller businesses should seek software programs that charge a monthly subscription fee that can be canceled at any time — and avoid being charged by the number of individual users.
There are several programs that charge a flat monthly rate and allow for unlimited collaborators; other programs charge group rates (one price for up to 5 users, another standard for 10-20 users, etc.). For SMBs these pricing structures are a welcome alternative to the more expensive per/user/month charges. It’s always smart to determine with your C-suite team if the use of a project management solution will create efficiencies in other areas of the business. You will also need to research any 3rd-party integrations that the solution offers carefully; many project management software products provide open APIs or integrate with programs you may already be using.
Ease of use is perhaps the essential characteristic of any project management software solution. Regardless of price and features, a project management program is worthless if no one wants to use it. Before choosing a solution, it’s best to think about the proficiency of the users who will be working with it on a daily basis. Ask yourself whether your team has the time, patience, or initial capacity to master a complicated interface before subscribing to software with a steep learning curve.
Although most programs become intuitive after an initial investment of time and energy, many businesses don’t have the luxury of a long learning curve. Spend some time thinking about how your team gets work done. Analyze the ways that you currently communicate and collaborate, and search for a project management system that plays to your strengths.
Ensure that your choice has training videos or onboarding services, as well as responsive customer support. The easier the software is to learn, the sooner your team will get up to speed and the sooner you will see the benefits of your choice.
Customer service comes in all sizes and flavors. Some project management tools will assign each organization a support person and offer on-site classes. Others pocket the monthly subscription, hand over the product, and turn their clients loose to fend for themselves. Most fall somewhere in the middle.
First, determine what level of customer service is required by your business. Do you need 24/7 access to a support network, or will emailing a customer service ticket and waiting for the response suffice? It all depends on the speed of your business and the proficiency of your team. Regardless, you need to ensure the company you choose offers educational material and personal support in your language.
By taking a good look at the proficiency of your team, the level of customer support available, and the impact a project management software solution will have on your company, it becomes easier to find a tool that’s within your budget. With so many excellent programs currently available, you are likely to find a project management solution that is ideally suited to your business requirements.
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