8 steps to choose your project management tool

StockfreshDecisionsRegarding the choice of a project management software, you cannot improvise: it is crucial to adopt a structured method that will guide you to the most appropriate choice. We recommend a methodology identifying the main steps that help you avoid selecting a product that isn’t fit for you.

Your needs evolve in time and it is essential that you acknowledge this fact during your selection.

Here are the eight steps that will help you choose a project management software. You have to:

  1. Define your needs;
  2. Establish a software evaluation workbook;
  3. Identify software suppliers;
  4. Ask each preselected supplier to fill the evaluation workbook;
  5. Demand a demonstration to 3 of your potential suppliers;
  6. Request a free 30-day trial;
  7. Ask for client referrals;
  8. Negotiate prices and contract terms.

1 – Define your needs

This most important step is often minimized or hastily executed. That is why we recommend that you meet with the employees that might be involved in project management, gather the documents you usually need and explain your preferred behaviors regarding the actions you take. Over all, this step will allow you to validate if your methodology is constant in the company. We also recommend that you compare your ways of functioning with the PMI standard.

2 – Establish a software evaluation workbook

Once your needs are clarified, you need to precisely evaluate the tool’s functionalities in order to make sure that it will easily be integrated in your current environment.
Let’s be honest, the “perfect” tool does not exist. However, the market is full of good quality solutions that might be able to fulfill your needs.

It is important to create a criteria and precise method grid to facilitate the selection of your potential suppliers’ tools. Classify your needs in 3 categories: E = essential, I = important, W = wanted. Don’t forget to include your key collaborators and the future users of the tool.

3 – Identify software suppliers

You can quickly find the most popular solutions by doing a quick web search. We recommend that you identify 3 to 4 suppliers in your evaluation workbook because the assessment can be lengthy. Ideally, when possible, the suppliers should be located relatively close to you (same time zone, language, corporate culture).

4 – Ask each preselected supplier to fill the evaluation workbook

It is important to ask your preselected suppliers to fill the evaluation workbook and to give it back to you in less than a month.

5 – Demand a demonstration to 3 of your potential suppliers

With the help of your evaluation workbook, you have to choose 3 suppliers that correspond the most to your needs and ask for a demonstration. If possible, you should give them a project script so they can prepare for a personalized demonstration.

6 – Request a free 30-day trial

In order to get used to the tool, we recommend that you request a free 30-day trial.

7 – Ask for client referrals

Request at least 3 client referrals working in your field and contact them to know their opinion regarding the product and service.

8 – Negotiate prices and contract terms

When your supplier is selected, negotiate the price and contracts terms and ask for the implementation plan. Try to evaluate the implementation duration and your resources’ availability.

Thank you and good luck in choosing your software! In the meantime, we invite you to visit our website www.siriuslogiciels.com/en to discover our multiple project management, time and billing, skill management and standard management products!

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