Managing projects for which you already lack the human resources is quite a challenge for fast-growing companies. In smaller teams, one or all of the founders usually wear the hat of project management.
Being a company founder in 2021 is no joke – the markets are unforgiving, the pandemic is annoying and business pressures are ending.
This is where you need the right project management tool to help you increase your spending efficiency. All of this while you juggle everything else and strive to make it big.
There are several project management ideologies and other tools that you can count on and each one is based on it. The thing is, your business is unique. Of course there are competitors. But they don’t do exactly what you are.
You need to look at what tools can solve the problems for you. Your team is different – so you can’t just think about what your competition is using before fully evaluating whether it fits your specific business needs.
Here are some things to consider before choosing 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 you have. But what does that mean specifically for your company?
- What problems are you trying to solve for your teams?
- Which projects need more attention?
- How do you imagine that?
Some companies have a lack of communication that makes projects take off for too long or lie in development hell.
Others have a problem with how the projects are organized and who on the team they belong to. Few are involved in the work, which is fairly unevenly distributed.
You need to figure out the problems you want to solve before figuring out which one to choose.
At what speed do you want to grow or scale over the next 12 months?
A project management tool that works for you now may not be the best choice when you have new team members on board. Or maybe it will. There are some that work well for smaller teams, some for larger teams, and some for all team sizes.
- Are you planning to keep your team super lean?
- Do you have a quick growth plan that will mean a lot of new members on the team?
- Are you planning to grow, but slowly and steadily?
As you can see that your team and organizational structure will grow in the coming months, this will affect the tool you choose.
What features does the tool need to help you the most?
Most of the tools have more or less similar functions. In fact, at first glance, it might be difficult to tell the differences between the individual tools.
Once you take a closer look, you will notice the differences. Different tools are created, with different functions being considered as keys.
These can be differences in functions, such as:
- user friendliness
- Visualization via a dashboard
- The ability to customize the user interface
- Plan visibility
- In-app communication functions
- User roles and functions
These are a few. There could and will be more. You need to make a priority list of the features you will need and evaluate tools based on each of those features.
Make trials and do test runs
Once you know what you are looking for, the next step is to get an idea of the various project management tools available in the market. And how each one works for your specific needs.
The best way to do this is to make a pick list of the tools that will suit your needs and budget. Then try each of them out. You won’t know how they work until you actually use them. Demos and product pages can only tell you so much.
Create a project on the tool and use the tool in real time. Playing around with the features is one thing, seeing it in its element is another. See how it works, how your teams can use it, and if your goals for choosing a project management tool are being met.
Try another one now. Rinse and repeat. Your team will get a firsthand idea of each tool and tell you how each one works. This is better than throwing a tool at them and asking them to catch up.
This is also a good time to check out the customer service features of these tools that you are trying out. You will run into problems at some point and need to know their ticket response and resolution functions.
A great tool doesn’t necessarily mean great customer service. This is an aspect that is often ignored and that reappears in scenarios where your work is interrupted due to a lack of support.
Let us know how your search for the right project management tool was and which tool you ultimately selected. We would like to hear your assessment of the project management tool you are using.