7 things to look for when choosing project management software

Miree Le Roy - Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Project management software is a considerable investment and one that takes much research, evaluation and comparisons of different offerings to get right. So to help you choose the best software for your organisational needs, here are seven things to look for when making the all important decision of which project management software to go with:

1. Job Costing
The software should be able to handle your job costing needs, including giving you instant access to actual project costs and the ability to alert users to potential cost overruns before they send the project too far off budget. Good project management software will also be able to produce cost projections easily and regularly.

2. Document Control
One of the main advantages of project management software is that all your job information is stored in a central database accessible to everyone who is working on the project. Therefore, an easily accessible database with the ability to store all the information relating to the project is a must. Documents stored in the database must also be easily tracked and retrievable in the event of a dispute, claim or change of scope.

3. Reporting
Good project management software should come with built in comprehensive reporting facilities that can be easily customised to suit your organisation’s specific needs. Reports should be able to be generated quickly and easily with up to the minute information to give you the most accurate view of your project. A bonus is also the ability to report on all aspects of the project, not just document control but also costs as well.

4. Ability to Customise
With the nature of project management, no two organisation’s processes are the same and that’s why it’s important to be able to customise the software to suit your organisation. Small configurations to the software that do not need external consultants and are free for users to do themselves are so important when it comes to any kind of software. Customisable forms, field labels and dashboards all help make project management software easy to use and relevant to your users, as well as user-defined workflows to streamline and automate your processes.

5. Integration
In order to keep everyone in your organisation on the same page and reduce duplicate data entry, project management software should be able to integrate with your ERP system. Good project management software will have seamless integration with a number of ERP systems that allows smooth transfer of information between the two applications. Integration between other applications is also a plus, such as email integration with Outlook.

6. Web based/SaaS option
With advancements in cloud computing and hosting software online, many project management software applications are moving towards this new technology. Although it may not suit every organisation, good project management software provides the option to buy an online version of the software. This gives you the opportunity to assess which is the best option for your business needs and the ability to choose to use the software either on premise or online.

7. Scheduling
This may seem obvious, but some project management software applications do not provide the ability to schedule work on the project. Gantt charts are an easy way to see at a glance the project schedule, and if these are integrated with other areas of the software to automatically update should something change elsewhere on the project, it’s even better.

If you are in the market for a new project management software solution, feel free to contact us for a free demo of IPM and all of the above features.


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