If you’ve been asking yourself, “Do I need project management software?” the answer is: you probably do. Project management programs have become increasingly necessary for business owners and virtual assistants. They help us organize our work, keep us on top of tasks, and create smooth workflows to carry out projects and campaigns successfully and on budget.
Selecting project management software that fits your needs can be overwhelming initially because there is a long list of them (and it gets longer). Luckily, most virtual assistants have extensive experience with many of them, and the truth is: their functionality and cost tend to be similar, with some platforms having a few special features that can support specific industries or project types.
If you started with a project management software, but are unsure it fits your business anymore, or you’re looking for one for the first time, we got you! You can support your research using these four simple tips:
Consider the size and type of your business
Small businesses have different needs and project types in comparison to larger organizations. When searching for project management software, examine its features and integrations and consider whether they align with your company’s size and needs. Most platform websites highlight the types of businesses they support and the projects you can manage on their platform. That said, don’t box yourself into a solution you may quickly outgrow. You want a program to support your ongoing needs as your business evolves and grows. For example, ClickUp is a wonderful project management software with plans for everything from one person teams to whole enterprises!
Demo your options
While examining your options based on your company’s size and needs, list the ones that seem like a good match. Personally, I recommend a minimum of three options and a maximum of four. Take the time to demo these options before choosing one. Also, most platforms have a 7, 14, or 30-day trial. You can use these trials to test with your team and see how well they integrate with other programs you use for your business. Finally, many of these programs have an interactive chat where you can connect to their team and ask further questions to help you select. Asana is one of many project management tools that has a free trial!
Know your pain points
What are the current project management challenges that you face? Do you have a hard time predicting how long a project will take? Do you want to communicate more effectively with your team? Do you have trouble sharing timely updates with a client? Are there projects that have more steps than they should? Do you need to automate any specific tasks or reporting? Understanding your pain points (or weaknesses) within your project management workflow will help you immensely with your selection.
Is the program easy to use?
The real question is: does your company already have standard practices for managing and reporting projects and tasks? Human beings are culturally complex, so what is easy for some is a headache for others. Implementing a successful system that everyone can follow is difficult at first. Thus, knowing the standards you already have or need will help you know if the software of your choice will support those practices and therefore be easier for you and your team to use. While you demo the different softwares, maybe run a poll to see what program your team members work with the best!
Remember that project management programs are mainly designed to improve a company’s workflow and ease many of your processes. This is an investment, so it is ok if it takes you a bit more time to select the right one. If you are working with a virtual assistant, ask them for help. Not only can they make your search easier by sharing their own experience and preferences, but they can also research options on your behalf and provide you with recommendations. Interested in learning more? Read this blog on Our 10 Favorite Apps and Tools for Virtual Assistants !