Choosing the right Project Management & Scheduling tool can be a daunting task, especially if you’re looking for a tool that your entire internal and external team will use. Since every team is structured differently and every project has different constraints, there is no ‘one size fits all’ software.
At the end of the day, the best project management tool is one that aligns best with how you execute your projects your own way. This means that you need to know which parts of your current process require the help of a scheduling software, and you’ll need to find a tool that works within the constraints of your current challenges.
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Here are some things to consider if you’re searching for an effective project management tool.
Research the collaboration features
Most projects require the brainpower and input of multiple people who are involved in its success. Moreover, today’s organizations and teams are becoming increasingly diverse and dispersed, magnifying the need for more collaborative project management tools and processes. And, in the world of collaborative project management, Google stands out as the star player with the most to offer.
Project Management tools like Gantter have an optimized user experience and interface carefully and intentionally built to seamlessly integrate with the best of native Google editor features, such as Real-time multi-party editing, Integrated Google comments, Bi-directional real-time syncing with Google Calendar, Google Hangout Integration, and more! For G-Suite users, we make it easy to pull domain resources directly into your Gantter schedules, allowing you and your colleagues to build and share scheduling templates for your organization. Our UI is designed to look and feel just like a native Google Apps editor, ensuring that Google users will find it incredibly easy to use Gantter.
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Learn more about Gantter’s Collaboration features
Research the alternatives
The project management market is heavily populated with tools that offer similar features. Many of the tools that appear in a Google search are advertisements, and might not be as effective as they claim to be. So, supplement your online research by searching the Google Marketplace for project management and scheduling apps. The app listings that are revealed in your search will contain a detailed description of the tool, images the demonstrate its usage, and real user reviews and ratings. These listings are often a better indication of a tool’s features and capabilities, so start there!
Research the landscape of project tools that meet the most crucial needs of your team and the project. Fortunately, there are several app listing sites that can help you make this decision by providing detailed comparisons between the costs and features of today’s most effective project management tools. Here’s a great site to help you make a shortlist: www.capterra.com
An important question that comes to any project manager’s mind is whether the productivity benefits of the tool will outweigh the time and cost that will be spent on it. When evaluating the cost of a new tool, remember to account for the cost of the product licenses it might be replacing. Keep in mind that project management tools make projects exponentially easier to manage efficiently, making the software pay for itself over time.
Some enterprise-level solutions can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement throughout the company, while others have low-priced user-based monthly subscriptions that are more flexible to the changing nature of team structures. Some products have pricing models that cater to the different needs of individual professionals, small teams, or large enterprises, offering more features with the enterprise-level packages and basic features for individual user-based subscriptions. But the most helpful products on the market, like Gantter, offer all their features to every user.
Do a test-drive
The best way to know how well a project management tool will work for the needs of your team and your projects, is to kick the tires and test it! Most softwares on the market today offer a free trial. Make the most of this by using a tool on a small-scale project that could be a scaled-down version of your average project scope.
“Seeing a demo is simply not the same as exploring the software freely and unrestricted for a few weeks,” says freelance project manager Heather Hendricks. Team inertia is a common challenge experienced when testing out a new project management tool. So, ensure that the trial period is short enough to be reversible and long enough to find any deal-breakers.
Unlike Gantter, which offers ALL its features to every trial user or paying user, most other products offer lean and extensive versions of their product. Be sure to look at the leanest version of any project management tool that you are considering to determine whether the base features meet your needs, without getting trapped into purchasing additional expensive plans that are simply bells & whistles. The very best project management tools will do everything you need them to, even in their simplest form.
Don’t let the vast number of tools out there overwhelm you! Evaluate your needs, do your research, invest time in a trial, and then outline a strong implementation plan. Good luck!