Managing several projects is a challenging task for project managers. Each project requires thorough monitoring, resource scheduling, and task planning. Project management tools help ensure each project is delivered punctually and managed efficiently. However, most organizations don’t follow standardized project management practices, and only 22% of organizations use a PM tool. With those that do use a PM tool, only 41% of the organizations report that they are fully satisfied with their PM software, and 32% of executives say their PM tool is not complex enough for their needs.
In short, it’s crucial to select a tool that fits your organization’s unique needs. You need to consider your business’s specific requirements before transferring your team to a new project management tool, and it can be hard to pinpoint whether you’re missing out on the functionalities of your project management tool or if it’s just not suitable for your business.
So let’s go through some signs that you need a new project management tool.
The Warning Signs Of An Ill-Fitting Project Management Tool
- Your project managers are utilizing multiple tools to track various parts of the project.
- Project managers are spending more time on meetings and emails than they are creating deliverables.
- You have to remind team members of the deliverables and deadlines constantly.
- You’re not getting enough visibility or updates throughout a project lifecycle.
- No proper tracking of issues or flagging of risks.
- The software is so complex that it creates inefficiencies instead of increasing productivity. It takes too long for new team members to become familiar with it.
- Team collaboration is not effective or efficient.
- Generating reports and analyzing data takes up too much of your time.
How to Find The Right Project Management Software
If you want to manage resources, track projects, and get everything done efficiently, it’s important to select the right tool and pay attention to the signs that you need a new project management tool. Here are a few things to consider.
Identify Your Team’s Work Style
Start by considering the work style of your team and it’s individuals. It’s important to figure this out before doing anything else, because your project management tool is meant to complement their work. The last thing you want is your team fighting against the new project management software. There are four main different work styles that include:
- Logical work style – Data-driven and technical
- Organized work style – Always has a plan in action
- Supportive work style – High emotional intelligence, works well with groups
- Strategic work style – Focused on big-picture ideas and the strategies needed to achieve them
Once you’ve identified how individuals on your team work, and what the overall team style is, you can better understand what type of project management tool to utilize. For example, if you’ve got a organized work style, you’re going to need a tool with a comprehensive Gantt functionality and dependencies to help ensure that plans are in place and moving along smoothly. If your team has a supportive work style, you’ll need a tool that has chat built-in and a Zoom integration. Here’s a full breakdown of features that you should look out for in your tool based on work style:
- Logical – Full fledged analytics functionality, time tracking, timesheets, resourcing.
- Organized – Automated workflows, flexible project views (Gantt, Kanban, Calendar, etc), dependencies.
- Supportive – Native chat, email integration, Zoom integration, proofing and approvals.
- Strategic – Summary views across projects, milestone tracking, meeting notes.
The Needs of Your Team
Teams consist of people with varying work habits and skillsets. As a result, it’s necessary to have a project management software that offers varied features to address your team’s needs. The complexity of projects, type of business you’re in, and team size determines which tool will be suitable for your organization. Some teams may only require a simple software that helps them keep track of particular to-do lists and tasks, while other teams might benefit from extra features like reporting, progress tracking, and task assignment.
Before you decide to implement a project management tool, or before you switch project management tools, conduct an internal audit of your team’s top five needs. This can be done either through an audit of existing tools, a survey conducted via Google Forms, or in a brainstorming meeting. Once you have those top-tier needs, you can better understand which project management tools will be a fit.
There are countless PM tools available in the market. Determining your specific needs will help you find the right solution instead of getting lured in by flashy features, but you must also address the challenges you’ve had in the past. This could include technical challenges with other tools, white space challenges that you’ve been able to fill, or even procedural or personnel challenges.
Do you require different access levels? Compliance/data restrictions? And does your PM tool need specific integrations with other tools in a given process that you’ve never been able to figure out before? All of this will help to understand if a specific PM tool will alleviate the current pain points you’re facing.
Identify Your Ideal Scenario
Once you’ve identified your team’s work style, their needs, and challenges, take some time to think through a typical day-in-the-life. What would be the ideal flow of tasks and collaboration? Here are a few questions to answer while you’re running through your “ideal” scenario.
- How do you track tasks for the day? What would be your ideal tracking mechanism?
- Is your task-tracking process perfect, or could you figure out a better way to prioritize?
- How would you like to collaborate with coworkers?
- What is the ideal project lifecycle and timeline?
- Is there any possible way to ensure repeatable processes and automate your work to make your life easier?
Match the Features to Your Specific Needs
Several project management tools provide comprehensive functionalities, such as communication, expense tracking, time tracking, and invoicing. This allows you to tackle all these tasks with a single cross-platform project management software. You’re no longer required to juggle between tools for various tasks.
However, more features is not necessarily always better. A complex interface can be overwhelming. It can increase the transition time and slow your team down instead of making them more productive. Moreover, these tools often cost more, and there is no point in paying for functionalities you do not even need. You can choose a simpler tool and link it with other applications for more functionalities. It’s also possible to integrate existing applications with your new tool to continue using them.
Hive, for example, has a select few native integrations with tools like Jira, Zoom, Salesforce and Gmail. These native integrations are built-out and detailed — built for specific team needs. Look for tools like Hive that can streamline several tools and processes into one place without overcomplicating things.
Can You Use Existing Tools?
All the bells and whistles in a tool may seem beneficial, but it’s important to survey your existing tools and understand if the additional features you need are available in these tools. A few things to think about: Are you using your cash effectively and only paying for features that help increase your ROI? Could you benefit from additional training sessions with your current tools to better understand functionality? Have you consulted with your team to determine if additional features would actually be beneficial? These questions will help you better understand if existing tools can fill the white space instead of implementing an entirely new tool.
How Hive Can Help
Identifying the signs that you need a new project management tool is difficult, and it’s hard to understand exactly how specific tools can help your team. If you’ve decided that a new tool is necessary, and you’ve listed out new features that you need, take a moment to see if any overlap with any of Hive’s main features:
- Flexible project views (Gantt, Kanban, Portfolio, Calendar, Table)
- Collaborative action cards and tasks
- Holistic campaign summary views
- Native email
- Native chat
- Zoom integration
- Meeting notes
- Milestone tracking
- Proofing and approvals
If any of these functionalities seem relevant to your organization, reach out to Hive’s sales team here. We can spend 15-20 minutes with you to better understand exactly what you need from a tool and how we can customize Hive to suit your team and organization. The best part? Hive starts at only $12 per user per month.
The Last Word
It’s essential to keep the process and needs of your team in mind while selecting a project management tool for your business. A solution that can handle the requirements of your company will boost productivity and improve efficiency.
When selecting a new project management tool, make sure the different features it offers match your team’s and business’ process and requirements. It will ensure the software fully and effectively serves your objectives.
Lastly, do not forget to plan ahead. Determine what your business will need in the future to ensure the solution you choose has the capability and features to support your business’s projected growth.