It is not easy when you are tasked to manage company projects. It is a myriad of responsibilities all rolled under one neat term. Chris, a virtual assistant based in Los Angeles, California, seeks to add more to his skill set by learning the basics and the tricks of cloud based project management. However, Chris doesn’t know where to start and what to for in tools for online project management. He writes to ask for expert tips to help him get things rolling.
“Hi there! Chris here. Project management is hard work and many of my colleagues in the virtual marketplace say that getting tools for online project management will help me get things done. I have been a virtual assistant for two years but I have relied heavily on my notes and post-its to help me manage my tasks, set schedules, and monitor movements and trends. I believe that adding web based online project management to my skill set will definitely help me with my work as an online professional. Do you have any tips on what I should look for in tools for online project management?”
Hello Chris and thank you for writing. You are indeed right when you said project management is hard work. Project management includes several aspects of business processes such as conceptualization, planning, request management, project execution, and project closure. And with online project management platforms and applications automating a lot of these processes, project management tends to become a tad easier.
However, the tricky part is choosing the best software or platform for you. You can’t just read reviews on business software and management apps and instantly become an expert on choosing project management systems. Like most business experts and management software specialists would say, pick the software that suits your business and not the other way around.
Easier said than done, right? Well, to make the selection process a bit smoother, here are three suggestions from the pros that you might find useful.
In their official website, business solutions provider Zilicus says that it is always better to start the search from the ground up. “What do you really require?” is the first question that you should ask and answer. That being said, you should know that there is no definitive answer. Instead, answers may vary depending on several factors, such as:
Other factors come into play. The point is that determining the needs of your enterprise will help you discern what software or applications you require from the onset all to the way to the long run.
Hippo Solutions, a project management services and consultancy firm, says that it is essential that you know what you want or need to accomplish. Having knowledge of your goals will allow you to narrow down your choices and ultimately help you decide what is the best online project management software for your small business.
When you work on the goals, it is best that you do this with your team / collaborators to ensure that you get enough feedback on key points such as flexibility and reliability of the software, ease of use, fast implementation, etc. Huddling up will allow you and your crew to identify problem areas that your business has or probably will have such as lack of communication, unsecured database, and other cracks waiting to rip open.
Once you have filtered down the possibilities and you are down to a few options, it is wise that you perform a thorough evaluation of each project management platforms. Most likely each software in your list have glaring similarities rather than differences and this may make the selection process difficult. To counter this, call each vendor, quiz them on their software and how their product can take your business to the next level. Ask them about support, return of investment, and product reliability among other things.
Once you know what their systems can bring to the table, picking one will be less difficult. At this point, it is best that you allow yourself to decide with what your business IQ and common sense dictate.
Selecting tools for online project management is not easy. But having the idea of what your business is about and knowing your goals will significantly help you come up with a very intelligent decision. That said, selecting a project management software and implementing one are two very different things. Thus, learning how to use it in relation to what you want to achieve is essential if you want to make the best out of your decision.
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