jump to navigation

Whatever Works August 4, 2009

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
Tags: ,

It doesn’t take long to become overwhelmed by the myriad choices of software for project management, scheduling, budgeting, human resources, etc.  Though daunting, bear in mind that the computer is nothing more than a tool.  Just as you wouldn’t use a pipe wrench to fix a watch, it is up to you (with help if needed) to pick the best solution for your particular situation.

If you deal with large numbers of things, whether staff, dollars, or projects, your choices begin to narrow themselves down.  There are only so many packages out there, and the more that you need them to do, the more sophisticated and expensive they must be.  Combined with the need to train staff to operate the machines and utilize the various outputs, this is not a transaction to be taken lightly.  You may run across Deltek, Axium, or Primavera, and if any of these appear to fit the bill, be ready to go through a lengthy selection process to find the right fit.

On the other hand, smaller businesses have even more difficulty.  First, you have staff that may have never encountered project software before.  Not only must they learn the application, but in many cases must review “first principles” of project management.  After all, if they don’t know why they need to track the work, it very likely won’t be done right — if at all.  Next, there are simply more choices, from free to expensive, that you must consider.

In this case, take some time to step back and review what your real goals are.  Are you trying to improve efficiency, client satisfaction, accounts receivables, budget overruns, or simply better organize your staff workload?  Start small, perhaps even with an Excel spreadsheet, to identify just what are the most important parameters to track.  This means making some compromises, and perhaps doing a bit of extra work by hand that the fancy software would automate.  The result will be a better insight into what you need, rather than agonizing over a decision, picking a package out of desperation, and then trying to make it work.



No comments yet — be the first.

Let us know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: