How to choose your project management tool ?
All solutions are the same
When you research the Internet, you come across many project management solutions. They all look alike. But what is the right solution for your organization ? How can I tell the difference between all these solutions.
Define your goals
What will your project management solution be used for ? This answer will probably depend on the size of your organization, the number of resources involved in your projects and the complexity of your business management.
Your objectives will be broken down according to the following themes :
- Project list or project portfolio ?
- How do you manage your resources ?
- Do you want to control the cost of your projects ?
- Is a scalable solution desirable ?
- Should the solution integrate with the rest of my information system?
- What type of management for your projects ? Traditional or agile ?
- What is the key to choosing a solution ?
Project list or project portfolio ?
A project list will work for a small number of projects (less than 10). It will allow you to have an individual vision of each project. Beyond 10 projects, you will need a portfolio of projects displaying consolidated views of your deliverables, your resources and your budgets for example. Even if you have a large number of them, this type of tool will provide you with a consolidated view of the progress of your projects and will make the projects easier to manage.
How do you manage your resources?
Managing resources is a complex subject that generates a large amount of data. The EXCEL load management sheet is quickly reaching its limits. Managing the planned and the realized cannot be improvised. If your teams are operating in Agile mode, you should have dedicated teams over a period of time. This makes the management of resources much easier. Unfortunately, in organizations, resources are rarely dedicated and experts have to be shared between teams. In matrix organizations, resource management becomes a full-time job to ensure that projects are delivered on time. Having a good view of the consolidated load of your resources is an important thing, if your resources are overloaded it will not work, if your resources are not well distributed over the projects you will lose efficiency. In this case, only integrated project management software equipped with a solid resource management mode can help you.
Do you want to control the cost of your projects?
It is always good to know where we are on the budget side. It is quickly the sinews of war. Except perhaps among the Gafas who have large budgets per project but for all the others it is the case. The budget of a project is not only the final amount that we will spend on a project at the end of the year. Depending on the organization, this can be several things:
- The forecast or the actual
- Depreciable or non-depreciable
- The budget for the current year or the multi-year
Orient yourself to the most flexible system that will allow you to improve your budget management by configuring your system.
Is a scalable solution desirable?
For companies adopting project portfolios (including a certain size), favor configurable solutions that will allow you to configure your project management system to the needs of your company without having to do specific development. Setting up your attributes and your vocabulary through configuration will be a convenience for your business. When choosing the solution, you will not have identified all your needs, so being able to add settings later is important. Check that the settings are in the hands of your system administrator without having to call on service for each change.
Should the solution integrate with the rest of my information system?
In large organizations, integration with an accounting system is desirable to integrate the costs of its projects, or to integrate the invoices of its suppliers in the projects. When addressing customer projects in their CRM, they will want to integrate project management and CRM to facilitate customer invoicing or share the progress of their projects with their sales representatives. Be careful, however, integrations between two systems are not easy to define from a functional point of view. What are the management rules to put in place during an integration ? The technical part will only be the result of the functional definition. When implementing a new system, it is advisable to start doing the manual integration using, for example, imports / exports. This allows you to understand how the systems interact and the management rules to be put in place. After 6 months of manual processing, you will have a clear vision of the integration of your systems and you will be able to set up an effective integration with adapted business rules.
What type of management for your projects ? Traditional or agile ?
Does your organization operate with project management in traditional mode (waterfall planning) or in agile mode (scrum or kanban) or finally a bit of both. Even though the trend is towards agility, there are many projects that still need to be done in traditional mode. As part of a project portfolio, he will have to consolidate the different types of project that you will have to manage (traditional + agile).
For more info on this part please see our following article
What is the key to choosing a solution?
A project management solution is only interesting if it is used by your teams. In the process of choosing your solution, involve representatives from each team to get their feedback. Involving them upstream in choosing the solution will make adoption easier afterwards. For a good adoption it is important that the project managers or scrum masters feel comfortable with the chosen software. This choice depends on the corporate culture, so the choice cannot be made by an external party. Organize a workshop presentation session on the solution, a specialist in the solution present and the actors of the company make and evaluate the solution (do not let go of the testers of the solution on the solution without supervision).
Please note, project managers or scrum masters do not always have the strategic vision of the company, it will be important that someone representing the management and having a strategic vision of the management of the project portfolio can carry the objectives of company in the choice of the tool (budget management, management of objectives, management of resources, risk management, etc.). Likewise, what company reports will be necessary to manage my project portfolio (dashboard, decision-making tool, etc.)
A solution at the service of the company
Ultimately, the solution is at the service of the company and must help it meet its objectives. For this, the management solution for your project portfolio must:
- Give visibility to the entire organization on the expectation of the objectives of its project portfolio
- Indicate the human and financial resources consumed by the projects
- Be ergonomic and easy to use so that everyone can adopt and use it on a daily basis
FoxPlan a complete enterprise solution
FoxPlan is a major player in the management of business solutions. As a project management solution editor, FoxPlan has invested many hours with its clients to understand and develop a solution that meets their needs.
Thanks to active R&D, FoxPlan has developed a solution with a simple and ergonomic interface allowing project managers and scrum masters of various profiles to manage in the same portfolio traditional projects in cascade, in agile mode, simple collaborative tasks. or a mixes. Managing a portfolio of projects has never been so complete and easy as with FoxPlan.
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