10 Signs You Need a New Tool to Manage Your Projects

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Managing multiple projects at a time can be challenging for the project managers as every project requires detailed task planning, resource scheduling and monitoring. To ensure that the projects are managed efficiently and delivered on time, many project management tools are available, some of them are off the shelf and the others are customizable to suit the user specifications. Many projects are of unique nature where the project scope keeps iterating as a response to the dynamic business environment, where new products and services launched yesterday become obsolete tomorrow with new technology developed today! So the project managers need tools which allow the agile development methodologies. There are hundreds of project management tools available in the market and many organizations are already using at least one of them, which focuses on one or more project management processes such as planning, scheduling, timesheet management, invoicing, quality metrics management, customer helpdesk management. How do you know that the tool you selected is working for you? It might become difficult to pinpoint whether the software is not suitable for your organization or the person using it is not aware of all the functionalities and hence missing out on the key benefits it has to offer. So here are some warning signs which will help your project director/ project manager and the CFO to identify whether or not your tool is working for you and that you need a new project management tool.

The 10 warning signs

1. You are manually updating the project schedules when a task gets delayed or reassigned

Your project manager spends more time updating the project spreadsheets and recalculating the deadlines than actually monitoring and guiding their project teams. A useful project management tool links all the activities and updates the changes in one task throughout the related tasks automatically.

2. You spend more than 10% of your time juggling between multiple spreadsheets and resource databases manually to find the right resource and finally approach the HR manager to help you out

An efficient way of scheduling the resource requirements for your project portfolio is to automate the process using a project automation software which links the resources database and the resource allocation module and updates the skillset of these resources after each project and training.

3. Your project teams prefer informal meetings, emails and phone conversations over the collaborative tools offered by the project management software that you are using, for project discussions

If the collaboration software tool that your project teams have, have a lot of errors or bugs and don’t offer a good UI (user interface), the teams end up spending much unproductive time in collaboration through emails. That is the signal to consider a more user-friendly cloud-based tool for your project management needs.

4. Your in-house IT team spends considerable time in ensuring that data flows smoothly from one project management tool to another specialized tool and back and into the accounting system used by your organization

Sometimes, you buy specialized project management tools which focus on managing a single process like time tracking and invoicing or customer issue ticket management. Some tools focus only on project planning. So it becomes a tough job to integrate all these specialized tools and ensure smooth data flow. This is the signal for you to realize that your organization needs to buy a tool that offers a more comprehensive solution, integrating all the project processes end-to-end.

5. Your project teams have to log into their office computers to fill in their timesheets

This can become a significant bottleneck for timesheet submission which ultimately delays raising project invoices and disrupts cash flows. If you are facing this issue, you need to consider a timesheet solution which is cloud-based so that your team can access it on-site/ off-site and from any device.

6. Your project teams are not aware of half of the features of the project management software your organization has implemented

This shows that your project tool vendor is not providing enough training to your team and the tool is not attractive and comfortable for the user to explore on their own. Switching to a simple, user-friendly and well-supported product can be very efficient.

7. You are still using the old call-centre helpdesk to log in the issues and manually assigning them to the respective resource for resolution

There are very responsive and AI enabled project helpdesk management tools available which are integrated with the entire chain of project processes and assign the responsibilities and track the issue tickets till they are resolved. If your existing helpdesk is not offering this feature, resulting in customer dissatisfaction, it is better to switch to the new one.

8. More than 30% of your projects miss the deadlines on various stages of project development and your project management tool does not issue any advance alerts

Generating risk analytics based on any deviation in the project schedule is critical for the on-time project delivery. If your project management software cannot be configured to issue such custom metrics, then it is time to go for a new one offering predictive dashboards.

9. Your time and costs for onboarding new employees are high

When your business is in the growth phase, you hire employees throughout the year. If you are spending a lot of time and resources on incorporating and training the new employees, it is time to switch. Select a project management tool which is easily scalable without considerable costs.

10. You are skeptical about the security of your data with a third party SaaS solution provider

If your project management tool vendor is offering a cloud-based tool and does not have adequate data protection technologies, it could affect your business. It is time to change to the vendor who gives enough evidence that they have breach-proof data protection technologies.

Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

Sanjeevani Sathe

Sanjeevani Sathe, is a VP Research and Content with Whizible, a project enterprise management and project automation technology company, catering to SMEs and large companies. Sanjeevani is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has 10+ years of work experience in research and consulting with the Boston Consulting Group, UCStrategy and Rare Enterprises private equity group.