If you have ever been through a software evaluation process then you know it’s not easy. When you decide to evaluate project management software systems the job is made even more difficult by the number of options you have. You can build a system from scratch using your own resources,
you can purchase an off the shelf system and modify it to meet your company’s needs, or you can select a web enabled project management software system.
All three of these options have their advantages and disadvantages. However when you really start to dig in you will quickly find that for most businesses going the online project management software makes the
most sense regardless of whether you are replacing an existing system or starting from scratch.
One key advantage is, of course, the fact that all you need to do to take advantage of online project management software is sign up. There is no big investment in capital equipment and no complicated hiring of technical people to get your system going. You don’t have to worry about servers or product upgrades. Of course, it’s up to you to get the system configured to suit your business needs and to get the right people trained on how to use the system. But that’s part of the cost of doing business. Even with that, this is a small price to pay when compared with the investment required to run a system in-house.
The project management software systems that are currently on the market have another key advantage over traditional project management systems. They have had the advantage of taking tried and true features that work and expanding on them. If you look at the top systems that are out there today you find that the key features are all there. That’s because they have the advantage of history on their side. These systems were developed after the industry had years of experience learning what works and what doesn’t work. As if that weren’t enough they have been able to add to these systems based on the latest information in business thinking.
One feature that has just begun to show up in project management software systems is online CRM, or customer relations management. This business concept was excluded from the older systems largely because the developers of the older systems just didn’t think of it. CRM has only recently become widely adopted and is now considered an essential part of running a business. Adding these features to the project management system makes perfect sense since it means that the sales team has access to all the information on a customer and the operations team can see where it’s work fits in terms of the overall strategy for the customer.
Another feature that has just recently begun to show up in project management software systems is billing. Like CRM, it makes good business sense to add this element of the business process to the project management system. Management, operations, and sales can all see how the money flows and customer service has the full picture when dealing with accounts receivable.
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