Key Criteria for Online Project Management Software Comparison
When looking over online (SaaS) project management software tools; sometimes the urgent needs of implementing a tool can lead you to the wrong comparison or selection.
The cost of using a web-based project management software has gone down dramatically - some are free and others you can get for as low as $10 per month. But hidden costs are those associated with selecting the wrong tool? You are then force to replace it? incurring on additional expenses (new training, data migration, user acceptance, etc.)?
Looking over at the many options available for you - We are amazed by how different these options cost to you - but at the same time - how similar they are.
The key criteria when comparing and purchasing online project management software tools can be summarize as follows:
1) The Feature Set: Are you looking for simple online collaboration, task management tool or a comprehensive project management and scheduling solution. Simple collaboration tools will allow you to manage tasks; share with your team and define their priorities within a project. More comprehensive tools can empower you to define project phases, set milestones per phases and plan tasks and their dependencies surrounding those milestones.
2) The Number of Users: Single user or multiple users; internal or external users. Here the sky is the limit, but again it boils down to your project scope and market. Do you have users disperse all around the world? (You need that timezone variability feature); or you pretty much have a centralized team doing lots of work in one central location.
3) The Number of Projects: How do you model your business? offer professional services? project management consultant? or small projects here and there - or are you looking to manage a handful of mega construction projects? The simple you can model your projects the better. From there you can decide what is a project and if you can balance your automation using simple task management tool; or if your team really does dozens of projects all at once.
4) The Storage Space: Do you manage web multimedia marketing projects? or managing cloud projects with software requirements to development and hosting? Pending on the number of stakeholders and documents; your storage requirements can easily surpass 1GB; or maybe you really need 10GB. Web media companies handling hundreds of websites can easily require 100GB of storage space - it boils down to share all of your files among your team members - or if you want to centralize all that info separately.
5) Your Security Concerns: The majority (if not all) of the online collaboration project tools are secured with HTTP SSL (HTTPS) so all of your communication is encrypted. SSL covers the most basic security requirement. Depending on your projects and customers you may have other requirements such as data export laws, specific hosting regions, data access permissions, etc. You should check with your stakeholders and review how sensitive is your project information - keep in mind that once your data hits the cloud; it will stay in the cloud.
6) Replacement costs: What is the cost of replacing the tool? It is not zero but rather it must be calculated... specially if you already invested time and effort customizing the existing one. For some project managers this might not be a key point; but for others managing large project teams - replacing is not really quite an option. Here you need to think about what has gone into the existing collaboration tool and what would it be the cost of finding a replacement and getting all of your data and users flying into the new one.
Hope this helps!
Posted on May 25, 2015