What Makes Great Project Management Software?

I won’t make you wait for the answer: the best project management software in the world is the one that everyone on your team uses.

Yep. That’s it.

Sure – we could argue all day long about the relative merits of a bunch of tools:

  • Microsoft Project
  • Jira
  • Basecamp
  • Daptiv
  • Sharepoint
  • Microsoft Excel

And a few hundred other tools. I’ve used each of the tools listed – and you know what? I think they are all terrific. Sure – some have more widgets. Some are easier than others to setup.

But here’s what I’ve learned: if your whole team isn’t committed to using the same tool, it doesn’t matter how good the software is. You’ll end up in  project management hell – you know, the one where you manage your work in one spot, and report out somewhere else. So you have the real data. And then the stuff that you converted to Excel. Which you pasted into a PowerPoint deck. And which someone sent around a few weeks later to additional stakeholders. And then you have a firestorm, because the $ or the date or something else is no longer accurate.

Not all projects are created equal, either – so you might choose one tool for a certain type of project, and another for a different kind. One of the common mistakes agencies make is to assume that the same tool always works for every project.

(It’s similar to the template mistake. You know the “we *have* to use this template for our scope of work. Actually – no you don’t. You might have a short list of things that you must include in every scope – like the price, and some legalese, and a few other things. Cut loose a little – you want your customers to read the scope, not admire the format).

So – what tools do you use to manage your projects? The same tool every time? A different tool, based on project type? Does your entire team use the same tool? Enquiring minds would like to know!

 

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