Managing a project can turn out to be an overwhelming task especially for newcomers in the construction industry. It becomes even harder if you don’t have the right tools to help you out. Industry veterans have all the inside knowledge on how to launch and complete a successful project. But every problem has a solution. All you have to do is find the right project management software and you will be able to launch a successful construction project and have it completed on schedule.
By now, you might think that choosing the right project management tool can be very tough. But there is no need to worry! We’ve compiled some research and are happy to present you with the most important features that you should always look for before selecting project management software.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right project solution:
The first feature that you should invest your attention in is the type of solution you need. Project management tools come in 3 tiers: low end, midrange, and high end project solutions. Each is determined by the size of your project and budget.
Low-end solutions are best suited for small businesses that have limited needs. These products come with limited functionalities as compared to mid-range and high-end solutions and are normally hosted online.
Midrange solutions have robust features that give the project manager more control. This solution can range anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000 and can be based either on-site or web-based.
High End Solutions are best suited for bigwig corporations that have multiple offices in different areas and need linking. These systems work best for the company’s executive management and can cost $50,000+.
Determine the right tier for your project to get full benefits at the right cost.
Type Of Platform Hosting The Solution
You need a stable and reliable solution if you are considering a high end or midrange solution. Knowing more about the service provider and the platform hosting the solution is vital especially if your project is going to last for several years. The platform should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in case the project scope shifts in the future. This flexibility is vital, especially for big projects.
The solution should give you flexibility when it comes to scheduling dates for the project. Most low-end solutions have hard coded dates that might not be suitable for some projects. With a smart intelligent feature, you can reset project dates while all other scheduled tasks on the calendar re-adjust themselves.
Microsoft Project Import and Export Capability
There are a few problems you might encounter with this feature from the solution provider. Some of the problems that bring headache to most project owners include the service provider requiring you to purchase an add-on for the MS project import and export on your end, expecting you to eat the cost for the feature, importing/exporting the right data and its relationships. The best way to avoid encountering this headache is by asking the solution provider for clarification prior to purchasing their services.
Classification of Project Stakeholders and Members
If your project includes many members with different roles, then the system should have the capabilities to classify them and give different levels of access to each.
The Multi-role feature enables the project manager to assign different posts to individuals on the system.
The Multi-level feature enables the project manager to give access permissions to different people e.g. viewing of classified documents.
Navigating Your Solution
Some project solutions come with pre-set navigation which can hinder your efforts to modify navigation to some folders. You need to have a solution that gives you access to change/edit/modify some features to match with your project’s needs.
Creating Your Template
Most times, you will find that tasks within the project follow the same path. Instead of having to create different templates for each task, your project solution should allow you to create similar templates for similar tasks which saves time. In that way, you get rid of the painful busy work and you can focus on the more vital aspects of your project. Undoubtedly, a great boost for your project’s efficiency!
Customizing Your Solution
The project solution you settle for should give you the power to customize features depending on your current situation. There are times you find your project needs shifting and thus you will need to customize a few things in the system. For this purpose, it’s of tremendous importance to have the flexibility of adjusting your project according to your current needs with no extra fuss.
Getting everyone in your project working on new software can be truly challenging, given the fact that some people are more technologically savvy as others. That’s why it’s extremely important to choose a project management software that will provide you with a trustworthy and helpful onboarding solution. Before you make any choice explore your possibilities thoroughly and choose a company that is most determined to assist you after purchasing their product.
As a continuation of the previous feature, it is indispensable to use a project management software that can offer you quick and effective support 24/7. Tough situations may emerge at any possible moment and for that reason you need to feel secure and protect your project from potentially damaging situations. This becomes even more crucial in cases where your construction company is operating in different areas around the globe and where there is a significant time difference.
There are different types of solutions and solution providers in the market. Getting the right product is key for the success of your business and the project that you are working on. Thus, put emphasis on the tools that you use for work to avoid any setbacks that might delay project completion. You can choose between SaaS or on-site solutions depending on your needs and budget.
About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is marketing coordinator in GenieBelt, a construction project management company that is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.