Author: Marc Lalonde

How to Determine the Right Project Management Software for Maximum ROI

Project and portfolio management software (PPM) is essential for any successful company. PPM software helps you plan and strategize to obtain the optimum result for any project. The software enables you to control your internal processes from project generation through workflow and approvals to a successful conclusion.

Over a period of time we recognized we needed a project management solution at RCGI, but none of us knew anything about it. We didn’t understand project management was a discipline and most of us didn’t even know PMI and PMP existed. These are the steps we used to evaluate and choose the best project management software for our company and you may find them useful for meeting your own company’s unique needs.

Finding the right solution is challenging

We quickly discovered there was no easy road to finding the best project management solution for our company. It wasn’t a matter of picking a couple of names, evaluating their offerings and making a decision.

The process was more complex than we anticipated as we faced the daunting task of evaluating more than 150 different software packages, each with its own lineup of features and benefits, strengths and weaknesses.

Moreover, there were no guidelines, no how-tos, to give us a framework for decision making.

Through trial-and-error, educating ourselves, common sense and hard work, we eventually created a system that led us to the right choice.

Background

To understand our decision-making process you need some background on RCGI.

We grew from an amalgamation of three small consultancies. As a result, our project management occurred on a somewhat ad hoc basis. Initially, we performed a large amount of business for a very small number of clients, and our resources were organized into teams.

We used a variety of solutions to manage our projects including BillQuick, Excel, email and QuickBooks. Unfortunately, they were not true project solutions and were poorly integrated.

As the number of clients increased, and the number of projects increased dramatically, we needed expertise that could be shared throughout our company. Under these circumstances, our team approach proved inadequate.

Eventually we reached our ceiling – we couldn’t grow much more without losing the quality of our work.

Business challenges

We faced many of the challenges growing companies encounter. We:

  • Had difficulty tracking resource availability and utilization.
  • Lacked documentation and backup for client commitments. Getting communications for clients was time-consuming because we had to extr