What People Want From Their Project Management Apps
Project management is a necessary part of business, but it’s an area that still fails for many companies.
The latest research from the Project Management Institute has found that 83% of executive leaders understand the value of project management. And yet, nearly 10% of the money that organizations invest in projects ultimately goes to waste as a result of poor project performance. The most commonly cited reason for failure is a lack of clearly defined or achievable objectives, which makes it impossible to track progress.
How can we resolve this problem? Choosing the right project management solution is a great place to start. The folks at business software directory GetApp recently hypothesized that there’s a sizeable gap between what people want from their project management solutions and what they get. So they ran an in-depth survey examining how tech solutions can better meet project managers needs and expectations from their solutions.
Needless to say, the survey reveals some interesting information about what people are looking for in their project management solutions. Let's take a look at three major takeaways from the study and review some potential solutions to address each of them.
1. Nearly Everyone Uses Multiple Tools
Project management ideally should require a single solution, and yet 95% of project managers say they routinely use more than one tool. This means they're spending more time and money on managing projects – and if the tools aren't properly integrated, there's additional room for error.
Are you really managing projects effectively if doing so means using two or more tools every day? You might want to consider looking into a more comprehensive platform. For example, WorfklowMax is a proper all-in-one project management system, which allows businesses to consolidate their processes. It's an end-to-end solution, starting with sending quotes to prospects, and finishing with invoices and payments.
Solutions like these make it easy for managers to track time and costs as they go, allowing for a closer eye on productivity – and profitability – at a per-project level. Using a solution like this removes workflow confusion pain points, which can arise when using one solution for proposals, another solution for task management and another solution for budgeting and invoicing.
2. Task Management Functionality Reigns Supreme
Task management is the most important project management app feature to the most people, with 62% of those surveyed citing it as top dog. It’s also the feature that the most people cited as still missing from their existing tool stacks.
When it comes to proper project management – whether you’re working on a software development project, a website, or a content marketing strategy – assigning and tracking tasks is key. If you have to separate that out from the project management solution you're already using, then you’re likely in for a complicated mess.
And if task management is all you really need, then Trello might be good enough for you. It's easy to use, and it can be set up to fit any type of workflow you want. Plus, it's free, and it can also handle collaboration management, which is the number two most commonly cited feature that people are missing.
3. Robust Tool Budgets Have Become the Norm
Some 58% of those surveyed by GetApp have budgets of $2,000 or more per year for project management tools. And 91% of project managers are willing to allocate additional funds to project management software procurement – provided that they believe they’ll finally get the features they need.
That's a generous budget, which is a bit of a shocker, since there are plenty of premium, full-featured tools that run for significantly less. When businesses are spending that kind of money on a solution, they shouldn't need to use multiple tools to optimize their workflows. It's a bit shocking to know that this is the average spend, given that there are so many affordable solutions that can get the job done better.
For example, Basecamp, priced at just $1,000 per year, is a well-loved and full-featured project management solution. Many businesses do not require more than that, as it allows them to get what they need, while staying well under the average budget. Those with larger budgets can take the difference and put it somewhere else to help their businesses grow – or they can trick out their Basecamp accounts with premium integrations via Zapier.
The project management tool market is saturated with options, so it's no surprise that companies are having trouble finding a solution that works for them. No two projects are exactly the same, and the way industries handle their project also varies, so many tool makers use a broad approach to meet as many target customer needs as possible. On the other hand, if you go too niche with your solution, you may find yourself lacking the features you need.
Though it's hard to strike the right balance – and you may find your business trying multiple solutions before getting to the one that is the right fit – it's clear that software developers have work to do to meet the needs of business leaders and project managers. With enough research, there's no good reason why companies should find it so hard to find solutions that fit their needs.