Operational Excellence

Does Your Team Need Integrated Project Management Software?

by David Arnold, September 30, 2015

Your software should be helping you, not hindering you. The right integrated project management software will be a springboard for you and your team. When we get held up by our project management programs, the best case scenario is that we take longer to accomplish simple tasks than is necessary.

If you’re noticing one or more of these scenarios with your current system, it’s time to consider updating to integrated project management software:

1. You’re Spending Too Much Time Searching and Not Enough Time Doing

One of the biggest advantages of an integrated project management system is the ease with which you can find and display what you’re looking for. Since everything is contained within the same project group, if it’s relevant to the project, it is easy to find. And if you can’t find it, that means that it doesn’t exist, and your team needs to start working on it!

Find out how an integreated project management system can make your agency more profitable.

Reporting and other generic templates are easy to carry over from one project to the next. You can tweak them on the fly too. If you notice a way that you could optimize an often-used service, it doesn’t require much effort to make the changes and streamline your work for the foreseeable future.

2. Your Project Data is Spread Out Over Multiple Workstations and a Variety of Different Pieces of Software

Again, with integrated project management software, everything is contained within the same project group in the cloud. This means that whether you’re in your office, the conference room, or at the beach, you can access the data you need. I hope you’re not doing too much work at the beach though.

An integrated system also means that you don’t need multiple pieces of software for project management. Communication, time tracking, revenue forecasting, along with all of your project files themselves, are contained in one place.

3. Billing? That’s a Recurring Nightmare for You

Have you ever gotten towards the end of a project and realized that no one on the project team was recording hours? When it came time to submit the finalized bill showing the breakdown of billable hours and deliverables, how much sleep did you get the few nights prior? With an easy-to-use, integrated reporting system, time tracking is simple. And when things are simple to accomplish, the buy-in rate is much higher. With integrated project management software, your project group can record hours easily, and keep track of their billables on the fly.

4. Your Creatives Always Talk About the Great Ideas They Had After Leaving Work, but Never Have Anything Written Down to Show You

Data security is a heavy topic, which is why some creative firms have shied away from having any network accessibility for project files outside their walls. However, this throws a wrench in the works when the creative team comes through with a home run after hours, and needs to wait until the next morning to begin working on the idea. With integrated project management software hosted in the cloud, the data is secure but accessible from anywhere (remember the beach?). No more hoping that the cocktail napkin with the light-bulb idea can remain legible until it gets to the office, just pull up the project on a smartphone, jot down the notes, and continue enjoying the evening.

5. The Current System in Place is Lacking Fairly Obvious Features

With a variety of different pieces of software to manage your projects, chances are you might be noticing that you’re missing a small feature here or there. These different programs are designed to do their own work well, but don’t always play nicely together. That means when it comes time to run reports, it might be difficult to select the variables you need. Or perhaps you want to send a few messages regarding project files but aren’t sure whether to use an email, text message, or chat program.

An integrated project management software system can give you the freedom to do all of these, and much more. With a built-in communication tool, you can host a discussion regarding the latest draft right within the proof feature itself, and not worry that your message will be misinterpreted or lost.

6. The Current System in Place has Too Many Features

In a similar vein, sometimes software systems are too complex to understand and use at full functionality. It shouldn’t take more than a few moments to accomplish simple tasks, as the obvious and frequently used options should be displayed prominently. When a program tries to provide every option imaginable, it usually does so at the expense of simplicity.

What other warning signs have you noticed to adding an integrated software solution to your team?

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About The Author

David studied at the Northern AZ University & spent years working with agencies like J. Walter Thompson and McCann-Erickson and Fortune 100 companies in Tokyo.

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