Strategy That Will Find You the Right Project Workflow Software
Read time: 4 minutes
When you start your search for a project workflow software solution to help you manage your business, it’s common to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and ideas that, let’s face it, all eventually start to blur together!
It can be a daunting task to select the right software that will continue to work for you as you grow your business. As a result, you want to narrow down to a shortlist of no more than 3 vendors. But how do you choose a shortlist effectively without missing out on the best vendor for you? Here are some key steps you can follow:
Find Out What You Really Want to Achieve
As you do your research, various vendors may provide new features, workflows, or areas that you hadn’t considered previously. These suggestions can be valuable to make your workflow more efficient, but may also confuse what your real priorities are! As a result, you want to see if the new ideas suggested by the vendors are really priorities you want to incorporate. You may realize that time-tracking, for example, is an important function to help your agency manage staff resources, so you add it to your list of must-haves. Or maybe, after evaluating the really persuasive information provided by the vendor, you decide it’s just not a priority on your agency’s list because it doesn’t contribute to your intention for implementing the software.
Decide on Your Must-Haves vs. Nice-to-Haves
Once you know what your main goal for implementing the project management software is, you can figure out which features are pertinent to your agency. Once you consolidate the various vendors’ suggestions and ideas, you want to have a final list of must-haves for your new project workflow software. Must-haves are features that you can absolutely not live without. If your main goal is to recover lost billing with minimal administrative work, your must-haves may include: estimating, time and expense tracking, billing, and QuickBooks® integration. In this scenario, CRM and resource management would be a nice-to-haves instead of must-haves.
If you’re unsure of what your agency’s must-haves are, you can use this sample workbook as a checklist.
Cost vs. ROI
One of the main reasons a company eliminates a vendor is due to the cost being outside of the budget. While cost is important, understanding the potential return of each vendor is even more important. If a software is $2,000 outside of your budget, but can potentially save you $10,000, the investment is almost a no-brainer! This is why it is important to understand how much time and money you gain from a more expensive but robust software. If the project workflow software can identify potential issues and save you from going $500 over budget, you just gained $5,000 in revenue assuming a 10% margin!
You can use this ROI calculator to quickly calculate the ROI on your various project management software options.
Understand the Vendor’s Background
If multiple vendors meet your must-haves list and all provide good ROI, it is now important to understand the vendor’s credentials and reliability. You will be working with this new vendor for years to come, and it is important that they support you, adapt to market needs, and ensure a mutually successful relationship. Here are some questions you should ask about the vendor:
- Can the software scale with my business? What size market does the software cater to?
- Does the vendor have industry expertise appropriate for my business?
- Is customer feedback overwhelmingly positive?
- What type of deployment and ongoing support is provided?
At Function Point we love welcoming new clients into our family. More importantly, though, we want to make sure we’re a good, long-term fit for the agency. So while you are exploring different project resource management softwares, consider Function Point — the leading all-in-one project management solution for ad agencies, design studios and internal marketing departments.
To see how Function Point can streamline your business, book a personalized demo.