The Smart Way to Buy Creative Project Management Software
As you first start looking into creative project management software, there are a few things you should be aware of. Most notably, you need to understand that while there are many different solutions out there, they all specialize in different aspects.
Some focus on estimating and invoicing, others focus more on tasking and scheduling, while others are simpler and have a basic time tracking solution. Therefore, the first step you want to take is to figure out what is on your creative project management software wishlist, and what your project management pain points are.
Know Your Pain Points
If you have a clear understanding of your pain points, then you’re armed with the right questions to ask during each demo you do. This will ensure that you find a solution that’s a truly good fit. Your pain points can range from workflow flaws, to how to manage your freelancers. Regardless of what they are, there’s a solution out there — it’s just a matter of finding it!
Get to the Nitty-Gritty
The most common mistake I see agencies make is pulling the trigger too quickly before they get a really good feel for what the system has to offer. The shiny, nice-to-have features will always be enticing. The problem is that agencies tend to investigate at a higher level view of the software, they like what they see, and then they jump in before investigating the nitty-gritty details. It’s always satisfying to buy something that you want, but for many agencies, it’s only after using it for some time that they realize the creative project management software is missing important pieces that they need. I always suggest taking a detailed look at the solution, or if you’re intrigued after a first demo, ask for a dummy account to poke around in. This will help you pick out some of the smaller things that may be very important for your agency’s needs.
Another way to help you ensure you’re committing to a software that’s the right fit for your agency is to ask lots of questions when viewing a demo. On your first demo of the system, you should be asking about every module. It’s good practice to know exactly what you’re looking for so that when you’re on the demo, you don’t need to wait until the end to ask your questions. Get in there and ensure that the modules you are looking at are a good fit for your agency, and they offer all the capabilities you need. Aside from asking specific questions about workflow processes or CRM solutions, you should also consider a few generic questions like:
- What is your support like? Do we need to pay extra for it?
- How does the onboarding process work?
- What are the monthly costs? Are there any extra fees?
- Is there any form of money-back guarantee?
- If it is a cloud-based system it is important to ask about their overall uptime to ensure you have constant access to your system
- Where is my data stored? And who owns my data?
- Under the assumption that we were to migrate away from your solution, do we have a way to access our data? (e.g. Export it)
There are many different things to consider when looking at implementing a project management solution. It’s important to be diligent and to take your time. The last thing you want to do is invest in a system — putting in countless hours to learn and configure it — only to realize that it’s not a good fit. Even if you get your initial investment refunded, you can never get your time back. For this reason, take your time and put the effort in at the beginning of your project management software journey — you won’t regret it.
At Function Point, we know what a strong fit looks like, and finding them is what we’re interested in. Our all-in-one solution combines project management, time tracking, CRM, financial, and business reporting tools in one convenient cloud based system. Are you in the market for a new solution, book a demo and one of our Sales Consultants will work together with your team to determine a potential fit!