How to choose the Project management tools for small business?
Reading time: 4 min.
1. Your goals and challenges

1.1 The approach that I have been using for many years and which has shown good effectiveness over long periods of time is that when designing a system, start with simplicity; entities should not be multiplied without necessity. You can always complicate your system in the future if there is a real need for it.

1.2 This approach is especially relevant for small businesses/young companies. Analyze your key goals and pain points, your strategic and tactical decisions, your daily operational processes. Please, be honest with yourself, try to assess the state of your company as objectively and as close to reality as possible. When choosing each new tool, ask yourself: How will this help us achieve our goals? How will this solve our pains?

2. Your budget and resources

2.1 For small businesses/young companies/startups, it is extremely important to carefully and competently manage their resources from the very first steps. By paying attention to this, you can move towards your goals with a high probability of not falling into the trap of a lack of resources when you really need them.

2.2 Remember that buying a new tool is only part of the story. In addition to acquisition, resources to implement and maintain the tool must be considered.

2.3 Think ahead: will this tool meet your needs as you grow and scale? What will be the cost of switching from this tool to another?

2.4 Find a balance between necessary and sufficient tools and resources to achieve your key goals.

3. Your project types and methods

3.1 First, design the processes and business logic needed to achieve your goals, then, based on that, choose a project management tool. Having a clear understanding of what the key points of your process are helps improve the chances of successful implementation and use of the tool.

3.2 Test each potential tool that suits you with your own hands. What do you see as the strengths of this tool for your team? How easy is this tool to implement into teamwork? What are the potential challenges when working collaboratively with this tool?

3.3 Please remember: the first step is the manager's own research before making a final purchase and implementation decision.

4. Your team and stakeholders

4.1 After your own research, move on to the second stage - testing with a team of the best candidate tools.

4.2 The first step is to prepare the basic requirements and instructions for use. They should describe the key parts of your processes and the format of the personal participation of team members in them.

4.3 The second step is to identify test participants. Helpful insights can be gleaned from team members who typically have the hardest time learning new tools (those who usually find it easy are not likely to create barriers to implementation). Based on them, you can understand how quickly it will be possible to implement this tool throughout the team.

5.Your integration and security

5.1 Based on the previous stages, identified by the difficulties that you and your team members face, you have become closer to making a decision.
However, there are another important aspects - security & integration.

5.2 Based on your team's research, you should evaluate how well the application meets security standards for you and your clients. What vulnerabilities have already been discovered during test use? How quickly can you access and back up your data? What are the options for granting access to new members?

5.3 Most likely, you have already thought about integration possibilities during the research phase before testing. How did reality match your assumptions? How well does the application fit into your infrastructure?

Key points

1. A reasonable and effective approach is to start with a minimum set of tools, and add new ones if absolutely necessary. Often small businesses buy a large number of tools and only use a minimal portion of the functionality. Please consider every decision to purchase a new instrument carefully. Attentive and careful attitude is what helps to manage the budget correctly.

2. Do your own research on the tool before purchasing, and then research it with your team. Try it in real conditions. Please don't buy a pig in a poke.

3. When deciding to purchase a tool, do not forget about the cost of maintenance and implementation

4. Pay attention to integration capabilities, security, potential for scale and change.

Good luck!
Methodologist of Guidbase
Author
Guidbase
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