You’ve decided you need to adopt a project management system for your organization, so what’s next? Defining key requirements is essential to any project's success and choosing a project management system is no different. We’ve encountered many organizations that are not able to fully adopt a system because it does not meet their unique business requirements. Choosing to implement a project management system can be a costly and time-consuming undertaking. Defining your business requirements from the beginning can build the foundation for full adoption for your team.
What current pain points would you like to solve?
Understanding your teams’ current challenges and pain points can be a great place to start as more than likely the proper system can help alleviate these. It also can help create buy-in from the beginning establishing big wins for your team as you articulate how the system you choose will solve these pain points. We recommend completing a pain points survey to solicit feedback from as many team members as possible. It’s also essential to review quality issues in the current system to see where balls are being dropped. For example, it could be a missed deadline due to poorly communicated timelines. Being able to map out where inefficiencies are taking place across the entire organization will give you a great foundation to define your project management software requirements and goals for what you hope the new system will achieve.
What’s your teams' current process & workflow?
You want a project management solution that is going to complement and improve your current system to make full adoption a success. It’s important to understand who will be using this system, their roles, and what access level they will need. Understanding the roles and requirements of each and how many will need to utilize the system will not only come into play with budget but the tool that is appropriate for your organization level.
It’s also essential to understand your current process and workflow and what requirements of a system would be necessary. This is especially important with knowing what existing software would need to integrations for successful implementation. Accessibility is also an important factor especially if your team is remote or has a hybrid work model. Being able to access the project management tool from their mobile device or laptop could be a “make-it or break-it” for the overall success.
What’s the goal?
Understanding what your team needs to accomplish with the project management system is essential for defining requirements. I team that is solely looking to track daily reoccurring tasks will have much different system requirements than a team looking to only manage and track long-term projects. Some examples of functionalities would be task management, resource management, document collaboration, transparency, and reporting. Understanding which of these functionalities will be crucial to achieving your goals will help you establish your key requirements.
Once you have defined your key business requirements, you can start the research & selection process with a clear understanding of your business needs to be able to clearly see which options check all the required boxes. Out personal favorite tool to use when researching project management systems is Capterra. We prefer this tool because it offers side-by-side comparisons, real user reviews, and helpful insights.