Every person at some point in his life starts to feel the need to get more organized for a better productivity. Some have this revelation sooner, others later and a few of them will never have such needs… Depending on each individual a better organized work style may be reflected in the use of different productivity tools: pencil and paper, To Do lists, task management software and even project management software.
In what follows we shall exclude the classic tools like agendas, pencil, paper, white boards etc. and focus only on the software products. When it comes to organizing their lives things are simpler since the needs are not that big. There are many good solutions on the market to manage your personal list of daily activities and many are even free. All it needs is to be able to create simple items with a start date, completion status, a duration and maybe a priority.
Things get more complicated when someone needs to handle more details for his activities… And now we are talking about issue tracking systems or task management tools, tools that go beyond personal life and intersecting with the daily work from the job.
And at the top there are complex solutions that range from project management software to enterprise resource planning systems. This category of products only apply to business management and are used mainly by companies.
General recommendations when choosing productivity software
No matter what type of productivity tools one needs there is a set of general recommendations that should be taken into consideration. For start it is best to find a user friendly software. The easier it is to learn how to use it the faster you get more productive. Plus there is no need for trainings hence no additional costs. And if still the case, when in need for help a rich user community with active forums or social networks might do the trick for you.
It is a good idea to consider any type of software including desktop applications, mobile ones (tablets or phones) and even cloud-based solutions. Depending on the more exact needs and on the working environment some might even require several product types. The best is the one that can work on any platform and any operating system.
Before making a final decision it is indicated to compare the existing offerings. When comparing them several factors should be considered: the features set, availability and of course the price. Ideally the required list of features should be determined after analyzing what the user wants to obtain. The outcome dictates them.
Stepping into project management software
Entering the project management domain things tend to become more complicated. Project management applications can be a boon to efficiency and productivity if the right solution is chosen. And in order to accomplish that here are some additional tips to take into consideration.
An easy to use application as mentioned above is ideal no matter the size of the business. However in this case managing projects is a complex process and requires training. Maybe not product usage training but rather “how to manage projects” trainings. Either way training users is a must. Only a solid knowledge will make the work efficient.
Scalability is an important factor when deciding over a purchase. A solution that integrates with other applications and that allows users to grow along with their projects is the way to go. Some companies might foresee the need to manage multiple inter-related projects or maybe projects that share a common pool of resources. Others might need to have concurrent access to the central data.
The feedback from the people who will be using the software is an essential source of information especially if the vendor has a very flexible development policy that heavily uses customers suggestions.
In every business the most important goal is to get the final result fast, easy and cost effective. This can be achieved through productivity software.