There are many tools online that are supposed to help you manage your projects. Project planning, scrum and other agile tools. For most of them, you have to pay in order to access them. It’s okay, you are a company and you can afford it. But have a closer look of what it cost to your company globally.
Let’s say you bought an access to a well know project management tools. At the beginning they offer you a free trial, worth 2 months, but after that it will cost you $20 by month at least. That the acquisition cost.
So know we have our project management tools, brand new ! That’s the problem is new for almost all of your employees. How long it will take to managers to set up the environment, pushing project online, finding support and understanding how to use it. That’s before reaching them team. What if as a manager you put pressure to use something you don’t understand? Make no sense. So after managers learn how to use the product they have to reach other team members and give them room to learn it. That a big learning cost.
Process development cost
Let’s say, you find a perfect tools, best UX and adoption time is really fast (that’s not the case of all project management tools), something that work fine for you. Knowing how to use a tool doesn’t mean knowing how you want stuff to be processed in the tools. So that you have to define a new process to work with this tool, explain it to your team and be sure they follow the process (it’s usually easier to create the process with your team member, as they will better understand why it’s important to follow it) or it will be the mess and it will take you lot of time to groom your project.
Ok so you will tell me, that’s only a starting cost, as after that, everybody will know the tools and be confident with the process. But be sure you will hire new peoples, you will have more projects and you will need more special features to solve problems you didn’t have before. So you start with a $20/mo plan and you will finish with a $350/mo problem creating/solving tools, in extra user, extra storage, plus plan etc…
In the case of agile management tool, you often write down tasks. You assign task to a team member, they will receive an email. So they connect to the management tool system, get their tasks, ready to implement it. Ooops they have a question, they go back to the management tool system, find back the task, reach out to another system (google doc, wiki etc..) to obtain a complementary information. Unfortunately, there is no answer to his question. Go back to the management tool system, write down a comment. The project manager will receive an email. etc… You see where I’m going. At the end, you will have spend your day grooming your email, connection and jumping from services and time will be spend asking yourself, “Where do I put that?”
So before deciding which tools you need for your company, take time to consider also non electronic solution. It’s not always a solution but it will save you time on many points. No monthly cost, no email, no asking yourself where your stuff are in the web as everything is in real life. Everybody know how to use a pen and a piece of paper, you will be able to enjoy talking with each other and have a clear view, all along your day, to your project. When time will come to share online, take time to choose the tools that is the closest with what you use everyday. But be sure you will have to learn the tool, teach the tool, groom your project and your mailbox.