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Why SMBs need to get project management right from the start

Moira Alexander | March 28, 2017
Project management products aren't just for big business. With increasing competition and the always-changing digital landscape, it's important for small businesses to take the grunt work out of critical business processes.

Here are just some of the key benefits of early PM solution adoption for SMBs that I listed in my previous article.

  • Web-based anytime, anywhere access
  • Scalable to any number of users
  • Employee/team time and tracking
  • Gantt charts
  • Task management
  • User permissions customization
  • Team communication/collaboration/file sharing
  • Budgeting capabilities
  • Standardized workflows/processes
  • Centralize data storage/document management
  • Other apps integration
  • Company branding


How does it help meet project and strategic goals?

At Odd Dog Media, Broetje says that finding the right project management system, slowed them to centralize their to-do lists while also integrating them into the client portals. "Our execution on deliverables saw immediate efficiency improvements (over 30 percent) and our management team now has a high-level overview of progress so our quality has improved as well… We must have tried to implement over 20 different project management systems over the past five years. The biggest lesson learned is that the right mix of features & simplicity is really hard to find but so worth the time to get it right," says Broetje.

Broetje says SMBs should write down the most critical items their system needs to do for their business and advises they keep those items at the forefront of your search. "It's easy to get sidetracked by shiny features and the time/energy it takes to implement the wrong system is back-breaking," he says.

Mark notes that at Geeks Chicago, in addition to having the right project management solution, "We also quickly adopted the agile Scrum methodology with all of our projects. As soon as we started with Scrum, we almost completely eliminated scope creep and 96 percent of our projects launched on time."


Advice from the experts

To become contenders in already highly saturated markets, it's becoming an imperative for small businesses to ensure they have the right tools, right out of the gate, for successful project management collaboration, documentation, execution and communication. Here is what our experts wish they did more of at the start of their journey.


Don't rush into any project management solution

"If in doubt, you can get by with Google Sheets as a hold-over while you're taking the time to do your software search & vetting properly," says Adam.

Tuchscherer agrees adding: "The one thing I think we would do differently would conduct more research on the software we wanted to implement for our projects. At the start, we did test out three-four systems before we landed on the one we use today."

The bottom line is to make sure you do your due diligence on the tools you go with. Ensure they have the features necessary to succeed and the ability to scale with your business.


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