70% of all first time buyers are using manual project management tools

I’ve worked with a number of companies who have purchased one of the myriad of project management and collaboration tools flooding the market right now.

Most of these companies were taking a bit of a step into the unknown, not having used project management and collaboration tools before.  According to Software Advice, a Gartner Company 70% of all prospective buyers of Project Management Software in the small business sector are currently using manual methods to plan projects.

With over 200 products available, it’s easy to get it wrong

Buying a tool for the first time in such a diverse and challenging market is bound to lead to mistakes.  The Project Management and collaboration tools market is expected to double in value over the next 5 years and with around 200 tools currently available and many different flavours of functionality on offer, this is a difficult market to navigate.

But isn’t it easy to just move to another tool?

But does it matter if you choose the wrong tool?  Pretty much all of these tools are on-line and work on a monthly subscription basis, so it should be easy to learn from your mistakes and move on….shouldn’t it?

Well sadly, the answer to that is no!  The issue I come across time and again is that companies, having invested time, effort and training to make a package work for them, are very unwilling to go through that grief again, so are more likely to stay with something imperfect than risk moving to another tool.

The very nature of these packages is that you save documents, review comments, discussion threads and messages relevant to your projects in the package’s database, so moving to another product will also involve a data migration exercise.

This is why so many vendors offer free, but restricted versions of their software.  They know once you’re hooked they’re far more likely to be able to upsell more features to you than it is for you to move to another tool.

Want to know more?

These tools are definitely the way to go, but make sure you choose the right one.  Get a free White Paper on choosing project management software

Gren Gale is a Project Management Consultant, author of Project Management for SMEs (and its sister edition Project Management for SMBs in North America)
Project Management for SMEsan expert on Project Management and Collaboration tools and owner of PM Results

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