5 Fatal Mistakes Made When Selecting Project Management Software

By Jodie Byass


Project management software has the ability to offer a one stop shop for solving many challenges faced by marketing teams and advertising agencies. And nobody doubts that the benefits of such a tool are manifold.

According to Software Advice, Project management software decreases administrative burden on employees, while helping businesses track tasks better and not miss deadlines.


Still, too many software buyers are not dedicating enough time to selecting the right project management tool for their business.

Here are 5 fatal mistakes people make when selecting the perfect solution for their ad agency or marketing team, along with some tips to avoid them.

The most common mistakes to avoid with project management software

1. The software doesn't meet the business's requirements.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when selecting a project management tool is failing to outline a clear list of requirements. How can a tool accurately deliver on your needs, if you don't know what they are, For example, you know your creative team is frustrated with the amount of artwork changes they have to do, but what's underpinning the issue? If you don't take the time to find out, you're likely to make a number of assumptions and end up with a solution that solves some of your challenges and not others.

Tip: Drill down deeper. Is your briefing process ineffectual? If so, then one of your requirements should be a tool that offers online brief templates which capture the correct information. Is your creative team receiving changes ad hoc? Likewise, invest in a tool with a robust feedback system where you can review and batch feedback all at once.


2. Stakeholders are not invited to provide feedback on requirements.
A common mistake people make when selecting software is not getting buy in from other stakeholders. Imagine this: the new project management software has provided you with resourcing tools and greater transparency over creative projects, but now your creative team is crying out for digital asset management. In addition, your account managers can't login to the software remotely to check work in progress.

Tip: Before selecting a project management tool, ask your stakeholders what kind of features would make their job easier. This feedback can then be included on the list of requirements for consideration when you do your research. It's a good to remember that when stakeholders have input in the selection process, they're more likely to adopt a new tool.


3. The new software is too simple or too complicated.
Rushing the selection process, not conferring with stakeholders, not doing enough research, not knowing your budget, any one of these can lead to selecting a tool that is not comprehensive enough for your needs. For example, you could find that while you can set up a project easily and track it, you have no resource management or proofing tools to deliver on projects. On the other hand, you might select a tool with all the bells and whistles certain it will fix your challenges and fast. Except that you find out later that it's not user friendly and the adoption rate is low as a result.

Tip: Sage advice from Software Advice: The right software for you depends on the size, budget and needs of your organization. What's most important to understand about a tool is its features and whether they meet your needs.


4. The selection process is planned during a typically busy time.
They say timing is everything, and this is well apt for selecting marketing and agency project management software. Still, too many software buyers are not dedicating enough time (or the right time) to choosing a tool. As a result, 56% of businesses surveyed in a recent software buyers report were thinking of replacing their current software.

Tip: Set up the software selection process as a project and then slot it into your marketing calendar at a time that doesn't have too many competing priorities. This also makes it an official task that you now need to dedicate real time to.


5. No-one champions the benefits of project management software.

How many times has software been launched in a business and, other than a few office whispers, no one really knows what it does? You might actually select a great tool for your brand or advertising agency, but if you forget to laud its features and benefits then how do you expect people to get on board? Let's face it, people are creatures of habit and usually need some coaxing out of their safe spaces. For example, tell your designers who are sick of all the tireless artwork revisions that this will now be a thing of the past. Tell your Legal or Compliance team that they'll never be missed in the approval workflow ever again!


Tip: According to Ben Holland, Creative Hub Manager of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank: We just needed to champion the system and talk about the benefits it brings. If you just reminded people of that, it brought people along and through that initial barrier to change.?

You might also like: Switching your project management software

Our Guide on selecting the right agency project management software is also filled with tips to guide you through the process.  Download your free copy today! 

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