According to PMI’s 2014 Pulse of the Profession, research shows that organizations face a wide chasm between their actual state and the state of success, mostly due to a lack of focus on people, processes, and outcomes. As a result, their projects, are suffering, and organizations are losing an average of US$109 million for every US$1 billion spent on projects.

That is a disturbing statistic when it comes to return on investment. The lack of project management rigor comes out as the apparent reason and difficulty can be achieved only with the right mix of people, tools, and the cultureright mix of people, tools, and culture. In this blog, we take a close look at buyer’s preferences when it comes to choosing the ideal project management tool, with the help of a study conducted by project management software advisory company, Software Advice.

Every year, Software Advice talks with thousands of buyers looking for the right project management software for their team. They recently conducted research targeted at small businesses (those with annual revenues of $100 million or less), to get insight into how they evaluate software.

The results are based on an analysis of a random sample of 385 of their interactions with small-business buyers looking for new project management solutions. The objective was to understand their pain points and narrow down on their most desired features and functionality in new software.

Let’s have a look at some of the key findings:

Almost 50% Using Manual Project Management methods

It is startling to see that about 46 percent were still using manual project management methods involving spreadsheets, email or pen, and paper for planning and tracking projects.

Project Management-Current-Methods. Software Advice Research
Source: Software Advice

About 19% of them were grappling with no tools, multiple tools or software that was not ideal for project management. These methods leave room for discrepancies and human error in project processes, causing buyers to look into automating their process and finding a more efficient solution.

Preference for Web-Based Deployment

Out of buyers who expressed a preference, 100% desired web-based solutions. Web-based tools are readily available and can adapt to any budget or company size. For small businesses especially, the ease and cost of Web-based solutions are an obvious benefit.

Project-Management-deployment-preference. SOftware Advice Research
Source: Software Advice

Scalability becomes an essential factor when it comes to deployment preference. As project portfolios and teams grow more substantial in size and across the organization, it is crucial to have solutions that adapt to the scale. Buyers might then want to consider a tool that offers a choice of SaaS and On-premise.

The Need for Integrated Tools

Project management software come with a variety of features right from time tracking to collaboration to project portfolio management (PPM). Some vendors go the “integrated suite” route—while others offer them as stand-alone, or “best-of-breed,” applications.

The vast majority of software buyers who were part of this study (88 percent) were interested in purchasing an integrated suite of two or more applications (for example, document management, time tracking and reporting). Only 12 percent of buyers were looking for a best-of-breed application.

Project-Management-integration-requirements. Software Advice research
Source: Software Advice

In addition to being expensive, having multiple tools end up being counterproductive with steep learning curves and adoption issues. Results show that 17 percent were looking to consolidate their project management system by getting all of their project planning, tracking and communication need into a single comprehensive project management system.

With Project Management becoming a crucial discipline in organizations, it is no surprise that most top-requested applications (in particular, time tracking, task management and resource management) are tied to project profitability or revenue.

Picking the right project management tool is half the battle won. Hope this blog provides you the insights to make the right decision.

Have a viewpoint? Leave us a comment.


denny lee

Thanks for sharing this wonderful update. I completely agree that a great project time management software can help in better management of project and time for businesses.


Thanks Danny!


Very interesting


Thanks Jordan!

jordan jones

Very interesting point of view, a good article, my compliments.

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