Project management software gives ISV managers the tools they need to plan projects, set milestones, monitor progress, hit deadlines, track bug fixes, and stay on budget. A solution that’s a good fit for an ISV can streamline processes in just about every area of your business, saving time and money.
If you’ve never used project management software, or if you’ve never graduated from a “starter” solution, here are three signs that it’s time to start evaluating options.
- Your development business is growing. If your team is expanding beyond just a few people, project management software will enable you to more efficiently make assignments, plan schedules, track time, and simplify accounting. Whether your team works together in the same office or remotely, project management software can also provide your company with tools that make collaboration easier.
- The ROI is there. You’ve done the math, and it’s evident that project management software will save time, eliminate mistakes, enforce schedules, and keep customers happier.
- Your team has a “features wish list.” Whether you currently use software or manual project management methods, your team has concluded that new project management capabilities will increase efficiency.
If you’ve answered yes, it’s time to find a new solution for your business. There are, however, some critical areas to evaluate before you invest:
Prices can vary, but it’s essential to make an apples-to-apples comparison to see which solution provides you the highest value for the price. Free or low-cost solutions may not have the features or flexibility you need — and choosing a bare-bones solution now could mean your ISV will face the disruption of having to switch solutions again in the future.
There is a wide variety of project management software solutions available, and some are better suited than others to how your team works. For example, some are specifically designed to support agile software development teams. Matching the software to how your ISV works will make implementation and team buy-in easier. After all, if it’s a struggle to use and it adds — rather than saves — time, is it really worth it?
Cloud solutions give you the advantage of more easily building a collaborative team with remote workers and lets you check the status of projects anytime — even using a mobile device. But it’s important to remember that the projects you are working on may require a higher level of security and access control than some cloud solutions offer. Even if you aren’t working with clients bound by security regulations, you should still ensure your business, and your intellectual property is protected by a secure solution.
Before you buy, take advantage of a free trial. If the vendor only offers a demo, ask if your team can try the full solution instead. A trial will give you a better understanding of the solution’s UX, how your team responds to it, and whether it allows you to get the results you need. Trials can also enable you to compare solutions to find the best option for your business.
Where to Start
If you search the internet for project management software — even solutions explicitly tailored to software developers — the number of results can be overwhelming. DevPro Journal found some websites, such as Technology Advice, where developers shared their reviews of various solutions, which can help you narrow your search.
The report from Coding Sans State of Software Development in 2018, based on a survey of more than 300 software developers worldwide, shares a list of project management software most commonly used, including Jira (48.88%), GitHub (12.21%), Trello (9.24%), and Asana (3.63%). Among respondents to the survey, 2.64% do not use project management software.
Although reviews and research are helpful, the final decision on the right project management software for your business will ultimately be based on the way your business operates and how your team works. Don’t settle for anything less than what’s right for your ISV business.