If you are a construction business owner, each project has to be implemented perfectly to secure the company’s reputation. The tools you use when carrying out projects should be of the highest standards possible to get the projects finished in a timely manner and return on investment. Before you go searching for the right project management software, you need to consider these questions because they will determine the software you need:
- What is the size of your construction project?
- Number of workers needed for the project?
- Is mobile access needed?
- What is your budget?
Each of these questions represents your company’s needs for a reliable system. The next step will be determining the type of software needed: SaaS (Web based), or an on-site solution.
Here is a quick insight of how the software works:
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Small businesses and startups are those which widely use this software to manage their projects. The benefit here is low operational costs and efficiency. SaaS software comes with two major advantages that are not to be found in the on-site solution: Mobile access and lower operational costs.
Lower Operational Costs
A web based solution cuts down cost implications significantly. The software eliminates high costs that come with on-site solutions which include obtaining licenses, implementation, access points, servers, terminals, and retaining an in-house IT maintenance team for system maintenance purposes. In short, implementing an on-site solution can range $6500 to $9000 for servers, $400 to $500 for each license, and $100 to $200 in IT maintenance.
On the other hand, a SaaS platform will be more affordable to implement and will consume a recurring cost of $10 to $100 for each user, every month (some service providers require the business owner to subscribe for 12 months in advance). The money covers the cost of using the platform, future upgrades, mobile access and IT support offered by the service provider. The platform will always be up –to-date due to periodic upgrade which is an added advantage.
If you are running a long term project, then the cost of owning a web based solution might, by estimate, prove to be expensive in the long run. The cost of subscription will accumulate to a high fee depending on how many people have access to the system.
Most business owners do not seem to mind paying high cost to use a web based solution because of one key benefit: the ability to connect and communicate with project stakeholders remotely. Mobile access comes as part of SaaS. The mobile access capabilities have inspired on-site project to develop their own communication channel normally done through social news feeds.
On-Site Project Management Solution
On-site project management solution consumes more money when setting up which makes it costlier as compared to the SaaS software. The system is widely used by big construction corporations because of its two major advantages over the SaaS software: enhanced security and more customization capabilities.
Remotely managed systems such as SaaS are more vulnerable security-wise as compared to on-site solution. This is because SaaS servers are hosted remotely by a third party company while On-site solutions have the servers hosted on site of the project thus locking out remote access. It is logical that hosting your own servers gives you the ability to monitor usage and maintain them thus guaranteeing more security especially if you have an in-house IT team.
Many businesses consider customization capability a key feature when choosing a project management tool. Software flexibility to be integrated with other company’s software is vital especially if specialized products are needed. Web-based solutions do not give you full customization rights because you can only customize a few things within set parameters. With an on-site solution, you have more rights to customize and integrate other products with the project management system.
Features To Look For in a Project Management System
Each system has its advantages. Here are some features to consider in an ideal project management system.
- Real-time updates
- Time tracking
- Risk analysis
- Email integration
- File sharing
- Gantt charts
- Issue tracking
You will find that many systems have advanced features such as:
- Resource planning
- Multiple project charts
- Advanced task management
- Timesheet/ expense alerts
As you can see, there’s a plethora of features that you have to look for. That’s why, it’s indispensable to have a clear vision of what your project’s current and future needs. In that way, it will be easier to narrow down your research and avoid any time and money-consuming mistakes.
There are many project management tool providers in the market. Determine the scope and budget of your project to get the right project management tool and a provider. It can be a long and tough process but if you know where and what to look for then you can be much more confident for your final choice.
Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Manager in GenieBelt.