Choosing a project management software

There is a plethora of cloud solutions for task, project and process management. However, Swiss SMEs are not aware of it. Of the companies we meet, 9 out of 10 have no tools to support and ease the coordination and management of tasks!

In this article we use the term project in the sense of a set of tasks to be carried out in order to achieve a desired goal. Thus, processes and workflows such as recruitment, prospecting, customer support, publication of articles are projects in the same way as a construction site or the development of a product.

Excel is the Middle Ages

Apart from the absurd and inefficient mass email exchange, one of the most popular project management tools is the Excel spreadsheet. Its first flaw is that it is absolutely ugly. Ok, at first sight, that's not a reason in itself. However, on the one hand, the speed and clarity of the data to be visualized is essential. On the other hand, the visual quality of a tool (UI & UX) has a direct correlation on the involvement of users and their productivity.

But most importantly, Excel's collaborative capabilities are non-existent. Communication, project-related files, updates, update tracking, history, reports, etc. are all done in a ridiculous back-and-forth of emails, phones, attachments and version conflicts.

Why a project management tool?

For the most part, the way to get organized relies on carloads of emails, overloaded messaging, scattered information and outdated files. This leads to massive time wastage, delays and lack of clarity about what is being done and what is happening.

The only result of doing things the "old fashioned way" is more stress and dissatisfaction for people who spend more time searching for and making sense of information than advancing their project(s).

Using a (good!) collaboration software is to offer more time and serenity to collaborators, even before talking about productivity gains and success. It allows to :

  1. to unload what we have in mind, to keep effortlessly the control of the tasks,
  2. work in context, streamline collaboration and planning,
  3. to have a clear and global vision of what is going on, at the macro and micro levels,
  4. Secure the activity by reducing bottlenecks and inaccessibility (info dependent on a person, sick or absent colleague, etc.).

Where do you want to go?

Define your needs. It could be workflows or processes that need to be improved, reducing bottlenecks and wasted time, making collaboration more fluid, etc. Where is your current way of doing things failing?

Different teams have different needs. A good collaboration software should not lock you into a rigid framework. It must fit your multiple ways of doing things and needs.

Also consider who will use the tool. Are the stakeholders internal or external (e.g. customers)? How should this tool integrate with other enterprise systems? This may influence the ease of adoption and cost of the solution (guest licenses or are guests free, use of APIs or offered integration).

Would you like a helping hand in evaluating and choosing the right collaboration tool? Contact us

Test the alternatives

You must be able to test a software without any restriction of functionalities during a trial period. A demo or the editor's promises are not enough. The trial period must be long enough for you to experience what it will be like to work with the solution. Your team with you.

Don't stop at just one choice or a friend's recommendation. Test several solutions thoroughly. The most cost-effective way is to hire a specialist: he or she will help you make the right choice in the jungle of possibilities and you will save time.

While it is important to test the functionality, it is even more important to test the mechanics. Give importance to the quality of the user interface. The most common operations should be the fastest. Does creating and assigning a new task take one click or 4? How do I get a global view of my tasks? Someone else's?

Calculate and justify the cost

A project management solution will cost time and money, especially to set up. It also shouldn't add to the workload or slow down employees. That's not really the idea. So you need to prove that it's cost-effective. In time and money.

No one likes ugly, complicated, oversized stuff. That's why most software fails. Ban the gas plants. If you want your team to adopt it quickly, choose a solution that is fun to use.

Prefer a cloud solution that takes only 30 minutes to set up, another 30 minutes of demo to get your colleagues on board and less than 60 minutes to migrate your project to it. All this for about $10/month/user. This way, you keep the possibility to change at a lower cost if your needs evolve.

A software that requires 10 days to be installed by the IT department, 1 day of training and with a high license cost will significantly increase the risk of failure of your change.

The right solution makes work more enjoyable. You must be able to enjoy using the software. The benefits in terms of time savings, quality of collaboration and follow-up should be obvious. At this point, the chosen solution is justified and profitable.

Accompanying the deployment

Even technically proficient teams are people of habit. A change plan is essential to integrate something new into the daily flow. If the project manager is the only person who touches the software, then it's a guaranteed failure.

Resistance to change is the number one cause of failure in any transformation. Don't skimp on information and training. A failure always costs more than a change plan.

Communicate to explain and prepare everyone for the change. Should there be training sessions or workshops? A quick start guide? A newsletter cycle to let people know what's under the hood?

Do you want names?

Here are some names of solutions that you can evaluate. We give them to you in bulk, in no particular order:

Jira / Kanbanchi / Breeze / Wrike / Clickup / Teamweek / Redbooth / Podio / Odoo / Avaza / Zoho Project / Confluence / Planscope / Freedcamp / Roadmap / Liquidplanner / Todoist / Meisterplan / Mural / Wimi / Trello / Asana / Monday / Proggio / Meistertask / GanttPRO / Meistertasks / Atolia / Airfocus / Basecamp / Timely / Drag / Toggl / Slack / Taiga / GoodDay / Flowlu / Airtable ...

A word of advice: look for transparency

Obviously, PM software simplifies the management of all aspects of a project: planning, task allocation, time and cost tracking. That's the whole idea.

A 2013 research conducted on over 40,000 respondents shows that, above all else, transparency is the number one contributor to employee satisfaction.

A culture of transparency is essential to building a culture where people are motivated every morning in the office, engaged and accountable. Transparency has a significant impact on morale, performance and - ultimately - the bottom line.

Favour solutions that will emphasize transparency because they promote team cohesion, highlight the merit for the efforts made and create motivation.

Ask us at

At Axxun, we use Monday which is, from our point of view, one of the best thought out solutions we've seen. We love it for its intelligent interface and its outstanding versatility; we manage all our processes and workflows in it.

A wall, post-its and a daily standup meeting is one of the best project management systems. The only condition is that the stakeholders are co-located.

Also read: The best project management software

Need help evaluating and choosing a collaboration solution or learning how to speed up your tasks? Contact us at