Choosing a web-based service for your business is a significant commitment. And with so many options available, it can be a daunting task to narrow your search down to just one. Here are some things to consider when evaluating which web-based project management service is best for your business.
Your business has specific and unique needs. Web-based services are built to appeal to the common denominator, but each service will have a different definition of the common denominator. Consider which of the services addresses those unique needs the best. It’s okay to use something other than Basecamp and Microsoft Project, as there is a good chance your needs will fall between their two offerings. And, don’t be afraid to drop an email to the support staff and ask about the features that are missing. They just might have them in their development road map. At the very least, you’ll get a feel for how they respond to their customers.
Your business is going to grow. Evaluate how this service will grow with your needs. It is natural that a web-based service will improve on its features as its customer base evolves. Try to find out if the growth plan for this service is on a similar trajectory as your business. It is also possible that you might someday outgrow the service. Make sure there is an easy way to get your data out. After all, it is your data.
There are enough options available that it may be difficult to differentiate them based on features alone. Your next criteria then should be customer service. Get a feel for how they will handle questions and requests. That doesn’t mean they should honor every request, but it does mean they should be understanding. The responsiveness and personality of the people behind the service will reveal volumes. You want customer service to be their primary focus, and you want them to be realistic enough to shelf their ideologies when trying to understand your needs. After all, there is a reason they call this space Software as a Service.