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In today’s marketplace, you can find project management software everywhere in the cloud and on your desktop that can manage your projects, resources, tasks and even your project budgets and issues.  And these come at all levels of cost – from free and open source to quite expensive per user.  You essentially get what you pay for…that’s nothing new, of course.

But what if you’re looking for something more?  What if you want something that can manage much of what is critical to your organization, your projects, your senior leadership, your teams, your stakeholders, HR, accounting, your project customers, etc.?  What if you need something that can drive most or all of your organization?  Do you need to build it yourself?  You can.  I’ve led projects to do that for organizations.  It doesn’t come cheap.  I’ve done it for teams that wanted their own homegrown solutions (home-grown by someone outside their organization…my team) for anywhere from $125,000 to $2million…depending on the complexity and the size/type of organization it was being designed and created for.

But you don’t have to spend that…there are options out there.  Those are for you to find…I’m not going to tell you what to buy because I don’t know your specific needs.  But I will tell you things you’re going to want to consider…things you’re going to want to look for in a good solution.  Let’s consider…

 You want/need to:

  • Manage resources effectively
  • Track time for employees and project personnel
  • Schedule enterprise and system activities
  • Use help desk/service desk capabilities
  • Manage projects and programs and related tasks
  • Manage product development and roll out
  • Manage project budgets
  • Track project and organizational issues
  • Track project change orders
  • Manage project portfolios
  • Produce customizable reports and dashboard views
  • Utilize a work management system

There are sites available that compare and contrast different offerings.  You have to be careful because with so many options out on the market and current project management software offerings sometimes expanding into full-fledged enterprise systems, by the time you get to a particular comparison site, the information it contains could likely be outdated.  You’ll probably need to do most of the leg work yourself.  My recommendation:  perform searches, read through potential sites and narrow it down to five offerings that seem like an acceptable good fit. Get a personalized one-on-one or group demo, even experience a free 30-day trial if you have the time and resources, and then make a selection.

Summary/call for input

The bottom line is this – you want to get your best bang for the buck, of course, while still being able to get a very good handle on managing all the projects your organization has going on, all the resources associated with those projects, and something with good, customizable reporting that can drive status discussions.  At least that’s what I’d be looking for from a project management perspective.

What about our readers?  Have you been tasked with finding an enterprise solution that includes PM but handles things like service desk, HR tasks, time tracking, operational work, etc.?  It’s not necessarily an easy find, but solutions are out there, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg.  Search, compare, get demos, sign up for a 30-day online trial, etc.  And you’re not married to your first choice, but you’ll never get there if you can’t figure out first what you’re looking for.  Hopefully, this gives you a start.