You love what you do but wish the workflow was slightly (or considerably) more organized. While the people you work with are great and your managerial position revolves around tasks you love, you can’t help feeling frustrated at the end of the day by the slow pace of progress, the long email threads, and the constant checking of “Who’s handling this?”
As you discuss your challenges with friends, and perhaps discreetly with your colleagues, you come to the conclusion that a project management software could significantly improve the quality of your entire team’s work, and on a personal level, minimize your frustration and increase your job satisfaction.
So, how do you convince the CEO that investing in project management software is worthwhile?
It Can Be Easy
Convincing your CEO that project management software can improve company productivity doesn’t need to be hard; after all, it’s entirely true, so it’s not like you’re selling snake oil. The important thing is to do your homework and come prepared with a list of bullet points that elaborate how project management software could increase the productivity of your co-workers, your team, and the entire company.
In general, most CEOs are receptive to tools that will help teams complete projects in an efficient manner—not only for the sake of project completion, but also because CEOs today know how important employee satisfaction is. And if employees (including you!) aren’t satisfied with the way things are operating without a project management tool, purchasing one can be a worthwhile investment.
Step-by-Step Guide to Approaching Your Boss About Project Management Software
1. Do your homework.
Which project management system would benefit your team? There are so many out there—many of them offering comparable products, and others offering a unique twist—that could be perfect for your team.
So which project management software is best for you?
The project management software you choose will depend on the challenges your team faces. But because there are so many available, you’ll need to spend a considerable amount of time researching which ones would be best for you.
For example, Monday.com is used by over 36,000 teams, including big names like WeWork, Fiverr, McDonalds, Discovery Channel, and more. Wrike is another straight-up project management tool, used by the likes of Hootsuite, Google, Fitbit, and more. While both programs are used by quite successful companies, the point is not to choose which has the highest caliber-customers.
The point is to do your research and choose the program that will be best for your company.
2. List your team’s challenges and how specific project management software could address them.
Clearly define your team’s struggles and how a project management tool could address them. Below are some examples of team challenges and the specific tools that can help:
Meeting deadlines, time management, and setting priorities: Programs like Monday.com and Wrike are classic project management systems that clearly define each team member’s tasks and use timelines and calendars to keep them on top of their priorities and the overall goal of the project. Either of these would address any of these issues.
Team collaboration: VonageFlow makes team collaboration a cinch with instant messaging, group chats, video and voice calls, file sharing, and SMS, and it’s available for mobile, web, and desktop. RingCentral Glip is another program that boosts team collaboration with tools like chat, file sharing, and task management.
Tracking progress: Most project management programs allow team managers to track their team’s progress by clearly outlining due dates, deadlines, and milestones in a visual manner. Choose one that offers features you like and push for that one.
Overall organization: Zoho is an operating system for businesses that includes email, app builders, smart accounting, and data reports all in one platform. It’s especially suitable for sales, marketing, IT, help desk, human resources, and finance departments, and helps teams stay on the same page by keeping all company communication in one place. If Zoho seems too sophisticated for your team’s needs, Monday.com and RingCentral Glip offer similar organizational tools that can keep your team heading in the right direction, at the right pace.
3. Research Pricing
While many CEOs are receptive to tools that will improve employee productivity, they may need to be convinced that the tools are worth the price. So in addition to researching the features of each program and how they can benefit your team, researching pricing is a must as well.
If you’re worried your CEO won’t go for the price, here are 2 options you can offer your CEO:
Try it out.Make sure to choose a program that offers a free trial. Luckily. Most of the companies we review do offer free trials. Trials typically range between 14-30 days, and if your CEO can see during that brief period that the software is truly beneficial, they will probably be willing to pay for it.
Offer your team as a test-trial. Many project management systems charge per user. If your company has many teams, offer to purchase a “test plan” just for your team, which will keep the cost to a minimum. If your team is successful, the CEO may be willing to upgrade the plan and extend it to other company teams.
4. Meet with your CEO
Armed with a list of your team’s challenges and the possible software programs that can address them, meet with your CEO and explain everything in a clear, professional manner. You can come with an outline of your team’s challenges and benefits of the program, and leave it with the CEO so they have something to review. You can also follow your meeting up with an email reviewing your initial points and addressing any questions the CEO may have brought up during the meeting.
Stick to Your Guns
It can be intimidating approaching your CEO with a new way to do things around the office, but don’t let feelings or fear prevent you from giving it your best shot. If you’ve done your homework and are confident that a project management tool is exactly what your team needs to operate at its maximum capacity, there’s a good chance that your CEO will be convinced as well.
Just make sure to stress the big-picture benefits of project management software, so the CEO knows it’s not just a personal preference but a professional decision that the whole company can benefit from. And while every worthwhile project management tool will come with a monthly cost, that cost is typically paid for by increased employee productivity and streamlined communication.