Helpful Project Management Software Selection Spreadsheet

Sumo wrestler using Edo Period project management software selection spreadsheet.

A downloadable Excel spreadsheet with 200+ project management software requirements that can be used to perform side-by-side fit/gap analysis of six apps.

Over the years, I’ve helped clients select project management software, and more recently, I was planning the build of my own Salesforce project management app called Project Lifecycle Pro. I thought I’d share the tool that I used so that it might help you make your own project management software selection. You should treat the list of requirements as a starting point. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some of the key requirements I’ve dealt with in the past. Of course, you can download the attached scoring spreadsheet to add your own custom requirements and rank them by importance.

Download Project Management Software Scoring Spreadsheet

Click here to add the Project Management Software Excel spreadsheet to your basket. Visit the basket page to complete the download.

How to Use the Selection Spreadsheet

The first tab in the spreadsheet contains instructions. You basically want to get the spreadsheet ready for scoring by updating the values in the Constants tab, cleaning up the requirements and assigning weights. When I start a software evaluation, I use a shorter general list of requirements to score a large number of software options using desktop analysis. The desktop analysis consists of reviewing the software’s website, video demos and potentially free trials I can setup myself. This analysis hopefully results in a shortlist of three software options. At this point, I reach out to the software companies to engage with their sales organization for more information. After developing a full list of requirements, I send the scoring spreadsheet to the various software vendors and ask them to score their own software. Of course, I have to validate their responses but allowing them to respond ‘Yes – As Is’, ‘Yes – With Configuration’ or ‘No – Not Available or Requires Customization’ with supporting notes seems to keep them pretty honest.

I need to emphasize that I’ve never selected a software based entirely on the score on this spreadsheet. The scoring spreadsheet is really the starting point for a deeper conversation among the selection team. The scoring spreadsheet provides a good structure, and forces the team to consensus on priorities. But, the final selection is also based on pricing, support, security issues, usability and other factors.

Process Breakdown

I structured the requirements around the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)© project management process. The processes are outlined in the PM Book of Knowledge (PMBOK)©. I listed the standard project management processes and then the activities within each process. Finally, I developed a list of requirements related to each of the activities. The list of requirements is based upon my 30 years of project management experience and experience evaluating project management software for clients. I’m sure I missed some requirements and welcome any suggestions.

The processes are:

  • Communications Management – Creating and distributing project communications and training.
  • Cost Management – Managing project costs and the overall budget.
  • Integration Management – To identify, define and co-ordinate project management processes to support the project.
  • Procurement Management – Managing the procurement of materials and services for the project.
  • Quality Management – Ensuring the quality of the project deliverables, primarily through testing.
  • Resource Management – To identify, acquire and manage project resources.
  • Risk Management – To identify, mitigate or avoid risks.
  • Schedule Management – To plan and create a project schedule.
  • Scope Management – To identify the project scope and manage adherence to the scope.
  • Stakeholder Management – To identify people or groups impacted by the project and and manage the associated changes.

In Conclusion

I hope you find this a useful starting point for your own project management software evaluation. If you find this scoring spreadsheet useful, please submit a comment. Also, I welcome additional requirements so this scoring spreadsheet can become more comprehensive.

If you own Salesforce, please consider utilizing my app (Project Lifecycle Pro) and others which can be found on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Download Project Management Software Scoring Spreadsheet

Click here to download the Project Management Software Excel spreadsheet.

Additional References

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