What I Demand from Software

April 05, 2009

Posted in Technology.

If software requires a manual, it’s too difficult.

We’ve been looking for some decent agency-minded project management software and frankly, it’s been frustrating. What we need most is solid resource management; we need something to help us forecast our workload out for the coming weeks and months. We don’t want to take on a project if we’re too busy to actually deliver.

If I can’t easily move my information in and out in a reasonably portable format, then it’s too walled off.

Unfortunately, we haven’t had much luck. It seems there are thousands of different “project management” packages. I’ve used many different kinds and have never been satisfied. When we finally found a system that seemed like it could work, it turned out they estimate six to twelve weeks for implementation time!

If it doesn’t deliver on its promises, I won’t use or recommend it.

PM software is just like content management systems, email clients, and calendaring tools: nobody has it quite right, so new ones continue to pop up all the time. That isn’t to say there aren’t great options out there, but obviously someone’s needs weren’t met and they decided to build their own.

Designing great software isn’t easy to do. And even when people do it well, it may not be the right fit for everyone. So we’re still looking. In the meantime, we’re using the wrong software to try and get us by. When we find the right software, it will be all the sweeter.

If it makes my life better, I’ll use it.