Questions to Ask at the Demo

questionIn a previous blog, which discussed how to prepare your company for a demo of a project management system, I promised to put together a set of questions that the committee could use during the demo of a project management system.

Here are some ideas regarding issues to be addressed during the demonstration.

Questions for the vendor, as you proceed with your due diligence:

  • Will you be replacing all or part of your present systems?
  • How many project partners need access to the system all day or as guests?
  • What is your time-frame for implementation?
  • What are your budget expectations?

Questions dealing with general nature of the system, its operational environment and security:

  • Do you want dashboards configurable by the user?
  • What documents are important to you?  (Get those to be demonstrated.)
  • Do “template” documents come loaded and can they be modified by the individual users?
  • Can your own documents be used in the system?
  • Does the system interface with other software, such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Outlook)?
  • How many software environments would the typical user be working in during the workday?
  • Can your present estimating results (in Microsoft Excel format) be incorporated into the proposed system for purposes of budgeting and job costing?
  • Is an integrated accounting package offered?
  • If accounting is not needed, or the existing accounting system is being retained, is anything offered within the proposed system that may potentially integrate with accounting?

Questions dealing with the cost of purchase, implementation, training and ongoing support:

  • What are the costs per user and what these will be in future years?
  • What is included?
  • What are the “hosting” options?
  • Where is all the data stored and is it easily searched, viewed, and archived?
  • How long is the implementation period?
  • What training is offered and are there other costs associated with this?
  • Is there anything offered to help speed-up and guarantee the success of the implementation process?

Questions which are unique to your company:

  • Is there anything so unique about your company that might prohibit the proposed system from working?
  • Will the proposed system truly fit the type of work your company does?
  • Are your users sufficiently knowledgeable about technology and the various applications that they will be able to learn and use the system rapidly?

I’m sure that there will be many other items that you can think of, but if you use these as your starting point and honestly evaluate all of your concerns, then your  due diligence process will have the integrity it needs to guide you in making your choice of a system.

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About Howard Shubitz

Howard Shubitz has been in the business and leads development industry for over 20 years and is now Director of Business Development at Spitfire. Howard is a graduate of the University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio and holds both a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education Degrees. His postings on this site are all his own and do not necessarily represent Spitfire's positions, strategies or opinions.

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