Unexpected ROI

Return On InvestmentWe are hard at work getting ready for the next beta, but I love data, and so I took a few minutes to look at our web analytics.

It is always interesting.

If we use that data to determine the most sought-after feature in our Spitfire Project Management System, the answer seems simple: it is cloud compatibility and other deployment choices. (We offer many.)

I guess that makes sense–there is no purpose for visitors to dig deeper until they know that the software can be deployed in the way that they require.

On the other end of the web traffic spectrum sits Project Forecasting–comparatively few visitors get around to checking out the pages on Budgeting and Forecasting.

This is a great example of how a single measurement or metric such as web analytics fails to tell the entire story. If we made hasty decisions, we might scrap Forecasting all together. But, Forecasting is a key feature in our system and frequently mentioned by our clients as their favorite benefit and a source of unexpected, bonus, return-on-investment (ROI).

With any project management system, ROI starts a few months in, once information starts flowing more reliably. If you picked a project management system with depth, the data you entrust to that project management system becomes an opportunity for more ROI.

For example, just this month, a medium-size client that initially implemented many years ago came to us to discuss productivity cost analysis. Their progression has been fairly typical, like other good clients:

  • They started with project management basics.
  • They then started taking advantage of recorded bids to conduct market share and win/loss analysis.
  • They then started forecasting and doing forecast variance and trend analysis.
  • They then started tracking units of production.
  • Now all the pieces are in place for analyzing cost per unit of production.

Each step along the way they have paused to celebrate the win and decide on their next goal.  All at the pace that works best for them.

Sure, cloud-friendly deployment reduces the cost of a new system, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. Now that more and more systems are available for cloud deployment, don’t let the reduced investment lull you into a hasty decision. Remember to think ahead and look at the whole picture, and at all the system capabilities when considering a new project management solution.  That way you’ll be unlocking ROI year after year.