If you’ve ever had the chance to watch a crew rowing their boat, you undoubtedly can appreciate the precision teamwork that goes into the process. Each crew member has a specific role, but everyone relies on each other to help the whole team navigate the water quickly and efficiently.

Agency project management (PM) software and processes should be similar to a rowing crew.

In searching for the perfect PM software over the past couple of years, I’ve tried to keep in mind all the variables that go into completing client projects from start to finish. The days of one PM platform doing it all are over. Today, projects move faster and the tools we use to complete them are still evolving to keep pace. That’s why attempting to combine project management, team resource scheduling and accounting/financial reporting software into one cohesive system can be very confusing.

To chip away at what seems like a million options out there, you need to create a checklist of all the components and processes your team needs. Then start identifying the apps and software that meet those criteria and beta test them each. Does the team scheduling feature talk to the PM feature? Will the team members on your crew know what their priority workload for the day/week is? Can you change team resources on the fly? Does the system allow you to capture time, create billings and share all this information with your accounting system?

The simple answer is to test, retest and recalibrate until you get the appropriate process and flow. Then you and your team will be delivering projects on time, with efficiency and the WOW factor your clients have come to expect.