Mighty are the companies whose leaders have such confidence in their products that they’ll help you test drive the competitors’ options. In my previous life of enterprise software at CRM vendor Onyx, it wasn’t possible to help anyone test drive SAP or Siebel, despite our certainty of triumph.
Well, we have that product in Smartsheet. Bless the Software as a Service era, where all products are wide open to the discerning eye. We’ve discussed in a previous post the high probability that your work (in most all departments) is currently tracked in spreadsheets and email. Be honest, and look at how you and the people around you actually and functionally, track and manage your different kinds of work to closure. Then, assess how well your tools are performing.
Here are two scenarios that represent the evolution towards more sophisticated software solutions in your business. One is converting your spreadsheet/email tools directly into Smartsheet where they’ll operate as you’ve designed them (but way better). The other, is the traditional acquisition of feature specific I.T. solutions by category.
In no way am I implying that Smartsheet matches the capabilities and features available in the purpose-built CRM, Document Management, Marketing Automation, Sales Pipeline Management, Project Management, etc. offerings. But, by that same token, the vast majority of people don’t use those features anyway. Take a look below through the lists of options available to you. Ask yourself if any of those tools work the way you imagine tracking work, and can they handle every need in most departments. If not Smartsheet, are you ready for the cost, setup, process change and I.T. oversight necessary with the sophisticated specialty tools.
Art should imitate life in productivity tools. Or more to the point, work collaboration should imitate the way you structure your work 95% of the time. You craft up a spreadsheet with your view of what should comprise the rows and columns, put your information in it and use it to keep track of what your team is supposed to be doing. In 3 years of collecting customers, we’ve seen over 7,000 variations in how people think to structure their work (event coordination, software bug tracking, sales pipeline, parts list tracking, employee objectives monitoring,…). These may not seem like typical project management scenarios, but they compose the vast bulk of the bell curve of work management.
Net-net: work collaboration tools that dictate a structured layout and require internal process changes will always struggle to be category killers.