4 Reasons Homegrown Project Management Systems Fail
The ability to build applications with internal resources has gotten easier over the years as development talent has become more readily available. However, without thinking through several of the challenges of what a homegrown system could mean for your team, you may end up in a worse position than where you started. Ultimately, the decision to build a project management system is often just delaying the inevitable: an investment in a purpose-built third-party system.
By pivoting to a third-party system, organizations can avoid some of the main pitfalls of using a homegrown project management system:
1. Cost of Ownership
A common misconception of homegrown solutions is that an in-house system will save you money because your own programmers may be cheaper than a third-party. However, if you factor in all costs (design, development, training, upgrades, support, etc.), homegrown systems often end up costing more in the long run and can become a potential risk. Moreover, opportunity costs alone can offset the expense of a purpose-built system. It is worth thinking about what could have been achieved had that time been spent on analyzing and managing risks, developing new strategies, and evolving the capabilities of internal teams.
Typically, homegrown systems are built by a few specific IT developers within an organization, due to their precise familiarity with the company and the struggles they face. When that staff eventually leaves the company, you can get stuck with a knowledge gap that may prove hard to fill. Investing in a purpose-built software can save you the time, money and resources in training new individuals to use the system. A study for the Center for American Progress reports that turnover can cost organizations anywhere from 16% to 213% of the lost employee’s salary.1 Additionally, a new employee can take up much needed development time learning the basics in order to reach the same level of productivity as a previous or existing staff member.
3. No Dedicated Support Team
In a homegrown system, internal developers must serve as the front line of support when it comes to system bugs or inefficiencies that may arise. This can cause timing issues, as those same developers are also responsible for maintenance and system upgrades, among other things. This tends to lead to a decrease of support service and can cause teams to reprioritize their tasks, potentially resulting in pushed deadlines. Pre-built solutions like Siterra have experienced service and support teams who are dedicated to ensuring that customers get the most out of the solution. They receive questions and feedback from customers everyday and can provide resources for best practices.
4. End-to-End Solution
Realistically, it is improbable that an organization would only require a project management system. It is more likely that you would need an understanding of your sites and assets as well, in order to complete projects on time and within budget. With disparate systems, the number of redundancies and inefficiencies increase, completion times prolong, and budgets expand. With Siterra, your team will be able to manage expansion across the board and oversee field teams and contractors, schedules, budgets, and assets—all while ensuring high-quality work.
Ultimately, the decision to build a homegrown system is unique to each business, but it also comes with limitations. In order to reduce operating costs and decrease time to revenue, it is essential to have a solution configured exactly to your needs that allows for complete scalability.