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  • Matt Moloney

How to choose the right project management software for BR&E

In the world of business retention & expansion (BR&E), project management is crucial to guiding different initiatives on varying timelines and degrees of complexity. 

Successful project management embraces three components: 

  • Having a central location for all necessary information

  • Tracking the right information

  • Sharing the information with the necessary internal stakeholders 

In this article, we’ll dive into project management best practices and examples from communities across the country on their preferred project management software for BR&E.

All the information, in one place

The first part of successful project management is finding a way to store information, notes and data in a centralized place. Many departments work with a mix of digital and paper information, which can oftentimes lead to issues with inconsistencies and lack of collaboration.

However, finding an easy-to-use, cloud-based solution, can make it easy to access critical information from anywhere, share information with new teammates, pass down information after a departure and keep track of what data you have. 

Used by 170+ communities across 27 states, Bludot is a leading economic development software platform with sophisticated project management specifically built for economic development. 

 Project management software for BR&E should include:

  • The ability to assign specific tasks, task timelines and ownership 

  • Track archived projects to help new team members see past projects

  • Link action items to specific businesses and key stakeholders

  • Attach key documents and articles to each action item and business profile

The city of Fairfax, VA wanted to find a more sustainable way to manage their information, as they’re a small staff with an ambitious vision. By using Bludot, they have been able to further organize their business development projects and track relationships, assign projects, track metrics and collaborate throughout the department. What was once an ad-hoc economic development plan, has become a codified strategy.

“It has allowed us to really step up our business investment game and our business attraction and retention program.” Christopher Bruno, Director of Economic Development for City of Fairfax, VA

Project Module CRM - Project Management Software for BR&E

Using project management software for BR&E to track the right information

Whether you’re managing years of projects from a well-established department or starting fresh, tracking the right information can be crucial to a project's success.

When managing relationships with dozens of businesses, it’s very important to have the right contact information, history and action items to support those businesses. Using a CRM like Bludot, which has capabilities to track both projects and business information, can help to manage all of this information.

In Dallas, OR, they use Bludot to to track grant applications and processes for their Facade Improvement Grant. Bludot’s CRM helps them keep track of their notes, assign tasks for different team members and have a central location for all critical information. 

Prospect Module - Project Management Software for BR&E

For example, instead of emailing a PDF back and forth, you can create a task for “Review Business Grant Application”, attach the application to the task and assign a team member to review by a certain due date. You’re able to see changes, comments and new action items directly on the task.

“For larger grants, we’re going to put all of these projects into Bludot so everyone can quickly reference and be on the same page for where projects are.” Tyler Ferrari, Economic Development Specialist for City of Dallas, OR

Giving your stakeholders the right access

Economic development departments are often the centers of partnership, working alongside other government departments, local non-profits, chambers of commerce, BIDS and other entities. Therefore, it’s important to invest in platforms that can easily allow all stakeholders access to relevant information. 

In Southlake, TX, the economic development department needed a CRM and project management tool that their seasonal interns could access without tedious government onboarding and liability screening. They originally contracted with a vendor to build this out, but “the functionality of that was nothing compared to Bludot.”

By using Bludot’s project management software for BR&E, Southlake can easily add and manage the permissions of new users. They can track highly specific information about each business as well as track actions to better support their local businesses—and can give this access easily to summer interns and other key stakeholders. 

“The ability for someone to just be able to jump in there and make changes is huge.” Stephanie Clayton, Economic Development Specialist for City of Southlake, TX

Investing in a new platform can be a big change, but the right tools can make it easier to support your local economy. If you’re ready to talk about the best practices and tools to support your strategies, schedule a call with Bludot today.


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