August 19th, 2019 • Project Management
You’ve been given a project to manage. Great! Now what? You’re going to need some tools. There’s a lot of software out there, and if you’re new to project management or to digital project management tools, it can be hard to identify what’s essential, what’s beneficial, and what’s not worth your time.
To help you, here’s a list of the six features of project management tools you absolutely can’t live without if you are going to lead a successful project.
Kanban boards are workspaces used to visualize your project, and they are immensely helpful in successful project management. The Kanban Method utilizes a simple board and card system, allowing everyone on a team to have visibility, not just on individual tasks, but on the larger picture of team activity. Originally created by Toyota Motors for their manufacturing facilities, Kanban has been adapted and utilized across multiple sectors for the last several decades. Kanban boards can be in physical spaces like a white board or in digital spaces in the form of project management software.
A project is a collection of tasks that must all be completed in order to accomplish a single goal. Some of those tasks are sequential or dependent. Some can be completed simultaneously. Each task needs to be assigned to a person or persons on the project team. The more complex the project, the more tasks there are to manage. Though it doesn’t sound very glamorous, task management is a crucial part of project management, and it’s important to have tools that assist in managing tasks effectively.
The good old-fashioned to-do list. Simple though it may be, it does help you and your team get the job done. Of course, it’s far more effective to store your to-do list in a central, visible location that every team member can access easily. A good project management tool should include a to-do list, ensuring that everyone on the team can check in and see what’s been accomplished and what’s left to be done.
Every aspect of your project takes time, but when you get to the end of a project, it’s sometimes hard to know who spent how much time on which tasks. Confused yet? It gets more complicated if you have a similar project coming up; you feel like you should know how much time to allot to each project task and phase, but if your team wasn’t able to track their time previously, it’s a bit of a guessing game. A good time tracker helps with accurate billing, insightful team management, and careful planning.
Whether you have a team of two, twenty, or two hundred, collaboration is the linchpin of successful project completion. A good project management tool must include strong collaboration features so that team members can communicate and work well together whether across the room or around the globe. Good collaboration features include things like real-time updates, communication, and automatic notifications.
A huge amount of data is amassed over the course of a project. A good project management tool allows you to generate reports that give you and your team insights on project completion, budget status, inefficiencies, and more. Many project management software tools come with standard reporting features. It’s even more helpful when those reports can be customized to your project.
If you’re in the market for a project management software, here are the top 6 tools you should be considering.
Airtable is a database software that includes a Kanban view. It’s customizable and easy to use, and works well for businesses of all sizes. It lacks robust reporting features and doesn’t integrate with accounting software, which is problematic for some users. Many users love the versatility of data organization that’s possible with Airtable’s spreadsheets.
Asana allows users to create project management templates for use on similar projects in the future. It’s good for all size businesses but not ideal for freelancers. Some users feel Asana’s interface is overly simple and the system is too rigid, but it has strong task management and collaboration features. If your style of project management matches well with Asana, you’ll love it.
Clarizen is a highly rated project management software meant for mid- to enterprise- sized businesses. The system is web-only, so the lack of a mobile app may limit usefulness for some teams. Users love the robust reporting features and ability to track resource use, but it lacks a to-do list and time tracking.
Kissflow is an ideal project management option for teams and businesses of all sizes. Kissflow checks all the boxes with a comprehensive suite of features in its digital workspace. Custom forms, rule-based WIP limits, and personalized boards meet the unique needs of your project and organization. The “user swimlane view” gives you a holistic view of what each project participant is working on. Kissflow’s mobile features are yet to be released, so it’s only web-based for now.
Monday.com offers full support and is good for freelancers as well as businesses of all sizes. They offer great security, robust features, and easy customization. Some users feel the interface gets too cluttered when multiple assignments or comments are on a single board, but overall the user experience is intuitive and simple.
SaaS-based Proofhub is good for freelancers and businesses of all sizes. It’s user friendly and offers plenty of customer support. With an emphasis on simplicity, Proofhub has very few integrations, and with no time tracking or collaboration and very limited task management, some users feel it’s short on features.
With Kissflow, you can visualize with Kanban, assign tasks, create lists, track time, collaborate, and generate reports all in a simple, intuitive interface. Whether you’re a project management veteran or just tackling your first project, Kissflow’s digital workspace can help you execute well and deliver the results you and your team are after. Sign up today for a free Kissflow trial!