“Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan“ – K. Tate.
Reread these lines if you’re still using post-it notes or to-do lists stuck on your desk to manage your projects.
It simply won’t work, especially when your workload and pressure start to rise.
That’s why today’s businesses rely on project management tools for effective and efficient business task management. But, finding the right one that suits your team is a task in itself.
It’ll probably be more challenging than choosing your next Netflix series to binge-watch on weekends. However, using a project management tool to manage projects and track progress is worth it.
To make your life easier, we’re listing our top five project management tools to help you make an informed and quick decision, and we’ll answer the following questions as well:
Here are six essential project management tools to help you work more efficiently. After hours of research and personal use, we’ve curated this list. So, give our selections a look to effectively manage all your projects.
Slite – The perfect tool for developing a statement of work
In this ever-changing digital world, no one prefers creating and submitting paperwork. Companies prefer digital project plans, invoices, and statements of work (or SoW’s) to streamline processes, keep track of project timelines and ensure no document gets lost.
And one of the most important documents is an SoW. It’s the first step in project management because it outlines your project’s work requirement and details timelines, deliverables, and project-related activities. Creating an SoW for a high stake project may be challenging, especially if you’re new in this field.
That’s why businesses turn to Slite, the best project management software for creating an SoW. Slite provides a statement of work template to ensure your next project doesn’t miss a single deadline.
- Integrates element like videos, images, or links in your SoW.
- Creates an SoW free from ambiguity
- Provides a secure space to store your SoW and other project-related information
- Allows collaboration and file sharing from any location and
- Enables writing of excellent project documentation
- Offers many customizable documentation and project templates
Takeaway: It’s a must-have project management tool in your toolkit because, without an SoW, your business may seem lost in the pool of the project management world.
Piktochart – Best visual project management tool
With humans processing images in a matter of just 13 milliseconds, it proves that humans, including your team members and clients, are visual learners.
Such tools implement visuals into work processes and rely on visuals to create project timelines, manage your project pacing and milestones from inception to completion, and keep your project team up-to-date in real-time.
One such effective visual project management tool is Piktochart. Using Piktochart’s free timeline maker, you can create a visual timeline for your upcoming project. These timelines ensure you never miss a deadline.
- Brings your team members to one location
- Ensures you summarize and display data creatively
- Create compelling and eye-pleasing presentations, posters, flyers, reports, and social media
- Streamlines work management
- Offers brand customization tools
Takeaway: It’s your one-stop destination tool because it provides all benefits of both intuitive visual designing and a great project management tool.
Asana- Organize tasks and workflow
Organizing is the golden key to a successful project, and that’s why Asana is renowned. This cloud-based intuitive project management tool focuses on improving your project outcome. Its ever-rising popularity stems from its user-friendly interface that helps manage complex projects.
More than anything else, it helps your project teams to streamline their workflow so that project managers can focus on big things like project planning, task management, and other vital aspects of your projects.
- Allows you to create visually appealing Gantt charts
- Helps to plan out workflows, visualize projects, and spot potential issues with Kanban boards
- Creates a dynamic calendar to plan and structure all your projects
- Ensures proper resource management
Takeaway: It’s a project management tool that can significantly impact your bottom line. So, try out Asana’s free plan before making a final decision.
Zoho Projects -Streamline your workflows
Teams can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a project management software yet fail to achieve the desired efficiency. Why?
Many online project management tools cannot manage advanced and multiple projects. Zoho Projects is probably the best available solution for all such businesses and teams.
Setting up your project is easy because this web-based project management tool has room to create and efficiently manage your complex projects. This tool provides refined control over recurring tasks, sub-tasks, and dependencies. You can perform various activities like task tracking, project planning, resource management, and tracking project budgets.
- Visualize projects using Gantt charts
- It offers a time tracking feature that records the time each team member spends on every task
- Provides features of team collaboration software
- Ensures task management and task automation
- Allows you to check your project progress
Takeaway: It’s a low-cost project management platform with an array of features you cannot afford to overlook.
Microsoft Project – The user-friendliness of spreadsheets
One of the most popular project management tools is the Microsoft Project or MS Project, developed and sold by Microsoft. This tool is specifically designed for project managers to take complete control over projects and track all their projects’ progress.
From managing different task lists to managing multiple projects and large initiatives, it’s a project management software that can make you a powerful boss of any project.
- Provides Kanban boards to manage workflow and status
- Offers Gantt charts for project scheduling
- Ensures collaboration with team members
- Allows task tracking
- Ensures proper resource allocation and resource management
Of all the features, one noteworthy feature is that you can integrate with other Microsoft products like Skype, Sharepoint, and Office 365.
Takeaway: Microsoft Project has a similar interface to other products – it’s easy to use and adapt to and doesn’t require much training.
ProofHub – Single ‘Home’ for all your projects, tasks & notes
Whether you work with brilliant data scientists, passionate designers, or committed developers daily, ProofHub makes it easy to plan and manage technical and non-technical projects. Your team will be able to collaborate effectively across departments in a centralized manner.
You’ll have better project visibility, task management, and resource scheduling and can avoid unnecessary delays that inevitably show up when your projects are scattered around email threads.
Envision how much time you’ll save when you import your existing projects into ProofHub, customize workflows & permissions for different departments, and utilize automated sharing of reports & documents. All that in an easy-to-use interface that doesn’t require training
ProofHub helps you get everything out of your head into a single location where everyone can visualize, track, and communicate all their work from one place. Our easy-to-use interface allows almost no learning curve for new users and puts you in control of your projects so you can deliver them on time.
- Assign tasks to users based on their specific roles and create projects in a few minutes
- Customize workflows and templates as per the team requirements.
- Prioritized task lists and quick-access essential details like documents and contacts
- File sharing for easy collaboration, intelligent notifications, and detailed reports
- Visually analyze your data to take timely actions using Gantt charts.
- Drag-and-drop toolbars to customize your dashboard according to your requirements
Takeaway: Time is money! So why waste it on tools that don’t produce results. Proofhub has an array of options that will save you time on project management and provide the most efficient and easy-to-use process.
With thousands of project management tools available in the market, each boasting to bring a revolutionary change to your project management team, it becomes challenging to choose.
Project managers and creative teams often buy task management tools only to find that they are the only ones benefiting from them. At the same time, other team members have entirely stopped using the tool and have switched back to the to-do lists for managing projects and time tracking.
You wouldn’t want this to happen to your team.
Therefore, when shopping for online project management tools, ensure it satisfies two main requirements:
- Have all project management features desired and required by a project manager
- Task management tools should be user-friendly, intuitive, and valuable for team members to continue using
Well, this is easier said than done!
To ensure your project management teams find a tool particular for their business needs, focus on these steps:
1. Understand the need for a project management tool
Identify all your teams’ current problems and pain points, including your creative and software development teams. Some possible issues your team may be facing can include:
- Manage multiple projects
- Missed deadline due to lack of organization and task lists
- Too many meetings
- Lack of communication
- Uneven workload in your project team
- No centralized place to share or upload documents
- Too much time is spent searching for project information
- No time tracking per task
Understanding these problems helps you select a tool that solves all of these problems. If a tool doesn’t check all these boxes, remove it from your shortlist because you will only waste money on it.
2. Evaluate the features
While some online project management tools offer a range of features, others may offer only a handful of them. As the number of features increases, so will the cost. So, when searching for a tool that increases the pace of your marketing projects, look for these features:
- Team collaboration (Communication, online meetings, project management)
- Task management (task lists, prioritize tasks, Kanban boards)
- Planning and scheduling (project planning, building roadmaps, creating Gantt charts, managing project requirements)
- Time tracking (time tracking, expense tracking)
- Workload and resource management (allocate resources, assign tasks, balance workload, track project budget)
- Document management (file sharing, document repository)
3. Consider your budget
Some of the best project management tools have paid plans that may cost hundreds of dollars each month depending upon how many users per month, while others may cost considerably less.
So, weigh your options and choose the right business management tools based on your budget.
4. Test the project management tools using a free plan
Most of the best project management tools offer both free and paid plans. So, before spending any dime on paid plans, test out a tool’s free plan based on the features your project requires.
5. Test other project management tools
Don’t stop with the first project management software that you come across. Do your research, read reviews and ask others for recommendations.
Exploring and getting hands-on experience using a tool to manage projects is better than watching a demo or reading a tutorial.
As most of these management tools offer free usage for up to five users, ask your team members to join you in your testing process.
Before finalizing any tool, test at least two or three other tools because once you purchase a plan and implement it in your team, it becomes difficult to retract things.
6. Get feedback from your team
After testing the online project management tool, get feedback from your colleagues. Ask them whether they would be using it for future projects online. This is important because if your team isn’t ready, there’s no point in implementing it. Honest feedback can help you in effective project management.
7. Purchase the best project management tool
After receiving feedback on the features of your shortlisted tool, it’s time to purchase one that receives maximum thumbs up from your team.
Based on features like project management, task management, and resource management, buy a project management tool at least for 2-3 teams.
As most tools are purchased based on the number of users, buying them for a small team makes sense.
Once your small team finds it valuable and worthwhile, you can purchase it for other teams based on their requirement.
8. Implement the project management software
Congratulations! Based on your and your team’s work, you’ve managed to purchase the perfect tool for your business needs.
But don’t get excited too soon. Why?
The challenging part comes now – implementation.
Because most human beings are resistant to change, implementing a project management tool in your team’s daily workflow won’t be easy. Whether your team handles a single task or multiple projects, they’ll be hesitant to move out of their comfort zone.
So, have a plan to roll out your project management tool to some, if not all, of your projects.
9. Analyze your results after a few months
Once you’ve implemented software and trained your team, it’s probably time to look back at how your project management tool helped streamline your process and to what extent it improved your workflow.
So, have regular check-ins with your team and learn how they’re using the project management tool and how that tool is making their projects online easier.
While the functionality of every project management tool may vary from company to company, specific tools can help you achieve desired team efficiency and business productivity without compromising on the quality of work. Some tools widely used by project managers are:
- Zoho Projects
- MS Projects
It’s not always easy to efficiently manage all your projects online. But with, the right set of tools in your tech stack can save you time and ensure you take your workflows up a notch.
The best project management tools help you collaborate, manage, and provide visual task management on a Kanban board. It will track team members’ time, assist with resource allocation, and help you complete projects on time without overshooting your budget.
What Are the Five Project Management Techniques?
As you know, the world of project management is vast and covers almost every industry and thus requires various skills to complete all your projects.
But one thing remains common to this diverse field – the techniques that tie every project and help managers achieve success. The five widely used project management techniques are:
1. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
WBS transforms all extensive project activities into small and manageable tasks your team can easily understand and implement.
2. Gantt Charts
These charts help you plan, schedule, and manage multiple projects. With Gantt Charts, you can plan sprints and milestones while scheduling your team’s work and comparing your planned versus actual project timelines.
3. PERT project management
PERT stands for Program Evaluation and Review Technique. This technique primarily helps in time estimates. Using WBS, the PERT technique breaks down tasks into detailed activities and puts that into the Gantt Charts to identify interdependent activities.
4. Kanban Board project management
One of the most straightforward project management techniques is using a Kanban board to manage all your projects. This technique creates three columns: To-do, Doing, and Done.
Your team members can shift one task from one column to another as they finish, and it helps you manage unlimited projects.
5. Critical Path Methods (CPM)
CPM requires you to construct project models, including a list of all tasks duration needed to complete your project and the potential dependencies, tasks, and endpoints like deliverables and milestones for a given project.
Talk to anyone, and they will tell you that these tools are just digital pieces of technology. It’s how to implement and use them that makes a difference.
With 46% of organizations not collaborating well on projects, it comes as no surprise that close to 49% of those organizations have seen a project fail in the last 12 months.
That’s the power of project management tools.
So, when shopping for a tool to manage multiple projects, look for one that fits your business requirement. There is no one-size-fits-all tool because what may work wonders for your competitor may be determinantal for your business.
After thorough research and reading different reviews, we’ve listed some of the best project management tools. Do explore them!
While all these task management tools bring something unique, our favorites are Piktochart and Slite because of the cost and features these project management tools have. Interestingly, both these tools are affordable and fantastic for businesses that are just starting
Which project management tool are you planning to use for your upcoming project?