Seven Of The Best Project Management Tools For Your Business
It doesn't matter what your degree or job title is- even large companies often assign tasks that require certain project management skills to employees at any level.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
If you own your own company, or work for a small business, you know that project management is a task that often falls in your lap. It doesn't matter what your degree or job title is- even large companies often assign tasks that require certain project management skills to employees at any level. Of course, any project management task is much easier to accomplish when you have the right tools. If you feel intimidated by advanced multi-functional software and don't have special training, the following project management tools will be ideal for you.
Casual is a visual, online project tool, that simplifies projects by turning them into easy-to-navigate workflows. It's ideal for those without a project management background, and for those who are visual thinkers. The interface is very intuitive, making it easy to jump in and get started on your first project. Creating new tasks, categorizing tasks together, and adding new branches onto your project can be done in just a few clicks. This may be a simple tool, but it also has powerful functionality. You can track tasks that have been assigned to you and that have been assigned to others. This tool integrates easily with Dropbox, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. Users also have the option of using the Casual App for iOS or Android.
With Asana you can use existing templates to add new workflows quickly, create lists of tasks for yourself or other team members, create projects where tasks can be posted to shared boards, break larger tasks down into subtasks, and even convert a task into a project should it become too big. Team members can comment on tasks. They can also sign up for email updates on the progress that matter to them. This is ideal when starting one task depends on the completion of another. Managers can check the status of any project quickly and easily without venturing into their inboxes or contacting team members for updates.
Project management can be intimidating for those who aren't familiar with Gantt charts or project management vocabulary. Fortunately, Trello is a tool that is designed specifically for those people. It's highly visual and intuitive, making it ideal for the non-project manager. Trello feels instantly familiar thanks to its card based design. Within each card are lists of tasks. Cards can be moved around in any order to adjust priorities. When a card is opened, you can create lists within it, upload files, or a variety of other tasks. Another cool feature is the ability to create and update cards via email. When a project is created, an email address is assigned to it. All you have to do is send an email to make changes to any project.
If you are used to managing projects through emails and meetings, but your needs are outgrowing that, take a look at Basecamp. It's an excellent PM tool for beginners. Basecamp provides a centralized location for company wide and team communication as well as your projects. For example, instead of sending email chains to update one another on tasks, team members simply post to a centralized message board. There's also a to-do section where project managers can assign and track tasks. The tool also includes a place to attach important files to each project, and a calendar for scheduling meetings and establishing deadlines.
If you're an Apple loyalist, Omniplan is arguably the best project management tool for this OS. It integrates well with other tools that already exist on the Mac and iOS, is noticeably simple to use, and the interface places all of the need to know information about your project in one place. Even new users can quickly figure out how to use this tool to create, modify, and track projects. Creating and grouping tasks, organizing workflow, and even establishing project hierarchy can be done simply and easily.
Good project management means ensuring that communication is effective, that collaborative efforts are fruitful, that scope is managed, that tasks are completed on time, and that things don't fall through the cracks. Todoist can cover all of these basics while still remaining simple enough for beginners. Even better, because the tool is available via apps and extensions on 10 different platforms, project teams can collaborate with one another while still using their preferred browsers and devices. This can lead to much faster adoption.
7. Pivotal Tracker
If you have a few projects under your belt, and are ready to explore agile project management, take a look at Pivotal Tracker. It's a story based project management system with an easy to use drag and drop interface. It also has excellent mobile apps for those who prefer to use them. Overall, once you master this tool, it can help you to manage your projects with ease. It also comes with an analytics tool measure efficiency from one project to the next.
These seven tools are designed in a way that even neophyte project managers can dive in and effectively do their jobs immediately, so that no task falls through the cracks ever again.