Today, project management tools available on a cloud model or web-only model come in various types. Some can be all encompassing “does it all” solutions while others are much simpler.
Certain project management tools have specific defining methodology behind how they work. For instance, Trello and Agile Zen along with Blossom.io follow the Kanban method of project management. A few other project management tools are almost like Facebook or Twitter.
The options can be bewildering indeed. So, here’s an attempt to point you in the right direction as far as project management tools are concerned. If you are a project manager looking for a great tool to bring your team together to work collaboratively and manage projects successfully, look out for these options:
Telerik TeamPulse is an all-in-one team management solution that enables multiple project management, enhanced collaboration, planning work, and even helps you leverage agile best practices.
Ideally suited for any software project management requirements, you can improve your decision-making, keep up-to-date on team progress, bridge the boundaries between team roles, open gates for communication, manage bugs, and much more. The web-based solution also extends itself for time-tracking, cross-project reporting, and also doubles as an ideas and feedback portal.
Focused around visualization, communication, improvement of workflows, and efficient organization of work, Agile Zen is project management software that aims to offer a lean solution for businesses.
It renders itself very well for projects of all types – with a slight emphasis on the coding, software and development niche – while featuring some nifty features such as “performance metrics” showing you cycle times, lead times, and percentage efficiency. On the communication tab, you’ll see some inspiration from Trello-like flow, and especially Trello swimlanes, with ready, working and complete columns to minimize interference in communication and to make sure that you are able to call attention to problems as they surface in the midst of a project.
The folks led by Jason Fried at 37Signals– the company behind Basecamp, High Rise, and Campfire – practically invented web-based project management. They are still big except that they chose not to add too much cream to the milk. By that, we mean that you won’t find anything fancy in Basecamp. No rich UI motions, no Gantt Charts, no visual reporting (except for a project progress bar, if you can call it that).
Yet, it has a strong following. It’s appeal as a simplistic project management tool is irresistible for many businesses. All you need is to assign projects to teams, and check the progress while keeping everyone on the same page using a calendar.
How much more simple can it get?
It’s amazing how many different ways a simple but powerful project management software tool can be used. Asana is the brainchild of Facebook’s co-founder Dustin Moscovitz and it’s rapidly growing to be a hugely popular web-based project management tool and it’s completely free to use for up to 15 users.
You can choose to run private or public projects, have granular control on who gets to see what, use Harvest App for time tracking, and Google Drive for document uploads and usage (In addition to Dropbox and your own computer hard drive). The project tool makes project management accountable with work assigned efficiently to the right people.
Project collaboration tools are getting smarter and with that, project managers and teams get the best of what is available. Deskaway.com is a smart, web-based collaboration tool, which provides you with project collaboration, which includes time tracking, project templates, documents, timesheets, and milestones.
It also provides you with a choice of options for reporting and analytics such as Gantt Charts, individual project and user reports. Deskaway does integrate with third-party apps while also being made available on your mobile devices.
For project management, you need security along with plenty of other features that teams find useful. Some of the web-based project management tools either go overboard with features or underplay it completely missing out on what’s important.
Workzone focuses on exactly what teams need with features such as Status alerts, secure file sharing, flexible and manageable permissions, approvals workflow, file version, a group calendar, and even image markup. It has the ability to manage multiple projects and easily duplicate tasks that have similar workflows. It’s easy, intuitive to use, and gets you to work.
How about using a single tool for almost everything you’d ever need to do for your business, managing projects and even billing or invoicing? Worketc.com is one single, web-based app that almost gets there with integrated CRM, project management, Billing, Help Desk (Customer Support), and much more.
The cost of using Worketc is much less than if you were to use CRM and project management separately. Further, everything remains on the cloud (much like all other project management tools) with business-wide visibility and real-time accountability. It’s the perfect way to get your team onboard and give them one single office to work from. Even the remote workers feel at home with this tool.
There’s no one tool that’s the best as most of these listed project management tools have some great features and each has their own breed of users. Asana, Workzone, and Basecamp for instance, can fit any type of project while Agile Zen and TeamPulse make better choices for software development projects.
As a project manager, try to fit a project management solution around your needs instead of picking up any project management tool. You’d need a fairly flexible solution, which is also easy on the eye and easy to use. Look for the third-party apps your project management tool integrates with – sometimes, that will decide which tool to go for.
For instance, Agile Zen mostly integrates with development tools and not with some popular apps such as Google Apps, High Rise, Zen Desk, etc. Do your due diligence and you won’t have to waste time working with the wrong project management solution.
What’s your favourite when it comes to project management solutions?