The Complete Guide to Project Management Software and Productivity Tips!

Complete Guide to Project Management

Once treated as an “add-on” to full-time commitments, project management has evolved into a separate area with its theoretical background and methods.

Planning the division of tasks or sequences of actions has a great impact on the quality of work – the more individual goals are known and more precisely defined, the greater the chance that the project will be successful, bringing real benefits to the client and the company and employees.

Project management has different definitions. It is worth mentioning the one that is in the publication “A Guide to the Project Management, The Body of Knowledge, PMBOK GUIDE”.

In this book, we read: “Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and technology in a project, activities to achieve or exceed the needs and expectations of clients. These activities always require a balance between certain elements: purpose, time, price, and quality. ”

In other words, project management refers to working in a process or operational mode. It is a discipline that integrates all issues related to project implementation.

What is a project management tool and why is it important?

Too short deadlines, too many tasks, too many employees to take care of, and general chaos are the daily routine of many companies. How do maintain order, maintain control and bring things to an end in the labyrinth of many projects that are being implemented at the same time?

You probably knew that writing everything down in a notebook, covering the table and walls with yellow cardboard, writing down tasks in a calendar – are not very effective ways to manage time and projects. Especially when we have thousands of things to deal with and a few employees to take care of.

So how to manage projects efficiently and without unnecessary nerves, and further increase the efficiency of employees? Online tools that open up many possibilities come to the rescue. They allow us to write down the task we have to do on time and assign the right people to the right activities.

While managing projects and ensuring employee efficiency, it’s also essential to manage and forecast finances efficiently. An arizona salary calculator can be instrumental for businesses operating in that region to estimate and plan employee compensations effectively.

The great advantage of the proposed tools like Timewatch, which offers professional service solutions, is that we have a fast flow of information between all participants in the project. In addition, we channel the execution of our tasks at every stage.

Project management programs usually consist of tools such as internal chat, a built-in calendar (which is further integrated with, for example, Google Calendar), notifications, a knowledge base, the ability to delegate tasks and check the progress of their implementation.

Additionally, project task management software helps streamline these processes by providing a centralized platform for task coordination and tracking.

It is these tools that increase employee productivity because each of them knows what to do at a given time. For example, at casual games company Solitaire Bliss, Freecell, they improved employee productivity by over 20% simply by implementing project management tools which created a need for alignment among their remote team

In addition, the program monitors and reminds of the need to perform a given action, so the risk that someone will forget about their task is minimal.

There is a lot of project management software on the market. There are internet and desktop programs, but when it comes to costs, you can use paid or open licensed programs. Some have a wider range of options and are suitable for large companies, others meet the needs of smaller companies.

One of the most popular project management software is Asana, and in addition to this program, there is Trello, Basecamp, and Rocketlane

ASANA is a free task management program in web version (available online) and in mobile version (for mobile phones). It allows you to create large projects, in which lists of tasks and subtasks are created, we have the ability to assign people to a specific task, set deadlines, and control progress. There are useful add-ons available for Asana, such as one that allows you to attach files from Dropbox or Google Drive. The program is also synchronized with Google Calendar, which greatly simplifies the work.

TRELLO is one of the simplest tools for managing projects in several phases. Users point out that it is extremely intuitive, and in addition it is free. It is a virtual board on which you can paste lists with the following tasks. The program helps with organizing tasks, planning, organizing work, creating lists, and working on projects.

An interesting and useful addition to Trello is the time and attendance software – TimeCamp, which also has functions related to the process of budgeting and invoicing the project and working hours.

Thanks to Trello time tracking integration, TimeCamp provides the opportunity to use this tool for the first time on such a large scale – for free, an unlimited number of users, with the full ability to budget tasks and projects.

Trello is not the only TimeCamp integration. Asana users can also use the time tracking function via TimeCamp.

BASECAMP is a platform thanks to which together with colleagues we can realize more or less complex projects. The program was created by 37signals, which focuses on simplicity in its projects. Basecamp has only a few key elements, with no unnecessary files or features that could interfere with efficient operation. The only downside to Basecamp is that it pays – the cost is $ 20-150 per month depending on the number of users.

Project planning is essential to ensure that you and your team members meet the goals of each task and deliver something that will make your stakeholders happy. A project plan can combine several elements of the project life cycle to give a concise overview of how complex projects should look from start to finish.

ROCKETLANE is purpose-built to run customer-facing projects. It helps teams hit their project goals, accelerate time-to-value, and deliver a 5-star customer experience. Rocketlane uniquely ties project management, document collaboration, and communication to replace your bundle of tools. Saving stakeholders from shuffling between tools to stay on top of the project. 

Teams can templatize their best practices with project templates. Once created, similar projects can be launched with a single click. Rocketlane offers private and shared views for projects along with tasks, documents, and conversations that go with it, eliminating the need to create multiple versions for internal and external sharing.

Other highlights include a branded customer portal with magic links, native documents, built-in CSAT, time tracking, resource management, and robust reporting. Rocketlane offers a free 21-day trial.

The best software for project planning are:

Hubstaff for effective team planning

Hubstaff Tasks is a project management tool designed to simplify project planning and teamwork. Thanks to the Kanban interface using Kanban method, you can create multiple phases projects, add tasks to them and outperform tasks in different phases by dragging and dropping.

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Image: Track and manage the progress of tasks and projects on Kanban boards

In addition to Kanban, the app has a Sprinty feature that allows users to organize their assigned tasks according to the sprint in which they are to be performed. Tasks can be moved to current or future sprints – or backlogs for non-urgent tasks. It also includes a Roadmap feature that allows you to see projects in the form of Gantt charts. Users can see all projects in the calendar, giving an overview of the team’s timeline.

The price for Hubstaff jobs starts at $ 5 per user per month.

Advantages:

 Different views on the project allow you to plan your project more accurately.

  Task notifications help keep everyone on the same page.

A lack :

  No mobile app

  No reporting

 Limited interactions

Wrike for project planning for agencies

Easy to use project time frame.

Wrike is a project planning tool perfect for teams of five to unlimited members. It offers tools for predicting and preventing delays, visualizing deadlines, and monitoring project progress. Allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and application forms.

Advantages:

 Ease of use and adjustment

 The diversity of views on the project corresponding to the different needs of users

A lack :

  – The draw and drop function is not flexible

   The comment system needs to be more visible

   The best features are limited to the business plan

Runn – to analyze the profitability of the project
FunctionFox – for planning projects for creative teams
Celoxis – for planning corporate projects
Hive – for planning projects for integration with other companies
Project Manager – for multiple project views (lists, Gantt charts, etc.)

Criteria for comparing project planning software

User interface (UI):

Project management software should organize all data quickly, efficiently, and cleanly. It is easier to get teams and customers when the tools visually show what needs to happen and when. 

Usability: 

Does project planning software offer tutorials, training, white papers, forums, and customer support to help users? Does it work with iPhone or Android for planning on the go?

Integrations: 

With project planning software, you may need two or more tools to do everything you need. Does each planning tool connect to everything else in your toolkit? Is design software combined with popular project-oriented software such as Excel, Google Dysk, Jira, Microsoft Project, messaging applications (such as Slack), Dropbox, and so on?

Value for $: 

What is the appropriate price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Are prices clear, transparent, and flexible? Priority will be given to tools that have simple scalability options to add additional functionality, users, or storage space.

Timesheet Management

timesheet calculator is a tool that helps you to track the amount of time you spend on different tasks or projects. It can be used to calculate the total number of hours worked, as well as the amount of pay due based on an hourly rate.

To use a timesheet calculator, you typically enter the start and end times for each task or project, along with any breaks or time off. The calculator will then calculate the total number of hours worked and display the result. Some timesheet calculators also allow you to enter an hourly rate and will calculate the pay due based on the number of hours worked.

There are many different timesheet calculators available online, some of which are free to use. You can also find timesheet calculator templates in spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel, which you can customize to meet your specific needs.

Key features of project planning software

1.  Planning and scheduling charts and templates

2.  Task dependencies

3.  Project schedule and roadmaps

4.  Characteristics of team cooperation and communication (chat, comments, ..)

5.  Task management functions

6.  Documentation of planned work processes

7.  KPI real-time reporting and analysis

8.  Project budget planning and monitoring

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Other project planning software options you can try:

1.   Gantt Team – Free Gantt Chart Software

2.   Teamwork – for project templates

3.   Scoro – for construction and construction management

4.   Forecast – to automate the work of AI

5.   Keyedln – for project portfolio planning

6.   Liquid Planner – for automatic planning and forecasting

7.   Workspace – for personal to-do lists and automated emails with reminders

8.    ProWorkflow – a mobile scheduling application for most touch screen devices

9.    EasyProjects – for web design planning

10.  Sciforma – for waterfall and critical chain methodologies

11.  OpenProject – for planning open-source projects

12. Klutch – for creating a knowledge base of pages and responses

Different project management tools for different industries

  Free project planning software:

1.  Nutcache – Pretty generous free plan: free forever for up to 20 users (includes unlimited projects, time tracking, some integrations, and more)

2.  Uruchom – for up to 5 users with an unlimited number of projects

3.  TeamGantt – forever free for up to 3 users and 1 project

4.  Wrike – for up to 5 users

5.  monday.com – for up to 5 users

6.  ClickUp – for unlimited users with certain space and function restrictions

7.  Asana – for up to 15 users

Why is it important to choose the right project management tool for your business?

If someone works in a corporation or in an IT company, they have to come across projects in their professional life. The project work system works in different companies, regardless of their size.

A common factor, however, is that you need to be able to manage them properly. Agile project management can come in handy. How to do it so that everything is on time and the customer is always satisfied? Project management training is the answer to these and other questions.

Project management training is an offer made primarily to people who are responsible for the implementation of projects in a given company.

These are usually people in management positions. 

A project manager is a person who manages projects. In order to fulfill his tasks well, he must have comprehensive knowledge, not only in the way of project management but also, for example, on the basics of psychology, in order to properly motivate the members of his team. 

Knowledge is the key to success, and this key can be acquired through appropriate training in the industry (eg agile project management training). Interesting suggestions on this topic can be found across the country. Training for managers is periodically organized in almost every major city.

Why is proper project management so important?

The project will be successful only if it is realized within a predefined deadline and if the result is assumed at the beginning. To reach such a final, you have to go a long way, which is often extremely uneven. It is worth having indicators, and such indicators are project management methodologies.

They indicate the individual phases of project implementation, facilitate the understanding of the whole, and also suggest the order in which tasks are performed and in what ways. Management methodologies are different – it is worth knowing a few to properly understand the topic and be able to choose the one that turns out to be the most optimal in a particular case.

There are various employment sites where you can find companies looking for a project manager one of them is LinkedIn.

What are the benefits of a digital project manager?

Project Manager – the person who oversees the planned implementation of the project. PM ensures that the achieved results meet the quality requirements. The scope of duties in the managerial position includes the preparation of summaries and reports, delegation of tasks, monitoring the work of the team, and motivating subordinates to act.

In addition to managerial preparation (eg as part of an MBA study), the project manager should have broad expertise in the field, for example, IT, finance, etc.

The role of the project manager

So what is the role of a project manager? Seemingly intuitive, anyone who knows what a project is has some idea of ​​what the person running it has to deal with in such a situation. On the other hand, the diversity of projects, organizations, and methodologies makes the role of PM (and even the name of this role) a little different in each project.

As my friend’s story shows, you need to make sure that both parties have a good understanding of what the project is and whether they have the same vision for managing it.

In general, the role of the Prime Minister is to ensure that the project is implemented in the agreed scope and schedule and does not exceed the projected budget. Often, the prime minister has to report on the progress and risks identified on the project. In each organization, the scope of competencies will be slightly different. And so, depending on the organization, the PM will or will not manage the budget, participate in employment or negotiate with the client.

In some companies, the PM or project manager will be responsible for everything from negotiating with the client to recruiting the team to sign the acceptance protocol. He will be responsible for the budget and schedule of the project or projects, and even the entire program.

On the other hand, we will find companies that also employ project managers, but their role in PM is “only” operational project management. Often the budget is managed more (eg at the level of the whole department or company), and the role of the prime minister is to provide offers or estimates of labor consumption.

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It represents a special link between the business world and the project team.

Responsibilities of the project manager towards the project:

  – Starts and closes the project

  – Manages the project during its life cycle

  – Creates a project plan, project card, and schedule

  – Plans the resources needed for implementation

  – Explains the scope of the project and business purpose

  – Monitors key project parameters, including budget

  – Control quality

  – Manages project risk

  – Manages changes, analyzes their impact on the project

  – Applies tools, standards, and communication plan

  – Maintains and updates project documentation

 – Designs and improves processes

  – Cooperates and implements contracts with subcontractors

Obligations of the project manager towards stakeholders:

– Maintains relationships and communicates with stakeholders and project sponsors

–  Reports and presents project progress, preparation and gives reports

–  Proposes solutions

–  Accepts and resolves escalations

–  It involves stakeholders and influences their decisions

Responsibilities of the project manager according to the organization:

–  He is escalating problems and seeking the support of the organization

–  Reports risks

–  Reports on the resource requests

–  Document the lessons learned from the project

–  Progress reports

–  Reports deviations and requests release of reserves

Wrapping up the Complete Guide to Project Management

Project management is an essential part of any business. It involves monitoring, executing, and organizing the progress in the projects that are undertaken in the organization. This process is vital because it helps to maximize project efficiency and minimize errors in order to meet the needs of the business.

Project management entails overseeing all aspects of a project, including initiating, evaluating, implementing, managing, and controlling it. The manager oversees both internal protocols or procedures as well as external regulations or laws that may affect the project.

From this perspective, there are many factors that need to be considered when managing a project for success. These include time management skills and proper communication with clients about the status of projects at all times. Other factors include determining which methodology to use when undertaking a particular task depending on its importance or complexity level.

Author of the Complete Guide to Project Management:

Andrej Feed


Andrej Fedek is the creator and the one-person owner of the InterCool Studio. As an experienced marketer, he is driven by turning leads into customers. His goals always include White Hat SEO. Besides being a boss, he is a real team player with a great sense of equality.

Guide to Project Management article and permission to publish here provided by Andrej Fedek. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on February 9, 2022.

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