Need a Project Management Tool? Here’s Where to Start
Work smarter, not harder with some tools that can make your job easier.
Project management might seem like a contemporary concept. In fact, it’s ‘s been around as long as there have been projects to manage. Think about the complexity of planning and executing the building of the Great Wall or the transcontinental railroad. (Or: After all, it’s thanks to project management that we have the Great Wall of China and the transcontinental railroad – two complex projects with – literally – lots of moving parts!)
But you don’t need to be creating a structure that can be seen from space to benefit from project management. Any task that involves a goal, a timeline, a budget, and stakeholders needs some degree of project management. Whether you’re painting your kitchen or putting together a budget for your team at the office, there are lots of different tools out there to help you get the job done. We’ve evaluated the most popular project management software out there so you can effectively plan, document, execute and evaluate your next big (or small!) project. Let’s get into it!
What to know before you start your next project
All projects should have a clear measurable goal – avoid wishy-washy objectives!. This way it’s easy to tell if you achieve the desired result or not. You should be able to track throughout and evaluate after the fact so you can improve your processes for the next go-round. It’s also important to speak to all relevant stakeholders, and also around some documentation to make sure everyone understands the plan before you start. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a project and then needing to start over because someone didn’t get a chance to weigh in. With all this and more to manage, how can a good project manager cover all their bases and see a project through efficiently? The best tool that’s how!
The marketing machine at Doodle is multi-leveled, multi-geared, and multi-tasking! We have copywriters, bloggers, web designers, email marketers and more, informing our user-base of 30 million people on the best ways to streamline their scheduling and make the most of Doodle as well as keeping them updated about new features and developments.
We use Hive to keep the marketing engine at Doodle running. Hive is the project management and productivity tool that lets teams work the way they want to. Each project in Hive allows for 6 separate views: Gantt, Kanban, calendar, table, label, and team views. This kind of flexibility means that every member of the Doodle marketing team can work in the way that suits them best. Sometimes viewing dependencies in a Gantt chart is even more important than the overly simple “In Progress” column of a status board. Hive also offers integrations with 1000s of other applications we use daily through Zapier, allowing us to keep our processes agile.
Trello is incredibly cool. You only have to catch a glimpse of the cute dog mascot Taco, to want to give it a shot. But beyond the cute dog, Trello offers a task management application that helps you track what tasks are being worked on and who’s responsible for each. Though it lacks Hive’s flexibility and some other key features (like local chat), Taco is really intuitive to use. Each project lives on its own board. Each Trello board is like a dynamic to-do list. you can add cards to each list, representing tasks, and move the cards around depending on progress. Label each card with ‘to do’, ‘in progress’, or ‘done’ to show its status. Cards can be assigned to different team members. When you reach certain milestones, Trello will notify you.
Asana can help you handle complex projects comprising multiple tasks and subtasks with a little more dexterity than Trello. Asana works similarly to Trello, with lists and boards, but its format enables you to see the dependencies between tasks and groups of tasks more clearly. Thanks to its timeline feature, you can easily spot bottlenecks and prepare for unexpected situations. With Trello, cards can get lost in the shuffle when you have too many on your board. With Asana, it’s easier to keep track of individual cards, even if your project grows more involved than anticipated. Asana also has a calendar view, which is really helpful if you need to grasp the full scope of your project and manage your deadlines. We’d also add the UI is a bit more businesslike in feel, while Trello has a fun, informal feel.