Collaboration-focused teams are consistently looking for the best project management tools that drive effective planning and feedback.
Studies show that teams that use project management tools effectively and consistently are better able to plan, execute, monitor progress and hold each other accountable for promised results. Creating transparent records helps everyone understand who is responsible for each part of a project and when a result is due. This allows each member of the team to better organize priorities, delivering a better result to the ultimate project owner, or the client in the case of software development agencies.
Let’s start talking about what these tools have in common and then compare a few so you can choose which is best for your needs.
What is a project management tool?
Tools that help teams plan, manage, and optimize resources across an organization are known as project management tools.
While project management tools differ in their capabilities, most of them share a few characteristics, here are the most common:
- Task tracking and assigning: most of these tools allow team members to assign and track tasks. Some allow tracking working hours, per task. This features enables teams to know who is accountable for specific tasks, and also evaluate whether that team member has capacity or is tasked with too many items.
- Parenting projects: because these tasks need to be grouped and assigned to specific projects, most project management tools have both parent projects (one large project that includes smaller projects) and child projects (the smaller project that is part of the parent project).
- Collaboration: Whether it is working together on individual tasks, chatting, or sharing files, all project management tools contain collaboration features that allow users to link to other sources or tasks, and continue a discussion with other team members about the task itself.
- Document sharing: Teams often need to share and collaborate on materials and resources in order to complete tasks and projects successfully. This is why most project management tools include document sharing capabilities.
How to choose the proper project management tool for your company?
Finding the best project management tool for your team can be difficult with so many options in the market. It is important to remember that an effective project management tool should meet two main requirements. First of all, it must provide all features that enhance the team’s productivity and collaboration. In addition to that, it must be a tool that your entire team uses. How effective your project management system is will depend on having a tool that is easy to learn and onboard.
The challenge is ensuring that your team finds the best project management tool for your needs while satisfying both of those requirements. Below you can read 9 key steps that will help find the best tool for their needs.
- Define the features your project management tool needs.
- Spent time in thorough research of the best project management tools. There are many blogs that can provide you with a lot of information, pros, and cons of each one.
- Do a little test of the tool you think is the best for your team.
- Ask for feedback from every member of your team: how they feel using the tool, which improvements they would do on it, the difficulties they had, the time they spent learning how to use it. The experience of your team is the best test of the tool.
- Evaluate the investment you need to do for this tool.
- Buy the project management tool. Many of the available tools offer a free trial, but they have limitations of the number of team members, size of the project, features, and more.
- Implement seriously the project management tool. Be sure that every member of your team gets familiarized with it and is prepared to make the best use of it.
- Analyze the result you get with any particular project, testing the results and the working flow the tool has provided.
A short analysis of some of the most popular project management tools
You need to know which project management tools provide the features you need. In this post, you will find a comparison of a few of the most popular ones today. By analyzing the pros and cons of each tool you will be able to get the right decision.
TRELLO This is one of the most popular tools for project management because it is straightforward and easy to use, and the Kanban view is intuitive and easy to learn for anyone. Trello includes:
- Kanban and calendar style project management boards.
- The possibility to add comments, due dates, and attachments into each action card
- Capabilities of built-in workflow automation
- The fields can be customized
MONDAY.COM It is a simple and intuitive project management tool that is suitable for both small and large teams. It combines a visually appealing interface and very useful project visualization tools, although it is flexible and offers a transparent way to organize the work. This work operating system can help teams in many different functions, including sales, project management, marketing, human resources, and recruitment. Monday features are:
- Automation possibilities
- Flexible projects views
- Integrations of over 40
There are project templates on Monday that you can customize. Several display options are available, including the map view and calendar view. Many customers are dissatisfied with the absence of recurring tasks as well as clunky navigation in the mobile app. Monday has its particularities: it offers great security, robust features, and easy customization.
JIRA what is special about this tool is that was specially designed for software development teams, so it’s the perfect IT project management tool. It is a cross-platform issue and bug tracking software with really advanced project management capabilities and features:
- The possibility to create user stories, issues, and plan sprints
- Tasks can be distributed across all the members of the software team
- You can prioritize the tasks and make discussions among the team
- The team communication is centralized and they are all well informed
- Reporting in real-time what everyone is working on
ASANA is a visually appealing tool, easily ranked among the best project management tools today. With its dynamic design and format, Asanas keeps users active and engaged and is a favorite tool among teams and creatives worldwide. This platform improves team communication and helps increase overall accountability.
- Lists, timeline and boards in flexible project views
- The possibility to add comments, due dates, and attachments into each action card
- Progress mapping in real-time analytics and charts
- Team members can manage individual workloads by auto-tracking
- Possibility to set strategic goals in the platform
With Asana, you can manage projects collaboratively. It is intuitive with different task displays and supports custom fields and forms. There are workflows that automate recurring tasks with no guest users limit. There are also options for building custom rules and approval workflows. Despite some users’ complaints that Asana has an overly simple interface and a rigid system, it has strong task management and collaboration features.
REDMINE a free open-source project management app focused on issues and bug-tracking. It is particularly targeted at development teams who can install and maintain it. Redmine’s features include:
- The possibility to customize the platform for your team’s needs
- Including time estimates, subtasks, Gantt charts, project wikis
- Attaching documents, comments, and descriptions in each task
- Assigning tasks to each member, naming watchers, and reassigning the tasks to another member when needing QA review or waiting for feedback.
- You can rename tasks constantly, adding new info and setting its status: New, High Priority, QA review, Waiting Feedback, Closed, Resolved.
Despite all these features, some users think Redmine isn’t so simple. It requires installation and maintenance, so you need someone on staff who can do that. If you have someone on your team who is familiar with Ruby on Rails, then it can be set up however you like. Furthermore, because of its feature set, it is better suited for tracking issues and bugs than managing projects at any level. Redmine is an excellent platform for that use, especially because you can customize it to your needs.
Even if you are looking for the most popular or the cheapest project management tool, the most important issue is to know the big offer you have and choose which suits you best for your team working methodology, knowledge, and experience. Take time to make research, test, and evaluate the tool with your team, their opinion is fundamental for a dynamic and effective workflow. Is there a tool you try and didn’t work? Have you tested one of the tools described above? Has this blog been useful?