In a business, you would be macro-managing company policies to implement a long-term vision. At the base, you are micromanaging technical teams conducting multiple business operations within specific projects. You need a status report on each and every single process to decide what needs to be done and which task gets priority.
There’s a variety of project management software that makes it easier to deal with ever-expanding tasks and clients. You’ll be balancing schedules, streamlining projects, and meeting deadlines. You’ll become freer to follow your vision and achieve long-term goals. The PM software and accompanying tools will help your business create a forward momentum.
It’s a rewarding experience when you can track each deliverable. The data at your disposal helps you predict what may happen, and respond accordingly. Each moving part becomes clearly defined, and individual productivity is measurable.
To help you get back on your feet, here are 5 of The Best Project Management Software and Tools for businesses
What could Uber, Airbnb, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have in common? They all repose faith in Asana created by Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook.
Asana offers a clean, simplified, and navigable interface which is easy on the eye. There’s a workspace for each employee. Tasks can be broken into component parts. The next step is outlining priorities and fixing deadlines. A tracking system updates each employee and notifies the changes put through by the management.
With Asana, you know clearly where you stand, and what needs to be done at every stage. Work files can be tagged to each task. Kanban boards and calendar views keep you in the loop. The cool interface permits easy navigation to view tasks, pull data and store files in a way that optimizes control from start to finish.
Pricing: A small business with a team of 15 users can use Asana free with basic functionality. The premium plan with all the bells and whistles will be charged $9.99 (per month), but billed annually.
This is a project management tool built on the secure foundation of Redmine open source software. Planio makes it possible to coordinate complex teams of workers tackling different projects in various time zones. The sheer scalability of operations is Planio’s major USP.
It has an agile navigational interface that breaks down each task into subtasks and enables tracking through a visual rendering of the workflow. By integrating GIT and SVN software, Planio enables revision tracking and archive retrieval. Users can track changes in individual workspaces, and get folders synchronized.
Planio has good search functionality, helping you dig out the data you seek. When every worker is information advantaged and data enabled, you waste less time on emails, conversations, and meetings.
Planio’s vendor service is agreeably good, and the response to customer queries is solid and dependable. If you’re tied to an outdated software, the Planio team will help with initial migration without insisting on data in any particular format. Tech giant CNET leverages Planio for its scalability and capacity to handle tens of thousands of issues.
Pricing: Planio starts at 19 Euros/monthly limiting to 3 projects involving 5 active users. Then on, the plans graduate from Gold to Diamond. The Platinum plan comes in at 99 Euros/monthly limiting to 40 active projects and 45 users; maximum 50GB storage.
You’d be excused for wondering how a global freelancing platform qualifies to be a project management tool. It is actually much more than just a platform bringing talented freelancers face to face with clients posting projects. Content managers distribute small tasks to freelance writers, researchers, designers, and developers, and hire virtual assistants to coordinate deliverables.
Clients monitor the freelancer’s work using a desktop activity tracker or via milestones created for individual projects. A billing system keeps an eye on what’s due and what’s paid. The system is flexible enough to hire a number of freelancers handling different aspects of a single project.
Upwork has logged more than $4 billion in work billings covering 30,000 projects. Its attractiveness as a project management tool can be gauged from the fact that Fortune 500 businesses such as Airbnb, Samsung and GE have shifted a hefty global workforce on the platform, saving time and money.
Pricing: For clients, log in and usage is free. Freelance contractors shell out 20 percent of earnings. Depending on pre-planned projectwise budgets, clients park money in Escrow for project payments based on milestones.
Unlike other tools, Trello offers an uncomplicated view of project status through kanban style charts. On the dashboard, every team gets its board with vertical lists containing cards representing each task. This allows you to see who is working on which project at what stage of the process. For example, you could design a board for a blog writer and populate it with cards listing research, ideation, writing, and publishing. Changes in the listings would indicate the stage the writer is positioned.
A prominent user of Trello is Kickstarter, the global crowdfunding platform that helps merchandise creative ideas. The company has teams embedded in Trello as boards. If any team faces a technical issue that needs additional help, all they do is to create a new card and move it into the list of the resource team.
Pricing: The free forever package delivers unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists, and file attachments up to 10MB. The Business Class Plan ($9.99/per user monthly, payable annually) and Enterprise Plan ($20.83 per user/ monthly, payable annually) get you a broader spectrum of software integration with Jira, Salesforce, Slack, Google Drive, and Dropbox, among others, and customized onboarding and migration assistance.
This project management tool is of immense help to teams that dive deeper into technical and creative tasking. The emphasis here is on simplicity which should appeal to a growing number of small businesses facing an upward growth trajectory. The tool encourages collaboration between teams and clients, allowing real-time sharing, editing, and discussions.
ProofHub uses Gantt charts to measure actual progress against agreed goals and deadlines. ProofHub is a heaven for content generators. There are proofing tools for multiple document formats, streamlined workflow management boards, with integrated messaging and chat functions alongside sharable calendars. The icing on the cake is ProofHub allows files and folders to be synced with Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft Outlook.
Pricing: The ProofHub essential package starts at $50/monthly (or $45 per month, if you are billing on an annual basis) for which you onboard 40 projects with unlimited users and a 15GB storage cap. The Ultimate Control plan tacks up to $99/monthly (or $89 per month, if you are billing on an annual basis). You gain through customized workflows and more insightful reporting, among several other benefits.
Network protection and data security issues
Most PM software comes bundled with encrypted backups, firewalls, and malware protection, but that may not be enough. According to Ottawa-based Firewall Technical experts, network security infrastructure needs a day-to-day backup and support to enable staff to respond to technological issues.
The Bottom-line: Selecting the PM software that fits your requirement
Three core functionalities will help you zero in on the best PM software that’s most appropriate for your growing business. The tool should help you create and update tasks, bringing everyone on the same page. Calendars, Gantt charts, and milestones should give you a clear overview of the project and the time available to complete tasks. The self-updating features and reporting formats should enable project managers to assess progress and implement the project in a time bound manner.