It all begins with Communication

Typically, email is the most popular way to share documents between teams. Unfortunately, this often results in redundant communication as multiple messages are sent about the same issue. The basic structure of email also makes it difficult to find documents.

Native messaging and meeting functions strengthen communications between team members. These features come in stand-alone versions, but can also be found in comprehensive or all-in-one project management solutions.

Teams that have to handle multiple projects can't simply rely on human memory to keep them all organized. Furthermore, trying to keep everything together via email is a recipe for productivity disaster. To deliver projects on time and within budget, teams must write down information, plot deadlines, and share documents. Individual members need to be in constant communication with one another. When your team needs to get serious about managing projects, the solution is to use project management software.

Enter Project Management Software

Modern project management services (PMS) often include native communication and collaboration tools. They may also let you connect to the collaboration apps that your team already uses, such as Slack or Google Docs.

Project management services have the capacity to help plan, organize, and manage resource tools and develop resource estimates. Depending on the sophistication of the software, it can manage estimation and planning, scheduling cost control and budget management resource allocation collaboration software communication decision-making, quality management, time management and documentation or administration systems. Today, numerous PC and browser-based project management software and contract management software solutions exist, and are finding applications in almost every type of business.

From tracking down deliverables to managing resources and from budget management to collaboration with team members, there is a lot to be considered when running and managing projects. This holds true when choosing the right project management software tool as well. Here's a list of the top 5 key functionality aspects of project management software to guide you in your decision. Task lists being able to assign and update the status of tasks so that everyone in your team is on the same page is critical Schedules many tools offer calendars, Gantt charts or milestone tools that help you understand where a task fits into the project as a whole and how much time there is to complete it. File sharing being able to share and organize key project documents eliminates time wasted searching for files Communication this is critical in project management as a smooth flow of communication means quick and easy problem solving Reporting this is important for all team members when it comes to updating themselves on the project as a whole. However, this is also a huge plus for project managers who want to ensure that the project is progressing and tasks are being carried out in a timely manner.

Project management software helps project managers (PMs) and teams collaborate and meet goals on time while managing resources and cost. Functions may include task distribution, time tracking, budgeting, resource planning, team collaboration, and many more. People also refer to project management software as Task Management Software or Project Portfolio Management (PPM).

Business professionals often rely on a project management system to help them oversee multiple endeavors. Similarly, companies today can more easily mitigate risk by identifying failing aspects of a project using time tracking software that forecasts completion dates for each phase of the project.

How Project Management Apps Work

Many projects are managed by a dedicated project manager, and that's true even with software equivalent. While a project manager might still be the person overseeing the project and helping to redirect resources as needed, she or he is not the only person touching the project management app.

All kinds of people involved with the project use the app to update their progress on assigned tasks. They check into the project management app to, for example, see their designated tasks and to enter how much time they spent on an assignment. Employees, contractors, and sometimes even clients can use the project management app to share documents, sign off on plans, and so forth.

In a best-case scenario, every milestone, task, and subtask is assigned to a specific person and given a deadline. Typically, other team members can see who is responsible for what, whether that person is on track to complete it on time, and if there are any unanswered questions about the job. That level of insight is important because it alerts people who are further down the planned chain of events of possible delays before they occur.

Having visibility into every team member's task list is also useful for understanding whether people are falling behind because they're overworked. When you can see that a colleague has six task assignments all due within the next 48 hours, it's easy to spot the problem and redistribute the work before deadlines slip. By looking at a Gantt chart (a pretty common feature in project management apps), for example, a manager can see clearly who is doing what, and how various tasks are related, too. It helps everyone use available resources more effectively.

Projects also usually have assets, which range from a detailed description of the project and its parts to a visual mockup. People on the project team all need access to these assets, and the project management app becomes the central place where they live.

Many project management solutions include storage space so that your team can upload files right into the workspace, where everyone on the team can see and discuss them. It's also common for services to have an option to connect to third-party online storage services, such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive, so that team members can link or upload files to the project management system from the repositories they already use.

Nifty is a project management tool and collaboration platform that helps in-house and remote teams stay organized and productive. Each project lets you easily upload files, assign tasks and deadlines, and chat with teammates. By centralizing your project information, you can help eliminate more misunderstandings and missed deadlines.

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While the concept of task management is simple, the software can actually be fairly robust. In the case of large, complex projects that span different departments, tasks are very often interconnected or dependent on others. Certain project management solutions geared towards these types of undertakings will feature the ability to assign dependencies to tasks, which helps managers determine where a breakdown in productivity is occurring and assign the necessary resources to fix the problem. Task dependencies are easily represented through Gantt charts.

Projects are a specific type of work. Every project has a start date, end date, and deliverable. Building a house is a project. Launching a new website is a project. Maintaining a website, however, is ongoing work with no clear beginning or end date. Publishing a monthly magazine is a project that you complete once a month. Writing daily content for a blog is ongoing work. You could, theoretically, manage each blog post as its own project, but if the turnaround time is quick and only a few people are involved, using full-scale project management software is overkill.

For an effective management, accurate estimation of various measures is a must. With correct estimation managers can manage and control the project more efficiently and effectively.

Project estimation may involve the following:

Effort estimation The managers estimate efforts in terms of personnel requirement and man-hour required to produce the software. For effort estimation software size should be known. This can either be derived by managers' experience; organization's historical data or software size can be converted into efforts by using some standard formula.

Importance of using milestones

The difference between goals and dreams is the action plan to achieve them. Projects that are laid out coherently with digestible milestones and enforced through deadlines achieve results, and perhaps more importantly, provide a framework to navigate the unexpected. Milestones drive a project’s trajectory while providing smaller, achievable markers that structure process, responsibilities, and decisions.

Below are some thoughts on how project milestones create meaningful, contextualized groupings of tasks and propel successful projects.

What are milestones in project management?

Project milestones are markers that signify a stage in a project’s development. It is a powerful component for project realization and allows for informed progress tracking, clarity, and productivity.

Think about milestones as a map that shows how far have you go on your way to project completion. They act as checkpoints throughout the course of your project, ensuring you’re staying on track and heading in the right direction.

Of course, milestones can do more than just show progress — they enable you to communicate what’s happening with the project.

The best project management tools

If you are looking for the best project management platform for your business, there is no doubt that you’ve heard of both Basecamp and Asana.

Basecamp and Asana are two cloud-based project management tools that help businesses achieve sustainable workflows by organizing workloads through a team collaboration pipeline.

What you may not have heard of is that there is a third project management platform gaining popularity very quickly with an all-in-one approach called Nifty, that maximizes the best of both tools with enhanced collaboration and automation features.

The 10-second Basecamp Vs Asana Comparison Overview

Basecamp Review

Pros: An intuitive interface for team collaboration and project management with powerful integrations and a simple pricing model.

Cons: Some users find the workflow confusing, and Basecamp native app doesn’t offer necessary features without third-party integrations.

Overall impression: A simplified project management platform that helps users organize and collaborate with everything they need for projects, clients, and communication.

Recommended for:

  • Flat rate pricing
  • Basic Collaboration
  • Useful for small and midsize business
  • Client management

Asana Review

Pros: Intuitive interface for managing team workflows, and offers a free plan for up to 15 users with all essential features.

Cons: Due to the number of tasks and workflows it has to process, it can take a while for the project to load, and is expensive (per user pricing).

Overall impression: Robust project and task management solution for every stage of a project.

Recommended for:

  • Fast onboarding
  • Complex workflows
  • Monthly pricing
  • Knowledge base

And now Nifty

Pros: An intuitive interface for managing team goals and deadlines, client management, and time tracking.

Cons: Native Integrations still being rolled out

Overall impression: An easy to use yet powerful project management tool that allows both team and client workflows to go smoothly while automating progress reporting for better team alignment.

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Recommended for:

  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Team time and sprint tracking
  • Built in team chat and document collaboration
  • Google Suite Integration

 Read the full Basecamp vs Asana vs Nifty Review

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