BEST PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
It's important to find project management software that can help you maximize output while juggling everything else on your plate.
Successfully managing clients and projects rely on having the right systems in place to keep track of where you're up to. Post-it notes stuck to your desk simply won't do. Not when the workload and pressures start to increase.
This is where an online project management tool will become especially handy. Something that you can access from both your desktop and mobile, no matter where you are or what you're doing.
There are loads of contenders on the market – some are free. Others come with a small monthly subscription fee.
Best Project Management Software Key Features
Project plan features such as templates, filters, mobile app use, and task lists
Team collaboration automation, streamline features, subtasks
Real-time commenting and notifications between team members
Invoicing, scheduling, and billing features
Real-time help desks and customer feedback
Task management features
Flexible alerts & notifications
Digital asset storage
Knowledge base & shared docs
What To Look for in a Project Management Tool?
User Interface (UI): Is the user interface easy to navigate, lightweight, and fast to load and update?
Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? What is the learning curve like?
Integrations: Does the software connect with other popular tools that might come in handy for small teams, like Google and Microsoft products?
Value for Money: Is the price affordable for small businesses and small creative teams? Does it offer scalability options in the case of team expansion?
6 Best Project Management Tools
Brought to you by the people at 37Signals, Basecamp is a classic, feature-rich tool to help you manage your tasks with to-do lists and streamline your communication through handy message boards. You can also set deadlines and milestones, send 'pings' to your team and direct messages, and organise all your key docs, files and assets. With all-inclusive pricing and no charge per user, you're never charged more if you hire someone new.
NiftyPM lives up to its name by centralizing work and creating an automated project management process for your team. This small business project management software comes with all the project and task management capabilities you can expect from any high-end project management software on the market.
Task and timeline management
Allows you to switch between Kanban, list, and matrix views
Trello is a simple, visual way to organize your projects with kanban boards. And, unlike most project management software, Trello doesn't have the same learning curve: your team will be able to quickly get up and running thanks to its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface.
Start by creating a new board from scratch or choosing a template from dozens of options across marketing, sales, design, team management, and more. Each Kanban board can be set up to mimic the standard Agile format: the backlog, in-progress, and completed lists.
4. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects allows users to set up project plans, as well as create and assign ad-hoc tasks across the team. The tool also includes features like flexible work hours, baselines, and critical paths in Gantt charts, team based work allocation, and task reminders. Time tracking and resource utilization features help managers ensure that employees are not over or under worked.
Users can automate task transitions and workflows, track activities and progress by using the advanced reports, and manage budgets with expense management features.
Jira is a project management software is a popular app used by Agile teams. The tool is designed such that it helps users capture, allocate, and prioritize their work. In addition, it empowers the user to manage the entire process of application development making sure that all aspects are covered, from concept to launch.
Plus, it’s intuitive interface aids collaboration within the team and empowers you to get the job done effectively. The team can use Jira in all stages including planning, tracking till the release of an effective software. With Jira, you can plan sprints, create user stories and assign tasks to the relevant team members. Jira also allows prioritization and discussion of your team’s tasks in full context with visibility.
Asana is a favorite of most productivity enthusiasts. This online team collaboration tool not only specializes in workflow management, but it also handles the nitty-gritty of task management with ease. Although Asana doesn't include Gantt charts, time-tracking, and some other advanced tools for managing projects specifically, like in project management software, it is an ideal tool for managing tasks.
It has a well-organized layout, with sufficient color and design without looking too cluttered. It also has some surprises such as celebratory unicorns that appear on screen from time to time.
Although there are several options apart from the ones mentioned on this list, it is best to make a choice based on critical factors that are unique to your business, team and projects. This is because every business has a different need and may require specialized platforms to handle their projects. Just remember that the best methodology is the one that gives you the structure and mental support you need to get your projects out the door efficiently, with quality output.