Choosing A Project Management Tool for Startups or Small Businesses
If you’re building a startup or establishing a small business, you might think that a project management tool is too much to invest in. You might not see its worth until it’s too late when you’re struggling to organize projects and tasks with your team.
So, do you need project management tools? What are their advantages and can they help your business grow? How do you select the best one for your organization? Read on to know more about task management tools and how they can be the key to propelling your business to success.
What are project management tools?
Project management tools are computer programs and applications that support project managers in their day-to-day work. They help plan, control, and monitor projects, as well as make better business decisions. A project management tool is what brings projects and team collaboration together so that everyone will be on the same page.
Project management tools help individuals and teams to effectively organize and manage tasks, projects, and activities. It’s designed to help project managers plan operations for each phase of the project lifecycle. It has toolkits that will guide you through each stage of your work; from the initial sketch until your final proposal. Even though some project management tools can be
installed on-premise, there are many sold online as product offerings or as SaaS.
Why are project management tools important?
Fig. 1. Project management tools help organize, monitor, and update tasks efficiently
(Source: Freepik )
A great tool can boost your productivity to new levels while a mediocre one will only cause frustration and distraction.
Project management tools are absolutely necessary to help the entire team collaborate, communicate, and work towards a common goal. They are the munitions that project managers require to help a team or an individual in getting their work organized. These tools also help manage projects and teams and communicate in a single place.
Project management software offers a clear overview of the activities associated with a campaign, project, or task at any given period. This gives teams a clear communication avenue to input their comments, questions, and recommendations.
Despite the name, a versatile project management software is available to every stakeholder and not only to managers in the development of the project and its whole cycle. They are dynamic tools that can be completely modified and used to adapt to team or business requirements.
Project management tools also help employees to organize their work. They help people manage their tasks better for increased efficiency and higher rates of success in achieving project goals.
Kanban - One of the Most Important Things You Need in a Project Management Tool
Kanban is a Japanese word that means "visual card". Kanban tools are software systems that implement the Kanban methodology.
This type of tool can help you visualize workflow and manage work items better. Instead of using complicated Gantt charts or time-tracking apps, many teams find it easier to work with an online board of to-do lists where they can see at a glance who's doing what and when certain tasks may be completed. The standard layout consists of columns for each stage in the workflow (such as To Do / Doing / Done / Review), but advanced boards support custom layouts and post-it notes too, making it easy to adjust the tool to match the team's needs.
Why use a Kanban board?
Fig. 2. Kanban boards make it easier for everyone to visualize where the project is at
(Source: Unsplash )
Managing tasks with cards is an effective way to boost your productivity. When tasks are visualized, they become easier to discuss, and splitting work among the team is more straightforward. It also allows for better project planning and keeping every member of the team up-to-date about where things stand. All these features come at a low cost since most project management tools offer free plans to get started, and they include Kanban boards in their trial packages.
Kanban tools will give an overview of agile development strategies. They enable easier project tracking by including reports and team management options. Managers and team leaders can assign tasks and track the project status faster, thanks to the visuals of such tools.
While most Kanban tools are not geared toward freelancers, there are free plans that support limited project boards for personal and small-scale project scheduling. Paid packages allow the management of unlimited projects, while enterprise options come in full with advanced features such as reporting, file-sharing, and time-tracking. Enterprise users also enjoy the capability to host the software on-site for better customization. Oftentimes, It also supports the integration of reports,documentation-sharing, mobile applications, and many other features.
5 Reasons You Should Be Using A Project Management Tool
In theory, it is pretty easy to manage a project without a tool, but in practice, it can be cumbersome and inefficient. Using a project management tool has many benefits over managing projects on your own. Here are reasons why you should use a tool:
One key feature of most project management tools is the ability to collaborate with other users on the same work item or task. Multiple users can access and share information very quickly among team members and tasks can get done even if people aren't always available (i.e., they're working from home). Collaboration features make it easy to track project progress and implement adjustments on the fly.
2. Easy Communication
When you use a project management tool, you can send instant notifications to other users on your team when something changes in your project or task list. This is an excellent way to keep people up-to-date with what's going on. It also makes it easy for you to communicate with stakeholders involved in the work that's being done.
Robust project management tools offer many different ways to communicate like calendars, forum boards, chat features, and more. All these add up to an efficient broadcasting system for information related to projects and tasks. This kind of feature might seem trivial until you have tried communicating without any mediums besides email during a busy workday. You’ll find that it quickly becomes a problem that needs to be solved and you wish you had a more efficient tool for communication and collaboration .
3. Up-to-Date Project Information
One of the best features of a good project management tool is the ability to keep everyone up-to-date and informed about projects and tasks. When people can access current information 24/7, there are fewer questions asked, saving everyone’s time in answering emails or phone calls.
Collaborating with team members on shared work items gives everyone an opportunity to ask questions early on so that they don't have any confusion later on down the road. Using tools also makes it easy for managers to track progress by either following daily updates, getting email alerts, or checking web portals regularly. All of these methods accomplish the same goal, which is to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to project milestones.
4. Project Tasks and Checklists
Most project management tools allow you to add tasks and checklists to your project workflow. These tools can also help you break up tasks into smaller subtasks which you can post with due dates and assignees. They also allow you to easily see the progress of a task or project. All of the information is presented in easy-to-read formats so that you can adjust the course if necessary. This is especially helpful when working with large projects such as software development, where there's a lot of moving parts and things that need to be done before the entire work package can be finished and deployed.
5. Manage and Track Resources and Expenses
One of the most important functions of a project management tool is resource management. It helps track internal and external resource allocation and makes it easier to count the hours spent on each task.
It's also good for tracking expenses in your projects. You'll see which areas are costing you more than expected or where you can get by with cheaper alternatives.
Worried about budget tracking? The best project management software should allow you to set budgets for multiple projects so that everyone knows exactly how much each section is going to cost from start to finish. This way there won't be any surprises when it comes time to close up shop at the end of a project or during a milestone check-in. This is an invaluable feature that should be at the top of your list when looking for a project management tool.
How do I choose the best project management tool?
Fig. 3. A good project management software must meet business and team requirements
(Source: Freepik )
Good project control management helps improve the overall planning and execution of project development. Studies show that 66% of companies that use a project management software completed their projects within the original budget and timeframe compared to those that operate without a project management tool.
Organizations should invest in project management tools. A good system in projects can easily maintain transparency, so everyone knows exactly what they're doing. It's crucial to select the best project management tools for your team's workflows.
Nowadays, project management tools are everywhere and it is difficult to know which one to choose. If you do not manage your projects well, they can become a source of stress for you, your team, and the whole organization. Using the wrong tool can also be the cause of failure to complete tasks on time, resulting in financial losses for the company.
An effective project management app should meet two primary requirements. First, it should have all the features a project manager needs. Second, the tool should provide something that your team requires. It’s easy to meet both of those requirements with Zentao.
Zentao provides comprehensive project management solutions for all your projects. We can assist your team to get used to the tools to get your team ready for the next step in the project.
Final Thoughts for Choosing the Best Project Management Tool for your Business
Fig. 4. Zentao is a project management tool trusted by millions of developers and managers worldwide
It is important to have a project management tool to keep all of your projects organized and on track. There are many options available, but the best one will depend on what you need it for.
Choosing the right project management solution is a critical decision for any business. With so many choices on the market, how can you be sure that your choice will yield results? The key to choosing the best web-based project management tools is to consider what features matter most to your company and then find an application with those features.
Zentao is the perfect project management tool for startups and small businesses. It’s the best Jira open-source alternative that features everything you need from Kanbans, stories, plans, and roadmaps to bug tracking , Git and SVN integrations, and attendance management tools, all for flexible pricing plans . It’s up to you to choose which of our packages will work best for your business needs. Whether you need a basic solution with only key features to plan projects and create tasks, or you need a more comprehensive system for handling complex projects, Zentao has it all for you.
If you’re looking for more help, don’t hesitate to reach out! We at Zentao want our clients to succeed and we offer personalized service as well as training in all aspects of successful project management. Our team would love nothing more than working with you or your organization from start to finish on developing a customized plan tailored just for you.
So stop searching through endless Jira open-source alternatives and choose Zentao!