ALL SMALL BUSINESSES NEED TO PROJECT MANAGE
In my previous blog I spoke about the importance of writing your business plan, and in some ways, this is just a continuation of that.
Dave Diaz, our Director of Marketing, lives by the saying “planning is 75% of any successful operation,” and it's become ingrained into the RedFork culture. Every project involves careful planning so that the end result is not just to our liking, but to our Partners' (clients) as well.
Planning doesn’t stop at the creation of your business plan, it’s a continued growing opportunity for your small business. You can always tell how businesses handled their planning based on the reaction of its consumers. If you’ve done well, most of your consumers will be satisfied. But if you haven’t taken the appropriate amount of time to plan every little detail, your consumers will call you out immediately.
So what are some tools needed in order to continue planning?
Well to many small businesses it’s a notebook, a calendar, and a pen or pencil. The problem is that though these tools are still quite useful, they are perishable and difficult to share. They don’t allow multiple team members to easily see what tasks are at hand, and like the old proverb goes - out of sight, out of mind.
So with today’s advancements in technology and software, it’s best to use some of the amazing, web-based project management software tools.
Project management allows you to visualize your tasks and goals, keep you and your team accountable with due dates, and inspires efficiency and effectiveness while building rapport through teamwork.
The ultimate goal is to complete projects that support the growth of your small business, so why not incorporate tools that increase productivity and teamwork.
Beware… Change Is Coming 😫
We all know that change to our current work routine can seem like a crazy insurmountable task. Recognizing that trying new things only seem difficult until we’ve familiarized ourselves with it, is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. And if you’d like to read more about why humans have a hard time with change, check out this article by the Harvard Business Review.
Now the only reason I took a slight turn on our journey to project management glory is to encourage you to really give project management software a try, and to not let yourself get discouraged at first glance, or even after your first week of use.
It takes time to adjust, but the outcome will far outweigh the immediate struggle. So let’s speak about a few of our favorite project management tools for small businesses.
TYPES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
In order to choose which software you’d like to use, you also need to understand the way in which you like to track your tasks.
There are two basic ways - Task List or Kabana
A task list is the same thing as a to-do list. The idea is to list all of your to-dos, whether it be chores, errands, or your grocery list and then check them off as you complete them one by one. ✅
Kanban visualizes your tasks along a map to completion. 🗺
So instead of listing a single task, and checking it off when it’s done, you move your task depending on which stage it is on, on its way to completion. Developed in Japan in the 1940s, Kanban translates to “visual signal” or “card.”
To learn more about Kanban, check out this post by LeanKit.
3 AWESOME PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Below I’ll showcase three project management tools that are FREE and work really well. All allow you to create tasks, track them, and collaborate with others while doing so. They also allow for Task-List or Kanban project management. So they are similar, but have some differentiators that set them apart.
Headline: Move work forward
Asana is one of the most popular and highly-rated project management tools available today. Founded by one of the co-founders of Facebook, it aims to be easy-to-use through its social media like familiarity.
- Simple design
- See your progress at a glance
- iOS/Android App
What’s Not So Good?
- Offline use is unavailable
- Free up to 15 members
Headline: Effortless team collaboration
Freedcamp strives to become your project management tool by providing you with a lot of unlimited features out-of-the-box.
- Unlimited users, projects
- Choose to work by listing tasks or Kanban style
- iOS app
What’s Not So Good?
- No Android app
- 200MB storage per user
Headline: Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done.
Trello makes project management simple by acting as your digital whiteboard. It’s what we use at RedFork, and we ❤️ it.
- Intuitive design and easy to use
- Mac desktop app through Xccello
- iOS/Android App
What’s Not So Good?
- Can’t see project progress from a high level
Choosing a project management tool all depends on your preferred workflow. You might prefer a more bare bones tool that just helps get the job done. Or you might prefer something that is more robust and has a more beautifully laid out design.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter which you choose as you are commit to using it and teaching your team how to as well.
Are you using a project management tool in your small business? If so, which is it and what do you like most about it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
- 14 Surprising Project Management Statistics, Capterra
- Ten Reasons People Resist Change, Harvard Business Review
- Seven Shocking Project Management Statistics and Lessons We Should Learn, teamgannt
- Trello vs Asana: The Best Project Management App?, Business 2 Community
- A Comparison of Free Online Project Management Software: Wrike Vs Freedcamp Vs Trello, Capterra
- What Is Kanban?, Leankit
- The Quest For The Perfect To-Do List, TechRepublic