A project manager’s title seems basic in nature but abstract when thought about in application. Business operations have numerous channels to be considered and maintained. It is often the case that many of these are the responsibility of the project manager. In reality, there is nothing simple about what a project manager does on a day to day basis. Setting goals, delegating tasks, coaching people, analyzing data for decision making, and planning all go into being an efficient project manager. When put that way, the role of a project manager seems incredibly overwhelming. It takes a skilled and motivated person to cover all the bases of project management effectively. Greg Cimmarrusti, the program manager at King & Spalding, summed up the role, “Being a Project Manager is like being an artist, you have the different colored process streams combining into a work of art.”
With so many duties to be handled, many people utilize project management tools and programs to help facilitate everything going on. We spoke with ten different business executives to discover which tools they see as the best for efficient project management.
Adam Reed is the CEO of Crown and Paw, a company offering personalized pet photos on a variety of products. He considers Trello to be one of the key resources for project managers as it elevates the ability of any team to collaborate.
“Trello allows managers to have a hands-on approach in every aspect of the company. If you’re seeking a way to assign and monitor specific tasks to individual employees, Trello is the answer. But it goes much further than that. Company wide initiatives can be shared as well as feedback, deadlines, data, and calendars. And, it’s not limited to just the managers – employee interaction is a crucial component as well. This tool has become a near industry staple for companies of every type as organization creates a more seamless workflow experience.”
Burner provides a user the ability to have a fully functioning second phone number that is entirely anonymous. Their brand strategist and marketing director, Summer Romasco, is a big believer in ProofHub.
“If you’re looking for an incredibly flexible tool that brings all aspects of your project together, ProofHub is the way to go. Massive corporations have begun using this tool but it works just as well for small businesses as well. Recently, it’s been updated to support the societal trend of working remotely. Between managing time, assignments, communication and plans, there are seemingly no limits to what can be accomplished with ProofHub.”
One of the biggest names in the tech industry has turned the everyday database into top tier project management software allowing the allocation of resources, monitoring progress and data analyzation. Kaspar Povilanskas is the co-founder and CEO of Nowadays, a service aimed at promoting the social media accounts of individuals. He recognizes Microsoft Project as a vital tool.
“At first glance, Project may seem overwhelming but after a few minutes the power and simplicity becomes very apparent. The biggest advantage the program has is its customizability. Every task can be broken down into specific chunks with unique attributes and schedules assigned to it. Furthermore, keeping tabs on in progress assignments is easier than ever. For those desiring a tool that offers easy and constant engagement with their projects, this should be the first choice for so many reasons.”
Carrie Derocher is the CMO of TextSanity, a company which has designed the ability to market to others through mass text messaging. She considers the software-as-a-service tool, Asana to be one of the best options for a company of any size as it pairs an uncomplicated approach with substantial features.
“Many project software tools have a somewhat steep learning curve and I think Asana shines by keeping their approach extremely straightforward. However, it is more than capable of handling anything a program manager can throw at it. From the automation task delegation to collaboration and even detailed observation tools, there’s nothing Asana can’t do. Even better for those small businesses, there’s a free option. In a role that can be dominated by detail and complexity, keeping things clear and straightforward is king.”
Skype for Business
JOW is a grocery shopping service and delivery system offering an experience personalized to each user. Their co-founder and CEO, Jacques-Edouard Sabatier, believes that Skype for Business can promote internal communication and teamwork.
“Working remotely is the new norm and this change of pace requires a different plan for countering the distance. Skype for Business does so much more than video chat. If you want to bring in multiple people via different methods such as traditional phone, IPeE and video chat, conferencing all of these channels together is a speciality of the program. It also has the ability to share screens, remote desktop, and share data. Since it was built with businesses in mind, the product is an ever-evolving and supportive platform.”
This platform is slightly more unique in what it brings to the table as it provides the ability to record bugs and produce information summaries on top of the traditional project management tools. Fred Gerantabee is the CEO of Foster Grant, an eyewear brand with an impressive selection. He regards Zoho Projects as an effective tool.
“Zoho meets all the needs for a project manager to be efficient with data analysis, scheduling, task management and collaboration. But it raises the bar in a variety of ways. First, there are more communication methods here than one may expect. Second, finding errors with data or the program itself is a key feature. Finally, Gannt charts for scheduling are built in, making time management even more accessible.”
Ben Teicher is the president and CEO of Healthy Directions, a health and wellness company providing solutions to numerous interests and areas related to personal care. He considers Scoro to be an all-in-one option for overseeing any type of project.
“The aim of Scoro is to bring all of your work projects into one place and it does more than suffice in this effort. Including clients in a necessary capacity is a wonderful way to bridge any gap in customer relations and this platform aids in that. On top of that, standardized project management tools are present. Up to the minute data and the ability to sync with Dropbox or Outlook really sets the standard for what project management should look like.”
Network Capital brings the dream of saving money for the big moments into the real world. Their co-founder and CEO, Tri Nyugen, believes that the effortless manner in which Monday.com can be formed to suit a company’s needs makes for an effective platform.
“Upon first glance at many of the project management tools, confusion may be the primary thought as there are so many moving parts. Monday.com eliminates this factor by presenting itself as a modern app. Templates which can be applied to various projects and industries are provided but they can be transformed by the user to meet whatever the demands may be. Multiple departments can be incorporated by this platform such as marketing, IT and even HR. There’s more options that one can imagine.”
Marketing products is a unique project which differs greatly from many of the more straightforward business branches. Filestage brings solutions to life for marketing effectively. Pocketbook Agency was co-founded by Brittany Dolin and aims to place support and administrative candidates with corporate clients. She regards Filestage as an amazing resource.
“Customer feedback and testing is critical for any business looking to make an impact in their industry. Filestage brings clients and employees together to share information, feedback and any errors in an effort to better the marketing efforts. Essentially, the platform is a way to have outside people review your marketing techniques or media and discover what will work and what won’t. Doing this can provide consistently effective marketing which in turn will yield far more customer engagement.”
William Schumacher is the founder and CEO of Uprising Food, a food brand featuring in-house bread products which were built with high-flavor and clean eating in mind. He believes that Slack, an app based chatroom, is essential for project management.
“The best managers communicate clearly and often. Slack is the modernized version of a chat room with an incredible amount of connectivity features. In many ways it operates like a simple social media site with each user having a profile but it expands further than that. Departments or teams can create dedicated channels for communicating about their work or company’s can be addressed as a whole. Also, it can be paired with other apps to send notifications about changes or information added elsewhere. In a lot of ways it brings your company into one place.”
Project management is needed for any business to achieve whatever it is they are attempting. However, with all the variables involved, acting as a project manager is similar to juggling – there are so many tasks to handle simultaneously. The tools discussed above should bring organization to your company. Author and Brown University professor Katherine Tate spoke to the importance of this, “Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan.”