Planning projects requires the support of tools, even in smaller companies. This ensures that the project participants know their tasks, schedules can be adhered to, and it’s clear which tasks there are within a project. In addition, there is the exchange of knowledge and information between the employees in the project and also with the project managers.
In this article, we introduce you to Monday.com, Microsoft Project, Wrike, Asana, Jira, Teamwork and SmartSuite, seven prominent planning tools with which you can plan and manage even complex business processes.
5 reasons: Why planning tools make sense for businesses
Project management is a complex task that encompasses many different aspects: from resource planning to scheduling to quality control. Without appropriate planning tools, projects can quickly become confusing, deadlines missed, and resources used inefficiently. Here are some reasons why companies should use planning tools for projects:
Increased efficiency: Planning tools allow companies to prioritize tasks, allocate resources effectively, and monitor deadlines closely. This leads to an optimized way of working and higher productivity.
Transparency and control: With planning tools, project managers and team members have an overview of the current project status at all times. This makes it possible to react in time to delays or problems and ensure that a project stays on track.
Communication and collaboration: Planning tools promote team collaboration by providing a central place where all important information and documents can be stored and shared. This improves communication and ensures effective and synchronized work in the team.
Risk management: With the help of planning tools, risks can be identified at an early stage and appropriate measures can be taken. This minimizes the likelihood of unexpected complications and helps to bring the project to a successful conclusion.
Time and cost savings: Planning tools can help not only to meet deadlines but also to stay within budget. They offer the ability to track the progress of the project in real time and thus react quickly to changes, which can lead to significant time and cost savings.
Companies that rely on project planning tools therefore benefit from improved efficiency, control, and communication, as well as gaining effective risk mitigation and saving time and costs.
Monday.com: Effective project planning in the cloud
Monday.com is a powerful project management and team collaboration tool that is characterized by a variety of useful features. Features include an intuitive user interface that provides a clear view of tasks, deadlines, and progress.
Monday.com makes it easy to create, assign, and track tasks, allowing users to set deadlines and adjust priorities as needed. Compared to other popular project management tools such as Asana, Trello or Jira, Monday.com stands out precisely because of its customizability.
One of the most important factors of Monday.com is the comprehensive support for the Kanban system. This is a visual task management system that promotes transparency and helps identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the project.
Each phase represents a state in the work process when using Kanban, and work is represented by tasks from one phase to the next. This allows for a high degree of transparency and facilitates understanding of the current state of work.
Another important feature is the integrated communication function. Instead of relying on external email services or messaging apps, Monday.com enables the direct exchange of comments and files within tasks. This improves the efficiency of team communication and minimizes the risk of information loss or misunderstandings.
Furthermore, Monday.com offers extensive automation features. Routine tasks can be automated, resulting in significant time savings. Automatic notifications ensure that no team member misses a deadline or task.
Monday.com’s adaptability is another key benefit. The platform integrates seamlessly with a number of third-party tools, including Google Drive, Slack, and Zoom. In addition, Monday.com offers numerous templates and options to customize it to the specific needs of a company or project.
Microsoft Project: The classic in project planning
Microsoft Project is a widely used project management tool that offers various features to support project planning, tracking, and management. It is often chosen for its sophisticated features and seamless integration with other Microsoft products.
A core feature of Microsoft Project is its detailed scheduling functionality. The solution allows users to create project tasks, link them together to show dependencies, and then display them in a Gantt chart. This visual representation makes it easier to understand the progress of the project and the relationships between tasks.
Microsoft Project also offers a resource management function. Project thus allows users to manage different types of resources (such as personnel, equipment, and materials) and assign tasks to them. It can also track resource consumption and availability, which supports effective resource allocation and planning.
In addition, Microsoft Project has built-in reporting capabilities. The solution can generate a variety of predefined reports, such as project overview, workload, pending tasks, and more. These reports provide important insights into the progress of the project and help in decision-making.
Another aspect of Microsoft Project is its tight integration with other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Teams or Sharepoint. This allows for efficient collaboration and information sharing within the team and improved coordination of project tasks.
Finally, Microsoft Project also offers a function for tracking project progress and controlling budgets. Users can use it to track the progress of tasks and compare actual costs with budgeted costs.
Wrike is a widely used project management and collaboration tool. With its adaptability and flexibility, Wrike offers features to support a wide range of work processes and project activities. Users can create and delegate tasks and track their progress in real time. Priorities and deadlines can be easily set and adjusted.
With integrated communication tools, Wrike promotes team collaboration. By integrating comments and files directly into tasks, users can share information efficiently, reducing the risk of information loss or misunderstandings.
In terms of automation, Wrike offers features to automate routine tasks, resulting in significant time savings. Automatic notifications inform users of tasks and deadlines that are due.
Another key benefit of Wrike is its high compatibility with other tools and services. This platform integrates seamlessly with a number of third-party tools such as Slack and Salesforce. In addition, users can tailor Wrike to the specific needs of their project or business thanks to numerous templates and customisation options.
Finally, Wrike provides reporting capabilities that offer detailed insight into project progress and performance data. This feature helps decision makers make informed decisions based on data.
Asana: Comprehensive project management in the cloud
Asana is a well-known project management tool that offers a variety of features to support workflows. Asana enables the creation and assignment of tasks within projects. Users can set priorities and deadlines, which improves clarity. In addition, project managers can track the progress of tasks in real time.
The platform includes communication tools to promote teamwork. Comments and files can be integrated directly into tasks, which simplifies the exchange of information. In addition, Asana offers functions to automate routine tasks. Automatic notifications keep users informed about tasks and deadlines that are due. Asana is also compatible with various third-party tools such as Google Drive, Slack and Salesforce. In addition, users can tailor Asana to specific project or business needs through templates and customisation options.
The platform includes reporting capabilities for detailed insight into project progress and performance data. Decision makers can thus make data-based decisions.
Jira, developed by Atlassian, is a leading tool for managing software development projects. It is known for its functions that are specifically geared towards agile development methods such as Scrum and Kanban.
The solution enables the creation, assignment and tracking of tasks, called “issues” within projects. These issues can be user stories, bugs, epics, or other types of tasks, depending on the requirements of the project. They can be prioritized, linked to specific versions or components, and tracked across development phases.
One of the core features of Jira is the Board, a visual tool for showing the progress of issues. In a Scrum project, there could be a division into columns such as “Backlog,” “In Work,” and “Done.” In a Kanban project, the columns could correspond to the different phases of the workflow.
Another feature of Jira is resource management. Jira allows you to manage team members and their workload. Assigning issues to specific people and monitoring their workload is easy and transparent, making it easier to plan and execute the project.
Jira also offers extensive reporting capabilities. With reports such as the Burndown Chart, Sprint Report or Velocity Chart, teams can track and analyse the progress and performance of the project in detail.
Integration is another important aspect of Jira. It can be seamlessly integrated with other Atlassian products such as Confluence or Bitbucket, but also with a variety of third-party tools, for example Slack, Teams, GitHub, GitLab, Zendesk, Google Sheets, CicrcleCI, Sentry or Jenkins.
Teamwork: Project management with communication functions
Teamwork is a versatile project management tool. A key feature of Teamwork is its adaptability. The tool offers options for personalizing projects and workflows. Users have the freedom to tailor the design of their tasks, user roles, and even the user interface to the needs of their project. This flexibility can significantly increase efficiency and acceptance within the team.
Another advantage of Teamwork is the integration of efficient tools for team communication. While some other solutions only provide basic functions such as task management and scheduling, Teamwork enables direct communication and collaboration within the context of tasks and projects. This can lead to improved information flow and stronger collaboration within the team. Teamwork also supports the integration of various business apps.
This is complemented by comprehensive reporting and analysis functions. Users can create customized reports and dashboards that provide detailed insights into projects and processes. The “task management” feature allows users to create, delegate, and track the status of tasks. These tasks can be given deadlines, divided into subtasks, and made dependent on each other, providing a clear view of the work flow.
The “Milestone” function helps define and track important project goals, promoting clarity and goal orientation of the project. The “Time Tracking” feature allows users to track time spent on specific tasks, which supports accurate project and budget planning. The “File Management” feature in Teamwork supports team collaboration by allowing uploading, sharing, and commenting on files.
Finally, the “Reporting” feature enables the creation of detailed, customised reports that provide valuable insights into project progress and performance. These diverse features help Teamwork meet a wide range of project management needs.
SmartSuite: All project management tools under one roof
SmartSuite allows you to manage projects in one central solution. You manage tasks of different priority as well as milestones, assigned project members, schedules, or reports.
Smartsuite also offers risk- and change-management functions: These are two crucial aspects of project management. They help teams identify potential risks and take appropriate action to mitigate them. This can include both internal and external risks, such as budget overruns, technological challenges, or market changes. Once risks have been identified, Smartsuite enables them to be analyzed and assessed to understand their potential impact and likelihood. So with Smartsuite’s tools, teams can develop strategies to minimize or even completely eliminate risks. This can be done by allocating resources, changing project strategies, or implementing control measures.
Change management refers to the process of handling changes to a project, including identifying, documenting, approving, and implementing changes. Smartsuite allows team members to submit and document change requests. This ensures that all changes are properly recorded and tracked.
The software provides a structured approval process where changes can be reviewed and approved (or rejected) by the appropriate stakeholders. Once approved, Smartsuite supports the implementation of changes by ensuring that all relevant information is shared with affected team members and that changes are properly implemented.
Smartsuite also provides tools for monitoring and reporting changes to ensure that they are implemented as planned and that all potential impacts on the project are monitored.
This article was translated from German to English and originally appeared on pcwelt.de.