Project Management Tools for Smaller Teams

Project Management Tools for Smaller Teams 20.11.2017 - Project Management not only plays an important role in large-scale companies, but smaller organisations and informal teams also interact with project management tools when they start working on unusual tasks and those that must be completed within a specific time frame. Smaller teams, in particular, usually do not have enough time or money to familiarise themselves with special PM tools. Five simple tools will be outlined in the following article which offer something to suit everyone, whether Classic PM is the methodology of choice or Agile.

1. Asana

Asana’s structure is like a to-do-list. The team members can view all actual and prospective tasks at a glance. The first step involves defining the project, then splitting this project into individual process stages so that all tasks can be assigned to a team member.
Team members communicate via messages and they can identify who made changes to the project.
Due to the clear layout, users do not have to use complex tools such as burndown-charts. This simple tool is therefore ideal for small projects and teams that do not want to have a long familiarisation period.

2. Trello

Another PM tool called Trello follows the principles of Kanban. Kanban is part of Agile Project Management and can be translated from Japanese to mean ‘billboard’.  Every single step which has to be taken to complete the project is written down on a card. Every task can now be classified under one of three categories: ’To-Do’, ’Doing’ and ’Done’.
Trello works in a similar way; tasks are written on virtual cards which are assigned to a team member. It is also possible to insert links, data files or information. When a task is in progress, the card moves from ’To-Do’ to ’Doing’; when it is completed the card can be moved to ’Done’.
Due to the transparency and the usability of Trello, this tool is appropriate for small and simple projects.

3. Targetprocess

In contrast to Asana and Trello, Targetprocess is a more versatile solution. It offers solutions for Classic PM as well as for Agile PM (Scrum & Kanban). Targetprocess is more complex, therefore the project team can design their board according to their requirements. Furthermore, all steps that are taken are listed in different reports which can be checked and evaluated if needed.
Another advantage of Targetprocess is the visualisation of logical dependencies or timelines and the inclusion of risk management.
Due to the complexity of this tool, it is suitable for challenging projects.

4. Pivotaltracker

Pivotaltracker offers a creative approach when implementing projects because a project story has to be told before it starts. This means that the goals are clearly identified.
The advantage of this special method is that it involves the collective vision of the team so all members feel engaged in the project.
After telling the project’s story, it is split into different steps. Pivotaltracker’s analytics software  estimates whether the given milestones are realistic or not. The milestones can be adapted in accordance with this estimation.
This tool is perfect for small teams who would like to reinforce a sense of unity.

5. Basecamp

Basecamp was invented for Agile PM more than ten years ago to manage important information for all team members.
The underlying principle of Basecamp involves six cards of which three affect communication. These are Campfire (a group chat), the Message Board and the Check-In. The project lead can ask the team members questions via Check-In. The other three cards are organisation-based: the To-Do-List, the Schedule and the File-Cards provide an overview of all tasks.
Special analytical tools will take a back seat because communication is the focus of attention, nevertheless, this tool is an appropriate solution for larger projects.

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