Every project, no matter the size, scale or scope of the challenge, needs to be properly managed and organised in order to be delivered effectively. This why proper leadership from an experienced project manager is so important, along with employing established project management methodology such as PRINCE2 or Agile.
Once these essential building blocks are in place, there is more freedom to choose a way of organising the project that works for you. This is particularly relevant for small businesses, who need to choose an approach that suits their needs and budget, as well as the resources and staff they have available.
Luckily, small businesses have a great range of versatile solutions to choose from. Here’s a closer look at just a handful of the best project management software available for small businesses.
As a platform, Teamwork is a flexible and intuitive system which enables tracking of a project from start to finish, allowing you to match its roles with pre-defined PRINCE2 roles. This means you can save time by importing a significant part of the project’s structure at the very start.
Teamwork offers an extremely useful Project Activity Overview dashboard, which provides a coherent, real-time overview of the progress of every team member in every location. This is a vital feature for those struggling with one of the top challenges project managers face – accountability. It keeps you briefed and fully up-to-date at all times.
Organise and categorise active projects any way you want, create reports and charts to track progress and collaborate with team members with in-built messaging and attachments. In short, Teamwork is a full service tool for managing professional projects, and it’s free for up to 5 team members.
Trello is probably the most popular and widely-used project management software. Its popularity is likely because of its ease of use, as well as its ability to give you a highly visual view of your project. Setting up Trello is simple, and you can use it on any device from smartphone to laptop. Simply set up boards to organise all the tasks you’re working on, create task cards and customised workflows. Then you can simply delegate boards or tasks to your team members.
Collaboration is easy thanks to the ability to comment on items and attach files, while you stay in control with an overview of the project as a whole.
Trello is perfect for small businesses needing to visualise large, complicated or ambitious projects, as well as those searching for a better way to collaborate. It offers cross-platform support and is cloud-based, so your team members can check in from anywhere and on any device or OS.
However, it may not have the features you need for more complex projects, and it isn’t as security-focused as it could be. Trello is free to start off with, but you could also upgrade to the Business Plan for additional features and greater capacity for attachments.
Zoho Sprints is a great tool for agile teams, and it’s free for up to five users so a viable option for small businesses on a budget. It allows the planning and tracking of tasks relating to a project in real time, where you can create new sprints with a user-friendly drag and drop interface. You can also use it to create reports and analytics, as well as scheduling meetings.
Zoho Sprints is clutter-free, dynamic and easy to set up, and with a free pricing plan for small teams it’s well worth a try.
Asana is king when it comes to tracking tools, which is what every project manager needs to keep the delivery schedule on track. You can do everything that other project management software offers, from adding due dates, creating to do lists, setting reminders, adding instructions to tasks and sharing images from other apps such as Google Drive. Asana also has lots of features to boost productivity, as well as giving you an easy way to accurately track everything that your team is working on.
Basic dashboard and up to 15 team members is free on Asana, but you can upgrade to the premium tier for unlimited use and added functionality.
Podio is a good choice for smaller teams needing to check in with each other on the progress of delegated tasks, among other useful features. Podio’s free plan supports five employees, so it’s perfect for start-ups and small enterprises wanting to improve productivity and build more structure into workload management.
Podio is focused on communication, which means that while it allows you to create tasks and customise in order to fit them into your workflow, where it shines is in-built messaging.
It’s great for sharing ideas and updates on multiple projects with team members, getting speedy feedback and organising workloads across a team of people. It also integrates well with Google Drive and Dropbox, so you can access, share and collaborate on all your cloud-based content and files.