Every project needs to have someone in charge in order to succeed. The larger the project and the more far-spread the team, the harder it is to manage. Managing the project can become as arduous as the project itself!
It's important to get project management right because how well managed a project is can be a key determinant of its success. Luckily, there are countless websites and applications for managing projects, assigning tasks to team members, tracking project progress and more. Here's a look at some of our favorites.
Asana makes it easy to collaborate by grouping all communications within the project. Tasks can be easily created, assigned and discussed. Asana Inbox promises to free you from your email inbox by providing project status at a glance, with all of your team's ideas, plans, files and conversations in a central location. As the project manager, you can see your teammates' tasks and priorities, due dates and goals. Everything can be rolled up into a custom view or calendar.
Acunote is project management and scrum software that is fast and easy to use. Acunote shows actual progress next to the project plan, so you can keep track of where you should be and where you are. And because it is collaborative, everyone knows a project's status. This builds accountability into projects, because each team member can see what other team members have accomplished (or not). Tasks can be simple one-liners or groups of dependencies. Plus, there's a good mobile app for when you need to work on the go.
Every team needs to collaborate on a document at one point or another. ProofHQ gives you a real-time comment stream within a simple online proof viewer, tracks comments and allows revisions and markup to take place from directly within the browser. You can upload and track all the different versions of a project, which are accessible to anyone.
Basecamp claims to be the world's number one project management tool. It runs on Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer and has apps for iPhone and Android. It also integrates seamlessly with email. Simply create a project, invite people to it and enroll assets, then start assigning tasks and schedules. Participants can easily interact with each other via email, and everything gets saved to the project page. For example, if you're collaborating on a document simply download it, work locally, and then email it back to Basecamp to share with the rest of the team.
Cruun lets project managers and participants manage and share tasks and information via email and a Web interface. A consolidated task management screen lets you see the status of all tasks (complete, open, overdue) at a glance. Simply create a task, assign it to a group member, and assign a due date. Cruun will follow up for you to ensure on-time completion. Plus, Cruun keeps all project discussion in a single place so you don't have to search through multitudes of email to ascertain task status.
Redbooth, formerly Teambox, is a project management and remote collaboration tool that makes collaboration, file management and team discussions easy and productive. It is extremely user friendly and includes features for the creation and management of tasks, team communication, and file and content management. For the latter job, it integrates with Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. Team communication is organized and stored by project, and discussions can easily be converted into tasks. There's even HD video conferencing, screen sharing and group chat. Project participants can communicate and work together via the Web interface, email or mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Projects can not only be managed on the web but also on your iPad using Project Management. The app helps you manage teams, assign tasks and track all the project-related stuff. The app was an early entrant to the project management arena, and the interface definitely looks old-school. Despite the dated look, Project Management is quite easy to use to keep track of tasks and milestones. Plus, the educational resources are really helpful. For instance, the app offers video lessons and tips on managing teams and projects better.
Matthew David Sarrel is executive director of Sarrel Group, an editorial services, product test lab and information technology consulting company. He is a contributing editor for PC Magazine, a contributing analyst for GigaOM and a frequent contributor to the Quinstreet Enterprise family of sites. Previously, he was a technical director for PC Magazine Labs, where he led all testing conducted by the Applications, Enterprise and Development Software, OS and Utilities, Network Infrastructure and Wireless LAN teams. His career also includes stints as an executive at two Internet startups and as director of IT for the New Jersey Medical School National Tuberculosis Center.