Avoid Deadline Phobia – Project Management Tools Part 01

Project Management may be a life survivor!

Project Management, though it sounds like a serious topic, it is not an alien matter. Each and every day we are practicing it. Whether we are brushing teeth or building a skyscraper we should go through a planned process.

Initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling and closing out every project requires some knowledge and expertise. In organizations this is more likely to get completed with a trained project manager. Project managers get things done.

Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives.

This is how it is defined by the Association of Project Management (APM).

When we jump into the field of information technology, mostly all the tasks we getting can be considered as projects. Even in the universities, we get mini-projects as well as group projects. Think of the times we struggled to complete the projects before the deadline & to get support from our teammates! Actually it’s like a war! 😀

With better project management practices it is easy to achieve the desired goal with less time and resource waste. Here I’ve list down some benefits that we can get with good project management practices.

  • Better control of financial, physical & human resources
  • Improved customer relations
  • Shorter development times
  • Lower costs, higher profit
  • Higher quality & increased reliability
  • Improved productivity
  • Better internal coordination

 But with poor project management? It’s a disaster! Poorly managed project would be a waste of million dollars and also increase the stress of the managers as well as the workers.

So practicing project management disciplines and adopting the projects to them is a MUST in all organizations today. Life? Yeah, even in life you have to manage your day today tasks.

In the IT industry there are many PM tools using to manage projects. Most of them allow to create work break down structures, task & resource allocation, define milestones, etc… & it’s also easy to share the PM-workbench with your team and peer workers.

Microsoft Project, Basecamp, Atlassian, Wrike, JIRA, Asana, Trello… are some popular project management platforms used by many IT companies to enhance their team collaboration and to get their projects on to track. (Here’s a complete List of PM Tools)Let’s take a look on some popular PM platforms.

Asana –

asanaAsana is free for most people (you only need to pay once you get up to 15 or more people working on the same projects), and it’s just as good a corporate project or task manager as it is a to-do manager for your own pet projects or ideas. A mobile app for Android & IPhone is available for Asana. It makes so easy to maintain to-do lists of daily rituals with this tool.

Trello –

trelloIf you’re a fan of Personal Kanban, or you like to use cards or post-it notes arranged in categories to organize your thoughts and your tasks, Trello will appeal to you. Trello is fast, flexible, and even fun to use, and in minutes you’ll organize all of the components for your projects into columns and cards that are easy to drag around, add supporting details to, comment on, and assign from person to person on your team. You can create different boards for different projects, set due dates or times for each card or set of cards, and more. Trello is even available on iOS, Android & Windows Phone, and its drag-and-drop interface works well on mobile devices.

GanttProject –

feature-gantt-chart-bigIf Gantt chart is your thing, GanttProject might be for you. This free open source project management and scheduling app allows users to create and organize tasks and milestones. It can also create Gantt and PERT charts as well as reports in HTML or PDF formats.

On the downside, it doesn’t offer any of the social features. But if your business doesn’t need those features, this free app may be appealing.

Microsoft Project –

ms_project_logoFrom the long list of PM Tools, this is the most popular software used for project management. Also it is one of my favorites. I used MS Project as the project management tool for my final project at the university. It is so easy to use. Undergrads, if you bothering about the Work break down structure (WBS), Gantt Chart, Critical path, milestone report submissions, Network diagram kind of things just choose this option! It’s a life survivor! 😀

Microsoft Project is a paid software. With Office365 you can pay monthly & use it as a cloud subscription. For the students who have the Microsoft DreamSpark subscription it’s free! So why don’t you downloading it & trying? I bet you can reduce half of your work load of project documentation with this.

In the future posts let’s go through some cool features of Microsoft Project that can use to manage your projects easily.