Social Media, Strategy, Consulting, Social Content Development, Product Development, Web

Web-Based Project Management Tools

Applications, Business Strategy, StartUps, Technology4 Comments

I had the privilege of speaking the Mid-America Project     Management Institute’s 2009 Professional Development Days conference this week. Both sessions were great with good questions  and active participation. My presentation was titled, “Project  Management Tools in the Digital Age” and highlighted web-based,  simple, and valuable tools that can be used in any type of company size and industry. We use many of these tools in our day-to-day business to manage our projects, teams and our selves.

It is important to remember that a tool should help you facilitate  your work…NOT add more work to your day. You need to  understand your work flow and identify where you need help prior to tool selection.  Tools should help you create, build, and develop projects; lead, direct and advise your  teams/sponsors/clients;  assess, measure, and analyze your  progress, and most important, be  simple to use.

Project Management Tools

Basecamp – We use this tool to manage our virtual workforce teams  and to easily communicate with our clients. We are able to set  milestones, assign to-do tasks according to milestones, upload files,  and communicate through the forums.You can build templates and customize the tool to match your brand. This tool eliminates our  dependency on email and allows 24X7 access to project status.  

Smartsheet – This tool was recommended by a colleague. For you spreadsheet lovers out there this tool may be the one for you. In addition to basic project management capabilities, you can produce summary reports and access the tool from your phone through their mobile application. A very interesting aspect to Smartsheet is their on-demand workforce. If you need resources to help with simple tasks (primarily research oriented tasks) they have a virtual workforce to help you (for an hourly rate of course).

@Task – This is an enterprise level tool and can be integrated with a variety of applications such as Oracle, Peoplesoft and Salesforce.com. This tool has very impressive reporting capabilities that can support the most detailed of managers and the highest level of executives. If you have large and complex programs this tool may be the one for you.

Team Management Tools

Echosign – I have to say this is my favorite tool lately. Echosign allows you to improve your sales contract cycle time from weeks to hours by allowing online signatures that are in compliance with the ESIGN act making the online signature as powerful as a hand-written one. Red-lining is supported as well as multiple signatures/initials throughout the document. The client/contractor you are requesting to sign does not need to have signed-up for the application and can provide their signature in a matter of seconds. We have had 15 contracts signed in the last month and have yet had anyone experience any issues or confusion…in fact a few of our clients are now using this tool for their business.

Freshbooks – Contractors love this tool so we love it too! Freshbooks make invoicing super easy and helps you keep track of what is paid vs. outstanding. Reporting is included and the open API supports integration with Quickbooks and Basecamp. If you are looking to improve your billing cycle time then we suggest you take a look at Freshbooks.

Dropbox – A backup server that finally doesn’t require you to load the document twice. This application synchronizes with your hard drive automatically! You get 2G of storage free and automatic notification when any file is loaded or changed. A tool that helps you with your current workload, doesn’t require extra work and is so easy grandma can use it.

Self Management Tools

Skype – Yes, many of us online types have been using Skype for awhile but for those new to the “geek” scene this tool is a nice surprise. This VoIP application allows unlimited free domestic calling, video calling and instant messaging with other Skype users. You can also quickly upload files and send resource links during conference calls.  The tool integrates with a multitude of  address books and allows calls internationally and to non-Skype users for a premium charge.

Remember the Milk – Built with the “Getting Things Done” philosophy this is a great tool to manage all aspects of your life …personal, school and work. They have a variety of mobile app’s to support an on-the-go lifestyle and include map integration that can track where you are to notify you when you are in the vicinity of getting a to-do done. I personally like the tag cloud capability to help me see where my time is being spent and to highlight where I can get two birds with one stone.

Google – The mother of all tools. In addition to gmail, calendar, and google docs we also use google groups, google voice and google  reader to help simplify our daily responsibilities. Yes, you do sometimes have a glitch here and there but the flexibility, accessibility and simplicity outweigh any of the bumps you may experience from time to time. What makes us the most excited?? Google Wave invitations go out to a lucky 100,000 on September 30th and we can’t wait to see what new opportunities arise post-launch.

We are always looking for new and improved ways to operate our business so if you have a killer tool that we didn’t mention here please leave us a comment and let us know about it!
Cheers,
Lisa

4 Responses to “Web-Based Project Management Tools”

  1. Web-Based Project Management Tools « Tech Pinoy says:

    […] See the original post here: Web-Based Project Management Tools […]

  2. Tweets that mention Web-Based Project Management Tools | LightThread Blog -- Topsy.com says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Romain Dalle. Romain Dalle said: RT @fromechosign: LightThread – Top Team Management Tools: EchoSign + Freshbooks + Dropbox http://bit.ly/Fo0MD […]

  3. Web Based Project Management says:

    We know that every company has their own way of managing work flow and projects, with their own objectives and desired results. Web-based project management software allows you to save time and reduce costs at implementation and throughout the project life cycles. Project management reports are key to any sound project management practice. Each company have different needs for using and analyzing their project’s data.

  4. Jerome says:

    Nice review! You may wish to include PMP HQ http://www.pmphq.com. PMP HQ is easy to use web-based online project management and collaboration tool. It includes calendar and gantt charts to aid visual representation of projects and their deadlines. It supports multiple projects and subprojects. PMP HQ is SaaS offering providing integrated project management features, issue tracking, and support for multiple version control options. Currently PMP HQ provides user interface in more then 30 languages including English, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and many more. With simple pricing model without “per user” or “per project” charges, PMP HQ is an affordable and attractive alternative to costly in-house deployments.