Whether you’re a small business or a large organization, it’s important to stay organized. However, this can seem like an overwhelming task at times, especially if you’re managing multiple teams, or if you have a seemingly endless project list.
Finding an effective project management system will help save you time and energy, while keeping your business on track toward its goals. That’s why we asked a panel of Forbes Business Council members to share how they successfully manage their projects and teams. Fourteen of their favorite systems and tools are below.
1. A Robust Customer Relationship Software
Before picking a tool or tools, determine the questions you need answers to about your client or your products. If a software, an application or a project management site can address all those questions and can integrate with one another, then it’s worth the value you end up paying. – Brian Chew, OC Wills and Trust Attorneys
2. Objectives And Key Results
We use OKRs to stay aligned. This framework allows the organization’s objectives and the programs that are developed go meet those objectives to stay aligned, and for employees to clearly understand how the work they are doing has an impact on the objectives of the business. – Raazi Imam, Sia Partners
3. Trello And Slack
To keep my team on track managing projects we use a task management software called Trello. This is crucial to running a successful business. In order to communicate with different teams outside the company, we use Slack. There are many companies that offer free services like this for your business, so find the right one for you and embrace it 110%. – Don Daszkowski, International Franchise Professionals Group – IFPG
I started using Monday.com and found that it is a really useful and intuitive version of project management that I was already doing with spreadsheets, without the need to have to set up all the rules and parameters. The learning curve was pretty small and my whole team was able to hop on quickly and picked it up right away. We use Slack of course for fast communication. – Ronjini Joshua, The Silver Telegram
5. Slack And Google Docs
We have Slack accounts for our own company divided by each client as well as directly with clients. We also use Google Docs for weekly client trackers and shared folders. This keeps everyone in the loop and on track. – Jennifer Acree, JSA Strategies
6. Collaborative Portals
A team collaboration portal, whether Microsoft Teams, Slack or a myriad of others that are available, are the waves of the future. I foresee in the not too distant future, communication by email and other tools going the way of the fax machine and the interoffice memo. Teams that work together in collaborative platforms will develop a strategic advantage over organizations that don’t. – Buddy Holt Ph.D., Eligibility Consultants, Inc.
Jira is a highly effective project management tool. Running a transparent project will help in eliminating possible issues such as misunderstandings and overbilling. One of the benefits Jira provides is the ability to close a sprint. This effectively eliminates the possibility of backdated hours which can negatively impact the budget and lead to a disconnect in reported versus actual hours. – Ilya Lipovich, Cider
8. A Structured Process For Your Vital Projects
Small- and medium-sized businesses can only handle a few vital projects at a time. As companies operationalize their strategic plan, they should identify a handful of “projects” that necessitate a formal project management plan. Those projects should be populated into a project charter with a named project manager, with action items entered in one PM system that integrates across the enterprise. – Marc Emmer, Optimize Inc.
9. Hiring Intrapreneurs
Hiring intrapreneurs allows the business owner to step away and essentially work on their business as opposed to in it. Intrapreneurs are self-motivated and autonomous thinkers that believe in the mission and vision of their company, and therefore self manage themselves. Hiring these types of employees helps keep your team on track and requires little micro-management. – Brad Poppie, Poppie Enterprises
I run multiple businesses with different teams in different locations, so I needed a robust solution that could manage projects, calendars, timelines and tasks. We found that solution with a platform called Asana, which also has a great free version that is all we really need. It integrates with Gmail and G Suite, as well as several other services. It has a great app and is solid on mobile. – Keir Weimer, Keir Weimer Multimedia, LLC
11. Developing An Effective Project Management Workflow
Instead of sending a bunch of emails, I commit to using a project management system that centralizes my communication and streamlines my workflow. My team has to track project size, deadlines and due dates, so it prevents delays and reduces miscommunication if we have everything in one centralized location. – Beth Worthy, GMR Transcription Services, Inc
12. Our CRM And Jira
All of our departments heavily rely on our CRM as the core system for business management. Our No. 1 preferred tool for project management is Jira though because it works so well for development teams. Jira provides an easy way for us to report and track bugs using the Kanban methodology. At the same time, it’s easy to use for non-tech teams, such as our marketing department. – Dimitri Akhrin, CRMDialer & IRIS CRM
13. Open Office Communication
At our Los Angeles office, our desks are configured in a circle, allowing for open communication and for the flow of ideas to be shared as they arise and in the most effective, timely manner. This way, as projects and urgent situations arise, we are able to easily communicate what we are working on at any given moment to ensure the entire team is on track and aligned in our tasks. – Michael Albanese, Element Lifestyle
14. A Combination Of Platforms To Meet Your Needs
We have been using many project platforms for a long time and have learned that not any one platform is tailored to your needs. So try to use a combination of platforms like Basecamp, Slack, Jira, etc. You can also use the Salesforce platform but like others, it can be expensive for a budding entrepreneur. Evaluate your business needs before selecting a platform. – Syed Gilani, Safr Technologies Inc.