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Optimizing project management: goodbye Excel lists and emails



SUMMARY


As a start-up, you are probably familiar with the following scenarios: deadlines are pushed back every minute, countless changes trickle in and keeping track of everything is like a mammoth task. The cause for this is quickly found: insufficient project management. Of course, structured work and good project management cannot solve all problems, but they can make your life much more relaxed and minimise sleepless nights.


A poorly managed or executed project can also quickly mean the end of your start-up. So it's goodbye to Excel lists and endless email correspondence and welcome to structured project management. There are numerous little helpers, i.e. project management tools, that make your life easier.


CONTENT

  • What is project management

  • More structure and fewer agreements

  • Professional tools

  • Project management optimizes workflows


WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?


Project management is everything you do in the background for your project to make it run smoothly. Be it the distribution of tasks, time planning, the allocation of material and immaterial resources or reporting - everything that contributes to the success of the project is also part of project management. The more extensive the project, the more elaborate project management can be. The ultimate goal is to make the work easier for everyone involved.



MORE STRUCTURE AND FEWER AGREEMENTS


To achieve this goal, the first step is to simplify your existing work processes and shorten process chains. For example, by avoiding tedious emails, you will save more time than you probably realise.


We have had good experiences with Trello. This is a web-based project management tool with various boards, lists and cards for different teams. Here you assign individual tasks to individual people. You can add due dates, checklists and comments to the respective cards to define the tasks even more precisely or to order them according to urgency. This way, you have an overview of all deadlines.


Another advantage is that you can upload documents here and all team members can comment on or edit them independently. This way, you have all work steps, documents and all communication about your projects in one place and don't have to go through three different mail accounts to be up to date.



PROFESSIONAL TOOLS


With the free tool Trello, the most important functions are already covered. If you want to have, for example, a time reporting or invoicing function in the same system, you have to pay a little more. Besides the free Trello, we also recommend ActiveCollab, for example, which works similarly in principle, but offers even more space for many different projects and a few more features.


For example, an overview of your already used budget or your time. In the more extensive versions, you can even create your invoices via ActiveCollab. The basic version is available for $7 per month per member. If you want the full version, you'll be looking at about $11 per month per member.


However, before you implement a project management tool, you first have to find the right tool for you. To help you choose the right tool, I would like to give you a few questions that will help you find the right one for you:

  • How many users need access?

  • Are different permissions and access rights necessary?

  • Which functions do I need and which are just nice to have?

  • What budget can I afford?

  • Are the "standard functions" enough for me or do I need customised ones?

  • Do I only want to use the tool internally or do I also want to involve my customers right from the start?

Once you are clear about what you need, you can start researching and comparing different project management tools. Most of them offer you a free trial version. Of course, this is not as comprehensive, but to get a feel for the system and to see if you can handle it, these versions are usually sufficient.



PROJECT MANAGEMENT OPTIMIZES WORKFLOWS


Project management tools should make your work easier, not harder. So choose the programme you feel most comfortable with. And most importantly, say goodbye to to-do lists and email clutter!

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