Project Management vs. Task Management Software: What to Choose?
Increase productivity. Save time. Get organized.
Both task and project management software share these three goals. To make that happen, they both offer features for collaboration, coordination, status-tracking and planning. On the surface, they often look similar, but despite these similarities, there are certain differences in the company’s needs that they address.
So how do you decide which one is best for you? Just check out our short comparison below and pick the type of tool that suits you best!
Task Management Software
Task management tools, by and large, are about organizing, assigning and prioritizing ongoing activities. These tasks may or may not have deadlines, and they don’t involve complex scheduling. For example, a journalist handling multiple articles can see each of them as a task and then cross them off as they are completed.
Task management software can help to keep employees focused on priority tasks and make juggling multiple responsibilities less overwhelming, as they can more easily decide what to work on next. All the workers need to do is work down the prioritized task list.
Task management software may be a good match if:
- Your goal is to better prioritize your tasks and your team’s tasks.
- You need a place to track an individual’s or group’s “to do” list.
- Your tasks are not dependent on each other.
Project Management Software
Project management tools are more about scheduling, setting deadlines and tracking progress on a bigger scale. Sure, you still have individual tasks, but when those tasks are part of a larger project, you need to complete them in a particular sequence. This sequence of tasks is heading toward defined milestones, marking the completion of the project’s major stages or the whole project.
So while an individual journalist might go with task management to make sure he turns his articles in on time, the managing editor needs to think about how the deadlines for those articles affect the deadlines for the department editor to proof the article, the photographer to shoot images to accompany the piece, the layout editor to plan where the article will fit and the printer to produce the final magazine. And the sequence of all their actions eventually leads to the big milestone, i.e., the publication of the monthly issue.
Some of these tasks may be worked on concurrently (the photographer and layout editor can do their jobs before the department editor delivers the final draft), but others are dependent on the previous task’s completion to move ahead (the printer can’t do his job until everything else is complete).
Project management software helps you to see these dependencies more clearly and set milestones that a project (or its phase) is heading toward. By monitoring the progress every step of the way, you can plan ahead more accurately and carefully manage your team’s resources.
Project management software may be the best way to organize work for your company if:
- Your goal is to better schedule and monitor the overall progress of projects with defined due dates.
- You’re managing the workload of multiple people performing different tasks for the same project.
- Your tasks are dependent on each other.
What’s Right for Your Company?
If you’re just working on a few tasks, you might think that task management software is all you’ll ever need, but you never know what the future will bring. Maybe those tasks will evolve into a connected project. And while those who use project management software may be more concerned with the bigger picture, they still need to keep an eye on the details and progress of separate tasks.
That’s why choosing an all-in-one tool that incorporates the best of task and project management features can be the most efficient (and scalable!) solution for a company that wants to manage its work more efficiently and, therefore, achieve more!