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Zoho Projects ranked as Leader in top 20 task management software awards
Zoho Projects awarded Leader in top 20 Kanban software awards
What is task management?
Task management is the process of monitoring your project's tasks through their various stages from start to finish. This involves actively making decisions for your tasks to accommodate changes that can occur real-time, with your end goal being the successful completion of your tasks. Project task management also means managing all aspects of a task like budget, time, scope, resources, recurrence and so on effectively.
Project management vs task management
Project management is the process of managing a project which has a fixed start and end date through the various stages of planning, execution, monitoring and closing. A project is aimed at executing a specific end goal by performing several manageable work items to achieve it. These work items are called tasks.
Task management is the process of managing an individual task from conception to closing. A task needn't necessarily have any goal or even specific deadlines. A group of tasks together contribute towards the execution of a project. Therefore task management is inherently a function of project management.
Project management requires you to see the big picture. Project managers generally have multiple projects of various priorities running simultaneously. Successfully managing them requires a proper analysis of the relationships and dependencies that exist between its various components. Task management on the other hand involves micro-focus in achieving just the task completion. Both project and task management need team involvement and management to make sure the resources can optimally juggle multiple work items.
How to manage tasks?
In PMI's 2017 Global Project Management survey, 37% of executive leaders said "the primary cause of failure [of projects in their organization] was a lack of clearly defined objectives and milestones to measure progress" and "a lack of discipline when implementing strategy." Keeping this study in mind, here are some key steps involved in task management:
Prioritization: Whatever tool you use to manage your tasks, whether a simple to-do list or a comprehensive project task management tool, the most important aspect of task management is prioritization. This helps in efficiently completing all the tasks involved while maintaining the planned constraints.
Milestone tracking: The findings of this study also show that establishing clear goals is essential to the successful completion of a project. Although for task management an end goal isn't necessary, defining milestones helps motivate teams to execute tasks successfully.
Schedule management: Making sure your task gets completed on time is something that has an impact on the overall project health. Attributing the right time frame by estimating the effort involved is key here.
Resource allocation: Optimum resource management is the next step to ensure effective task management. Depending on the budget and schedule, assign the right talent and amount of resources to get work done.
Collaboration: For all the steps mentioned above, collaboration is key. While working in teams usually means more work gets done, keeping team members in sync can be difficult. Task management software for teams can help you keep your team connected.
Another interesting way to manage tasks can be by categorizing them on a deadline or priority matrix with "schedule" and "priority" as the axes. With this structure, necessary work that needs to be done immediately should be placed high on both priority and schedule, while necessary work that isn't needed immediately should be placed high on priority but low on schedule.
Why do you need to manage tasks?
Task management improves your workflow in many ways.
Make your work more efficient
Inefficiencies often stem from disinterest. Task management principles greatly improve productivity by making sure the right resources are utilized at the right time. This includes giving team members tasks and responsibilities that match their abilities and interests.
Bring focus to your job
Whether you work as an individual or for an organization, all your tasks are done in order to achieve a particular goal. However we often end up doing things that distract from or don't contribute to this. If there's a systematic way to approach all your work items, your work will be more focused on the end goal.
Organize your organization
It's not always possible to work only on one task at a time. However, working on many things all at once can become chaotic. Organizing your tasks in a way that helps streamline your workflow goes a long way in becoming more efficient and reaching your target.
How to implement task management?
You can manage tasks with a variety of tools, including:
Simple to-do lists or check lists
From grocery shopping to planning a sophisticated wedding, making simple lists to manage tasks never goes out of style.
Visually appealing and easy to use, these boards are simple yet effective. Dragging a task from "In process" to "Done" is almost as cathartic as striking it off a list.
What's a day without at least one reminder about that thing you forgot to do last week? Adding deadline-oriented reminders to your calendar helps organize your time.
Whether you use cloud or on-premise software, taking the time to set up your tasks here will reward you with insightful resources, reminders, and reports.
Beyond just the tools you use, there are many points to remember while implementing your task management system.
The subtle art of saying "no"
Learn it. Practice it. Say it to anything that won't help with your goal.
Beware of killers
Time, or productivity killers will make you lose focus.
Business as usual
Always remember to set aside time for your routine tasks while planning.
Balance your plate
Delegate tasks. You may be a perfectionist, but taking on everything yourself is a sure path to disaster.
Don't put it off
Things that can be done today should be done today. Procrastination leads to multitasking, and not in a good way.
Take a break
No one can be productive 24/7, so it's a good practice to prioritize even break-taking. Since interruptions are bound to happen throughout the day, taking deliberate, timed breaks will help you come back to work with renewed vigor.
Mind over matter
Stop worrying about things that you have no control over. While planning, make some room for the unexpected to happen, but otherwise don't let it affect your work.
Who is task management for?
Task management systems benefit anyone who has tasks to do—which is everyone. People who pursue project and task management can fall into the following broad categories:
Stay up to date on how free or busy your team members are, and delegate work accordingly.
Task management for teams helps with delegation of tasks within a team, coordinating team members to work productively towards a common goal.
Personal task management
Get instant updates and notifications on all work completed by your team members.
Why do you need a task management tool?
From task planning to managing, task management software helps you log and track every piece of information related to your project. The ability to keep track of your tasks, deadlines, meetings, and team responsibilities makes task management software a crucial tool for your business needs. If any issues arise, it only takes a click to gain insight into the exact source of the problem, take control immediately, and make changes to improve your work flow successfully. Additional collaboration features like chat, forums, and dashboard help your whole team stay connected and on top of the latest developments.
Benefits of using a task management tool
How to choose the right task management software?
Depending on your purpose, price range, existing work environment and preferred platform, there are several project and task management tools available. From simple checklists which may not even require an internet connection to a full-fledged project task management software, the capabilities are varied. There are also software options that fit specific industries like construction, IT or education or specific functions like crm task management.
Zoho Projects is an online task management tool that's not only affordable and easy-to-use, it also has features that ensure scalability and data security. Strong collaboration features, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, detailed reports and task-specific time trackers make this one of the best task management software options available in the market. The feature-rich basic version is also a means for performing free task management.
Check out the pricing details of Zoho Projects here.
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