When most people think about task management, they usually picture big, bulky office software programs. Truth be told, task management is really just the logical culmination of the larger process of task management: planning. It entails planning, testing, and then reporting. However, task management software can also help the individual reach specific goals, or teams of people to collaborate and share information for the collective success of the project. Here’s how task management software works.
The first step is to develop a plan. This plan should include both short-term and long-term goals. Then, to manage your tasks effectively, you need to track how much time you are spending on each goal as well as what you are spending time on in general. With this information, you can create to-do lists for each major goal that will guide you as you move forward in your task management software.
Next, you should organize your to-do lists according to priority. A to-do list should always be broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Once you have established which activities need to be prioritized, you can move on to the next step of task management software. This next step is to create to-do lists for individual tasks. For example, if you’re planning on improving communication within a team, you may want to create individual to-do lists for team members to help them stay on track.
Agile and waterfall development styles both advocate the use of real-time meetings for task management software. Although it can be tricky to hold such meetings, many agile teams find that holding weekly or monthly meetings that include everyone present in the team to discuss what’s going on is more effective than having one large meeting for a project. In addition, some project managers find that having one or two live conversations going on at the same time helps team members to feel more comfortable about collaborating. It may be more feasible for project managers to hold face-to-face meetings using a variety of technologies such as web conferencing, video conferencing, or whiteboard software.
Another useful method for real-time collaboration is using tools that enable employees to share documents through their email systems. One tool, in particular, called eConnect, makes it possible for teams to update one another on documents that are being worked on. Documents can then be downloaded, read, and edited on the fly, which makes it easier to organize documents and collaborate on projects. Many companies are now turning to eConnect as part of their in-house document management software solution.
One final way to stay organized and stay on track with your projects is to integrate your smart spreadsheet application with your task manager. Many software programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook allow you to import an existing smart spreadsheet into your project manager. Your smart sheet will be in constant flux as you change the details of a particular task, so keeping a good task manager integrated with your spreadsheet can be crucial to staying on target and organized. This integration can go beyond simple updating, though. In fact, many task managers today come pre-loaded with automatic task tracking and management features, so you won’t have to spend time learning how to use your smart spreadsheet applications on their own.
Once you’ve used a task-management software solution to organize your multiple projects and collaborate with your team, it will become second nature to you. When you’re dealing with multiple projects and deadlines, it’s especially important to keep track of deadlines for each individual project. A task management solution that doesn’t offer deadlines can make it difficult to meet these deadlines, and if you’re working on multiple projects with multiple deadlines, you may find yourself falling behind. By using a task management solution that includes automatic deadlines, you’ll be able to determine the next step in the process and track all of your activity. This ensures you don’t run out of time before the deadline for a particular project.
You may also want to make use of your to-do lists. Many apps are available that allow you to categorize items in to-do lists, which is helpful when you have more than one person in a team responsible for a particular task. Because it can become confusing to keep track of all of your to-do lists and deadlines, many of these apps include easy ways to make your tasks easy to recall. You can add a reminder to your main to-do list or assign a special file for each task that you want to remember. Using these features of smart apps to keep yourself organized, can be particularly helpful when your teams are spread across different geographic locations or departments.