With so many different business-related software platforms available, it can quickly become overwhelming to know which platforms do what, and how to get the most value from each. One of the foundational types of software many businesses use is task management.
Task management software can be used in business and your personal life. The very general objectives of task management software are to improve productivity and efficiency, but there’s more to it than that.
The following provides an overview of what this type of software is and how it’s different from something like project management software.
What Is Task Management Software?
As the name implies, task management software is meant as a way to manage tasks, although what those tasks are can vary widely. It can help with scheduling, the management of resources, and tracking of milestones. Task management software can assign priorities to certain things in business as well.
This type of software can be as simple as helping you create to-do lists, to more complicated such as integrating collaborative tools as well.
Task management tools and platforms can include creation and assignment of tasks, and that’s something they’re always going to have. They may also go a few steps further with features for prioritization and scheduling, and beyond that, collaboration and communication.
Who Needs This Kind of Software?
There are a lot of different reasons you might use task management software, and it’s flexible enough to meet different needs, although not every platform will work for every need.
For example, you might be an independent contractor who needs something simple enough to keep up with the tasks you’re doing for different clients, with a general calendar function.
You might have a small business and a team of employees all located in one office, but you want to have eyes on what everyone is accomplishing and who’s doing what.
You might also head-up a very large team of people who are geographically distributed, and you need task management tools to help you manage the workload and work with people who aren’t in a centralized office.
One of the ways you can compare one platform to another is the features. You may not need all the features that come with an expensive solution, or you might want something simple to use with minimal features so you can make the most of it.
Some of the features you might see in a task management solution include:
- Options to outline requirements with time estimates as to when they should be finished
- Project schedules
- Prioritizing of tasks
- Features to outline the anticipated resources that will be needed to complete a task
- An Agile planning board
- A place to enter issues that are encountered during a task
- Customizable dashboards
It’s worth noting there are different approaches to task management.
For example, some platforms may be based on the Kanban method. This is a task management system used in apps like Trello, and it integrates virtual cards that people can move through the different phases of a project.
The Agile method was noted above as an option. Agile was created by a team of software developers, and it’s based on small team sizes, and doing short tasks. It’s meant as a way to cut down on bloat and bureaucracy.
There’s also the Getting Things Done or GTD method frequently used in task management solutions. This philosophy is built on five pillars which are capturing everything, clarifying what you have to do, organization of actional items, reflecting on your to-do list and engaging, which is when you’re doing the actual work.
What’s the Difference Between Project Management and Task Management?
Finally, is there a difference between project management and task management?
There’s a lot of overlap between task and project management software. Tasks can be described as very particular things that needed to be done. For example, a task may be just one step in a much larger project.
Task management solution focuses on specific tasks. Project management software tends to have a lot more features and additions than a basic task management platform. For example, it might include more details on resource management.
Task management software tends to be easier and faster to learn and use, and generally more user-friendly. Project management software can have more depth and take more time to learn, and there can be a lot of coordination between not only specific team members, but different teams altogether with PM software.