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PRONETS BLOG
 
Project Management Tools Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 12:18

 

There are two reasons for your company to tackle a project.  The first is because there is an external motivator.  You need to complete a project for a client or for the public.  The second is an internal motivator.  You need to complete a project to enhance your operations, productivity or financial situation.  No matter what the reason, the potential projects must be researched and ranked, then finally planned and executed.

Below is a list of project tools and descriptions to help you record and track internal and external projects.  This list was compiled by eweek.com.

1.  Citrix Podio Tracks Leads, Team Tasks

Citrix's Podio platform comes with all the project-management features that enterprise users would expect to find, including tasks and meeting scheduling as well as the ability to track leads and keep an entire team informed. The service's best feature, however, might be its application marketplace, which provides tailor-made project management applications for different industries. Best of all, it's free for up to five employees. Pricing beyond that starts at $15 per employee per month.

2.  Basecamp Optimized for Mobile Users

Basecamp is one of the simplest applications in this roundup. The service allows companies to quickly create tasks and assign team members to them. It also includes an email alert system to notify employees of their tasks. Basecamp has also been optimized for mobile users, which comes in handy. The platform's service starts at $1 per day for up to 15 projects at once and 4GB of storage.

3.  Zoho Projects Platform Integrates Cloud Storage, Document Management

Zoho has been competing in the online-productivity space for years with several different applications. Still, its Zoho Projects platform might just be the best option. It includes full cloud-storage integration, as well as document management and full coordination of different projects. Its calendaring feature is also a winner. One of the nicest things about Zoho is that it's free for a single project. Its cheapest paid plan costs $199 per year.

4.  Planbox Tracks Progress

Planbox might not have the name-recognition of some of the other services in this roundup, but it's arguably one of the most capable. Chief among Planbox's features is something called the Storyboard, which pins items to a central location in the software and then can estimate progress, hours to completion, budget and more. Planbox is extremely high-powered, and is free for up to two employees. Its cheapest plan costs $20 per month.

5.  Milestone Planner Delivers Basic Project Management

Milestone Planner lacks some of the design features found in the other options, but can still help companies get work done in a timely fashion. The service allows managers to establish projects and tasks, track deadlines, track progress and create reports for executives. It's a simple applications solution, but at $9 per month, it's not so expensive.

6.  Smartsheet Focuses Heavily on Sales, Marketing, IT Management

Smartsheet is an interesting inclusion in this roundup because it's designed around the idea of appealing to certain industries, and not necessarily every type of company under the sun. The company's platform, which looks somewhat similar to a spreadsheet in terms of its layout, focuses heavily on marketing, sales and IT, and includes everything from planning and budgeting to keeping track of new hires. However, Smartsheet's pricing schedule is a little convoluted, and it costs $15.95 to start.

7.  Office 365 Does Project Management, Too

Microsoft doesn't necessarily bill Office 365 as a project-management platform, but it can very easily be turned into one. The company's cloud platform includes support for everything from creating and editing documents to collaborating on projects with Sharepoint. Plus, its Outlook integration is a welcome addition. Best of all, it costs just $5 per user per month.

8.  SugarSync Lets Users Collaborate Remotely

Don't let SugarSync's name fool you: While it's perhaps best known for offering cloud storage and synchronization across devices, the service is also quite capable at handling projects. In fact, it includes the ability for users to collaborate on projects remotely and set up a single-point billing system that can be managed from the Web. Pricing for three years starts at $55 per month.

9.  Salesforce Work Focuses on Sales--What Else?

Salesforce Work is unlike the other applications in this roundup because it focuses on one primary business—sales—and no other. Still, it works quite well. The offering allows users to track customer engagement, set up a plan for work and assign tasks to team members. The platform also allows companies to set up sales goals and measure performance. But it won't take long for the cost to shoot up; pricing is $10 per user per month.

10. Clarizen Does Hard-Core Project Management

Clarizen is easily the most powerful project management software in this roundup. The application can do just about everything. From budgeting to scheduling to setting up Gantt charts, the service has every last thing a company would need to track a major project. However, those features come at a price; pricing starts at $49.95 per user per month for service.

- See more at: http://www.eweek.com/cloud/slideshows/10-cloud-based-project-management-tools-to-serve-every-companys-needs/#sthash.Lf4H3QIk.dpuf

Ingeniumweb put together a list of additional resources as well.  This list comes from that particular blog.

1.  TeamBox

Teambox is voted the best online project collaboration software for project managers, contractors, freelancers and teams. Teambox is the pioneer in joining social collaboration tools with online project management. It’s mission is to change the way people work by making it easier and more fun to get things done.  Teambox is free up to 5 users per project. In the free version maximum number of projects you can create is five, you'll also get 5GB of free space and Google Drive Integration feature is enabled.

2.  Wrike

Wrike is a very flexible online project management interface that comes with a plethora of features that includes unlimited projects, file sharing (50 MB/user), Gantt charts, time tracking, revision history, import and export of excel files, templates, iCalendar integration, RSS, MS Project imports, task management, and much more. They also guarantee 99%+ uptime, free email support, every-hour backups, and SSL security.  Wrike comes with a variety of pricing plans to fit any size team. All plan come with unlimited projects, so when choosing a package all you need to know is how many users and storage you need. It is free up to 2 users and 5 GBs of storage. Google Docs, Dropbox, iCal features are enabled.

3.  AceProject

For small businesses aspiring to get and stay organized, AceProject looks like the best card in the deck. The free online project management software will not only help you keep tabs on projects, but it'll also help you manage employees and expenses. With a quarter gig of free storage, FTP access, versioning, and up to five projects for free, and AceProject looks like the ace in the hole until you start playing. That's when you run up against the service's cumbersome, dated UI.  AceProject starts from the Basic service, which is free up tp 2 users and lets you manage two projects, 50 tasks, and provides up to 250 MB in storage space to the Gold package at $99 per month with unlimited projects and tasks and 20 GB of space.

4.  Freedcamp

Freedcamp is a project management software designed to manage multiple project tasks. Project managers gain full control of their project, where they can track worker’s time spent on a project, set deadlines, create a to do list, and share important documents and information. It features state of the art communications system, from where all users can can see which tasks have been assigned to them without the need to be signed into the system. All communication can be done on mobile phones, enabling communication at any time and place. an instant messaging system is also included so that workers can communicate quickly and easily.  Freedcamp is the first software of its kind which is completely free of charge (unlimited number of users and projects). But of course you always need to pay something, and it provide only up to 20 MB in storage space.

5.  Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects dishes a smorgasbord of online tools for small-business communication and organization. The complementary version serves up the largest entree of online collaboration tools, including messages, forums, wikis, and online chat. At the same time, Zoho is a zealous manager. You can configure project milestones, assign responsibilities, set due dates, schedule meetings, and even post documents to an online storage space. If your needs grow, Zoho can accommodate with a wide selection of paid services. But the app is high maintenance, and the UI can be confusing.  Zoho Project is free up to 1 project and 10 MB of storage space. Features: Project Feeds, Task Management, Document Sharing, Import MS Projects, Portal Customization, Calendar and Forums and Google Apps Integration

Read more at: http://www.ingeniumweb.com/blog/post/top-five-best-free-online-project-management-application-services/1027/

 

 
 
Tuesday Tech Tip,October 1, 2013 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 09:21

Manage your projects!

Look at your desk, at your life – how many projects do you have going on?  Which are important?  Which add future value to your finances or your personal time?  Your values dictate how you organize these projects by priority.  If security is one of your values then you may focus on saving for retirement.  If beauty is important, you may want to focus on an art or a restoration project.  Your values dictate how you prioritize the many activities of your life.

In business, you and your coworkers apply the same principles and select the projects you want to invest your time into based on the potential return you can realize from the effort.  Knowing your values or goals as an organization help to prioritize and rank the projects you wish to embark upon.

Once you have the project all picked out, you will be tempted to dive right into a project plan, but slow down and consider some of the potential pitfalls you may encounter.  Look at your network of people and figure out who has tackled a similar project.  Talk to them and find out what their experience was and any hurdles they may have encountered.  Do your research.  Take the time to look on the Internet and see if others have attempted something similar.

Now that you have a better idea of what you are getting your team into, develop that plan and use the templates around you.  Don’t waste energy trying to figure out how to communicate roles and activities or discover objectives and requirements if someone else has already done that for you!  Also, make sure your team is ready to talk.  They will be repeating each other’s efforts if they don’t vocalize what they are doing and offer the information to others within the team.  Build some wiggle room into your schedule and be realistic about setbacks.  Capture vacation time of team members and factor in the unexpected. 

 

Figure out what your organization believes in, needs, and where it sees its future. Know your goals, define your objectives, do your research, and use your tools.  

 
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