Exceptional project management skills are fundamentally critical to the success of every business regardless of background, size or industry. However, the truth of the matter is that a great majority of companies struggle significantly with this very thing. Did you know that according to 4PM, most organizations have a project failure rate of a whopping 70%? In fact, recent research from Harvard Business Review found that the average project goes over budget by a whopping 27%. However, the truth of the matter is that projects fail for several reasons including everything from poor planning, to weak goal statistics and projections as well as improper management and organization. Fortunately, there are numerous project management platforms on the market which can aid you in your efforts to stay on track. If you’re interested in learning about the top four project management platforms on the market to use in 2020, then this article is just for you.
Asana is an immensely popular project management platform — and for good reason. It’s interface is straightforward, simple, user-friendly and it does a great job when it comes to facilitating collaboration and teamwork. It also really assists with accountability and gives users plenty of options when it comes to breaking down projects into tasks and keeping track of them with due dates and calendars. However, it struggles when it comes to exporting features and has very limited functions in the mobile application. Email notifications can also get a little insane so you’re definitely going to want to customize the frequency from the get-go. It also could do a better job at highlighting things such as notes, attachments and discussions in the subtasks as these can be hard to notice if you prefer working from the main board. All-in-all it’s a great platform with excellent ratings.
Asana offers four pricing plans and gives users the option to choose from both monthly and annual pricing. Their Basic option is intended for individuals and teams just getting started with project management and is completely free of charge. The second option is their Premium plan ($10.99/month billed annually or $13.49/month billed monthly). This is intended for teams that are more established and interested in creating project plans “with confidence”. Their Business plan comes complete with additional features such as the ability to create portfolios, advanced integrations a custom rule builder and more. The plan costs $24.99/month billed annually or $30.49/month billed monthly. Finally, their Enterprise plan is geared towards large-scale businesses and includes numerous upgraded features in addition to those provided in the business plan. Companies interested must contact their sales department in order to receive a quote.
Trello is a great project management platform mostly in part because it’s super easy to use and get started with. It offers extensive customization when it comes to creating workflows and additionally offers impeccably fast real-time updates. Creating and assigning tasks is super simple and straightforward and it additionally offers integrations with numerous apps including Google Docs, which can be extremely helpful. It could however use some work when it comes to email integrations and keyboard shortcuts are relatively limited. Perhaps the most significant con is the fact that cards/tasks are limited to just one board/project. However, all-in-all it’s a wonderful project management platform which consistently receives solid reviews and is perfect for those just starting out.
Trello offers a convenient three-tiered pricing plan which has the option of being billed on a monthly or annual basis for companies interested in making the switch. Similar to Asana, they too offer a basic Free plan intended for individuals and small businesses in order to help them get started with the basics. Their Business Class plan offers an expanded set of features catered to more established SMBs and will run you $12.50/month if billed monthly and $9.99/month when billed annually. They also offer an Enterprise plan which can accommodate as many as 5,000 users depending on which option you choose. It also offers an expanded set of features such as organization wide permissions, public board management, attachment restrictions, power-up administration and more.
Bitrix24 is a robust, all-inclusive project management platform that really just so happens to ironically be the underdog of the list in terms of general public awareness of the brand. The platform is great at breaking down projects and makes creating various tasks, subtasks, checklists and deadlines super simple and straightforward. The interface is also quite intuitive and user-friendly so it’s relatively easy to get started regardless of whether or not you’ve worked with it before.
The streamlined CRM is extremely rich in features offering things like a high degree of customization, high-quality video conferencing, the ability to segment customers and leads based on location, activities or needs, an excellent mobile application and numerous integrations. Furthermore, the pricing is extremely competitive when compared to other comparable platforms on the market. Perhaps one of the most noticeable cons is the fact that it is so chock-full of features and tools that it can clutter the workspace and make navigation a bit complicated. However, this can be customized to an extent. All-in-all it’s a solid, simple to use, robust platform that is unfortunately quite underrated.
Bitrix24 also offers a three-tiered pricing plan, but unlike it’s competitors, it gives individuals and organizations the ability to customize a bit within each tier. Their Free plan is ideal for businesses just starting out and offers all of the basic essentials as well as 5GB of online storage. They also have a group of Special Plans, which range anywhere from $19.00/month t0 $55/month. These plans offer an expanded set of features, anywhere from 10GB to 50GB of online storage and can accommodate as many as 24 users. Their third tier is comprised of their Business Plans. These of course are catered towards more estabilshed SMBs and offer advanced business tools, the option to have unlimited users, online storage space and more. These plans range from $79.00/month to $159/month depending on your particular needs.
Pipedrive is an excellent, lightweight project management platform, especially when it comes to managing leads and improving sales. It’s also super easy to use and has quite a small learning curve when it comes to getting started. Users will be happy to see that it visually displays pipelines and is great at reporting sales efficiency, especially when it comes to moving leads through various stages of a pipeline. They also offer amazing support and numerous customization options. However, the platform has fairly limited reporting capabilities, could do better when it comes to automation and is lacking when it comes to API integrations in comparison to other comparable platforms on the market. It’s also known for being a “beginner”CRM — something that may not be an issue with individuals or small businesses but can quickly become problematic as companies and needs start to grow.
Pipedrive offers a four-tiered pricing plan with the ability to be billed either monthly or annually. Their Essential plan starts at $12.50/month and is intended to help individuals and small businesses organize activities and pipelines more efficiently. Their Advanced plan includes an expanded set of features including the ability to track and automate tasks and comes in at $24.90/month. Pipedrive’s Professional plan is intended to help more businesses become more effective at organizing and automating tasks, collaborating, communicating and growing revenue. This plan costs $49.90/month. Finally, they offer an Enterprise plan catered to large, established organizations which offers all of the previous sets of features a well as the ability to get custom onboarding and CRM support. This plan costs $99.00/month.
Solid project management skills are essential when it comes to ensuring that your business thrives and attains long-term success. Fortunately, project management platforms help make this easy. In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping the world, we find that more and more companies are beginning to have to rely on remote operations in order to stay in the game. If you’re interested in stepping it up when it comes to project management, then use this article as a guide to help set you off with proper footing. The right project management platforms can make all of the difference.
What are some project management platforms you’ve used in the past? Are there any you’re a fan of that aren’t included on the list? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
What is Trello?
Trello is a popular “web-based project management application” that was originally created back in 2011 by Fog Creek Software.
It offers an intuitive design and some serious flexibility for businesses of all sizes and industries and is a great choice for entrepreneurs and business owners looking for a cost-effective solution to help streamline their workflow processes and boost productivity.
And when we say cost-effective, we mean it — because Trello’s base plan for project management is absolutely free. With tons of flexible features and awesome third-party integrations available at your fingertips, it’s no wonder why Reviews.com called the free version of Trello’s software “the most generous on the market” and the “Best Free Project Management Software” of 2018.
This platform is particularly great for individual entrepreneurs and small business teams due to it’s simple, intuitive, user-friendly design.
The first thing individuals will notices that sets this platform apart from the others is the fact that it puts no limit on the number of projects, users or tasks.
The second thing that you’re going to love is that the platform offers a ton of awesome templates that are tailored to certain types of projects. This is great for those of us who tend to get a little overwhelmed with features and possibilities.
Trello breaks projects down into boards, similar in theory to those of the popular social media app Pinterest, and it breaks down various tasks into simple, straightforward phases.
Time-sensitive tasks can be marked with a due date and time and when completed, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping it onto the next phase of your board.
Did we mention it offers a desktop app for both Macs and PCs as well as an awesome mobile app for managing operations on-the-go?
Even better? These apps are extremely well-reviewed, with both receiving a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars or higher based on tens of thousands of reviews.
That’s not too shabby.
So what’s the downside?
Well, based on research we’ve found that while the platform does offer a ton of useful integrations, it’s not quite up to par with other more costly options.
However, this isn’t necessarily a downside for every company due to the fact that the most common integrations for project management software are included (i.e. syncing with Google Docs, One Drive or Dropbox).
Another downside to the platform is that if you’re using the free version of the software, then you’re going to have to opt out of the calendar view feature and remain satisfied with one “Power-Up” (aka integration) per board and a 10MB size limit on files.
When it comes to pricing, the platform remains a top competitor in the project management software arena, and not just because their base plan is free.
Individuals opting in for the Business Class plan gain access to app integrations, team overviews, unlimited Power-Ups, and additional security. It also gives users priority email support with a guaranteed response time of 24hrs and the ability to spice up their boards by adding custom backgrounds and stickers.
An important feature not to overlook is the ability to keep company information private with restricted membership invitations. Individuals can restrict access to anything from a specific card/task, list or even an entire board.
All of this and for no more than $9.99.
The enterprise version of the software is available to small and large businesses alike and features tiered pricing, unlike the Business Class plan. If you run a small business that has anywhere between 100 and 300 employees, then you’re looking at a price of $20.83 per user/month.
Larger organizations can rest assured that their entire budget won’t go to project management thanks to the platforms flexible rates. Enterprises with 1,000+ employees only have to shell out $4.17 per person/month in the event they opt for an annual plan.
This price includes all of the awesome features of Trello Business Class as well as 2-factor authentication, a custom security review, intrusion detection with enhanced monitoring and personalized onboarding assistance.
Trello for Productivity
If you’re interested in using Trello to boost productivity, then you’re looking in the right direction. Trello’s simple interface and flexible design makes it easy for business owners and individuals alike to organize, prioritize and keep track of everything from projects and tasks to meetings and agendas.
Just take a quick glance at the above image to get an idea on how entrepreneur and best-selling author Tim Ferris enhances his workflow processes with Trello.
What’s great about the platform is whether you’re a “big picture” kind of thinker or a “devil in the details” kind of individual, the platform makes it easy for you to organize everything into an easily digestible visual format.
Creative Projects with Trello
So, what about the designers and “creativepreneurs”? Well, lucky for you Trello is a great option for organizing everything from content schedules to branding and design projects.
Organize projects in a visually friendly manner, attach images and files for reference and tag individuals on your team to particular tasks and boards.
Whether it’s a design sprint that you’re working on and need to organize into phases or a creative project for your newest client that needs to go through several review processes before completion, the platform can help you get it organized and completed in the most efficient manner possible.
Product Development with Trello
Let’s say you’re an Saas startup and you’re looking to organize your product development processes to help increase efficiency, accountability and effectiveness.
Trello can help you assign certain tasks to various individuals on your team and keep track of product phases and deadlines. You’re also able to color code cards for those looking for a quicker way to visually scan progress at a glance.
Sales and Trello
If you’re interested in organizing your sales pipeline with Trello, the platform makes it unbelievably simple. Lists can be created to keep track of lead information, scoring and status and team members can be assigned to various cards (aka leads in this particular example).
Move cards down your pipeline, assign due dates for tasks for your clients, attach relevant documents and keep track of where your leads are in your sales sales or CRM pipelines all in one convenient screen.
Trello for Personal Organization
Sometimes we all just need help getting our work schedules and to-do lists organized. Keep track of your daily tasks, categorize them by list and assign due dates and times for completion in order to ensure that you stay on top of your work.
Or, if you’re looking to be a bit more strategic in your approach, organize boards as different aspects of your marketing strategy. For example, the above board reflects the individual’s personal branding strategy and helps them keep track of progress being made.
On the right side you will find the Menu, which lists activity on the board. It also gives you the option to filter cards and add stickers. We’ve clicked on the “More…” option to reveal a secondary list where you can adjust your settings, add labels, create collections, archive items print and export cards and boards or pull the URL for sharing with others.
Business Operations with Trello
Trello makes it easy to organize business operations at a glance. This particular individual has made use of the background image feature as well for adde personalization.
As you can see above, lists can be made into anything from teams, with individual cards reflecting each department, to priorities and projects. The user has also attached varioust team members to cards and color coded them for easy review.
Furthermore, you’ll notice on the right-hand side there is a menu which reflects the most recent activity on the board including the user’s information, what actions were taken and the time and date which they were completed.
If you have an upgraded option you will notice additional features on the menu such as the ability to change the background or integrate with third-party apps (aka “Power-Ups”).
For example, one of the Power-Ups includes a detailed calendar view. Another gives you the ability to link your Google Drive to the platform so that you’re able to create, store and manage documents and media effectively.
Event Planning with Trello
Trello is also a great option for event planning, whether you’re an event planner by profession or a company employee organizing the annual potluck celebration. As you can see in the image above, the individual has created a board for a special event and created lists to help keep track of deadlines, the status of tasks and dates.
If you take a look next to the name of the board “100 Mile Potluck”, you’ll also find that the individual has the
board listed as being visible to the rest of the company. When you purchase an upgraded version of the software, you’re able to restrict access to everything from certain tasks, to cards or entire boards.
So there you have it! Everything you need to know about the immensely popular and insanely cost-effective project management platform that is Trello. If you’re a business owner looking to optimize their workflow processes and boost productivity, then a simple, intuitive platform such as Trello is the perfect option for you to get the job done.
Have you used Trello for your business? What were your thoughts on the platform? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!