Work Management Vs Project Management: What’s The Difference?
Over the past year, we learned the value and struggles of working remotely. Collaboration tools have become the forerunner of every conversation on how to maximize productivity during the pandemic crisis and maintain relationships with clientele. We have discovered that working remotely can be more effective than working in an office and subsequently saving the business money. Moving to remote work can be challenging and being prepared is the key. Finding the collaboration tools that work best for each workday is vital to the success of going remote and maintaining excellent teamwork. While project management is often mentioned, work management is a major component of the success of any business, remote or in person. Communication is a top component with these tools but they go beyond that and into the realms of tracking and documenting. Let’s investigate what project management and work management do.
Defining Project Management
Project management tools focus on a specific project to be completed in a set time frame. There is an outline of tasks to complete within the project to provide deliverables at specific milestones. These mini-goals lead to the successful life cycle and completion of a project. A project could be onboarding 5 new clients within 6 months or a year. From researching potential clients to signing contracts, every milestone needs to be checked off so that the project team can see how the progress is going and if the project will be as successful as everyone hopes. Project management software was once a tool of the project manager but has evolved into a collaborative tool for the entire team to use in project planning. This is where you can coordinate a virtual event, build a sales team plan for the year, track the progress of the plan, set objectives and goals, and define the roadmap to the achievements. Project management is a structured routine plan or methodology that is not very flexible because of deadlines. Project management can also be defined as an element of work management.
Defining Work Management
Work management is best defined as a tool to manage each workday to ensure that all tasks are completed. The digital tool will allow you to plan, track, and organize everything that needs to be done during the day with the goal of improving performance. They map out the routine duties as well as job responsibilities for projects. With every chore visible and clarified, all your staff will be able to be more efficient and reach goals faster than you had before. It goes a step further than project management by adding the ability to manage procedures that have no specific end date. This means you can manage all new employee onboarding with the tool and save yourself time. You can control all the moving parts of your marketing campaigns and produce and maintain an editorial calendar. How about the ability to schedule your recurring sprints? Or perhaps, coordinate your program management or portfolio management workflow? All of that can be taken care of in a work management tool that provides real-time updates.
The Shortfalls of Project Management
Project management has its place and is a very useful tool. It’s simply limited in its capabilities and follows a rigid framework that does not allow for work beyond the project scope. Considering the fact that project management accounts for less than 50% of ad-hoc office tasks, it isn’t helpful for the other things we do. We spend more time on the phone, answering emails, and routine daily chores than we do on specific projects. Project management requires a definitive time frame to be worked with clearly defined participants. Any staff outside of the project are not included and can leave a large part of the day roaming on its own. Project management is complementary to work management. While some companies still use it exclusively, the workforce is changing at a fast pace and making it a somewhat outdated tool to rely on. This has never been more true than the impact of the pandemic over the past year. Imagine what that day looks like. There may be spreadsheets or a separate program for sales data and bookkeeping. Google Docs to manage meeting notes, project plans, and to make decisions. Video meetings take place to ensure everyone understands their tasks at hand. Emails are sent regarding assignments, questions about schedules, and inquiries about pay or for human resources. Phone calls are made for sales, collaborations, and other mundane discussions. All of these things can hinder productivity and that is where the benefits of work management come in.
Shifting from a project management to a work management approach can work wonders for your business.
The Benefits of Work Management
Work management is all-inclusive to your employees. Even the most efficient worker can feel completely overwhelmed when they think about what the day holds. Having this virtual checklist is a lifesaver for many to feel like they can manage their workload and achieve specific goals. The clarity cuts down on excessive communication tainted with confusion over what needs to be done next. Emails are cut down by necessity. You can manage team notes, meeting notes, projects, and calendars in one place. What is more impressive is that you can use these tools in the office and with remote workers to streamline processes. This means that offices can re-open and still employ remote workers without sacrificing productivity and success. Let’s also look at this definitive list of benefits:
- Work allocation – this allows the manager to see what everyone is working on and assign tasks in a balanced manner so that no one is doing more than another. Especially individual projects. It is also fantastic for prioritizing tasks to reach project goals.
- Track your work – create project work reports you can share with clientele and stakeholders that share your progress. It also helps you catch problem areas before they become too much of a problem.
- See your workflow – specialized gantt charts or kanban boards that let you see your workflow and make any necessary adjustments.
- Manage your time effectively – track your time on non-project tasks so that everyone is accountable for their efforts. It’s a great self-awareness tool to how your managing your time.
- Task management – take control of your task list to ensure that all tasks are completed.
- Effective collaboration – the capabilities to use various tools to make collaborations a breeze.
Features Of Work Management Software
We have mentioned some of the benefits but let’s take a closer look at the features when using work management.
- Task management – create and assign tasks, prioritize the tasks, and track the work to stay on top of deadlines and within budgeting constraints.
- File storage and sharing – a centralized location to store all images and documents that are accessible to anyone who needs them.
- Resource management – create a schedule for your team and see who is working on which task. This avoids overworking any one team member and everything is completed in a timely manner.
- Reporting – create reports on resources to watch over progress, time, cost, update your clientele, and spot problem areas.
- Communication hub – one spot for message boards, leave comments, and receive notifications about progress or changes to the workload. One of the best collaboration tools of work management.
- Time management – track worked hours, create timesheets, and create time reports. This allows you to watch for bottlenecks in the workflow.
- Workflow management – create a visual board that shows the workflow through a series of actionable steps.
There are options to customize your work management software to include modules specific to your industry. This many include third-party tool integrations, proofreading, invoicing, CRM, and prototyping.
The Complete View of Work
With so much happening in the world that has affected the workplace, it is important to look at the entirety of your workflows rather than focusing on individual tasks. By streamlining the workflows with one tool, you are giving your employees freedom and time to complete their tasks. You will be rewarded with seeing efficiency and productivity improve and business grow as a result. It doesn’t matter what size your company is either, it will help you succeed in ways that would take longer doing things the old-fashioned way. However, freelancers will find that task management software will be more beneficial as it is a simplified version for fewer tasks.
Get Started With Work Management Today
So now that you have a better understanding of project management and work management, are you ready to take the plunge? Of course you are! To find out how you can get started, contact our experts today. They will walk you through the options that will best suit your current needs.