To-do list


With social network-like interfaces and increased real-time updating, task management software can help keep projects on schedule.



Last year, more than half of all projects missed their deadlines, according to Panorama Consulting Solutions' 2012 ERP Report, a survey of 246 organizations from 64 countries.

One way to keep projects on track is by using a task management solution. Think of it as the electronic equivalent of a handwritten to-do list. Today's offerings enable project managers to update team members in real time—something your notebook can't do.

“Because projects with globally distributed resources are common-place and often those team members are in the field, mobility is surfacing as a key component,” says Margo Visitacion, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. “Team members need to be able to rapidly see their assignments and act.”

Usability also plays a significant role: Is the software easy to learn? How efficient is it? Is it visually pleasing?

“Project leaders need to think long and hard about how their people work and select an application based upon how team members need access,” Ms. Visitacion says. “This may be the deciding factor in whether or not you select a cloud solution and what type of functionality the organization needs to deploy.”

If a task management tool is difficult to use, no one will see its benefit.


“Focus on simplicity for team members to interact or collaborate with the project leader as well as coworkers,” she adds.

Data integration into existing project portfolio management solutions is a consideration for some organizations. But don't try to find a tool that's all-encompassing.

“Task management should not focus on integrating all the potential information you can gather,” Ms. Visitacion says. “This can make adoption counterintuitive. Instead, the thought should be around what is enough information to get the job done.”




Related Content

  • PM Network

    Proyecto del año de PMI 2020 member content open

    Durante décadas, Europa ha dependido en gran medida de una nación, Rusia, para suministrar su gas natural. Casi el 40 por ciento del gas natural de la Unión Europea proviene de Rusia. Una nueva…

  • PM Network

    2020 PMI® Project of the Year Winner member content open

    By Parsi, Novid| Wilkinson, Amy For decades, Europe has relied heavily on one nation, Russia, to supply its natural gas. Almost 40 percent of the European Union’s natural gas comes from Russia. A new pipeline could change that.…

  • PM Network

    Banishing Bottlenecks member content open

    By Ingram, Bruce Bottlenecks can have punishing consequences on projects—and their teams. Whether the source of the logjam is a person, a process or a resourcing backlog, teams can get stuck in project limbo when…

  • PMI Sponsored Research

    Digital Transformations of Traditional PBOs and Modern PNWs member content open

    By Braun, Timo | Ekstedt, Eskil | Lundin, Rolf A. | Sydow, Jörg Digitalization is a phenomenon occurring across sectors and nations, affecting technical processes, organizational forms, and managerial practices. Project management, which is often used as an…

  • PM Network

    Power Play member content open

    By Fister Gale, Sarah India's skyrocketing growth is only matched by its surging demand for energy—expected to roughly double over the next two decades. With India on pace to consume more than 10 percent of the global…