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Task Management Software Vs Project Mangement Software

Task Management Software Vs Project Management Software

Quite often we come across To-Do lists or Task Management software which are touted as Project Management software. As a visitor, I find it annoying when I realise that all these software have to offer is simple To-Do list / Task management features whereas I’d expect much more than that.

task management software vs project management software

In this post, you will find differences as:  task management software vs project management software

Frankly, the debate should start with the difference between Tasks & Project.

# Parameter Task Management Software Project Management Software
1 Focus on To-Do Lists or Tasks List 1. Project Planning through tasks, milestones, work-breakdown-structure (WBS);
2. Project Tracking (progress, issues, risks, budget, etc)
3. Communication & collaboration
2 Works well for Individual or small team of upto 10 team members More than 10 team members
3 Works well for Upto 20-25 tasks which will go on for maximum couple of months More than 2 -3 months and involves more than 20 tasks with varied schedule & dependency
4 Works best When activities are unrelated or loosely related and less follow up is expected to be done with team members When project activities are fairly related, interdependent; follow up/ project tracking is necessary to get overall picture
5 Suited for Organizer for individual’s or small group’s activities which are mostly transactional activities. Planning & tracking of projects having reasonable duration (more than 2-3 months, sometimes even years) and having multiple considerations like tasks/issue/risk inter-dependencies, resource availability, resource utilisation, etc
6 Supports Task management & communication but not projects Tasks management is implicitely supported. But involves much more
1. Task Scheduling & Tracking
2. Resource Identification & assignment
3. Issue Management
4. Risk Management
5. Project Communication
6. Project Files/Document Management
7. Budgeting
7 Task Plan Involves Name of task, start date, end date Involves Name, Planned Start Date, Planned Due Date, Estimated Efforts, Resources, Dependency, Actual Start Date, Actual End Date, Actual Efforts
8 Planning Can be done quickly. Without much deliberation Supports well devised & carved out project plan
9 Gantt Chart Software Not supported Supports Gantt Chart that gives visual representation of project schedule
10 KPI Dashboard and Reports The info is limited about tasks
Gives comprehensive & useful information in terms of progress made, planned schedule, actual schedule, variance, risk register, Issue audit log, etc

In short, project management is much broader discipline for an organisation & team to follow whereas task management is for individual or small group of people to skilfully manage & complete tasks.

Let me know if you share similar experience or have different opinion.

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I am a co-founder of Zilicus Solution and I write about project management, collaboration, productivity, project management software, cloud computing, requirement management and business empowerment.


  • […] how it is superior than simple task list tools […]

  • July 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    Robert Miles

    I have never tried to use Zilicus, only Basecamp and Comindware but I totally agree with you. This is evident especially when you use these tools while working on real projects and trying to control all business process as a project manager.

    • July 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks Rob for stopping by.
      Ultimately tools alone can not replace subject matter experts. To manage reasonably big/complex projects, organizations need processes to ensure successful delivery of projects and meeting organization’s goals. And these processes can be better enforced/followed/enabled with proper software solutions like project management, requirement management, change management, etc. tools.

      I think, the project management tools (the real ones, as you said) are evolving to include project teams. Project managers will still have control over project lifecycle but the overall process will be more inclusive and collaborative (with project team members, sponsors, stake-holders).