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 realize that all these software have to offer is simple To-Do list / Task management features whereas I’d expect much more than that.
In this post, I have tabulated brief differences between Task Management Software and 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 interdependencies, resource availability, resource utilization, 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||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||Not supported||Supports Gantt Chart that gives visual representation of project schedule|
|10||Reports & Dashboard||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 organization & 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.
Additional readings about project management, leadership
- Case Study: What Happens When Project Team Has Dual Reporting
- Avoid These 10 Most Common Mistakes That Leads to Project Failure
- Back2Basics: Ultimate Project Management Guide: Project Planning
- 8 Reasons to Decide Whether Your Organization Needs Project Management Office
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