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Project and Task Management Software: What's the Difference?

October 17, 2016

Often teams mistakenly use expensive project management software when they could really make do with a task management software tool, and the inverse is true as well.
Both of these software categories are saturated with hundreds of free, proprietary and open-source products. But if you first identify your role and understand your project management methodology, the decision becomes significantly simpler. 

Project Management Methodology

One of the main factors in this decision is the way your team operates. Every team functions differently, but agile organizations utilize planning, sprints and feedback to accomplish incremental goals.

Agile teams often work in sprint forms. Some project management tools, such as JIRA and TargetProcesses, are designed specifically for agile teams.

Some teams are able to accomplish agile processes without a project management tool. Some of the most popular task management tools for agile teams are Trello and Wekan. Here users utilize simple Kanban boards to plan and track tasks.

Other teams function on a more traditional, long-term schedule. These teams usually want to identify goals, set deadlines and track progress in line with project requirements.

Project management tools like MS Project are perfect for traditional project organization. Gantt charts are a staple of traditional project management products like TeamGantt and provide simple solutions with easily understandable timeline-like charts.

Other traditional teams simply assign a user one task at a time, or a series of tasks to complete sequentially. Wunderlist and Todoist provide simple features for individuals to assign a task and mark their completion.

User Industry

Many project and task management tools provide industry-specific or vertical solutions.

Software development teams may want to utilize a traditional product and utilize a waterfall development method. But agile teams need tools for development practices like scrum. Here, tools like TargetProcesses and VivifyScrum provide tools specifically for that.

But many developers may want to track their progress with a tool like producteev to list priorities, track tasks and assign labels.  

Some products offer industry-specific versions of project management software. For example, Wrike offers a marketing edition where users are able to integrate it with marketing automation tools and have new features such as proofing and event management.

Others, such as Insightly, are geared towards sales teams. Insightly provides a hybrid CRM software. Teams can complete both sales and project management tasks within the same platform. 

Task Management Benefits

Task management tools provide fewer features in general than project management software. They are rarely geared towards specific industries and are often limited to simple to-do list structure.

But these tools are often perfect for users in any industry where users function on a more independent basis. Users can keep track of their individual duties for their own personal purposes.

Task management tools can also be beneficial for daily tasks that are not related to work. These may include cleaning, homework, doctors appointments and anything else that can be put on a to-do list.

But if you still don’t know which tool fits you best, visit our project management software and task management software categories to find the best product to suit your needs.

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