How to Make the Most of Project Management Tools

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Micromanaging can stifle creativity and productivity, especially in a remote work environment. The key to avoiding this pitfall is effectively leveraging project management tools. These tools not only help in organizing tasks but also provide visibility into the workflow. Let’s dive deep into how you can maximize these tools to manage your team without micromanaging.

Leverage Project Management Tools

Tools like Asana, Monday.com, and ClickUp offer different features, and understanding these can help you make an informed decision. We’re going to review some of the popular options.

ClickUp

ClickUp offers a wide range of features, making it suitable for various team sizes and project complexities. It provides task management, time tracking, goal setting, and document sharing in one platform.

  • Customizable Views: Offers different views such as List, Board, Box, Calendar, and Gantt, catering to diverse project management styles.
  • Goals and Targets: Track team and individual goals, breaking them down into smaller tasks and setting measurable targets.

Asana

Asana excels in providing a detailed and organized project management experience. Specific features that stand out for remote team management include:

  • Timeline (Gantt Chart View): Visualize project timelines and dependencies, ensuring all team members are aware of deadlines and task sequences.
  • Task Hierarchy: Break down projects into tasks and subtasks, assign them to team members, and set due dates to ensure accountability.
  • Custom Fields: Tailor task details to include specific data points like priority levels and progress stages.

Monday.com

Monday.com is a great tool to reduce micromanagement across different teams. It offers a highly customizable project management solution suitable for complex workflows:

  • Automation: Set up automation to move tasks, change statuses, or notify team members based on specific triggers, reducing manual updates.
  • Workload View: Monitor team workload to prevent burnout and ensure even distribution of tasks.
  • Integrations: Connect with tools like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams for streamlined communication.

These services have also started implementing advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. ClickUp, Notion, Asana, and other project management services have already implemented AI in their processes. For better or for worse, this trend is here to stay, so it’s essential to learn how to leverage AI for your business processes.

Automating and Optimizing Workflows

Take advantage of automation to streamline workflows. Here’s a deeper dive into how you can leverage automation and optimization techniques using project management tools:

Workflow Automation

In tools like Monday.com, you can set up automation to move tasks through different stages based on specific triggers. For instance, you can configure the system to automatically move a task to the ‘In Review’ stage once it’s marked ‘Completed.’ 

Suppose you are managing a content creation pipeline. You can set an automation that moves articles from ‘Drafting’ to ‘In Review’ once the writer marks them as completed. This immediately alerts editors to review the content without needing additional notifications.

Pro Tip: Combine multiple automation for complex workflows. For example, once a task is marked ‘In Review,’ trigger another automation to notify the editor and set a due date for the review process.

In ClickUp, automate the creation of recurring tasks to ensure no essential task is overlooked. This is particularly useful for tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis, such as weekly reports or monthly maintenance checks.

Set up a recurring task in ClickUp for monthly financial reviews. This task will automatically reappear each month and be assigned to the relevant team members with all necessary instructions attached.

Pro Tip: Customize recurring tasks with specific instructions or checklists that can be updated periodically to reflect any changes in the process or requirements.

Asana offers a feature called “Rules” that allows you to automate routine actions within your projects. You can create rules to assign tasks based on project stages, update task statuses, or trigger notifications.

Monitoring Progress and Providing Feedback

Utilize the reporting features in your project management tool to track key metrics and project health. Dashboards provide a visual overview of progress, helping you identify areas that need attention. You can use this data to prepare feedback for your employees, focusing on specific evidence rather than overall criticism.

Pro Tip 1: Customize your dashboards to display the most relevant metrics for your project. This could include task completion rates, upcoming deadlines, or team workloads.

Pro Tip 2: You can set multiple deadlines for different tasks. For example, for your content creation team you can set “Writer’s Deadline,” “Editor’s Deadline” and “Final Deadline” all within a single task. It can help you limit the number of separate tasks and set clear deadlines, while also allowing everyone involved to have a better understanding of the progress on each task.

Regular Reviews

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, managing remote teams has become a universal issue. Using modern tools to ensure the quality of the performance evaluation and the team’s efficiency has become crucial. Luckily, today, more and more services offer advanced solutions for remote supervision. 

Schedule periodic reviews to discuss progress, address challenges, and provide feedback. These reviews should focus on solutions and improvements rather than assigning blame.

Integrating External Tools and Resources 

Integrating external tools and resources can further enhance project management tools. This integration streamlines workflows, improves communication, and ensures all relevant documents are easily accessible within tasks.

Communication Tools

Integrating Slack or Microsoft Teams with Asana or ClickUp allows for seamless communication. This integration centralizes all project-related conversations, making it easier to track discussions and decisions. For example, you can link specific project tasks to Slack channels, ensuring relevant updates are automatically shared with the team. This reduces the need to switch between apps and keeps everyone on the same page. For instance, if your team works on mobile app development, such as the aviator india app, you’ll need integrated communication tools that support seamless interaction and coordination among team members.

Pro Tip: Use Slack’s reminders and @mentions to ensure that important deadlines and updates are not missed. Setting up automated reminders for task deadlines within Slack can keep the team on track without constant manual follow-ups.

Integrate Zoom with project management tools like Monday.com to schedule and manage virtual meetings directly from the platform. This integration allows you to attach meeting links to project tasks or calendar events, ensuring that all meeting details are organized within the project’s context.

Pro Tip: Record Zoom meetings and link the recordings to the corresponding tasks in Asana or ClickUp. This practice allows team members who couldn’t attend the meeting to catch up on important discussions and decisions.

File Sharing and Documentation

Integrating file-sharing services like Google Drive or Dropbox with Trello and ClickUp ensures that all relevant documents are easily accessible within tasks. This integration allows team members to attach files directly to tasks, avoiding the need to search through emails or separate file storage systems.

Pro Tip: Use shared Google Drive folders linked to specific projects in Trello. Organize documents by categories such as “Designs,” “Reports,” and “Contracts,” making it easier for team members to find the files they need quickly.

Tools like Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365 can be integrated within Asana to collaborate on documents in real-time. This feature is particularly useful for drafting project proposals, writing reports, or brainstorming ideas.

Pro Tip: Use Asana’s comment feature within tasks to provide feedback directly on documents stored in Google Drive or Office 365. This keeps all feedback and revisions in one place, making it easier to track changes and updates.

Onboarding New Team Members

ClickUp’s in-app tutorials and guides are invaluable for onboarding new team members. These interactive tutorials help new users understand how to navigate and utilize the tool effectively, ensuring a smooth transition.

Pro Tip: Supplement ClickUp’s tutorials with personalized onboarding sessions where experienced team members walk new hires through specific workflows and processes relevant to their roles.

Create comprehensive onboarding documents in Asana. These documents should detail workflows, tool usage, team expectations, and best practices. Having a centralized resource for new hires to refer to can significantly reduce onboarding time and ensure consistency.

Continuous Training

Schedule regular training sessions using integrated video conferencing tools. These sessions can keep the team updated on new features, best practices, and changes in workflows. Regular training ensures that all team members are proficient with the tools and can use them to their full potential.

Pro Tip: Record these training sessions and store them in ClickUp or Google Drive, making them accessible for future reference or for new hires who need to catch up.

You can develop a knowledge base in ClickUp with articles, how-tos, and best practices. This centralized repository of information can serve as a go-to resource for team members whenever they need guidance on using the project management tools.

Pro Tip: Encourage team members to contribute by adding their tips and tricks, creating a collaborative and continuously improving resource.

Conclusion

Top-notch project management tools can offer much more than regular task distribution and tracking. Try and experiment with different services before you pick one for your project. Remember, the goal is to empower your team, not control them. 

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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