Do you have a million to-dos every day? Do you ever manage to finish your tasks on time? Managing tasks should not be a source of anxiety. With the advent of online task management software, managing chores just got easier.
Let’s start by defining what is a task? Task simply means any work that needs to be undertaken to achieve the desired result.
So, buying milk is a task, taking kids to school is another task and so on. Basically, any action you take in life to achieve something is a task.
The most important elements of a project are its tasks. Without tasks, there is nor projects.
This article is not about how to use an online task management software.
You can learn to use any software by trying it. Our aim is to show how to organize your life using small tasks.
The project management software helps you to manage your life and work better and faster.
Online Project management software has become an enabler for planning, organizing and managing your work.
Why online and not the traditional desktop project management options? The answer in just one word is Collaboration!
Today working on projects requires collaboration. Without collaboration, work can not progress efficiently in today’s work environment.
Teams are more diverse, global and remote than ever before. Online Collaboration makes work possible for today’s workforce.
Online task management software benefits
As the title of this article screams, I am a big believer in online task management software.
Task management software when done right can help you and your team to become more productive.
So how do you define and create tasks in the age of Agile project management?
The big news here is this, although project management methods are introduced or are evolved, creating managing tasks stays the same.
What is common among all these widely different methodologies is the task.
All project methodologies are about creating and managing tasks, although they are called by different names in Agile and others.
So how do you manage tasks in the workplace? Start by creating a list. All-everything you need to do to finish a project.
Do worry about the details at this stage. Think high level and top down.
If your project is building a house, for example, write down everything you need to accomplish before the house is ready to move in.
Do you need an Architect? Do you need to hire contractors? Do you need to get city permits?
Does the building start after the land is cleared? Do you need a basement and a garage? How many rooms? How many floors and etc.
Input your list into a project management application which has good task management. Review the list and get rid of redundant and unwanted tasks.
Now it is time to prioritize your list. Which tasks need to be done first? Can some tasks run in parallel? If yes, identify those tasks.
After you have your list, it is time to refine each task in the list and add details.
For tasks which are too complex, try to break down them to smaller more manageable tasks (they are called subtasks)
For each task, estimate when it can start and end. Don’t worry about trying to come up with accurate dates. For complex projects, it is really hard.
An educated estimate is all you need. Later during the project, you can reevaluate your estimates and correct them with more accurate numbers.
Now that you have all your tasks start assigning them to people in your team. If you have a mature team, you can involve the team from the very beginning and don’t wait until here.
A good way to have a better project estimate is to use dependencies for tasks.
Dependency simply means a task can’t start until the task which it depends is finished.
As an example, you can only install windows when the wall is built.
This process gives you a much more accurate project estimation.
More features for task management
A project is more than just tasks. It includes documents, conversations, approvals and managing people and tasks.
An online project management software which facilitates doing the above chores can cut days or weeks from the planning and execution of your projects.
As mentioned before the real advantage of online task management is the collaborative aspect of it.
Since everything is in the cloud, it is much easier to come up with features that enhance communication and collaboration regardless where people are working at any time.
When you add a comment to a task or attach a file, the application instantly notifies all project stakeholders.
This frees you and your team from sed and receiving endless emails.
There are fewer reasons to have meetings and when meetings are needed, not everyone needs to be in the same room.
Online task management software enables and enhances remote work in your organization.