Project management is crucial for the success of a business. When it comes to testing, it is important to track tasks and projects from conception to deployment. This can be a headache if you don't have the right project management system to assist you.
At Kalio, we utilize a variety of project management platforms. Though having everyone on one, cohesive platform sounds like the ideal solution, it is also important to consider the needs and preferences of your team. Each project management platform has its own personality.
Here is a brief overview of some of the project management platforms we have used.
Basecamp: The Designer
Basecamp is structured in a "post-it" style, with each project appearing as a small square on your screen. This offers a visually-clean look that is free of clutter and distractions.
Basecamp's interface is very project-based, allowing individuals that work primarily on projects, rather than individual tasks, to organize their work. The design of the platform is aesthetically appealing and helps maintain a clean, organized look that many other project management platforms lack.
For project-focused individuals, such as testers working on one specific project at a time or designers, Basecamp's structure works well. It allows you to focus entirely on one project's tasks from beginning to completion. Even better, it gives you a very visual overview of the various steps you have taken and drafts you have made.
It allows whole teams to collaborate on one project at a time without the usual clutter and confusing hand-offs. Each team member can see what they are responsible for completing and even set specific due dates for their tasks. Their "post-it" style design also incorporates a drag-and-drop feature that allows users to quickly attach images and files to each project. The interface is easy to navigate and the platform offers a thorough step-by-step guide to walk you through their various features.
Trello: The List Maker
Personally, I am not fond of Trello for work-based collaboration. Trello organizes based on boards. Within each board, you can create lists. In these lists, you can create discussions, track activity, add checklists, include due dates, and attach files. On a small scale, Trello's organizational design functions well. However, the interface isn't easy to maneuver and the view does not enable teams to easily recognize priorities or handoff tasks.
The drag-and-drop features that are built in are convenient for rearranging task lists and boards. Unfortunately, Trello is not very flexible beyond this. Though there is a running activity feed bar that allows team members to view progress, collaborating can be a bit difficult a moving between boards and tasks takes some effort.
For teams that work on more complex projects with many subtasks, I would not recommend Trello. However, if your team requires a project management system that allows you to quickly and easily manage to-do lists, Trello is your guy.
Asana: The Organizer
Asana is the platform that our marketing team is the most familiar with as it is the system our specific team has chosen to use.
Asana is free (for up to 15 team members) and easy to navigate. The interface is very intuitive, making it easy to figure out where everything is located. Though it may appear cluttered at first (with the default view set to three columns), it provides a high-level view of all of your tasks. This enables your team to get the big picture and see what other projects and tasks are running simultaneously.
Our team organizes tasks by projects, sprints, and priorities. This helps us to prioritize more quickly, with specific tasks automatically ranking at a higher priority than others. With flexible view options, Asana caters to different types of users. If you prefer a singular view with just your tasks, there is an option for that. If you'd like to browse all of the tasks that are relevant to your projects (even if they are not in your court), that is also an option. If you are more visual, there is also a calendar view available. Additionally, Asana has great search and filter capabilities.
In terms of collaboration, each task has comment and tagging capabilities. It is very easy to plug in a message to your team member through the comments section. Asana also makes sharing and handing off tasks painless. Team members can follow relevant tasks or projects and pass them off as necessary. Asana makes following a project through the drafting process to finalization simple. Prioritizing is no longer a problem -- it is very clear which tasks need to be done, by whom, and by what date.
Sharepoint: The Collaborator
Obviously one of the major roadblocks when it comes to Sharepoint is its price point. However, for avid Microsoft Office users Sharepoint is the dream project management platform. In a single platform, your team can access shared calendars, organized files and documents, excel sheets, and tasks.
If your team relies heavily on file sharing and storage, Sharepoint is perfect for you. E-mail functionalities, calendars, contacts, and Microsoft Office capabilities are all built into the platform.Unfortunately, their tasks functionality is not as comprehensive as others which makes it difficult to keep all of your to-do lists organized across projects. It is also difficult to pass tasks back and forth between teammembers.
The Office 365 suite enables you and your team members to easily share Word documents, Excel sheets, and Powerpoints. It also allows your team to engage in real-time collaboration online with shared, editable documents that update as you work. If you are looking for a platform that empowers your team to work collaboratively online, Sharepoint comes equipped with all of the tools necessary to do so.