What is the difference between Task, Project and Process Management?

It can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to purchasing the right technology for your business.
There are many software products that promise to revolutionize your business.
Website after website offers program downloads that claim to help you innovate in accounting, marketing, or sales.
Task, project, and management of process all look almost the same. How can you tell the difference?

Below, we’ll separate task management, process management and project management.
What makes task management unique?
Task management is essential for creating a productive workflow within organizations. It’s often part of both process management and project management, which is why people often confuse the two. Task management is not meant to replace either project or process management. It’s more of a foundation for them both.
Task management is a process that allows for the complete life cycle management of tasks. This process is used to help an individual or group achieve a goal. Tasks are accumulated and ranked according to their complexity. These tasks require planning, testing, tracking, and reporting to be successful.
Task management is a basic activity that involves keeping track of status, priority, time, status, time, financial and human resource assignments, notifications, etc.
Task management can be described as a list of tasks. Managers set a project goal and then create a list of tasks that will help them achieve it. Once they have identified the tasks, they prioritize them and assign them to people. Finally, they give deadlines. This is the best way to determine when a goal can be achieved and hold team members accountable for their roles in achieving it.
When should you use task management?
Task management is a key tool for success. With less than a third completing projects within the budget and timeframes, it has become a key tool. Task management should be used for every project or goal a business is working towards. It doesn’t have to be directly related to the company’s products and services. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a temporary project. It can be “business as usual” work that is done on an ongoing and permanent basis.
Software development companies should use task management (and task-management software) to manage the production of each piece of software being developed. This also allows for updates and patches to be added. Each phase of software package development can be broken down into tasks. These tasks are assigned to team members and given deadlines. Task management is also important for marketing and advertising each piece of software.
Task management is an option for every marketing campaign. They can be broken down into the content that should be created, when it should have been created and who should do it.
Task management can help with long-term goals. You can turn the objectives into tasks, then assign the task to the person who will complete it over a longer time period.
What makes project management unique?
Project management is the process of initiating, planning, designing, execution, construction monitoring, control and closing a specific goal. This is a short-term goal that has very specific success criteria. It can be a service or product that has a defined beginning and ending. This management is different from general management, which involves repetitive and permanent activities. Project management is limited in scope, budget, quality, time, and duration.
Software that is used for project management (project management program software).

Five Biggest Project Management Trends for 2017

2016 was a great year by all measures.
Trainers of Pokemon finally caught Pikachu without a console.
Beyonce created a new standard in exposing cheating husbands to all of the world.
Our sweet prince was too soon taken from this world.
There was also all the other bad stuff that occurred, but that’s not why you’re here. You are here because you want to learn how the field of project management will change in the next twelve months.
You are right to be curious. 2017 will be a huge year for project management.

We compiled a list of 2016 project management predictions. The growth that can be derived from the integration of traditional project management and change management. We predicted that PMPs would increase in popularity, as well as the emphasis on risk management.
We are confident that 2017 will be the year of project management excellence. Some of these may surprise you.
1. Agile project management is accepted outside of software development.
Although software development has been the mainstay of agile project management for many years, we have been watching agile slowly leak into other industries. There is an agile marketing manifesto already, editorial staff use Kanban software to organize articles, and Scrum has been used in finance almost a half-decade.
These examples are a small selection of industries that are not familiar with project management. This is about to change.
Agile project management has risen in all industries in the past few months. It is being used by UX professionals and graphic designers. Agile is revolutionizing pet food product development. Agile has been adopted by construction management. IT does not have the sole right to project management.
2. A pivot will emphasize nontraditional collaboration tools over traditional software for project management.
You might expect that agile’s popularity will lead to more industry-specific software. However, we are not there yet (with the exception of marketing and design).
2017 will see a shift away from project management software to collaboration software like Slack, and other alternatives, such as Slack. Gartner says that the “applications” are already in use, which encourages adoption and change management within employees. They are used to Yammer and Jive so they will likely stick with them.
The trend will be in effect in 2017, but Gartner warns that these collaboration tools are not designed for project management. Users will need to adjust their settings. Gartner suggests that employees agree on the basic methods of communication such as “@” mentions to include team members, and hashtags for red flags. The project manager will need to be skilled in change management to adopt these systems.
3. “NPD PPM” will not be just jargon anymore.
NPD PPM is the new product development portfolio management software. (See why there’s an acronym? ) has slowly begun to creep into enterprise product design organizations. Some examples brands include Decision Lens and GenSight, PDWare Planview, Sopheon and UMT360.
Gartner attributes the merging of NPD/PPM to agile’s widespread adoption as well as the Internet of Things. It states, “Consumers pitted with talented product developers drive product innovation that cannot ever be ‘fast enough’ or ‘agile enough to meet market demand… The Internet of Things, digitalization, and strategizing are pushing product companies and their product innovation teams to strategize and prioritize, select, source, and execute projects.

5 Reasons Project Management Software is a Must-Have

Oh January.
It is snowing.
Martin Luther King Jr. is top-of-mind.
The United States is home to National Blood Donor Month and National Braille Literacy Month. National Hobby Month and National Soup Month are also celebrated.
We all go to the gym and purchase a new membership.
In fact, January is the month that 12% of all new gym memberships are signed up. The average number of new membership sign-ups for other months is 8% per year.
These new gym rats should have known the secret to weight loss success.
It’s not a super-recommended diet, a quick exercise program, or a fad diet. Instead, it’s project management software.

There are many free tools for project management that you can use to help you lose weight. But, what if you want to know why this method works?
Continue reading to discover the five reasons that project management software is so important for a healthy diet.
1. Grundsätzlich, diets are projects.

Let’s take a look at what a project is. The Project Management Institute defines a project as a temporary effort to create a new product, service, or result. Temporary projects have a defined beginning and ending time and therefore a defined scope and resource.
For a second, think about how this aligns with our weight loss goals:
Project management software was designed to help with projects similar to weight loss. This sentiment is also applicable to other physical goals. Consider:
2. Project management concepts are already being used by weight-loss websites.

It doesn’t really matter if your dieting strategy is using MyFitnessPal or SparkPeople, Lose It! or Excel (c’mon guys!
This is how you can think of it: Gantt charts look exactly like this.

What does projected weight loss look?

Are you starting to notice a trend in your industry?
They are essentially the same thing except that weight loss is more redundant. Lose five pounds: first block. Ten pounds: second block. Fifteen. Twenty. And so on.
You can also use the project management features to manage daily tasks such as calorie counting, exercise, macronutrient advice, and collaboration options. You’ll be able to “like” and “comment” on statuses that overlap. Project management is all about team building, or in the case for weight loss, building a community to share effort.
3. Existing wellness apps won’t help you lose weight.

Habit management apps like Habitica and Habit List are great for weight maintenance but not weight loss.
Because they take out the “project” part of it!
Once a goal is taken off our checklist, it becomes a business process. And business processes or quotidian routines aren’t always exciting. They don’t produce results, they just predictably lead to more of them.
You would think that weight loss apps would do better, right?
Take into account the research on the effectiveness of weight loss apps.
A study published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that 81% of mobile weight-loss apps don’t help dieters. A study by Public Health and Nutrition found that app users can expect to lose only three to six centimeters in their waistline over the course of a single year. Non-app users? It’s not much different, a reduction of between two and four centimeters.
These apps are failing, that’s all.
Do we need to try something different?
4. Mobile is still the best way to lose weight.

Don’t panic sweaty, sad panda! I don’t recommend that you lose your phone to access an on-premise or online project management software option.
Despite the modest success of weight loss apps in helping dieters lose weight, there are still some successes to be proud of. Those centimeters reductions mentioned in section last are still reductions.
The most important factor in determining the efficacy of a diet is its ability to be tracked on mobile.

[Podcast] Why Emotional Intelligence is Vital for Engaged Teams

This episode of Thrive explains why emotional intelligence (EQ), is crucial for leading engaged and successful team members. It also offers tips on how you can improve your EQ.
This episode features: Brian WestfallHost, Principal HR Analyst at CapterraOlivia MontyGuest, Associate Principal Analysis at CapterraIn a recent Capterra poll, 78% of project managers reported using emotional intelligence more often than ever in the last two years. Why is EQ so hot? How can high EQ managers improve employee engagement and overall project success?
Brian Westfall, principal HR analyst, sits down with Olivia Montgomery, Capterra associate principal analyst to discuss how emotional intelligence can be used by project managers to lead engaged and successful teams. Olivia shares insights from her research as well as tips for improving your own EQ.
You can listen or watch this episode on Thrive below.
Register for Thrive today
Subscribe to the Thrive podcast via any of your favorite platforms
Apple PodcastSpotifyYou also have the option to catch up on new episodes of Thrive via our YouTube channel. These resources can help you get more help with employee engagement.
Podcast transcript

Five Ways to Teach Agile Methodology to Your Tech Team

Sometimes I feel like an evangelist.
After returning from lunch, I ask my colleagues: “Have your heard the good word about Alistair Cockburn?” They ignore me. I press. “You know, he was part the team that wrote the IT worker’s sacred text: The Agile Manifesto.”
(I don’t understand why anyone would want to go out for lunch with me.

Sometimes I get a reaction from Capterra’s IT department. “Oh yes, Scrum!” “Crystal!” “Ugh, DSDM.”
Engaging with someone is nerds gone wild.
It’s just as exciting as it sounds. All things are exploding, including code, snacks, standing desks, and code.
I am aware that my peers may not be as enthusiastic about agile as I am. If they only knew how effective (and enjoyable!) agile management can be, it would be a great thing. If they knew how effective (and fun!) agile project management can be, they would be just as excited about it as I am.
What is Agile methodology? How can you use it effectively?
Agile is an iterative approach for project management. Agile methodologies are flexible and adaptable to changing requirements, rather than focusing on a single approach.
Agile software development requires customer feedback and cross-functional teams to succeed. Agile is a real-time method of project management that allows you to manage your development as it happens, in an evolving way. The Agile methodology allows you to create, integrate feedback into, test and manage all your projects simultaneously.

According to Project Management Institute market research, agile organizations performed significantly better in performance metrics than non-agile counterparts. Take, for example:
There are many benefits to agile methods and tech teams can reap the benefits of this project management approach.
If you are ready to learn how to teach Agile to your team, then read on.
1. Use the Agile Manifesto to create assignments and exercises
Introduce your team to the Agile manifesto as the first step in becoming agile. Its core is made up of 12 principles:

These principles can be taught through exercises and assignments, such as the ones on Growing Agile.
These exercises are geared towards self-discovery and not teaching.
Begin by asking your team about their manifesto. Let them discuss the principles together. Next, have a brainstorming session where your team can identify the principles that will work well in group discussions. Then, you can give your team a written assignment that will allow them to apply the principles to their current software development methods. These assignments are designed to help you learn and remember the principles.
A simple fill-in the blanks exercise is a great way to teach basics, especially for new tech teams.

2. Instead of focusing on theory, focus on live training
Real-life examples are the best way to learn about Agile. Although your team may be well-versed in agile concepts like Scrum, XP and Crystal, it is still beneficial to see examples. For intermediate and advanced practitioners of Agile methodology, live training is appropriate. These steps will help you teach your tech team agile through live examples.
(Hint: You can use agile project management software in order to get this system right first time.
These are just a few examples of how to do live training on agile methods. Apply agile to your current project is the key. Live project training is a great way for knowledge transfer, not just teaching.
3. Online Kanban and Scrum course certifications
Online certifications are a great way to implement Agile. Although it is more costly than running a program in-house, the benefits include time savings.

Three productivity hacks that will add at least one hour to every day

There are whole industries that are built around the idea of making you more productive. David Allen is a successful man partly because he started a company that helps people get stuff done. Although I’m not David Allen I have managed to attain a certain level of productivity. In this article, I will share three hacks that helped me become more productive.
These are not general philosophical guidelines, but “hacks” to help you be a more productive person. Two principles are my philosophical guidelines. To be productive, you need to find 1) your personal rhythms and 2) the right environment for work. I find that I can accomplish a lot of work when I work from 6:30am to 12pm, simply because my mind and body are primed to function well and have the right environment. My work environment is remote. This means that I often find refuge in local coffee shops with my Macbook Pro, and bluetooth headset. (The headset is intended as a subtle signal to potential conversationalists that my audible inability to communicate with me is a problem.
These two factors, time and environment, are my starting point to productivity. Every person’s starting point or foundation is different. It is important to determine what works best for your situation.
These hacks can be used to add at least an hour to your day — and possibly more to your life — without having to think about philosophical principles.
1. “Do Not Disturb.”
You are able to say no to distractions during your workday for the most part. (As a father who works from home, I know that there are exceptions.) Distractions are a major time-waster. To recover from distractions, it takes a lot of mental energy. Multitasking is not something humans are wired for.
It’s not about being an ogre to people who need your attention or companionship. It allows you to be productive and give people your full attention and affection. “Do not disturb” can be a valid boundary. As a human being, you should be able to set boundaries that allow for productivity, happiness, and efficiency.
Take it all in this light. I can spend two hours being a nice guy to the office yappers, tapping on Twitter IMs, trying unsuccessfully to get my actual work done. I’ll be frustrated and grouchy by the end of those two hour. I can also spend an hour doing Do-Not Disturb work. I will be able to accomplish a lot of work in that hour-long blaze of productivity with zero distractions. I’ll then have an hour to chat with people, tweet messages and smile at the world, without feeling the constant pressure to get stuff done.
Here are some practical tips for doing the Do Not disturb thing.
Use the Do not Disturb feature on your smartphone. Smartphones are the embodiment of disturbances. I just take my phone out of my sight and turn the volume down.
Disable popups. Turn off any popups that appear on your computer screen, such as emails, tweets, notifications, IMs and so forth.
Your Do Not Disturb sign should be posted. I use Adium, an instant messenger, to place a Do Not disturb notification when I’m in my zone. Make a sign if you have a physical office and place it on your front door or at the entrance of your cubicle.
2. You should unplug your device for at least an hour during the day.
I am not capable of working for long periods of time. I am a follower of the flow theory of Mihaly Cikszentmihalyi. Sometimes I find myself in a steady stream of productivity. But it doesn’t last for hours. Instead, I have discovered the value in breaking down my day into smaller blocks of productivity.
People are capable of focusing on a single subject for long periods of time.

Three Often Overlooked Soft Skills To Employ In Your Project Management Practice

Project management is a complex task that requires both technical and soft skills. Forecasting, reporting, and scheduling are all examples of hard skills. Soft skills include communication, leadership, and teamwork. It is usually easier to determine when to use hard skills, as they are often applicable to specific and quantifiable tasks.
Despite this, soft skills seem to get less attention in project forums and general discussion. To help you thrive in a project environment, I have focused my attention on three of the most overlooked soft skills.
Your team’s resilience is a measure of its ability to cope with external or internal factors that could impact its goals. These factors can vary greatly, from the team’s resourcing to the availability and capabilities of ancillary staff.
Although it is impossible to list all factors, Diagram 1 highlights key factors that may affect a project team’s resilience.
Diagram 1. Factors that impact the resilience of project teams.

These are three factors that I have personally experienced.
It is important to be resilient as staff burnout can have a significant impact on the performance of the team. It is especially helpful to have a mentor and to create a work-life balance.
It is essential to have project documentation in order to brief stakeholders, especially when there is high turnover of project staff. Up-to-date documentation (e.g. The transition of new staff to your project is made much easier when you have the Project Initiation document.
The ability to effectively use ancillary team members can improve outcomes. In my previous role, for example, I worked closely with the technical team to vet method statements and present them to engineering managers. This helped reduce risk and increased approval rates for documentation. It is important to be aware that there are many ancillary groups that can be enlisted.
Personal branding
Your personal brand is closely tied to the concept of self-awareness. This includes everything from your dress sense to your specialist knowledge, professionalism, and ambition.
Your personal brand is built by having an honest and open dialogue with yourself. What are your interests? What are your top strengths? What are your key strengths? It is important to remember that your personal brand must complement the corporate brand. Ask yourself questions such as “How can I embody the values of my organization in my daily work?”
There are many questions you can ask, but the sample answers (Table 1) will help you frame the conversation.
Table 1. Table 1.
Question Sample Answer
What is my level in ambition?
Level: Programme manager
Sector: Public sector
Industry: Health
Types of projects: Capital projects, service improvement projects
What’s my work style?
Smart business with clients

What are my key skills?
Expert knowledge: Organisational project management processes
Expert skills: Change management, leadership

Your unique selling point will help you attract others to you and make you a go-to person.
Political shrewdness
Politically savvy project managers recognize that projects are often conducted in politically charged environments. This can impact multiple stakeholders with vested interest. These stakeholders are often called “teams within teams” by me because they are often part of the same organisation but have different objectives. The project’s implementation brings them together.
My experience shows that two key groups of teams within teams’ can have a negative impact on the outcome of your project.

Three new features for your Gantt charts!

Hide Completed Tasks:
This is a feature that has been very popular, and it’s finally here! You can now hide all completed tasks by clicking the mouse and only show the ones that are still needed in your Gantt charts.
Gantt Chart:
Another requested feature is the ability to see the name of the task or group right within the gantt charts. This allows you to look at the task list and make sure you are looking at the correct task. This feature can be easily enabled by ticking a box. Your charts will look something like this:
Multi-Project Select:
We’ve supported multi-project view for some time now. We’ve made it easier than ever! You can now simply click on Open Multiple Projects to check off the projects that you want to view from the project’s page. Once you have made your selection, click on Open Multiple Projects to get started. You can also select one project at a time. You can view one project by clicking on the name of the project. It behaves exactly as it has always done!
Bug fixes:
Problem with embedding your project required a username/password, instead of loading the View Only version.
Problem solved where the project was loading twice after it was opened. When opening large projects, you will see an increase in performance.
Fixed an issue in which users with View Only permission saw 0 or 100 instead of the checkbox for completion of a milestone.
Resolved an issue in which milestones were off by one pixel after rescheduling.
The easiest way to create a project plan
In just 10 minutes, you can create a beautiful project plan. You can switch between gantt and calendar views with a single click.
Get your free plan

Three Money Mistakes That New Companies Can Make

In business, money is everything. A company can only be successful if it makes a profit. It’s important to manage your finances well. These are three money mistakes entrepreneurs and new companies make. If you’re a new owner of a company, avoid them.
It is important to understand that time is money.
Time is money. If you waste time or are not as productive as you can, this will impact your finances. Hiring motivated and hardworking employees can help you improve your productivity and efficiency. You can invest in the best software to automate your tasks or to help your employees work more efficiently.
You could even upgrade your office so that employees have a place to eat lunch and take breaks. This could potentially save you many lost minutes of work over the year. A clocking in system will ensure everyone is on time and where they are supposed to be.
Do not be prepared for slower times
Sometimes business slowing down can be caused by something you are doing wrong. Maybe your products are not of high quality or your shipping service is slow. This could cause people to be put off. You might need to give your marketing a push.
There will be times when business is slower than usual. People tend to spend more after Christmas and into the new years, and they shop less, while paying off debts or sticking to their savings goals for the new year.
Many people and companies make tax payments during January, April, and July. This can help them to have less disposable income. It is important to be ready for slower times in the year. You need to make sure you are earning enough to break even after paying all your running expenses.
Always keep a contingency fund or at least a line credit for access to unsecured business loans in case of emergency.
Don’t stick to a budget
It can be hard to balance the books in business. You do have to spend money to make it work. In some cases, you will need to spend more on materials, but it will result in a better product that sells well and earns you more money.
While a website of high quality will be expensive upfront, it could help your business attract more customers. It is important to know when to cut corners and when to spend more. You must also ensure that every penny is properly budgeted and spent.
Accounting software and business budgeting are extremely useful. You can plan your money efficiently and see exactly where it is being spent. Overspending can lead to a reduction in profits and even a loss.
What is the biggest money-making mistake you have made in your business?

Project reporting has three hidden benefits

When done well, project reports offer more than just a summary of data. They can be of great value to your organization and its stakeholders, and they can protect you from unfair claims. Let’s take a look at three reasons why you should report on projects:
Keep communication channels open
A project report is more than just a document. It’s a way to keep communication moving with your stakeholders. Simple acts of sending clients a status report can spark conversation. Clients will often be hands-off, leaving you to complete your project.
This is fine. However, it is important to maintain the conversation. It means that the client is fully informed about what is happening.
Stakeholders who are not as closely connected to the project can receive a project report to keep them informed about what is happening. The project report also allows stakeholders to express their concerns and opinions if they have questions.
The key takeaway: This document should not be viewed as something you have to do just for the sake. Highlight the most important points and highlights.
A stakeholder report gives your clients a way to understand how work is progressing and allows them to ask questions. They can also make suggestions or request changes to the work.
Project reports keep you covered
We’ve all dealt with clients who were just plain awful. You’re familiar with the type:
You are the customer who is always late at their end but expects you to adhere to deadlines.
This customer is highly disorganized and unsure about their responsibilities.
This is the type of client that will accuse you of delays and threaten legal action, even if they were their own faults.
These reports are crucial in these cases. You are protected from any claims by keeping a detailed record of what was done.
Regular progress reports should highlight dependencies, and include clear indicators of what the client needs to continue. They will be able to see that you have kept your end of the bargain over time.
The key takeaway: Make clear, regular, and transparent reports that show where money was spent, what it was spent on, and why. It’s a good idea if you have any important announcements or requirements from clients to continue, to put them right at the start of the document. This will ensure that they don’t miss them.
To ensure that you are secure, you can also get the client’s’sign off’ at every stage of the project. This will ensure that they are happy with the next step.
Improves customer experience for clients
Many industries are realizing that customer experience goes beyond providing pleasant service in customer-facing roles in retail, catering, or call centers.
Businesses are increasingly considering customer experience as encompassing all interactions a customer has with you, from before they even speak to you, through the project itself, and right through aftercare once the project is over.
Customers will trust you more if you are trustworthy, transparent, and professional. This is why project reports are an integral part of the overall customer experience.
A regular project report that is clear, concise, professional presented, and easy to understand will inspire confidence in you as well as your professionalism.
It is that extra touch that clients see you as more than a vendor. This is crucial to maintaining strong relationships.