This guide gives you an overview of Task Management, its importance, and how to implement an effective task management system.
- What is task management?
- Why is task Management important?
- What are the essential task management skills?
- Tips for implementing an effective task management system.
- Task management tools, and how can they help you manage tasks better.
- What is task management software?
- Leveraging task management software to manage tasks better
- Task Management: Frequently Asked Questions
Taking up projects and completing them successfully is the essential routine of any organization. Completing the tasks efficiently in an orderly way and promptly requires careful project management.
A project consists of numerous tasks and activities carried out by various individuals and teams, which all come together to create the outcomes that lead to the successful completion of the project. So the key to achieving effective project management is managing all these tasks better, monitoring their progress, and organizing and optimizing them systematically. Such an activity requires more than just a simple to-do list and a schedule; this is where task management becomes an important component of project management.
What is Task Management?
Task management is the process of breaking down a project into smaller tasks, managing those tasks, and monitoring the progress of every task. Task management aims to
- Break down projects into tasks
- Allocate tasks to teams and individuals according to their skillsets
- Constantly identify the most important activities that the employees should be doing at any given moment
- Prioritize tasks accordingly
- Organize tasks efficiently
- Forge team collaborations and enable better teamwork
- Empower employees to carry out their tasks in the most efficient manner
- Constantly evaluate and improve the way tasks are carried out
- Complete tasks in the shortest time possible using the least amount of resources
Why is task management important?
Task management is important because of the following reasons.
1. Task management helps prioritize the right task at the right time
During project execution, the priorities constantly change, and it is critical to do the right task at the right time. For instance, if you run an e-commerce store, you should work overtime to stock products and customize offers during the holiday season. It does not make sense to do that after New Year. So all your tasks related to that would be a high priority. Task management constantly evaluates every task and helps you decide which task should be prioritized at the current moment. This enables teams and individuals to use the time judiciously, focus on the critical tasks at the moment and complete the right tasks at the right time for successful project completion.
2. Task management gives you actionable insights
Task management visualizes all the tasks and processes and their respective status. This gives an overall idea of where the tasks and project stand. It helps you understand the project dynamics, workflows, and the nature of teamwork in cross-functional teams. You can monitor the project operations better, make data-driven decisions and generate insightful reports for the stakeholders.
3. Task management lets you keep track of costs and deadlines.
Completing a project is important, but completing it within the budget and before the deadline is equally essential. Task management helps you keep track of the cost spent on a task in relation to the progress made. Helps to constantly manage and reallocate resources according to changing needs in a project, cut spending wherever needed, and complete projects without overshooting the budget.
Task management verifies the status of every task in relation to the schedule. When a task hits a snag, the project managers can pay attention and address those tasks This helps in effective time management and timely completion of the projects, which is extremely important for the organization’s overall success.
4. Task management helps build better communication
Follow-up, review, and feedback are integral parts of task management. So, once the tasks are allocated to individuals, communication plays an essential role in getting the work done. Task management requires employees to constantly update their tasks and communicate with their project manager for review. Whenever there is an update on a task, they have to subject the task assessment to the manager’s feedback. This looping creates a reliable and consistent communication channel between the employees and the leadership, creating a robust workflow with relentless task progression.
5. Task management improves efficiency
Task management enables project managers to keep an eye on every task in the project. It enables the project manager to respond quickly to issues and provide smooth project flow, improving efficiency and keeping the project on track.
6. Task management increases productivity
The tasks are constantly reviewed, and challenges are addressed. There is teamwork and intervention from the project manager, and the employees involved in those tasks are required continuously to be at their productive best. With all the updates on tasks and deep insights provided by the task management software, it is easy for the managers to fathom how productive employees are and implement suitable performance management measures if needed.
First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.
What are the essential task management skills?
Effective task management will pay dividends in both the short-term and long term. But to get it right, it is essential to have the following task management skills.
Six essential skills to be a good task manager.
Regardless of how well you plan a project, there is always a chance of something going wrong. It merely takes a few bad decisions, employee turnover, or even the slightest change in the market conditions to derail a project. So, one of the most important task management skills is quickly adapting to changing conditions, tackling unforeseen challenges, and being flexible enough to alter plans, reorganize tasks and absorb the impact of the changes to complete the project successfully.
Adapting to the changes is one thing, but reading conditions and foreseeing the imminent challenges is an entirely different task management skill. This skill helps you avoid specific challenges and delays by implementing timely solutions. If you can predict and foresee better, you can shift your priorities and manage tasks proactively.
3. Project Control
While paying attention to individual tasks and processes, it is also essential to have a complete overview of the project to have a broader understanding. Keeping an eye on the project’s overall development and how the status of various tasks affect the project’s progress helps you make crucial decisions based on a broader understanding of the project.
The project’s priorities constantly change; accordingly, some tasks lose their priority, and some gain their importance simultaneously. Focusing on tasks that don’t deserve your full attention at any given time slows the project. So it is an essential task management skill to ensure that all the tasks are aligned to the project’s goals and actively work towards fulfilling project objectives.
5. Aligning tasks to goals
Even when you can complete tasks faster and more efficiently if those tasks do not contribute to the objectives of the project, they will not serve the purpose of pushing the project forward. So it is an essential task management skill to ensure that all the tasks are aligned to the project’s goals and actively work towards fulfilling project objectives.
6. Time Management
When a scheduled task is not completed within the specified time, it has a ripple effect on the other tasks, ruining your subsequent plans. If the tasks get pushed to a later period, it will snowball into a bigger problem and affect the project. Time management skills let you complete the tasks on time and keep the project on schedule.
Tips for implementing an effective task management system
Some best practices let you implement effective task management and improve project execution.
- Create a daily schedule.
- Create a to-do list so that you do not miss anything.
- Identify the most important tasks to do, sort them according to their significance and prioritize your tasks.
- Focus on the task at hand and avoid distractions.
- Avoid postponing and stick to the schedule.
- Review your daily progress and ask yourself if you could have planned the day better and completed the task faster and more efficiently.
- Analyze your performance regularly and identify areas of improvement.
- Connect with your team members, collaborate and share responsibilities whenever you cannot complete all the tasks alone.
What are task management tools, and how can they help you manage tasks better?
Task management is impossible if you don’t have the right tools. Every aspect of task management requires a task management tool to make it work. For instance, a daily planner that helps create a daily schedule can be a task management tool.
The basics of task management are all the same regardless of the nature of the project and tasks involved. Depending on the size and scale of Organizations, task management tools and their capabilities can vary. The three types of task management tools are
1. Manual task management tools.
Manual task management tools are essential visualization tools, including charts, whiteboards, planners, schedules, etc. They are flexible and easy to use. But they have limited capabilities and are only suitable for personal use, small organizations, and projects with minimal tasks to manage.
2. Digital task management tools
Digital task management tools are electronic devices that help in task management. They can be anything ranging from a digital board to a simple spreadsheet or a powerful task management solution installed on computers that integrates with the other business systems to enable a wide range of capabilities for the benefit of multiple departments across the organization.
3. Online task management tools
Online task management tools are software systems available online and delivered as software as a service (SaaS). They offer cloud capabilities and promote better collaboration among team members from different locations. It is indispensable for a hybrid work setup, where the employees of an organization work from other places and geographical areas. Online task management tools help you manage tasks remotely, and they are highly scalable and can be upgraded. Some online task management tools include online task lists, Kanban boards, cloud-based task management systems, etc.
What is task management software?
Task management software is a comprehensive suite that brings all task management functionalities to a computer or portable device. It streamlines task management, helps build collaboration, and gives you control over tasks and projects. It helps visualize performance based on various data points, thus empowering you with data-driven task management.
Following are the functionalities of a typical task management software.
1. List of tasks
Task management software displays all the tasks under one interface, along with details like who is responsible for the completion of each task, status of the tasks, priority of the task, etc. This interface gives control over the entire project and all the tasks involved in it. It allows the project manager to change priorities and re-assign and reorganize the tasks. The platform enables the employees to update the status of the tasks regularly. Managers get notified on completion of the pre-determined milestones. The task and project status are updated in real-time.
2. Workflow visualization
Task management software provides kanban boards to organize tasks, customize them to your production cycle, and visualize workflows to optimize them and achieve efficiency.
3. Task search
Finding a specific task and tracking its status can be difficult in a large project involving numerous tasks. Task management software lets you search the task based on criteria such as priority, completion status, etc., using filters and tags. It makes it easier to locate tasks within the system.
4. Real-time insights
Task management software enables precise time tracking by automatically creating insights based on the team’s logged hours. It also helps track budget spending, utilization of resources, the progress of tasks, and project performance.
5. Collaboration tools
Task management software traces the team dynamics and maps the tasks to the collaborators, creating a rich visualization of tasks undertaken by cross-functional teams and individuals sharing the workload. It promotes collaboration from multiple locations by letting users interact with the collaborators, work together as teams and quickly insert comments, notes, and files required for the quick progress of the tasks.
6. Live updates on tasks
Task management software enables employees to update their progress in their tasks, which are reflected in real-time. Project managers stay informed about task status and completion and make sound decisions based on real-time data. The software also provides ways to instantly alert the project managers whenever an update or change is made.
The right software tools can help your team to break down their objectives and goals into tasks and track them. Profit.co enables your team to transparently track tasks, promote accountability, and communicate on one centralized platform. Get started on Profit.co for free today!
Leveraging task management software to manage tasks better
Task management software simplifies the management of tasks and enables project managers to monitor the tasks and projects better.
Steps in leveraging the task management software to optimize your tasks and workflows to manage tasks better and improve project performance.
- Steps in leveraging the task management software to optimize your tasks and workflows to manage tasks better and improve project performance.
- Create a project calendar to schedule the task with timelines, milestones, and deadlines for each task.
- Identify what is important and prioritize the tasks accordingly. Mark the priority of each task in the task list so that the employees can focus on the important things.
- Add individual task lists, share essential files and documents needed for the tasks, and add task descriptions.
- Assign the tasks to various teams and individuals so they will get notified and start working on those tasks.
- Visualize workflows and track the tasks.
- Classify the tasks based on their priorities and progress so that they can be easily found when the employees search for specific tasks.
- Encourage the teams and individuals to use the collaboration tools to communicate better and work together to create the best outcomes.
- Keep track of the updates and changes by getting notified instantly through email or the notification feature
- Use the dashboard to track tasks and get various project-related insights to make better decisions, and change the priority of tasks.
Task Management: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is task management, and why is it important?
Task Management is the process of planning your day and scheduling tasks so that you can complete the right tasks at the right time in a systematic manner. It improves efficiency and improves performance.
2. How do you do task management?
Depending on your requirements, you can use any task management tool, such as a simple to-do list or a spreadsheet, up to a powerful Task Management System that gives you control over all the tasks involved in the entire project.
3. What are task management skills?
- Good planning
- Scheduling tasks
- Prioritizing and organizing tasks
- Building collaborations and teamwork
- Sound decision-making based on data analytics and insights
4. What are the four elements of project management?
The four core elements of project management include scope, time, money, and resources.
Better understanding of the differences between OKR, task management, and project management makes it easier for teams to use task management software. Software should be agile, easy to implement in your organization, and simple to integrate with your other software.
To learn how Profit.co can help you with your company’s tasks, track them with measurable metrics and keep your team connected, book a free demo with the experts at Profit.co today!