Do you cringe when project management comes up in a conversation? Do you avoid taking formal measures to control your ongoing work? Then, reading the following article may be of tremendous help. You may think that a small company like your web design/development practice has no need for external resources to help you command it, but that’s a common misconception, which prevents your team from tapping into its full potential.
In fact, all the start-ups that don’t make it to the next level have one thing in common: their decision-making habits proved inefficient. Project management software helps you structure your work flow within optimum parameters, making your team operate like a well-oiled machine. Below, you will find some ‘entry-level’ options regarding PM that are perfect for creatives. Here are 15 top web designer and developer collaboration tools.
Let’s kick off with a platform for simple project management. Paymo is a handy solution, whether you want to plan and control your projects from desktop, or go mobile and take your projects with you, wherever you may be. Widgets for Mac and Windows include Time Sheet Editing and Idle Detection features, and if you allow the desktop project management app PaymoPlus to run in the background, you can easily juggle with multiple projects. Furthermore, you can download Paymo on your modern device, from Google Play or App Store.
Paymo is open for customization, whether you need to use it in a different language than English (16 language options are on the table), toggle currency, and regional options. The dashboard grants a bird’s eye view, and you decide what it tells you. Additionally, you can go to Company Settings and establish the standard time format for your expense estimates and invoices, set up to three late payment reminders, and use templates for projects or outgoing e-mails.
How much time do you generally spend creating diagrams that visually communicate different takes on your ongoing projects? Perchance, you’re diagramming for a database, a sitemap, a UML or UI mockup, and would be interested in a way to accelerate the whole process without jeopardizing the integrity of your collaborative endeavors.
I suggest you reach out to Creately Diagramming and hold actual live whiteboard sessions, where everyone can play active part in the decision-making process. Whether it’s time to agree on the best ways to organize your budget, or wish to determine specific functions of your prototype and how they fit in the bigger picture, Creately lets you choose from a plethora of diagram templates, and save time. A Smart Shapes feature spares you even more trouble, by cutting down diagrams, and converting text to graphics.
You can always choose to schedule your projects with TeamGantt. It’s one of the best online management solutions that I’ve come to know. If you and 2 other colleagues decide to give it a chance and try it out for free, you will soon reap the fruits of careful planning. How many times did you start fresh on a new spreadsheet, and neglect to update the last one you and your team had busied yourselves with?
You knew the drill: open the old spreadsheet again, update tasks, and send word to every person involved in that project. Well, that unhappy procedure is exactly what TeamGantt does away with, because you monitor ALL tasks in real time. With TeamGantt, you can easily fix project baselines, insert tasks and visualize task dependencies, and integrate the schedule with your desktop calendar.
How does everyone usually pass judgment on a work in progress? From your trusted colleagues, to fussy clients, everybody needs to have a say about your designs or motion works in various stages of their completion. Notism clears a path for fruitful insights and champions collaboration over creative projects. Static layouts turn up in high-fidelity form, as accurate web or mobile prototypes that all users are free to comment on. Notism leaves no place for misapprehension in product reviews and discussions.
A steady flow of information empowers each member of your team to give their best when trying to complete specific tasks. Thus, it would be wise to give everyone a solid knowledge base before starting on any project, and investigate the weaknesses of your competitors in order to come up with a product that is superior to theirs. Crowdbase is a fitting solution, as it lets you plan and conduct visionary projects that are sure to make your stakeholders jump for joy.
Your design tasks would be dealt with much more efficiently, if the people who complete them gain a full understanding of the ongoing project. A tool like Wrike takes care of that for you, giving your colleagues and clients a real-time platform for sharing milestones, uploading and discussing mocks, and tracking progress. Wrike lets you put every new idea, task, and project into the works without making it a mess, and keeping the team organized, productive, and on the same page.
How do you feel about flowcharts? Did you know that you can structure your creative projects in a similarly visual manner? Casual is the PM and team collaboration tool that brings down the illusion of a steep and narrow path for small creative teams to gain utter control of their projects. You can use this effective tool to draw visual product roadmaps, and you are also permitted to save projects, and create templates for future use.
Once you set out to calibrate your team, and find the best way to get your colleagues into perfect sync, successful outcomes aren’t just guaranteed, but your projects might even be delivered a lot faster than expected, and entirely on scope. Teamfocus stands apart from other solutions in the project management market, by virtue of being very flexible in helping you find the working style that feels most comfortable. Besides, it includes functions for managing customer support requests, and bug tracking.
Small- and medium-sized companies enjoy the privilege of being able to sustain close communication. That’s one luxury big corporations can’t afford, so don’t let it go to waste. Mural.ly is an online collaboration service that allows team members to fully express their views and feedback. With its canvas-style interface, Mural.ly encourages each one of your team players to step forward with content brought from their folders, or fished from somewhere on the internet. Planning is easy when you have many good ideas to chew on.
Make way for Lucidchart, a proper diagramming tool for both web developers and web designers. If you have to strike up network and UML diagrams rather frequently, or piece together interactive wireframes and iOS/Android mockups – Lucidchart is going to help your team jump through iterations at high speed. As an afterthought, it is currently used by NASA and Mozilla.
If you get passed the initial tension that we, creatives, are programmed to feel in relation to project management on the whole, it’s plain to see that auxiliary software like Marqueed provide a visual setting for team work. I would gladly trust in it to put my images and designs up for discussion.
Surprisingly, AtTask is a good match for web developers. It is very systematic, and has been used by teams at DELL, SONY, and even HBO. With AtTask, team members log time on tasks and issues, so reports and bills are very precise. The tool is also integrated with Outlook, so you can get updates and control your project on that venue.
Binfire can really boost the level of your web design work. Not only does it integrate with Dropbox and Google Drive for seamless collaboration, but it allows you to work with templates and duplicate projects, tweak start time and build frequency, and save an awful amount of time in the long run.
Here’s one task management tool that The Salvation Army and TED rely on. Flow provides you with a way to thoroughly organize specific tasks related to your project, arrange sub-tasks, further break them down in to-dos, set recurring tasks, and sort each one of them according to tag, keyword, deadline, person in charge of it.
Last but by no means the least, meet ViewFlux. Web designers can store their source files, and use this platform to present design prototypes for stakeholders, clients, and team mates to comment on. It’s one of the most visually engaging environments that I ever had the pleasure of discovering.
So, what do you think about the PM software that was listed here? Have I managed to de-frighten you of its false halo of complexity? You see, using one of these solutions for your team-based web design and development projects is easy, especially since their interface is so visual. If I were you, I’d give these tools a chance and take one of them for spin. In some cases, like Paymo, you can tap into a free trial to get a taste of what can be achieved with proper collaboration tools at your side.