Simple Project Management: Tools & Examples

Instructor: Jarvista Rivers
Developing and understanding the tools used in project management can elevate the success of your projects. In this lesson, we will review some simple tools used to achieve project outcomes.

What are Project Management Tools?

Before we discuss the various types of tools which are available in the field of project management, let's explore and define project management tools. Project management tools are the technology, and or, techniques used to assist in the management of a project. For example, if you were building a home, you would first ensure that you have tools such as drills, hammers, nails, rulers, saws, etc. Some, or many, variations of these tools are used to make the building of the home faster and more efficient. In project management, tools are used to help you manage communication and stay on task while meeting your objectives for a successful project.

Simple Tools of Project Management

The technology and techniques we refer to as tools vary based on a number of factors. These factors are important to understand so you can choose the most appropriate tool(s) to use for your project. Some of these factors may include the type of project, the project goals and outcomes, the industry, the number of projects, and the number of people involved with the project.

Based on the extensive use of project management in every industry, there are various tools out there for almost any type of project imaginable. Projects range from planning a family reunion, to construction of a housing subdivision. Many projects are managed simultaneously. But, how do we choose the best tool?

Online, there is a plethora of tools at your fingertips. Let's first take a look at some of these tools that have been rated most popular in terms of simplicity:

  • Evernote
  • Casual
  • Trello
  • One Note
  • Azendoo
  • Omnifocus
  • Asana

When choosing a tool based on simplicity, some attributes to consider are:

  • Is it easily adaptable for the team members and the environment?
  • Is it user-friendly?
  • Is it affordable based on your budget?
  • Will it manage your collaboration and reporting needs with ease?
  • Does it work for multiple projects with little variations?
  • Will it track budget, scheduling, and milestones as needed?
  • Is it easily accessible for all the team members?
  • Does it interface well with other software applications already in place?

Example

Joe's construction team is working on three home projects from January thru June. Joe is juggling laborers and contractors between each site. All three projects have a deadline of June 30th for completion. Joe's laborers use cell phones and texting, but are not very tech savvy. They are definitely more 'hands on' and 'visual' workers. To ensure Joe's teams are communicating effectively in order for them to meet their deadlines, Joe must find a user-friendly tool to ensure his contractors and laborers are on schedule in completing each task.

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