Understanding the Basics of Critical Path Project Management for Better Results

Critical Path Method in project management

So, you want your project to be a success? Well, step one is identifying the critical tasks — the tasks that are the backbone of your project. No big deal, right?

But wait, there’s more!

As a project manager, you get to oversee multiple large tasks at once! Lucky you.

Sounds like a piece of cake, right?

Indeed, it is! IF you use the Critical Path Method (CPM).

The critical path project management method will help you manage complex projects or even multiple projects successfully. Because who doesn’t love a challenge that can overcome with the greatest of ease?

Is the critical path method for project management a new thing?

Believe it or not, CPM has been around since the 1950s. Yup, your grandpappy’s project manager was probably using it, too.

With CPM, you can more easily prioritize the most crucial tasks and figure out the minimum amount of time needed to finish a project. So, next time you’re up to your ears in a complicated project involving multiple teams, deliverables, and spinning plates, you’ll know what to do.

Fun fact:

CPM was actually developed to reduce the cost of construction and agricultural projects that were stalling or shutting down before completion.

And with the rise of computers, CPM has become the preferred scheduling method for larger projects.

So, you can rest assured that CPM isn’t some trendy thing or there’s a bandwagon effect going on here. It’s practically ancient, tried and true.

Here’s how it works.

What Is Critical Path Project Management and How Does It Work?

The Critical Path Method is a scheduling technique.

Basically, the CPM is a scheduling technique that helps predict how long a project will take using a sequence of tasks.

If you want to be a better project manager, you need to identify:

  • What needs to be done
  • Determine tasks that align with the project
  • Determine the length of time each task will take to complete
  • Assign tasks in order of precedence

Project activities that must be completed are referred to as “the critical path.” The separate, dependent tasks inside them are called “activity sequence.” Activities represent actions and resources like money, time, and energy needed to complete a project.

These tasks are time sensitive and should be completed on time for a project to be successful. This means if a single task is delayed, the entire project will be delayed.

According to critical path project management, managers should prioritize giving resources to the tasks that will ensure the project is completed on time.

The total duration of the critical path is the minimum time you’ll need to complete the entirety of the project. This is because CPM’s algorithm takes into account the start time of a task, duration, and the finish time to establish the most important (or critical) activities for the project.

Let’s consider two examples to better understand the critical paths in project management.

Critical path method example 1

A client may want to launch a new website for their business. As a digital agency tasked with the project, your tasks will include:

  1. Researching
  2. Selecting a website platform
  3. Designing the layout and graphics
  4. Developing the website functionality
  5. Testing the site before the launch
  6. Launch

The critical path for this project includes tasks like finalizing the website design, designing the layouts, and beginning development. These tasks must be completed before testing and launch can occur. So, like, they’re critical, ya know?

Once the critical path tasks have been completed, the project manager can then focus on completing the non-critical tasks, such as creating additional content for the website, SEO, or adding additional features.

Critical path analysis is used to determine critical path scheduling, which is the sequence of tasks that must be completed for the project to be finished on time.

In this example, the critical path would be:

Identifying critical path

Researching—> selecting website design—> Designing layouts and graphics—>Developing web functionality—> testing—> Launching

Critical Path Method Example 2

When a client needs you to create and launch a new mobile app, you’ll need to break the project down into these tasks:

  1. Researching and planning
  2. Designing the user interface and user experience
  3. Developing the app’s functionality
  4. Testing the app before launch
  5. Submitting the app to App Store for approval
  6. Launching

In this second example, the critical path might include tasks like finalizing the app design and beginning development. These are crucial tasks that must be completed before testing the mobile app or launching the product.

Additionally, submitting the app to the app store and getting approval would also be considered a critical path task. The app launch can’t happen if the app isn’t approved.

In this example, the project’s critical path would be:

Researching and planning—> Designing the user interface and user experience —> Developing the app’s functionality—> Testing the app before launch—> Submitting the app to App Store for approval—> Launching

How to Get Started with Critical Path Project Management Methodology and Toolsets

There are project management tools to help identify the critical path

CPM schedule calculation is a complex process, and it’s difficult to do it the old fashioned way with an abacus, quill, and clay tablet.

Luckily for us, there are software tools that can help create the project network diagram, calculate the critical path and create the schedule. CPM software gives PMs an excuse to fully embrace the digital age.

The critical path algorithm will help you establish the activities that should be done first and foremost. You can also find the project’s critical path using a forward and backward pass.

But first, what is a forward and backward pass in project scheduling?

Forward pass

The forward pass is the first step in the project scheduling technique. It is a network diagram to determine the Early Start (ES) and Early Finish (EF) of each task in the concept phase.

Generally, the management team and other internal resources complete this step by determining the project’s milestones.

These include dates or deadlines that allow project managers to identify where in time an activity or task should start or end. The forward pass also helps find a project’s critical path or free float.

Backward pass

The backward pass is a second step in the project scheduling process that occurs after all tasks have been assigned to people and resources. It involves working backward to identify the Late Start (LS) and Late Finish (LF), so you can better understand a project’s duration.

Here’s how to calculate CPM:

Step 1: Divide your project into tasks. Make a list of all the activities, break the project down into milestones, actionable tasks, and deliverables.

Step 2: Identify task dependencies and list them in a table together with an estimated duration each task will take.

Step 3: Create the visual representation using a network diagram. Use arrows to identify task dependencies and have a better overview of your project using the PERT or Gantt Chart. You can also create a rough visual using a pen and paper.

Step 4: Identify each task’s beginning and end date by checking the order of dependencies. Use the backward or forward pass method to identify the start and finish times.

Step 5: Allocate resources efficiently to ensure your project is completed on time. Use resource leveling for resource allocation to ensure no conflicts or constraints.

Step 6: Determine the CPM by finding the longest sequence of the project tasks in your diagram.

The critical path method is typically used in conjunction with other tools like Gantt charts or PERT charts, which are used to help identify the tasks involved in completing the project.

The main parameters of the CPM activities include:

  • Understanding the earliest start time (ES). This is when an activity can start after other task dependencies are complete.
  • Understanding finish time (EF). To calculate the estimated finish time, you should add ES+ the time required to complete the activity.
  • Understanding the latest finish time (LF). This is when an activity should be completed without delays.
  • Understanding start time (LS). Period or time required to complete an activity.
  • Understanding float. Float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed from the ES without altering the completion date.
  • Understanding total float. The difference last activity and the last finish date on the critical path and completion date.

When you use a network diagram, you will easily identify the longest path of any activity. You can reduce the time for critical path activities and therefore, accelerate your project.

The Benefits of Using Critical Path Project Management CPM and Software Tools

The Critical Path Method is effective because it allows managers to calculate potential obstacles, analyze each component, and provide the appropriate solution that ensures the project goes as scheduled.

As more information about the project becomes available, you can adjust the critical path accordingly. This method is especially useful for projects that require multiple steps or phases to complete. That way, there’s no single point at which everything must be completed in one go.

Below are the benefits of using the project management critical path:

Improved scheduling

The CPM helps project managers identify critical task dependencies within a project, so they can schedule project phases accurately.

These dependencies are classified as mandatory, discretionary, and external dependencies.

Better resource allocation

By identifying the critical path, project managers can focus resources on the most important tasks and ensure there are no delays.

CPM also enables effective resource allocation, since you can more easily identify which tasks are on the critical path and prioritize them.

This helps ensure that the available resources are being used most efficiently and effectively and that the project is completed on schedule.

CPM also allows project managers to identify potential issues or delays in the project schedule and make necessary adjustments to the resource allocation, keeping the project on track.

Increased visibility

CPM allows project managers to see an overview of the entire project and schedule, making it easier to identify potential problems and make adjustments as needed.

There are specific project management software programs that help monitor a project’s critical path. They also predict how any changes will impact the project timeline.

Better risk management

CPM helps project managers identify potential risks and evaluate the impact of those risks on the project schedule, allowing for more effective risk management.

As a project manager, you’ll be able to identify both dependent and parallel tasks. Rejoice!

The Benefits of Using Software Tools for the Critical Path Method

Calculating the critical path method can be a bit challenging and time-consuming. However, there are project management tools created to help.

Although some project managers may want to calculate the critical path using Excel or Word, they may not be as effective as dedicated project management software. Excel and Word aren’t made for this specific work.

Software Tools Are Effective for the Critical Path Method (CPM) for Several Reasons

They make it easy to create a project network diagram.

With a dedicated software tool, you can easily enter tasks and dependencies, and the tool will automatically create a diagram for you.

This eliminates the need for manual drawing and makes it easy to visualize the project, identify the critical path, and make necessary changes.

CPM software automates the calculation of task durations and the critical path.

Once you’ve entered the duration of each task into the program, the tool will automatically calculate the critical path, complete with the earliest and latest start and finish times.

This eliminates the need for manual calculation and reduces the risk of errors.

CPM tools allow for easy scheduling and resource allocation.

The software tool makes it simple to enter the schedule for the project and assign each task resources. It will also identify potential problem areas, such as over or under-allocated tasks.

CPM software tools provide advanced reporting capabilities.

Software tools have the ability to generate a wide range of reports that can help project managers understand the project status, progress, and forecast future outcomes.

The tools enable real-time collaboration and communication.

Many software tools support team collaboration and communication, allowing team members to access and update the project schedule and assign tasks.

How to Deal with Contingencies and Constraints in the Critical Path Method

A contingency plan is important when using the critical path method

When you’re using the critical path method, you need to consider a number of contingencies and constraints.

These include:

The nature of your project. If one of your tasks fails, you’ll have to change the critical path by re-ordering or delaying one or more tasks.

The availability of resources. If you’re short on resources, such as manpower or equipment, then you may have to delay some activities until they become available again.

The availability of materials. If materials aren’t readily available for use in one phase, then it’s possible that you’d have to delay using them in another phase.

How to handle contingencies and constraints more effectively.

As you plan the project, try to anticipate any potential issues that could arise, such as delays, budget constraints, or resource shortages. This will help you be better prepared to deal with them if they do occur.

Another way to deal with contingencies is to add a buffer of extra time to critical tasks to account for unexpected delays or issues.

Use project management software to monitor scheduling and identify potential problems.

These tools can help you track progress, allocate resources, and make adjustments to the schedule as needed.

Contingencies in digital agencies can include unforeseen technical issues that arise during a project, such as a website or an app crashing or not functioning properly.

Also, delays in receiving important information from clients, and unexpected changes in budget or resources can result in affecting the project’s critical path in digital agencies.

When you factor in these circumstances beforehand, your project will stay on schedule.

Tips for Staying on Track and Ensuring and Meeting Deadlines When Using CPM in Project Management

Here are a few tips for staying on track with CPM.

Regularly update the schedule.

As the project progresses, it’s important to regularly update the plan to reflect changes in task durations and dependencies. This will help ensure the critical path is accurate and deadlines are met.

Monitor critical tasks.

Keep a close eye on the critical tasks to ensure they’re completed on time. If a critical task is delayed, it can have a ripple effect on the entire project schedule.

Communicate with the team.

Good communication is key to staying on track and meeting deadlines. Make sure your team members understand their tasks and the deadlines. Encourage them to bring up any issues or delays as soon as they arise.

Use software tools.

Use software tools to manage the project schedule and keep track of tasks, resources, and deadlines. These tools can help automate calculations, identify potential problem areas, and enable real-time collaboration and communication.

Monitor resource allocation.

Make sure that resources are allocated effectively and that no tasks are over or under-allocated. Reallocate resources when necessary as the project progresses.

Be flexible.

Be ready to adapt your plan and make adjustments as needed if something unexpected happens. Having a plan B ready can help your project get back on track ASAP.

Regularly review progress.

Regularly review the project’s progress and compare it to the schedule. This will help you identify any issues or delays early on and take corrective action to get the project back on track.

Have a contingency plan.

Have a contingency plan in place for critical tasks in case something goes wrong. This will help you minimize the impact of any delays or unexpected events.

Key Takeaways and Action Steps

It’s critical that you organize, schedule, and track your projects effectively, right from the start. The critical path project method will help you do just that and ensure there’s no chaos and confusion in the boardroom.

Let’s recap how CPM does all that and a sleeve of scrumptious Girl Scout cookies:

  • The Critical Path Method is a project management technique that helps identify the most important tasks and allocate resources accordingly.
  • CPM involves identifying the sequence of activities that must be completed on time for the project to be completed on schedule.
  • CPM is a useful tool for project managers because it helps them anticipate and mitigate potential delays and adjust the schedule as needed.
  • Software tools are effective for CPM because they automate complex calculations, reduce the risk of errors, provide advanced reporting capabilities, and enable real-time collaboration and communication.
  • To stay on track and meet deadlines in CPM, regularly update the schedule, monitor critical tasks, communicate with the team, use software tools, monitor resource allocation, be flexible, review progress and have a contingency plan.

Sounds like a lot. But it’s worth it. If you’re looking for bite-sized instructions on how to level up your project management, we’ve got you covered.

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Why You Might Not Want to Use Google Sheets for Project Management

Managing a large project vs. a small project is like buying a ready-made apple pie as opposed to making one from scratch. Basically, it’s complicated.

What makes large projects so complex is that they’re comprised of many different moving parts. Plus, there are key stakeholders from different departments with their fingers in the proverbial pie, which complicates matters further.

As a result, you’ve got to keep a keen eye on each moving part so you don’t lose track of the project and get losed in the sauce.

Fortunately (and in some cases, unfortunately), there are many project management tools you can use. One of the more popular ones is Google Sheets.

So, should you use Google Sheets to manage projects?

Perhaps. But more than likely, no.

Let’s discuss the various reasons why Google Sheets should not be part of your project management process.

Google Sheets and Project Management

Google Sheets for Project Management

Project managers need effective project management tools

Anyone with a Google account has Google Workspace, which helps with productivity and collaboration. Additionally, Google workplace has apps and services that help businesses, organizations, and individuals communicate and collaborate more effectively.

Some of the main components of Google Workspace include:

  • Gmail — An intuitive and user-friendly web-based email platform.
  • Google Calendar — A comprehensive scheduling and organizational tool to help you manage your time effectively.
  • Google Drive — A versatile cloud storage solution for storing and accessing files from anywhere.
  • Google Docs — A powerful word processing application for creating and editing documents.
  • Google Sheets — A robust spreadsheet tool, equipped with numerous features to help you manage data.
  • Google Slides — A dynamic presentation creation tool for engaging your audience.
  • Google Forms — An easy-to-use survey and quiz builder, providing insights and feedback for your organization.
  • Google Meet — A feature-packed video conferencing platform, allowing you to connect and collaborate with people anywhere with an internet connection.

All of this sounds really good on the surface. But when you take a closer look, Google Sheets, in particular, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

But more on that in a minute.

Back to Google Workspace.

Google Workspace is designed to be a complete solution for businesses, offering a range of tools to help teams collaborate and work together more efficiently. It can be used on desktop and mobile devices and it includes real-time collaboration, integration with other Google products, and security measures to protect data.

Although Google Workspace has tools that make real-time collaboration easier, you should not use Google Sheets for project management.


Because Google Sheets is not a project management planning tool. It’s a spreadsheet tool that helps you visualize, store, and share data.

Re-purposing Google Sheets to handle your project management can cause unnecessary stress and confusion for your team members. Let us explain how below.

Disadvantages of Using Google Sheets for Project Management

Google Sheets is not an effective project management tool

Google Sheets is a great tool when you use it as a spreadsheet. However, you shouldn’t use it for managing projects. Here are the limitations of using Google Sheets.

It is not user-friendly

Google docs spreadsheet project management tool is not easy for someone with limited Google Sheets understanding. You need a higher understanding of Google Sheets to manage projects effectively.

When your team members have limited knowledge, they’ll struggle navigating and completing their tasks, putting the project timeline at risk.

You may have to learn how to build a project management template in your Google Sheets and educate team members on the features.

Creating and scheduling a simple Gantt chart requires a lot of manual calculations, and it gets more complicated whenever you have to remove or add tasks.

Even if you’re a real Einstein at building spreadsheets with in-depth reports, formulas, and tables, the spreadsheet can become too big. And too means too complicated.

If you or any team member mess up a formula, it might go unnoticed or you may not even understand where the mistake is or how to go about fixing it.

Google Sheets is prone to errors

Google Sheets relies on a process wherein someone has to input the data manually. This increases the risk of false data and errors. The way Google sheets operates, these errors are reproduced throughout the different assets.

Such errors can ruin a whole project and complicate accounting. Any incorrect data can lead to job losses, and damaged reputations, and worst case — business closures.

Once you introduce a single error, the whole calculation on Google Sheets is ruined, and you may not be able to pinpoint where the first error occurred. If not careful, you may make a decision based on inaccurate data which risks derailing the entire project.

Limited collaboration

When multiple users are editing a spreadsheet at the same time, it is possible for conflicts to occur.

For example, when two users try to edit the same cell simultaneously, Google Sheets will usually alert users to these conflicts and ask them to resolve them. This can be time-consuming and may require careful coordination to avoid mistakes.

While Google Sheets allows multiple users to access and edit a spreadsheet simultaneously, it can be challenging to keep track of who is making what changes and when. This can lead to confusion and mistakes, especially in larger teams.

Limited communication

Google Sheets does not have built-in communication tools that support chats or discussion threads, making it difficult for project team members to communicate and collaborate effectively.

This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings, especially when working on a large project with many stakeholders. You may have to use another way to pass information to the concerned party.

Limited tracking

Google Sheets does not have robust tracking and reporting capabilities, so it can be difficult to see who has made what changes and when in the project data. This can make it hard to track progress and identify bottlenecks.

It is also hard to manage resources and time spent on them. Or break down projects into deliverables. You may also find it difficult to track risks and link them to actions with issues.

Whenever you create new Google Sheets, crucial elements such as due date, project priorities, and status are not updated in the columns. You also can’t switch between projects which is a major PITA, especially when you are managing several projects simultaneously.

It may also be difficult to generate reports or analyze data in Google Sheets, since it doesn’t have robust reporting or analysis tools.

Limited features

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel can be useful for basic project management tasks, such as tracking tasks, assignments, and deadlines. However, they may lack some of the features and tools commonly found in dedicated project management software. So, it’s more difficult for project managers to manage larger or more complex projects.

Important features that Google Sheets lack or only contain basic functionality include the following:

Google Sheets Gantt chart template

  • Gantt charts — The Gantt chart template has basic functionality, making it difficult for you or other stakeholders to visualize and track which projects depend on each other. This can make it hard for any project manager to identify bottlenecks and adjust the project plan as needed.
  • Resource management — Google Sheets does not have robust resource management features, such as tracking team members’ availability and capacity or assigning tasks to specific resources. So, it becomes hard to optimize the use of resources or ensure the project stays on track.
  • Risk management — Google Sheets does not have robust risk management features, such as identifying and tracking risks and assigning actions to mitigate them. This can make it hard to identify and address potential issues before they become problems.

Limited integration

Google Sheets may not integrate easily with your team’s tools and systems, such as your Customer Relationship Management tool or Human Resource software. So you can’t get a complete view of your project. Often, additional work is created in terms of manual data entry and updates.

Security concerns

Google Sheets stores your data in the cloud, which can be convenient but also raises concerns about data privacy and security. If you’re working with sensitive information, you may need to take additional steps to protect it.

Hard to keep organized

Another major limitation of Google Sheets is organization. It is difficult to keep your project organized because it is hard to keep track of or analyze each task because they’re listed separately on different Sheets.

May cause decreased productivity

For everyone to become familiar with the cells and columns in the Google docs, you’ll need to onboard everyone so they can understand how to use them and the rules for editing.

Since Google Sheets are overwhelming, most team members become, well, overwhelmed, and afraid to edit or use them. This decreases productivity.


Smartsheet is an online spreadsheet tool that allows users to create and edit spreadsheets, and share them.

Here are its functionalities that make it better than Google Sheets:

  • Advanced features — Smartsheet offers a wide range of advanced features that go beyond the capabilities of a typical spreadsheet tool. These include Gantt charts, task dependencies, and the ability to set up automated workflows.
  • Collaboration and sharing — Smartsheet makes it easy to share and collaborate on spreadsheets with others. You can assign tasks, leave comments, and track progress in real-time.
  • Integrations — Smartsheet integrates with a wide range of other business tools, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspace. This allows you to manage and track data across different systems and platforms.
  • Mobile app — Smartsheet has a mobile app that allows you to access and edit your spreadsheets on the go.
  • Security — Smartsheet takes security seriously and offers various measures to protect your data, including encryption, two-factor authentication, and data backup.
  • Customization — Smartsheet allows you to customize your spreadsheets to fit your specific needs, including the ability to create custom formulas and functions.
  • Pricing options — Smartsheet offers a variety of pricing options to fit different budgets and needs, including a free version with limited features and paid versions with additional features and storage.

Go Beyond Google Sheets

If you want to go beyond Google Sheets in your project management to ensure your projects stay on track, you might consider using a more specialized project management tool.

There are many project management tools available, each with its own set of features and capabilities.

Looking for Google Sheets and Smartsheet alternatives?

This article shows other free project management software you can use to ensure successful project deliverables.

If you want to ditch Google Sheets, then you’ll want to choose a project management tool that best fits your needs and you team members’ as well.

But first, let’s discuss how dedicated project management tools will help you 10X your project management.

How Dedicated Project Management Tools Help in Project Management

Every project manager desires to have a tool that all team members find easy to use. And as we’ve seen, Google Sheets is not it.

Using the appropriate project management software boosts your efficiency and productivity because it has dedicated features tailored to ensure successful project deliverables.

A project management tool helps project managers plan, organize, and manage resources in order to meet project goals and objectives.

Some of the ways in which these project management tools can help your team include the following:

Task management

Project management tools enables project managers to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress. This helps to ensure that tasks are completed on-time.

Resource management

Project management tools can help project managers allocate resources (people, materials, and budget) effectively and efficiently. This optimizes the use of resources and reduces waste and inefficiencies.

Communication and collaboration

Project management tools often include features like chat, file sharing, and team calendars, which facilitates communication and collaboration among team members.

This can help to improve team productivity and reduce the need for face-to-face meetings.

Risk management

Project management tools support PMs in identifying and assessing potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate or avoid them. This can reduce the likelihood of project delays and setbacks.

Project alerts

Free tools like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel do not send alerts or reminders to concerned parties about upcoming deadlines or status changes.

However, a dedicated project management tool will send these crucial reminders via emails or notifications, thus helping you and your team members stay updated on various projects.

Project alerts also help ensure that each team member is accountable for their own work because everyone gets these notifications.

If you’re a project manager using Google Sheets, you will need to send these reminders to each member manually. That’s a bummer.

Real-time updates

A dedicated project management system like ProofHub, ClickUp, and others provides real-time updates. So, you won’t have to keep checking if there are any updates or wait for updates in your next meeting.

These real-time updates will help you know how the project is going and if you need to make adjustments so the project stays on track.

Reporting and analytics

Project management tools provide a range of reporting and analytics tools to help you understand how your team is performing and identify areas for improvement.

These tools may include features like project dashboards, budget tracking, team availability reports, risks reports, and performance metrics.

Frequently Asked Questions about Project Management Tools

What is a project management tool?

A project management tool is a software application or platform that helps organizations plan, organize, and track projects and workflows.

Project management tools often include features like task and resource management, collaboration tools, and reporting and analytics.

What are some common features of project management tools?

Common features of project management tools include task and resource management, collaboration tools, reporting and analytics, and customization options.

Task and resource management features may include the ability to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress.

Collaboration tools may include document editing and commenting, integrations with other tools, and team communication tools.

Reporting and analytics features may include project dashboards, budget tracking, and performance metrics.

Customization options may allow users to create their own layouts, workflows, and processes to fit their specific needs.

How do I choose the right project management tool for my organization?

There are different project management tools available, and the right one for your organization will depend on your specific needs and goals. To choose the right tool, consider the size and complexity of your projects, the needs and preferences of your team, and your budget.

You should also consider the features and capabilities of different tools and how well they align with your organization’s needs. It may be helpful to try out a few different tools on a trial basis to see which one works best for you.

Can project management tools improve team productivity?

Project management tools can help improve team productivity because they streamline workflows, improve communication and collaboration, and track project progress and performance.

Since they provide a centralized platform for managing tasks, resources, and communication, project management tools can help teams work more efficiently and effectively.

Are project management tools expensive?

The cost of project management tools can vary widely, with some tools being free or low-cost, and others being quite expensive. The cost will depend on the features and capabilities of the tool, as well as the size and needs of your projects.

Some tools offer tiered pricing, with different options for different levels of functionality and support. You need to carefully consider your needs and budget when choosing a project management tool.

Key Takeaway and Next Steps

Google Sheets can be a helpful tool for basic collaboration and data management tasks. But ultimately, it’s not the most effective solution if you have more complex projects requiring robust collaboration and tracking features.

So, in these cases, it’s better to use a dedicated project management tool that offers more robust collaboration and tracking capabilities.

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What Is Project Management

When you hear the word project, you most likely think of school. Or a gut-job investment property. Or worse — a dating prospect with tons of red flags but you’re so optimistic you think it’s a carnival.

However, projects go beyond the four corners of the classroom, housing market, and Tinder. Businesses and organizations take on projects, whether they be for the sole purpose of pulling in a profit or something else.

When we take on projects for profit, the main goals to realizing that profit are to complete tasks efficiently, maximize earnings, and minimize all possible expenses.

The best way to achieve these objectives?

With the help of a blueprint or a plan.

There’s a specific process in management that tackles how managers and team members execute projects. Referred to as project management, the Project Management Institute (PMI) defines it as:

The use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people.

That means that in project management, we’re aiming for a predefined outcome, whether it’s for a long or short-term goal.

What Is Project Management

Defining project management is the first step in guiding teams in the planning, execution, and completion of projects.

Project Management Approaches

Project management covers distinct phases, all of which are essential for a successful project. It includes various steps such as planning, execution, and completion.

Since projects exist for practically every industry, project management is also used across many fields, from engineering to academics, marketing to digital agencies.

As we all know, marketing is an important part of running a successful business. Organizations use marketing initiatives for their business plans to introduce themselves to their target market and establish brand awareness among potential customers.

This is where project management for marketing comes into play.

To determine whether marketing campaigns are on track, we use marketing project management to keep stakeholders informed throughout the project’s lifecycle. This way, all project teams have clarity and stay within the project scope.

Using project management in marketing also helps all members of the team meet customer needs and ensure overall project success.

In this piece, we’ll discover the basics of project management — its tools, elements, and types — that can assist us in handling and managing projects, no matter how big or small.

What is project management?

As we’ve mentioned, project management is crucial for a successful project, no matter its size or if it’s for profit or not. However, before we can learn the basics of project management, we must first answer the most important question — what is a project?

What Is Project Management

Project management is essential for an end result that adds value to the end user’s life.

The PMI defines a project as temporary efforts to create value through unique products, services, and processes. This means that projects aim to increase the value of various offerings for the people benefitting from them.

You can also have projects whose sole purpose is to resolve a specific problem. For example:

  • Software development
  • Constructing infrastructures (bridges, highways, etc.)

One thing to remember when we refer to projects is that these are temporary efforts, meaning a project is not a recurring activity.

A project’s lifecycle has a defined beginning and end date, and the project timeline may be weeks, months, or even years.

Projects also have varying scopes. They may cover a lot of deliverables, goals, tasks, and come with various associated costs. Projects can be large or small, simple or complex.

No matter their specifics, a project aims to accomplish one or more of the following:

  • achieving a predetermined outcome
  • reaching a goal or goals
  • creating single or multiple deliverables

You may have heard project management and program management used interchangeably. But these are entirely different concepts.

Project management vs. program management

So, what’s the difference between program and project management?

Imagine your business as a railroad system. Your projects are the trains that pull different loads from team members to achieve your goals, which are usually finished goods or services. Project managers operate these projects or trains.

On the other hand, programs can be compared to your collection of multiple trains, all of which run on different tracks.

Despite this, your trains or programs are all headed to the same station — your business goals. Project managers direct the whole train station, making sure that all trains (programs) aim for the same goal.

In simple words, project management focuses on the efficient achievement of a predetermined goal, usually the delivery of a product or service.

Program management focuses on maximizing benefits for your agency through various tools and processes.

Who are project managers?

Each project has its own objectives, tasks, scope, and costs — all of which you need to fulfill to achieve successful project management. So, it’s crucial that knowledgable individuals with industry expertise manage your projects.

Referred to as project managers, project professionals, or project management professionals, these individuals oversee the project’s success and completion.

Project managers typically perform the following tasks:

  • Use different tools, techniques, and approaches to achieve project tasks
  • Help engage project team members and keep them motivated to complete milestones using a variety of skills and knowledge
  • They drive change to meet the needs of a fast-paced society with the completion of their projects

Current times have seen the emerging demand for project managers. After all, projects are present in every field. And each project needs the proper guidance towards completion and success.

The project manager and their knowledge

The guidance of a knowledgable project manager (PM) helps your projects reach a successful conclusion. PMs oversee the project team so that every task aligns with the project objectives and plan.

According to PMI, there are ten knowledge areas that a project manager should have a deep understanding of to be considered effective.

This management body of knowledge includes the following:

  1. Integration management — A project manager must know exactly how the specific project fits into the organization’s bigger picture.
  2. Scope management — Effective project management entails the creation of a management plan that defines and controls the project scope to ensure the project team stays focused on the tasks.
  3. Time or schedule management — Project managers should be able to find ways to manage multiple timelines and schedules to minimize delays.
  4. Cost management — Minimizing unnecessary expenses is essential for an optimal ROI. A project manager, then, should maintain a budget throughout the project life cycle with this aim in mind.
  5. Quality management — A successful project delivers quality goods and services. Project managers develop and implement quality control measures that ensure the same level of quality among various projects.
  6. Procurement management — Project execution may sometimes need the services of outside collaborators. An effective project manager knows how to seamlessly integrate outside help into their projects.
  7. Human resource management — Project teams are composed of human resources. This requires project managers to understand their team members and their dynamics, strengths, and weaknesses.
  8. Communication management — Effective communication is essential for collaboration. Project managers must maintain communication between teams and project stakeholders to keep everyone updated on the project’s progress.
  9. Risk management — Nothing comes without risks, especially large and complex projects. A project manager must be able to identify project risks and create resolutions to problems that may derail the success of a project.
  10. Stakeholder management — Other than the project team, the project stakeholders are important for the project’s success. A project manager must have the ability to identify the needs and responsibilities of different project stakeholders. They must ensure every stakeholder is given relevant information.

Anyone with project management aspirations can learn this knowledge through different courses, most of which can be found in the four corners of the classroom.

So, if you are planning to embark on the project management path, these project management certifications will help propel your career:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification given by the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Google Project Management certification
  • Agile certification
  • PRINCE2 certification

Courses for these certifications are available mostly on the websites of the particular project management body. Check them out and see if you can take on the challenge of being a project manager!

Are project managers the only ones who need project management training?

Contrary to popular belief, project managers are not the only ones who need project management training.

All team members should be at least aware of and have a basic understanding of project management. This way, they will be aware of what is expected of them during the whole project lifecycle. Attending training sessions about project management can be a stepping stone for them to become project managers themselves.

Who knows — someone within your team may be the next project manager!

What are the elements of project management?

Aside from the different management bodies of knowledge, a project management professional must have a strong understanding of the different project components. They must be able to determine one component from the other and connect these components so they’re aligned with the project objectives.

Below are the four different elements of project management:

  • Resources — When we say resources, we don’t just mean tools and materials. In project management, resources extend to people, equipment, materials, software, hardware, and a lot more. Resources are anything that can be of use during the project lifecycle.
  • Time — Projects have a specific schedule to follow. They need a start date and an end date. So, project managers need to keep an eye on the clock. They can use task durations, project progress, milestone achievements, critical path, and even dependencies when keeping track of the project schedule.
  • Money — If money makes the world go round, then it can also jumpstart a project. Without money, you can’t pay your team or acquire the right materials and other components the project requires.Project managers ensure that there are enough financial resources to start the project. They also think about the project’s end result every time they make their decisions, and you guessed it — it’s money.
  • Scope — Determining the project’s scope may be difficult. After all, it can cover anything as long as it is related to the project. However, we should note that there are several factors that we should consider when determining project scope.Ask questions to identify the project requirements, how large and complex the project will be, and the objectives. Project management professionals should ask these important questions as they will heavily impact the project scope as well as the other critical elements like time and money.

What are some different project management methodologies?

Just like any other process, project management follows a specific set of guiding principles to plan, manage, execute, and complete projects. We can call these guidelines project management methodologies. They determine how your team will prioritize and complete project tasks.

Here are some popular project management methodologies that project managers apply when initiating, planning, and executing projects:

  • Waterfall project management — AKA linear project management approach and traditional project management approach, waterfall project management includes stakeholder requirements gathered at the project’s start. After determination and gathering, a sequential project plan is created.
  • Agile project management — Often prescribed as an iterative solution to inefficient companies, agile project management changes traditional project management by not following rigid project plans. Instead, this methodology implements short sprints of work referred to as agile sprints.
  • Lean project management — Also referred to as lean manufacturing, lean project management aims to improve processes. This project management methodology was first introduced to manufacturing companies and spread throughout different industries over the years.
  • Kanban project management — Originating in Japan, Kanban project management uses visual boards and cards to manage work. Agile and scrum teams often use this project management type.
  • Critical chain project management — Focusing on resource management, critical chain project management uses the theory of constraints in managing projects.
What Is Project Management

Learn all about project management before beginning a new project

There are still other project management types you can use for your projects such as Six Sigma, Scrum project management, and PRINCE2. However, the ones we mentioned in this list are the most common.

Agencies and companies use various types of project management methodologies. The thing is, no project methodology fits one specific industry.

You have to check which suits your operations best and which can bring results and optimize your processes. Project management allows you to evaluate your operations so that you will be able to implement which methodology best suits your company culture.

What are the phases of project management?

To achieve project objectives and goals, managers have to follow a certain project management process. This allows them to plan carefully and make the right decisions for the project.

The project life cycle is broken down into five project management process groups. At every phase of the project, a series of processes occur, all of which are crucial before you can move to the next stage.

Here are the five stages of the project life cycle:

Initiating phase

Before project planning and execution can start, project managers have to first check whether the project is valid or not. We must remember that for an approving body to give the green light, the project must bring value to its intended end users.

The initiation phase is also where project managers determine the key elements of the project such as the stakeholders, required resources, risks, estimated costs, and the project timeline.

In doing so, they use the following project management documentation:

  • Business case
  • Feasibility study
  • Project charter

Once you’ve got the required documentation with T’s crossed and I’s dotted, it’s on to the planning phase.

Planning phase

After the project manager has found out whether the project is valid, it’s time to create a project plan. This will serve as the action plan in the execution of the project from start to finish.

A project plan covers every project management area such as the project scope, budget, and timeline. Important milestones for the project are also determined in the planning phase.

Here are some of the contents of the project plan and what they cover:

  • Project schedule — This defines the timeline for resource allocation and task execution. The project schedule can be monitored with the use of time tracking and other task management tools.
  • Project budget — This is the estimated project cost. Project managers aim to not exceed the overall project budget.
  • Work breakdown schedule — This is a project planning tool that helps managers visualize all the activities, milestones, and deliverables defined in the project scope. Through this, project managers can determine which tasks to prioritize.
What Is Project Management

What is a project management workflow? They help teams to analyze tasks needed for the project and identify all possible obstacles that might arise.

Executing phase

Now that the initiation and the project planning phases are done, it is time to execute the plans. The manager will talk with the project team about how they can meet the project objectives and goals they’ve outlined.

The executing phase is also where teams work on the tasks assigned to them and determine whether they’ve achieved any of the milestones provided in the project plan.

In simple terms, the execution phase of the project is where the magic happens — project team members complete their assigned tasks with the project manager overseeing progress.

Monitoring and controlling phase

When the project has been executed, the manager has to ensure the deliverables are high-quality and meet business standards. This is where the next stage of project management takes place — monitoring and controlling.

Here, the project manager has to monitor the progress and performance of the project parts, making sure that the project stays on schedule and within budget. This is also where quality control takes place to ensure the quality of the goods and services the project produces.

When a manager monitors and completes reports, they may encounter some issues with their variables. When these arise, they can apply all the necessary corrective actions so that the project stays on track.

Closing phase

The final phase of the project life cycle is called the closing phase. This is where the manager and team can conclude the project.

As the name suggests, this phase is when the final project deliverables are presented to all stakeholders or persons concerned with the project. This is the manager’s opportunity to review project leadership, as well as the whole project life cycle itself.

Is communication important in every direction of the project?

Yes. A thousand times yes.

As we mentioned before, you can’t move to the next stage of the project management life cycle without completing the former stage.

Also, when project teams communicate with each other, they can find any issues at any level or stage of the project life cycle. This not only makes it easier for the project manager but also for the whole team.

What are project management metrics?

It’s important in project management to track your progress. One effective way of measuring project progress is to use specific project management metrics for comparison.

These are factors that can guide you in determining your objectives, as well as clarify the management process.

Also, project management metrics allow you to track your performance and make improvements if necessary.

Here are some project management metrics you can use to track project progress:

  • Schedule — Take a look at your project tasks and milestones. Determine if you’ve achieved them on time in accordance with what you’ve estimated in your planning phase.
  • Budget — Check whether your project progress matches the amount that you’ve estimated and budgeted. Often, going over budget is a result of poor planning.
  • Scope — Project tasks and deliverables are products of the project scope. However, there are times when scope creep occurs during project execution leading to delayed delivery.So, make sure you match your tasks and deliverables to your scope. And, clearly define your project scope during the initiating and planning phases of your project.

What are project management tools?

Project management, like any other framework and process, utilizes tools and techniques to achieve its goals and objectives.

Here are some project management tools that project managers use for their projects.

Project dashboard

Project managers use the project dashboard to monitor costs, tasks, and the overall project progress. This helps managers determine whether the project is on the right track or not.

Project management software

The tools we use for project management cover a lot of tasks, from scheduling to documentation. Technology has provided us with software that contains all tools necessary for project management. But finding the best project management software for a specific project isn’t easy.

Managers have to consider several factors as there are many alternatives to choose from. It’s a good idea to use assessments to determine which you can use for your project.

Project management workflows

A project management workflow represents a sequence of tasks needing completion in order to mark a project completed, a goal reached, or a process step finished.

Project management workflows are used to break down complex tasks and processes into smaller steps and arrange them into a logical order sequence. This way, the project team can easily accomplish their tasks.

Why do we need to have project management workflows?

These workflows allow project managers to check whether work gets done without any bottlenecks or stoppages. In short, project management workflows allow the project team to work smoothly during project execution.

Creating, standardizing, and optimizing your processes with project management

One of the biggest benefits of project management is the standardization and optimization of your operations. Project management allows you to maximize all your resources while minimizing your costs.

Unfortunately, many agencies still ignore this helpful methodology and risk their projects going awry.

If you’re still undecided about whether to apply this methodology, here are some benefits of project management when it comes to the optimization and standardization of your operations:

  • Improves clarity since it eliminates the need for the project team to use guesswork or time-consuming research.
  • Guarantees quality as tasks become pre-defined and optimized.
  • Promotes productivity for the project team as they won’t need to comb project documentation for answers.
  • Boosts the project team’s morale since they can be proud of their results and mastery of the process.
  • Whenever applicable, this perfects your team’s customer service capabilities as they can handle every query in the best way possible.

When you apply project management concepts to your workflows, you standardize your processes and eventually optimize your workaround time. So, you finish your projects within your budgets and timelines. But your team also gets to allot critical bandwidth to more important, urgent matters.

Conclusion: Project Management is Worth the Effort

Project management is no easy feat. But like most things difficult, it’s worth the effort.

With the right project manager, knowledge and skillset, project completion can be achieved within budget and deadline consistently.

Here are some important reminders to use every time you take on a project for your marketing agency:

  • Project management is the application of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to achieve a predetermined goal or objective.
  • Many elements make up project management, all of which are dependent on each other.
  • Project management undergoes different stages. Projects cannot move to the next phase without completing the former.
  • Project management has different methodologies that project managers can choose from. Choose the methodology according to your business needs.
  • There are tools and techniques that can help ease the work for project managers and the project team itself. Research the best tools and methods for your brand.

We’ve provided this simple guide on project management to help you with your projects, whether they’re small and simple, or large and complex.

But if you’re still a little shaky on how to effectively manage your projects, well, let us adjust our cape.

Cape adjusted. Download our free project management checklist to see whether your project team has what it takes to deliver a successful project!

Effective Tips for How to Assess Employee Workload

Taking care of employees results in better project outcomes.

If you think the manager is the key to a project’s success, you’d be mistaken. While PMs are critical to team dynamics and productivity, they aren’t the boots on the ground.

It’s your employees who are the ones working their magic on the front lines. Without their efforts, achievable deadlines are missed. Clients are pi$$Ed. And cashflows fail to persist.

Your best laid plans go bust if you can’t manage employee workloads effectively. But if your project manager knows how to assess employees’ workload, the entire team (and project) will benefit.

When team members mesh together perfectly, performance is optimized. Workloads are more efficient, and bandwidth is freed up, allowing more time to focus on the most difficult tasks and pressing matters.

In many cases, an employee’s overall workload directly impacts their performance. So, if you effectively manage their workload, they can work more effectively. Workers will be less stressed, and more focused.

You see where this is going, right? The better your workers, the better your business.

So, how can we determine whether the right employees are assigned to the right task at the right time?

In this piece, we’ll learn how to assess the workload of employees to determine whether they are working efficiently through a process called workload management.

What is Workload Management?

Workload management improves teams’ efficiency.

Workload management is distributing the workload among team members in the most efficient way possible. It also tracks utilization, employee performance, and individual KPIs.

The correct distribution of workload sets employees up for success. With workload management, work is distributed equally. So, each employee has a fair share of the tasks they must complete.

Is workload management the same as time management?


Workload management is an effort to increase efficiency among teams. As you probably know, efficiency goes beyond workaround time and tasks.

Workload management differs from time management in that it is a strategic approach as it plans, estimates, and tracks all the project tasks teams must deliver. This enables managers, and the team, to balance workload demands for all individuals and groups involved.

Workload management also allows the team to adhere to any schedule commitment made to the customer.

Why is Assessing Workload Important?

When it comes to projects’ success, every team member and employee is crucial. They determine the overall project performance. Effective teams contribute to KPIs and reduce the risk of employees becoming stressed and burnt out.

Developing intelligent workload management processes also ensures management and clients that all the tasks are completed ASAP. It also prevents employees from feeling overwhelmed and overworked.

In other words, assessing workload is a way of making sure that employees are satisfied with the amount of work on their plates. They’re happy to work hard and feel satisfied after they clock out.

After all, job demands, intellectual demands, and job satisfaction are all related. Job satisfaction decreases when the job demand is too high and increases when intellectual demand increases.

Improving Workload Management in the Workplace

Delegate tasks according to an employee’s capacity.

Now that we know the importance of workload management, the next step is to start improving everyone’s workload management.

In this fast-paced world, clients have high demands for quality service. But that also means that sometimes, employees’ plates become overloaded and tasks are left unfinished.

Fortunately, there are techniques you can use that will help you improve workload management.

Here are five steps you can put into action when managing your team’s workload.

  1. Determine your team’s workload and capacity.List all tasks each team member needs to complete. That way, you can visualize and clarify the project scope, and record your past activity.In determining workload and capacity, you need to understand your milestones and timelines for the various projects and deliverables. You also must determine your team’s bandwidth, with consideration of all tasks and projects your team is currently working on.If any urgent work is needed, prioritize that.
  2. Assign your resources and break down each employee’s workload.
    When allocating resources, consider their urgency and prioritize accordingly. Assign priority work first before assigning any other tasks.Also, allocate the hardest and most complex tasks first so that employees have enough time to finish them. Use a calendar to mark the start and end dates for the various work assignments so you can keep track of deadlines.
  3. Follow up with your team members so you can adjust the workload as necessary.
    As a manager, you’re responsible for monitoring project progress. You also need to observe your employees for signs of stress or overwork.You can initiate team meetings to keep tabs on what your team members are experiencing during the project’s phases.
  4. Improve your tools and methods during heavy workloadsLet’s face it. Workload volume is unpredictable, even if you’re a productivity expert. So, it’s crucial that your team can adapt.For example, when you sense there’s too much pressure on your team, you can scale back on the team meetings and start thinking of ways you can communicate more quickly and efficientlyIdentify time and work management methods that suit each employee, along with letting them learn time and project management skills.
  5. Use a work management tool.Of course, you can always use a tool to help you more effectively assign tasks.Work management tools can either be analog— whiteboards and flip charts — or digitally-based online tools.Work management tools, particularly online ones, have the advantage of consolidating information in one location, allowing team members access to that information all the time, immediately.Workload management tools also help you quickly identify conflicting deadlines and priorities. These tools also provide you with complete visibility, an overview of resource allocation, and notifications for due dates and milestones.

These five steps can help you improve your team’s work efficiency, effectiveness, and overall work culture. You’ll see that your employees manage their workloads better and can deliver more quality work.

Plus, they’ll have more time for self care. And we can always use a little more of that.

What Are Workload Management Tools?

Make use of management tools.

As we mentioned in the previous section, workload management tools are beneficial to the project manager and the team in completing their assigned tasks. These tools help employees understand and monitor their assignments, deadlines, and resources.

Here are some ways that workload management tools can support your team:

  • Resource management tools allow managers to look at resource allocations in the big picture, making it easier to shuffle resources when the need arises.
  • With automation software, tasks and tickets based on employee capacity can be routed. Automation can also help with prioritization and tracking, as well as increase back-office output.
  • Work and resource management tools help in predicting possible problems through analysis of historical patterns and revealing patterns of peak activity for each team and for each role.
  • Work management platforms can reveal work patterns among employees, making assessments and evaluations more objective and professional.

Work management tools can be a paper diary, a planner, or even enterprise collaboration software.

You can use these tools to start communicating with your team if you spot any inconsistencies or anomalies in their work patterns. This way, your team can implement effective communication to improve the whole team’s performance.

Task Management Software

Work management tools cover a variety of features, including task management. This software allows you to allocate resources according to your employees’ capabilities and capacity.

In other words, task management software helps you to assign the right task to the right person at the right time.

There is a wide range of task management software you can choose from. There are our recommendations:


Wrike is a task management software package intended to streamline internal project management and collaboration processes among team members. Its easy-to-use features allow easy collaboration, no matter where each team member is located.

This cloud-based platform has features covering:

  • Gantt charts
  • Calendars
  • Custom dashboards
  • Real-time updates

Wrike also has specialized packages for teams and businesses engaged in marketing, creativity, and service delivery. You can track the time it takes to complete the task with timesheets tracking totals.

Although Wrike is a great workload management software package, it’s on the pricey side with its per-user and per-tier monthly subscription.


If you are looking for a platform to organize your projects at a glance and collaborate with your team and track their progress, then you want ClickUp.

The software has a user-friendly and customizable interface, making it easy for teams to collaborate and learn to use.

ClickUp’s features also allow you to track your entire project from the very beginning until completion. You can manage employees using a variety of tools, from List, Box, Gannt, and Boards that can help you save time.

ClickUp has three pricing tiers you can choose from. But if you’re on a budget, you can also try it for free!


If you like to create individual workspaces where each member can make their own to-do lists, then Asana is perfect for you.

This platform allows you to create workspaces for the team so that each person can work on their own tasks within a specific workspace.

This feature means that Asana is highly customizable and perfect for teams with unique needs.


Another well-known workload management tool is monday.com. It’s an open platform that lets teams create and shape the tools they require to complete their assigned work.

With its apps and integration, monday.com helps your team boost alignment, efficiency, and employee productivity.

This platform is also useful for industry-specific projects with its specialized tools such as the Monday Marketer, Monday Sales CRM, and Monday Dev.


For agile software teams, Zenhub is the go-to workload management tool. That’s because it enables software development teams to build their code better and quicker, no matter the size of the team.

The platform has automated agile features, real-time roadmap visibility, and insights into employee productivity.

With its agile capabilities and automation features, Zenhub keeps teams productive, aligned, and working towards a common goal despite working long hours.


Dynamic workload and employee empowerment make Smartsheet a smart choice for many project managers. This platform allows the dynamic planning, execution, and reporting of work at scale for many teams.

Using a tool like Smartsheet results in more efficient processes and innovative solutions for organizations, leading to better business outcomes.

With its secure and scalable features, Smartsheet connects not only the individual team members, but also the entire enterprise. This gives flexible solutions for the changing needs of dynamic work across different teams and roles.

Zoho Projects

Designed for small and mid-sized organizations, Zoho Projects offers features such as project scheduling and budgeting. This cloud-based platform allows you to define your project tasks, assign work to respective teams, and estimate costs.

Zoho Projects also allows you to follow up on current tasks and automate document processes.

Zoho also helps managers prepare business reports and create management summaries in the productivity reports section. It also offers convenient visual representation tools like Gantt charts.

You can also use Zoho to break down complex tasks into subtasks and create milestones and to-do lists.


Specifically designed for client work, Teamwork is a workload management tool for delivering work on time and within budget. The platform can help your team minimize client chaos and further understand profitability.

Organize workflows and schedules without hassle, and integrate your workflows with ease with other applications within the user-friendly Teamwork dashboard.

How to Boost Productivity and Efficiency

Boost the team’s productivity and efficiency with the right approaches.

Assigning work to the right people is a difficult task. Employees need to balance their projects and all the work and deadlines that come with them.

There may also be a time when the task at hand doesn’t fit with their skill set. This is why we need to apply techniques and methods to accomplish goals and meet achievable deadlines that work for individual employees.

Here are some tips on how you can boost employee productivity and efficiency.

Determine Capacity Levels

Maximizing the time and talents of your team members requires you to have a clear and full view of their capacity and availability.

You have to be aware of the times when your resources won’t be available so you can assign a task to someone who can do the job.

Split Work Evenly Between Staff

Contrary to popular belief, several people working together on a task does not always go well in resource management.

In fact, there’s a possibility that this can only prolong the working time and can leave other members on standby.

This is why as a team manager, you must assign work according to your employees’ capacity, skills, strengths, and roles.

Check Project Statuses and Adjust Accordingly

Now that you have assigned tasks evenly, monitor the team’s progress. Check with your team to see if they agree with the goals you’ve set and whether they think you’ve given them achievable deadlines.

If your team members face unforeseen challenges, you can adjust accordingly. Your employees will feel you’re listening to their opinions, suggestions, and difficulties.

Prioritize the Work Sections

Tasks have varying levels of complexity and difficulty. If some of the tasks at hand are urgent, prioritize them. Do not worry about other tasks! You can assign them after the prioritized work has been finished and delivered.

Doing this allows your team to have longer times to finish the task and increases the chances of them producing quality results.

Communicate Effectively

As in any relationship, effective communication is crucial. But in project management, communicating effectively with your team ensures that every member understands the tasks they have and their deadlines.

When there’s efficient communication among the team, employees are assured they can get answers to their questions and that management take their concerns seriously.

Avoid Multitasking

Multi-tasking may be an impressive ability. But when optimizing work, it’s a no-go. After all, having to complete multiple tasks at once causes employees to feel overwhelmed and stressed.

Make sure to remind your employees to focus on one task at a time.

Avoid Perfectionism

Completing a project for a client may prompt us to be perfectionists. This is good if we know how to keep it under control. But if perfecting each deliverable causes the team to do multiple reworks, then it is already causing a delay in your project’s overall timeline.

Also, being a perfectionist in the workplace can cause stress for your team members, which will heavily affect their productivity.

Set Your Team Up for Success

As a manager and leader, you want your team to be successful in every project they venture into. This means you have to build your team so they have the appropriate skill set for any project they take on.

In setting your team up for success, you can share your knowledge with them so they can have a deeper understanding of their roles and responsibilities. So, be sure to provide workers with training and courses aligned with their skill set.

On the other hand, when you’re already working on a project, set attainable goals and expectations to further set your team up for success. This way, they stay motivated during the entire project life cycle.

How Workload Assessment Leads to a Healthier Workplace

A healthy workplace is achieved through even workload distribution.

Workload assessment leads to an even distribution of workload among team members. The right employees get the tasks that are appropriate to their skill set and capacity. When this happens, they’ll enjoy working on their assigned tasks, and won’t feel stressed or overwhelmed.

When your team members are feeling excited to get to work, the overall workplace environment becomes healthier, and employees will work more efficiently. You will be more likely to meet client expectations without a fuss.

Final Thoughts on Workload Assessment and Management

Like any other activity, project management is difficult, especially since the project involves many people — from start to finish. People have varying levels of skills, abilities, and availability. This is why we should understand our employees first before we can assign any work to them.

The good thing is that workload assessment and management are there to help project managers find the right people for the right tasks.

Workload management considers every team member’s capacity and availability when tasks are allocated and assigned. With this, project managers can see what their employees are capable of and can match their skills with the appropriate tasks.

In conclusion, to better manage workloads, apply the following tips:

  • Determine capacity levels
  • Split work evenly among staff members
  • Check project statuses and adjust accordingly
  • Prioritize the work sections
  • Communicate effectively
  • Avoid multitasking
  • Avoid perfectionism
  • Set your team up for success

When all these issues are considered, employees will finish their work on time without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

So, how are you managing your project management? Let’s pave the way for the ultimate success of your project.

Download our FREE project management checklist to wrangle that giant project beast with ease.

What is the role of a project manager?

Is your business scaling? Congrats. Reaching that next shiny new level of business growth is a huge accomplishment.

But, hold up. Scaling is great and all. But if you don’t do it right, your business will suffer. The grey hairs will sprout. Disaster follows!

It’s not all doom and gloom. That is, if you have a project manager at the helm of the business growth ship.

What?! You don’t have a project manager! Or even know what one is!

Let’s fix all that. Keep on scrolling to learn what a project manager is, what they do, and how to become one.

Project planning and the pros who do it.

Knowing what a project manager does will help you find the right one for your business. Most projects require management from the first stage onward to succeed. And a project manager is responsible for seeing projects through from start to finish.

A project manager is responsible for project management processes, such as:

  • Planning
  • Monitoring
  • Executing
  • Controlling
  • Accounting

Every company needs project managers to ensure that jobs are smoothly managed. Project manager make a huge difference between the success or failure of a project.

So, what is the role of the project manager? What are some key project management responsibilities you should know?

First, let’s dive deep into what project management roles are.

What is the Role of a Project Manager?

the role of a project manager

The project manager ensures the project objectives are met.

A project management career carries a lot of responsibilities. A typical project manager job description includes:

  • Planning deliverables and milestone schedules
  • Designating project resources
  • Preparing budgets
  • Monitoring progress
  • Communicating with investors and key stakeholders
  • Delivering milestones

Although that list isn’t exhaustive.

Some of the most successful project managers have obtained Agile project management certifications and are capable of waterfall project management. These in-demand candidates can work effectively on different projects, including marketing, construction, HR, and software development projects.

Project managers work with all levels of an organization — from business executives and senior managers to individual employees. They also work with external stakeholders such as suppliers, subcontractors, and clients. Therefore, they need to have strong organizational and problem-solving skills.

A project manager is responsible for coordinating multiple activities and ensuring that each activity is completed on time, within budget, and with the necessary quality. They need support from senior management, without which projects may fail.

Project managers will:

  • Create a project management plan
  • Assign responsibilities to individuals or groups
  • Ensure that deadlines are met
  • Provide guidance on how best to structure a project
  • Ensure that all required resources are available
  • Determine who is responsible for each task on a given project
  • Monitor progress throughout a project
  • Take appropriate action when problems arise (e.g., cancel activities or reschedule if necessary).

Bottom line, the project manager has to monitor everything that’s going on throughout the entire project life cycle.

So, let’s get into the different responsibilities that a project management professional must do in more detail next.

Key Responsibilities of Project Managers

the role of a project manager

The project management office holds key responsibilities in the business.

How can a project manager plan, oversee, and deliver a project successfully? Well, let’s see what more they are responsible for to ensure the work runs smoothly:

Unites the team

A united team will work towards a common goal, while a divided team spells doom for a project. Project managers are aware of this and always strive to keep the team united.

A united team means that members trust each other. But how can you build trust between members of your organization?

Well, you must ensure that each member understands their roles and responsibilities. In addition, team members should also feel their feedback matters.

Project managers also encourage the team to achieve the organization’s objectives. They may develop a plan that accommodates every team member so they can work more effectively and bring out their full potential. Sometimes, project managers will give reviews of team member’s performance to motivate them.

Motivates Team Members

A capable project manager will motivate their team.


A sure way of motivating your team is through team building. Team building boosts morale during a project’s life cycle and after a challenging project.

Project managers can organize fun team-building exercises or happy hours where members can unwind. Or even give bonuses whenever teams exceed expectations.

Delegates Responsibilities

Project managers delegate responsibilities to qualified team members for a project to be successful. When a project is delegated efficiently, you free up time to focus on other high-value activities and oversee the project with the confidence that the team will do a good job.

So, project managers must match the team members’ competency to a specific task. In cases where the organization’s staff is unqualified, you’ll need to set aside a budget to hire a freelancer for the job.

You can also arrange for team members to study courses crucial to your organization, as this will be beneficial and cost-effective in the long run.


A project manager should practice and encourage open communication. Open communication makes it easier to discuss deadlines, milestones, and status, ensuring the project is on track.

Communication can take many forms. Depending on your goals and the project at hand, it could be weekly or monthly reports, emails, calls, daily check-ins, or attending meetings.

Always remember that every participant in the project is essential, and their opinion matters.

For this reason, foster an environment where there is open communication and where employees can freely express their opinions and concerns.

As a result, team members will feel more appreciated.

Communication is also essential as it will help you identify whether the project is on track or whether there is a potential roadblock that needs addressing.

What are the Daily Responsibilities of a Project Manager?

The technical aspects of project management.

Project management professionals need more than just technical know-how to handle different projects. They need to have a business mindset and be adaptable to every situation. PMs should also possess conflict resolution skills and exhibit leadership qualities that encourage team morale.

A project manager is like a bridge between upper management, key stakeholders, and team members working on a project. So, project manager roles and responsibilities may differ because of company size or industries. But the same rules apply across the board.

A day in the life of typical project manager will look like this:

  • Updating stakeholders
  • Organizing teams
  • Motivating the team
  • Checking on team members
  • Delegating
  • Checking in on deadlines
  • Reviewing budget sheets
  • Checking performance and metrics
  • Performing risk management analysis

Additionally, a project manager can also look like an air traffic controller. And a deadline babysitter.

Project Manager’s Role as “Air Traffic Control”

Project managers are responsible for guaranteeing that all deliverables follow a specific path, are moving along it appropriately, and at the right pace so they hit deadlines.

They also supervise each project team member responsible for each specific deliverable. In addition, project managers break projects into tasks and subtasks, define milestones, and highlight project dependencies.

For project managers, we recommend using a project management tool so they can oversee their projects successfully. This will help them see who should be doing what, who is available for work, unavailable, if milestones have been achieved, and how far along the project is.

Project Manager Role as Deadline Babysitter

Every project has a deadline that must be met. and meeting those deadlines often involves several moving parts that need monitored and overseen. So, a project manager has to establish that team members are edging toward the deadline with each passing day.

A project without a deadline tends to lag because team members may not be motivated enough to do the project.

However, the project will be successful when you set small daily goals or deliverables that each member has to deliver. PMs have to keep team members accountable and monitor each progress.

Project managers should also remember that following deadlines is major part of time management. Having a PM with great time management skills leading the team boost employee morale and engagement.

Workers are happier when they don’t have the deal with the immense pressure of completing last-minute, surprise tasks.

A Project Manager Masters the Art of Cost Efficiency

Profit makes a business stay afloat and thrive. And a good project manager understands that. PMs must make sure that the project stays within the allocated budget.

Doing this boils down to having an airtight (and following it) planning process in the initial stages. In addition, PMs must make sure the project can be completed within the proposed budget.

A successful project manager oversees each department to ensure they work according to the specifics and without excessive spending during the project life cycle.

A Project Manager Plans Ahead

Much of a project manager’s time is spent on the project schedule.


A good project manager looks ahead at what comes next.

What projects need to be planned for the next quarter, month, or weeks? Then, how can the project manager start putting the pieces in place to complete them appropriately?

Planning is the key to success because it helps you avoid pitfalls and keeps your project on course. You can make better decisions since you’ll have weighed all the options and chosen the best ones for your project.

When you plan, you’ll know what options are available in advance and know what to do when a sudden change occurs.

The worst thing a PM can do is work on a project without a plan. Without a plan, it’s way too easy to make bad decisions. Or miss important details that could affect the project’s deliverables or even cause problems later on in the project.

Here’s a three-step approach to developing a solid project plan.

Understand the project scope

The best way to plan ahead as a project manager is to ensure you understand the project’s scope well. This will help you determine how many resources you need and what they should be.

Set up time estimates

A successful project manager then determines how much time it will take to complete the project and then divide that time into smaller increments to estimate how long each task will take. This tactic also works when a project manager plans a budget and timeline.

Allocate resources to tasks

Once a PM has all this information, they start to plan their work. The first step is to identify all the tasks involved in completing the project and assign them accordingly so that everyone knows their job responsibilities.

Becoming a Project Manager

Various institutions like the Project Management Institute (PMI) and Project Management Professional (PMP) teach project management roles and offer project management certifications. Google also offers a Project Management Certification.

But a candidate doesn’t have to start there. Chances are, their previous positions required them to use a lot of project management-related skills, such as:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Budgeting
  • Risk management

Project manager salaries depend on the level of skills and responsibilities in your organization. However, given the nature of their jobs and the weighty responsibilities, they are compensated well for their work.

The role of a project manager is crucial in any organization.

Since project managers are in charge of the whole project, they must maintain quality, seamless communication, time, and update the stakeholders. They need project management software that will help them track time, tasks, costs, procurement, and project progress.

Key Takeaways

To recap, project manager responsibilities involve:

  • Uniting the team
  • Motivating team members
  • Delegating responsibilities
  • Enabling effective communication both with project team members and stakeholders.

So, if you want to scale your business and keep your customers happy, you need a dedicated project manager holding it all together.

It’s a tall order. But there are a lot of tools and processes available that can help PMs sail through their jobs and keep the project team on schedule and engaged.

Managing a team can be challenging but possible with the correct information. Download our project management checklist here to get your free guide to effective project management.

6 Free Project Management Software Options to Keep your Team on Track

Importance of project management software tools

It’s a hectic world out there. One way to make it less so? A project management tool.

So, what exactly is a project management tool?

Basically, a project management tool is software that helps you plan, execute, and manage tasks.

The agency life is a complicated one, and requires you to wear many hats. But alas, you’ve only got one head to put them on. At least, at one time.

A project management app or similar task management tool helps you keep your head, and your cool, when things go pear-shaped at work. As they inevitably like to do. It also enables you to wear many professional hats with ease.

Common features of project management apps

You can use a project management tool for organizing many different tasks, including:

You can use a project management tool for organizing many different tasks, including:

  • Marketing
  • Construction
  • Software development
  • Event planning
  • Tasks management
  • Team collaboration
  • File sharing
  • Project tracking.

In addition to task organization, a project management tool also helps you and your team stay on track, on time, and on budget with various project tasks.

Money makes the world go round, and budget management is a critical part of any project. Project management software can help you track your budget and ensure that you’re spending within your means.

The types of budgeting features that most project management tools have include things like expense tracking, invoicing, and cost analysis.

Team collaboration is another important feature of project management software, allowing team members to communicate as they complete various tasks and milestones.

Team collaboration features often include chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and task management.

This all sounds good, right? Well, it gets even better, harried project manager.

Project tracking is yet another handy-dandy feature of the most popular project management software tools.

If too-many scheduling mishaps have you counting down the days until sweet, sweet retirement, then you need project management software asap. It tracks progress and ensures that your project remains on schedule.

Project tracking includes milestone tracking, task lists, timelines, and so much more.

Selecting the right tool

Selecting the right cloud-based project management software for your needs can be daunting. There are various options available on the market, each with its unique features and pricing structures.

So, when selecting project management software, you’ll need to consider your budget, the size and scope of your project, and the features you require.

Once you’ve chosen the right software and implement into your agency processes, then it won’t be long until you’ll be managing projects more effectively.

No matter what, project management software is a valuable asset to any project. And getting it to run more smoothly. Selecting the right software for your needs ensures that your project is well-organized and on track for success.

Study the options of free project management apps

Why do you need project management software?

Do you want to scale your business from a one-person back bedroom operation into something that sells for enough money that you can spend your retirement days in effortless sunshine?

Then to do that, you need to build a great business and team.

And that’s why you need project management software. And even better, if it’s a free project management tool.

Let’s get into the various types of project management tools and software next.

Email is not the best way to manage projects and tasks

Email is inefficient. There, we said it. And it’s a huge time waster in terms of managing projects.

You’d be better off working with an A4 diary and a fountain pen. At least then, you could easily see what needs to be worked on next. Or you can just continue to get lost in never-ending email threads.

How about no? Ditch the email and go for project management software instead.

Cloud-based project management software systems streamline project management and increase productivity. These systems allow for task assignments, deadlines, progress tracking, and real-time collaboration.

Email can’t do that.

Free project management apps also provide audit trails to see who did what and when. Email can’t compete with that kind of efficiency and transparency.

So, if you’re serious about managing projects and tasks effectively, you need to use project management software — not email.

A project management app helps managers integrate processes, people, and data. It automates project management tasks and project management responsibilities.

If that sounds a bit highbrow, we can assure you it’s not. Once you start using free project management software, you’ll wonder how you ever managed projects without it.

But if you’re a big email fan, don’t worry.

Project management software can be a valuable tool for managing email communications on projects. While email is often the primary method of communication for project teams, it is not the only communication channel project managers need to consider.

Project management software can help project managers track and manage communications across multiple channels, including:

  • Social media
  • Instant messaging
  • Video conferencing

Project managers can use this software to ensure that all project communications are captured and stored in one central location, making it easier (and faster) to find critical information.

A quick word about “free” project management software

There’s project management software for every business size. But that doesn’t mean the free version is suitable for everyone. Although it might work for you. YMMV and all that.

Depending on the size of your business, the free version of project management software can cost you more money than an upgrade to the paid version. That’s because features like automation and time tracking can save you valuable time and energy. Often, they aren’t included in the free version.

Investing in paid project management software is a smart move for large teams if you’re serious about growing your business empire.

Investing in project management software is a smart move for the business

Free project management tools we recommend highly

Many free project management tools are available today, each with different features.

At ScaleTime, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you and saved you the brain power so you can quickly discover the best project management solution for your business.

Here are six popular (and free) project management software tools we’ve personally used and recommend, their best features, and the things they don’t do so well.

Our top six project management tools


Asana is one of the most popular project management tools on the market, and for a good reason.

It’s simple to manage tasks, and features include project templates, task dependencies, and Gantt charts.

However, one downside of Asana is that it can be challenging to keep track of tasks not assigned to you.

Asana project management software is more straightforward and visually intuitive than most other software solutions. You can quickly move your task and assign work with the convenient drag-and-drop feature.

Asana is fast becoming the project management software solution for individuals and small businesses who want something that’s easy to use and doesn’t require much training.

Project management features:

  • Project templates — Asana offers templates for common types of projects, making it easy to get started with the proper structure and process.
  • Gantt charts — Asana’s Gantt charts help visualize project timelines and dependencies, so you can better plan and execute your project.
  • Time tracking — Time tracking in Asana lets you see how much time is spent on each task so that you can optimize your project timeline better.
  • Task dependencies — Asana enables you to create task dependencies to manage project dependencies better and avoid conflicting deadlines.
  • Commenting — Commenting in Asana lets team members discuss tasks and projects in one place, making it easy to collaborate and stay on the same page.


monday.com is another free and popular project management tool. You can create project boards, add tasks and subtasks, assign project members, set deadlines, and track the team’s progress.

You can also add files and attachments to project boards so everyone can access the most up-to-date project information.

monday.com integrates with various other software platforms, making it easy to stay connected to your team no matter where you are.

Whether you’re managing a small project or a large-scale initiative, monday.com has the tools you need to get the job done right.

Project management features:

  • Real-time collaboration — monday.com allows users to collaborate on projects in real-time.
  • Visual project management — The software uses a visual project management system, which makes it easy to see what needs to be done and who is responsible for each task. This system helps improve project efficiency and ensures that all team members know their roles and responsibilities.
  • Multiple project views — monday.com offers multiple views of projects, which means that users can see the big picture or focus on specific tasks.
  • Flexible project management — The software can be used for various project types. This flexibility makes it an excellent tool for businesses of all sizes and ensures that it can be adapted to meet the changing needs of any organization.
  • Outstanding customer support — monday.com offers superior customer support, giving users help when they need it.


ClickUp is the most feature-rich project management software on this list, which sometimes can overwhelm new users with the seemingly endless array of setup choices.

However, if you take the time to learn how to use all of its features, you’ll find that ClickUp is a potent project management tool that can help you get your work done more efficiently.

Users can choose to create project boards that reflect their specific workflow. Or they can use ClickUp’s pre-built templates to get started quickly.

With ClipUp you can have different dashboards and spaces, add tasks and subtasks, create Gantt Charts, assign project members, set deadlines, and track progress.

Additionally, ClickUp provides a wide range of features and integrations that allow users to customize their experience.

As a result, it can help you not only complete projects on time and within budget, but also identify opportunities for improvement in your project management process.

Project management features:

  • Time Tracking — ClickUp allows you to see how much time your team is spending on each task and project. In addition, it can help you identify which tasks are taking longer than others so that you can adjust your project plan accordingly.
  • Task Views — Choose from 11 task views, including lists, kanban, and calendar views. Users can configure their preferred display layout individually.
  • Priority Tasks — Quickly and easily “flag” tasks that need priority.
  • Calendar Sync — Sync your Google calendar both ways.
  • Flexible project management — ClickUp can be used for different project types. Arrange and track all your project tasks and get an overview of your project progress with the Gantt Chart tool and other tools the software has.
  • Templates — Find different project management templates or create them according to your needs.
  • Task dependencies — ClickUp lets you create task dependencies. You can highlight tasks acting as “blockers” to complete other tasks.
  • Real-Time Updates — Text updated in a ClickUp task is viewable straight away by other users.

Google Workspace (formerly Gsuite)

Google workspace is not so much project management but is more of a suite of tools that helps with user collaboration.

Google workspace is the best cloud-based office suite available. It provides an all-in-one solution for project management, file sharing, and collaboration, including Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

It also integrates with other Google products such as Calendar and Drive. Google workspace is very user-friendly and fast and helps you manage various tasks.

Google Workspace features:

  • Project management — Get an overview of your project progress with the Gantt Chart tool, and share project files securely with your team using Drive.
  • Email — Gmail is a powerful email platform that offers features like conversation view, search, labels, and filters to help you manage your inbox. With Google Chat, you can communicate with colleagues in real time, and with a calendar, you can easily schedule meetings and keep track of events.
  • Cloud storage — Drive provides a secure place to store your files in the cloud so that you can access them from anywhere. With Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you can create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations collaboratively with your team.
  • Document collaboration — With Google Docs, multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously. See who’s editing and leave comments for specific document sections.
  • Real-time communication — With Hangouts Meet, you can video conference with up to 250 people. You can share presentations, slideshows, and notes during the meeting for a more interactive experience.


At its most basic, project management software helps you track and collaborate on tasks related to a specific goal or project. But it also give you valuable insights into how your team works together, where bottlenecks occur, and where you might need to make changes to stay on schedule.

The best project management software gives you a centralized place to track your various tasks, deadlines, and progress. But it also offers powerful features for tracking time, managing resources, and monitoring project performance.

Project management features:

  • Time Tracking — The best feature of Teamwork is its time-tracking functionality.
  • Resource Management — See which team members work on tasks and projects. It can help you identify overloaded team members and which ones are underutilized.
  • Project Performance Monitoring — It allows you to see how your project progresses over time. In addition, it can help you identify areas where your project is falling behind schedule or over budget.


If we rate all project management software in features, then ClickUp would come out on top, and Trello would be at the bottom of the list. But don’t let its simplicity fool you! Trello is excellent project management software, and with good reason.

Trello uses a kanban style visual board, and it’s simple to create new lists and then add tasks (cards) to the lists. Each task can have attachments and due dates. Trello is brilliantly simple!

The main drawback of the free version of Trello is that you can have a maximum of ten projects. But that should be enough to get anyone started.

Project management features:

  • Board view — Board view is the default view when you first open Trello, giving you an overview of all your projects and tasks. You can create new boards for different projects; each panel can contain multiple lists.
  • List view — List view lets you see all the tasks in a separate list, which is helpful if you want to focus on one project at a time. Or if you need to see all the details of a particular task.
  • Card view — This view allows you to see a specific task’s details on one screen, which is helpful when working on a complex task with many steps.
  • Calendar View: Calendar view lets you see your jobs in a calendar format if you need to see when assignments are due or if you want to plan your project.
  • Activity view — This view shows you all the activities on your boards, including who made what changes and when tracking progress on your project and keeping everyone accountable.

Project management software: Punchline

Increase productivity with project management tools

In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s more important than ever to streamline your workflows and get the most out of your team. That’s where a project management tool can come in handy.

Keeping everyone on the same page and assigning tasks to the right people ensures that every project is completed on time and within budget.

Not only that, but you can also keep track of progress and identify any potential bottlenecks before they become a huge problem.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that project management tools are becoming increasingly popular in businesses of all sizes.

If you want to improve your team’s productivity, you’ve got to jump on this bandwagon. Remember that you have free project management software options to do it, from the most simple tools like Trello to the even most robust ones like ClickUp.

  • Asana
  • Monday.com
  • ClickUp
  • Google Workspace (formerly Gsuite)
  • Teamwork
  • Trello

Get your project managers the app they need for task management. At least one of these project management tools will be a great solution for you and your team.

In the meantime, download our ScaleTime Project Management Checklist to help them improve their work.

How To Manage Multiple Projects

managing multiple projects

Read on to learn how to manage multiple projects

We can think of many things more pleasant than managing multiple projects at once. Toothaches for starters.

But more often than we’d like, we’re often faced with the need to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Unfortunately, that typically means conflicting priorities, competing deadlines, and getting lost in the too-many details.

Situations like this are anxiety-central and tend to negatively impact the entire team. But it’s not all doom, gloom, and despair when you must manage ALL THE TASKS AT ONCE!

Other project managers have been here too, and they’ve found creative solutions to this conundrum.

Here are the best tips for managing multiple projects simultaneously from the pros who’ve been there, done that, and gotten the t-shirt.

Pick a Project Management Software

As a project manager, one of the most significant investments you can make to increase productivity is to find suitable project management software to manage multiple projects.

As project managers are regularly required to manage more than one project at a time, a project management tool will undoubtedly ensure that all your projects are well organized. And housed on the same platform.

In addition, a project management tool contains key features like:

  • Roadmaps
  • To-do lists
  • Activity history
  • Integrations
  • Tracking and prioritizing capabilities
  • Scheduling features

Some popular project management tools are Asana, Notion, Confluence, and ClickUp.

Managing a project involves so many details that it becomes harder to keep track of them all when they live on different platforms.

So, having elements of all your projects in one project management tool allows you to track project progress faster, view and manage resources, and increase productivity.

How this works is you input details for each project on its dedicated page. You can then decide to view a single project in more granular detail. Or view similar projects in the same group to get a higher-level overview of your progress.

Create a Project Management Strategy

managing multiple projects

You’ll need a solid strategy for managing resources in a multi project environment

How nice would it be to simply hope for the successful completion of the projects we have to manage for multiple clients, and it just sorta all works out on its own?

Dreams are for sleep, not work.

Instead, how about we take the one step that helps us stay organized while promoting resource management?

This step is to create a project management strategy.

You have probably managed at least one project in the past and, therefore, have an idea of what it takes to manage a project from start to finish.

Your duty as a project manager is to create a project schedule for the different projects and define the strategies you need to implement to manage the projects effectively.

We hear those wheels turning.

Are you thinking of what your project strategy will ultimately need that will help your team balance multiple projects with the greatest of ease?

You’re in luck. Here’s how to get started.

Define Your Goals

managing multiple projects

Make sure the entire team is aligned with the project goals

Set clear expectations as you define your goals.

At this point, it is best to have a list of ‘must-haves,’ ‘good-to-haves,’ and ‘unnecessary.’ Without clear expectations, the team is prone to taking on anything that seems exciting, which might not be valuable for the project.

It also helps to avoid taking on extra work from the client that is not within the scope of work you committed to doing.

Defining your goals includes:

  • Identifying those goals
  • Creating a task list
  • Establishing the success criteria for each task

With these details well documented, the project team will better maximize their time and meet deadlines.

Of course, defining your goal does not guarantee changes won’t come up within the project. However, if they do, you should peruse and streamline the changes to avoid getting sidetracked.

Also, allow room for challenges within your project goals and come up with possible solutions to these setbacks before they occur.

Identify Project Scope

The project size affects everything, from the budget, to the talent needed, and the time it will take to complete.

Identifying the project size, or scope, gives insight into the proposed timeline and resource allocation and whether they’ll need adjusting.

Perform a Risk Analysis

Project risk management is crucial in determining the success of all your projects. Every project has risk factors, and identifying risks is part of our project managers’ duties.

If possible, have a contingency plan for each identified risk. They may not be perfect, but they should be enough to manage and contain the risk should it become a reality.

Create Milestones and Set Priorities

Managing multiple projects can only be made possible if there are ways to track each step of the completed work. This is why milestones are needed.

Milestones allow you to track work by examining the deliverables for each phase. Milestones help you establish project priorities as well. So, start with tasks requiring immediate attention and work your way up.


“Documentation is a letter you write to your future self,” said the brilliant Damian Conway.

The human mind forgets details faster than we would like. By documenting every step of your project creation process, you have a detailed account of all that went into the project.

This is especially helpful for the project after it’s done. Without thorough documentation, you’ll be unable to accurately evaluate what you did and how you can successful implement it into other projects.

Documentation also helps in creating templates that can streamline future projects and boost team efficiency.

Evaluate Finished Projects

managing multiple projects

Analyzing outcomes will help you to improve in the future

One of the best ways to improve our performance is to analyze the processes we created to successfully complete various tasks.

This analysis gives us insight into our overall performance, what we did correctly, and where to improve.

While evaluating the finished project, allow space for feedback from the project sponsor, team members, and users, as they might have had a different experience than you.

By repeating this each time we finish a single project or several projects, we can tweak our strategy until it’s perfect.

Manage Expectations

As you work through the different projects, one important thing to note is that communication is just as crucial as your strategies.

Poor communication with the project sponsors, team leaders, and other team members can cost you time and even lead to suboptimal project outcomes.

So, even if everything is going smoothly, keep communication channels open and encourage feedback. This ensures everyone is on the same page at every point.

Managing expectations might not be easy. However, being honest about your abilities and letting others know when you can’t meet a deadline builds trust.

Rather than allowing the projects to suffer, communicating and managing expectations will enable everyone else involved to understand the team’s capabilities and better plan how to handle subsequent projects successfully.

You also must learn to manage your expectations of yourself and the project. Optimism is good. But being overly optimistic with deadlines will make multi-project management a challenging feat to attain.

Set realistic goals and remember that despite how detailed your project planning phase was, things might not work out as you expected.

By managing your expectations early, you can more easily identify potential problems and address them before they become major roadblocks to success.

Delegate Tasks

Many project managers want to perform their duties so well that they don’t realize they’ve crossed the line into dreaded micromanaging land.

Fortunately, your project management tool will allow you to input multiple tasks to keep everyone on track, your mind at ease, and your team members happy that you’re not a micromanaging Mildred.

This way, you can delegate work to each team member and have them update the status of their work within the tool. And you can focus on keeping track of work from the tool without having to micromanage them.

Big companies hire people to fill each needed role. So most projects will have designers, developers, and other experts needed to build it within the project team.

If that’s not the case for your business, and you have fewer team members, understand the skills of those available and delegate work accordingly. Don’t make the mistake of trying to take on every extra task yourself.

Bottom Line

Once we get the hang of it, we tend to find it easier to track multiple projects.

Prevent future bouts of anxiety and being overwhelmed by the many projects you’re managing with these action steps:

  • Choose the project management tool that works best for you.
  • Identify your goals and establish a project plan for achieving them.
  • Evaluate the project size and establish resource management steps.
  • Establish good communication with your team. This will build trust in team collaboration.
  • Delegate work to each team member.
  • Set evaluation dates for the milestones in each project and ensure they’re being met.
  • Make changes only when needed, and after they’ve been well-planned.
  • Have retrospective meetings after each set of multiple projects.

You can also download this project management checklist. It’s a helpful guide that will get you started on managing multiple projects effortlessly.

Remember that learning the art of managing multiple projects means learning to iterate until you find what works best for you and your team.

As project managers, let’s not be afraid of trying out different processes until we find our best multi-project management process.

Onward and upward!

Mad Men Advertising: Jobs Then & Now

The advertising and marketing world has changed significantly over the years, from the Mad Men era on Madison Avenue to today.

We’ve been binge-watching the series Mad Men through its final season. And we think it gave the advertising industry an interesting angle from the 1960s perspective.

Not only has the advertising and marketing landscape changed, but the mediums and marketing channels of the digital age paved the way for a new creative revolution.

Advertising meets the internet and wedding bells ring.

When the advertising industry met internet advertising in the early 2000s, digital media began to take over print and television. The ad campaigns of the Mad Men era became viewed less and less on billboards, radio, newspapers, and magazines.

Instead, the advertising industry shifted to internet advertising, using mobile technology, text, videos, websites, and software to market their products and services.

In the past decade, another wave of the digital revolution crests and breaks in the form of social media advertising.

The first social media sites were introduced, and the birth of smartphones ushered in the beginning of a wider range of platforms and social networking.

Evolving Roles in Ad Agencies

How marketing has changed over the years

In thriving creative environment of New York in the 1950s and 60s, the main source of advertising ideas, stronger relationships with colleagues, and more closed deals were parties.

And drinking.

The Mad Men executives’ strategy to work hard, play hard (if not harder) has been around longer than we can imagine.

Working in an ad agency, even today, is fun living in a start-late, stay-late, fast-paced agency life.

Mad Men also gives contrast regarding the roles of the individuals who work in ad agencies today vs. back then.

As the years passed, agencies observed more and more changes in how they work. Compared to the time of Mad Men, ad agencies nowadays have greater access to professional development tools, free or low-cost.

Also, we can easily get certificates through online courses.

The convenience of technology also paved changes in job duties and responsibilities then and now.

Before, executives and managers used to have a lot of secretaries to help them organize their schedules and work.

However, as technology provided us with organizing and scheduling tools, we no longer feel the need to hire tons of secretaries to help us get through a busy workday.

This way, agencies can save money on labor while remaining productive and efficient.

Another big change from the period of Mad Men to now is how we slowed down our fast-paced agency lives.

But we still play hard, just not during work hours.

Human resources prioritized health and welfare in the workplace, banning smoking inside the office and saying no to office drinking (except during office parties, of course).

So, in today’s marketing agencies, you won’t have to deal with a boss or workmate who has had at least ten cocktails before lunchtime!

The advertising business now offers a career path for both men and women. Society is more inclusive and open to diversity, honoring the contribution women have made in the advertising industry since the Mad Men era.

Advertising jobs then and now

Roger Sterling

Then: Head of Accounts and Partner

Back then, Roger Sterling would have had to help manage the larger, more prestigious accounts — Lucky Strike, Mohawk Airlines, and Jaguar.

Now: He would be a partner alone. Today a partner wouldn’t have as much involvement but would make occasional appearances when necessary.

To be more specific, the modern Roger Sterling would become a partner in holding companies. He still gets to manage people, just not that very much hands-on.

Don Draper

Then: Creative Director

He started from lower roles and worked his way to becoming the best creative director in the Mad Men era.

Now: It would stay pretty much the same. Don Draper would continue his duties as a creative director, though he may not be attending client lunches and vacations as much as Don Draper did.

Certainly not drink as much!

The audience watched how his creative director role evolved. We could see him change from a director who would make demands left and right to someone who lets his creative team roam free.

Many of us can relate to his character, as we usually witness this type of development in real life.

We can see how managers adapt to their working environment and the team over the course of their time together. Some develop bad habits. But they often develop best practices that focus on improving each team member’s productivity.

Peggy Olson

Then: Copywriter

Peggy Olson was considered an anomaly in her field in the 60s because she was a woman. It was rare for a woman to make it past their secretary’s desk during that time.

Now: This would essentially stay the same now as well.

In today’s world, you have far more gender diversity regarding copywriting. Also, you need a wide range of copywriting skills to advance as a copywriter in today’s internet advertising era — from social to email to print.

Modern copywriters can learn these skills from various resources such as self-help blogs and sites to online courses and videos on YouTube.

In today’s world, you can become a copywriter even without formal education as long as you’ve got the grit and, of course, your pen and paper like Peggy.

Pete Campbell

Then: Account Executive

Back then, the account executive would wine and dine clients and help sell new business. The team would take care of tactical work, and their role was minimal beyond knowing what was going on to foster a healthy client relationship.

Back then, they didn’t have project managers at all!

Now: Account Managers

Account managers do a lot. Most of them these days are also project managers OR have a project manager helping them.

Account people, as we like to call them, need to possess certain skills in managing the team throughout the project.

They’re creative, yet still objective in determining the crucial aspects of the task. However, despite all this knowledge, account executives still like to get everyone involved.

They are willing to hear what the team thinks, whether it be positive or negative.

In other words, as an account manager or executive, you get to lead people towards success.

Joan Holloway

Then: Office Manager

Ah, Joan. The one woman in the show who always knew EXACTLY what was going on in any project at any time in anyone’s office.

Herding secretaries like herding cats.

She ensured the office was running smoothly and everyone had what they needed to do their work efficiently.

Now: Operations Manager.

Just like an office manager, an operations manager knows every nook and cranny of the company’s operations.

They know where you can find the best resources at optimal prices.

Operations managers also provide insight into how the industry and the business work, giving ideas on how you can optimize production.

After all, efficiency is in Joan’s blood.

Marketing jobs then and now

But what about project managers?

They didn’t exist in the 1960s ads era. Everyone kept track of everything in the pipeline on their own.

With the changing advertising landscape, project managers started to became more and more necessary. Agencies saw that making the creative director handle the whole management process for an ads project just wasn’t feasible anymore.

So, agencies began to hire individuals capable of leading projects, no matter the scope and size.

Project managers have provided their expertise and other soft skills in leading the ad team and the creative director in making campaigns, whether billboards, commercials or other types of ads.

Incorporating project managers in marketing opened new opportunities and career paths for advertisers and managers alike.

This changed the advertising industry dramatically, further fueling the creative revolution. We’re still feeling the effects of it today.


A lot has changed since the Mad Men of advertising walked Madison Avenue in New York, cocktails and Lucky Strikes in hand.

However, one thing still holds true since those times:

Teams are needed to make successful and engaging ads.

The engaging storylines in Mad Men have made us remember how we worked before:

  • Stressful times call for a drink (or two!)
  • The team’s creative juices flow with the director or manager reviewing ideas
  • Job mobility through promotions and raises.

This way of work brought project managers into the advertising world. They helped agencies prioritize which tasks are essential for the success of an ad.

There’s no doubt that project managers are crucial even in advertising and marketing.

So, if you’re planning on welcoming a project manager to your advertising agency, check our Scale Map diagnostic to see how you and your project manager can grow your agency!

The Project Manager: Why They Are Important and What to Look for in the Resume Summary

A variety of factors contribute to the success of any project. One of the most essential components is the project manager. After all, the project manager is the one responsible for planning and executing the entire project.

Without a competent project manager at the helm, you run the risk of crashing into the rocks of missed deadlines, wacky budget mishaps, ticked off clients, and frustrated team members.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. And as you can see, a project management is critical for your business’s bottom line.

So, when hiring a project manager, you’ll need to know precisely what to look for in a project management resume.

That way, your hiring manager can find the perfect candidate with the project manager skills you need to stay in business and grow, too.

So, what exactly does a project manager do?

In general, a project manager will lead and guide the team on task completion for a project.

Project managers assign these tasks strategically, because it’s also a part of their job to know who’s the most capable for a specific task.

A project manager’s decisions will also determine whether individual tasks and the entire project is set to meet deadlines and remain in budget.

They know which tasks are within the project scope and whether the project will meet stakeholders’ expectations.

In this article, you’ll discover what makes a great project manager — the skills and qualities they must have, and what to look for in a project management resume when hiring.

We’ll also give you some project management resume examples so you’re not operating in the dark.

Looking at project manager resume samples can help you to hire the right applicant

What to look for when hiring a great project manager

When you consider all the various duties and responsibilities a project manager has, it’s vital to carefully screen potential candidates for such a critical role.

The bottom line is, the person in this position can make or break the project assigned to them.

Also, a the vital thing to look for when hiring a project manager is to consider what specific types of project they’ll be managing.

The most important project manager skills you should look for in a candidate are:

  • Technical skills, if applicable
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills

In addition, many employers also consider the following when searching for a great project manager:

  • The tools and tactics the project manager will use to handle team conflicts
  • Prioritization skills for assigning tasks and deliverables in the most efficient order
  • Ability to discern outcomes of past projects within the field
  • Strategies for keeping a project on track
  • Ability to meet and manage project sponsors’ expectations
  • Knowing how to manage the team, including underperforming members
  • Ability to describe their own communication style

Of course, you’re free to tailor your qualifications according to your project’s goals and requirements. This will help you paint a clearer picture of how your potential project manager will fit in and guide your team toward success.

Skills and Qualities of a Great Project Manager

A great project manager must possesses the necessary technical skills.

But they should also know the ins and outs of the project so they can make good decisions about scheduling and assigning tasks to different team members.

Also, a great project manager should possess certain soft skills, whether it be for goal setting or meeting deadlines.

What do we mean by soft skills?

The following:

Great project managers know how to build relationships

One thing to remember in project management is that there’s no I in team.

Many projects, such as IT or construction projects have large, complex teams. These teams have members with varying communication styles as and different ideas on which deliverables should be prioritized.

A great project manager knows how to build relationships among team members and keep them intact.

This way, the team can still work together despite disagreements and differing viewpoints.

They can negotiate

One of the essential soft skills for a project manager is the ability to negotiate.

A great project manager ensures the project keeps on rolling and no stone is left unturned. To keep the project moving, they’ve got to constantly negotiate with various people — project stakeholders, sponsors, vendors, and the team.

A project manager’s negotiating skills are important in keeping everyone involved, dedicated, and invested in successful project completion.

They’re patient and empathetic

Let’s face it.

Some projects take months or even years to complete.

So, your team will face with many challenges, from tasks getting behind schedule or personal matters disrupting workflow.

Despite these setbacks, the project manager must be able to uplift their team members’ spirits. They should lend a hand when someone needs help.

Or simply listen team members’ needs and concerns.

A project manager who cares about their team makes everyone feel appreciated and motivated — a must for employee engagement and retention.

They’re flexible and calm under pressure

When working on projects, the team won’t always be able to meet expectations and deadlines for various reasons.

A great project manager, however, is capable of coming up with solutions whenever issues arise.

They must be able to handle stressful situations and think clearly even under pressure. This skill will hold the team together and keep the project from falling apart.

Project management skills cover a wide range of relevant technical and soft skills. Both types of skills are essential for completing projects and avoiding significant drawbacks or lapses.

So, when you’re ready to hire, go over the project manager resume with a critical eye.

Interview candidates thoroughly to uncover if they have the skills it takes to move projects along.

How to Find the Best Project Manager for Your Needs

No matter the industry, you’ll want to hire an applicant with the project management experience your business needs to grow.

A project manager with enough background knowledge and experience will become a valuable asset to the project and your organization.

But how can you be sure they’re the right fit during the job application process?

Here are some tips for hiring managers.

Evaluate your needs and the status quo

Before you can start hiring a manager, evaluate your needs first.

One major reason for frustration in the hiring process for project managers is not having a clear understanding of your brand and the organization’s status quo.

Remember, the duties and responsibilities that come with a project manager position are far reaching, and there may be a disconnect between your project manager’s experience and your needs.

So, before you begin the hiring process, ask yourself the following:

  • Is the project team experienced? Do they have experience with similar big projects?
  • Are you adopting formal project management systems and tools or using ad-hoc solutions?
  • With your work culture, can both self-starters and people with big agency experience flourish within your organization?
  • Do you prefer one over the other?
  • Based on the size of the project, should you consider hiring an assistant project manager as well?

Identify the skills the project manager role requires

After you’ve determined your broader needs as an organization, next on the list is to identify the skillset the project manager must have.

Make sure these skills are aligned with the duties and responsibilities of their role and what your organization requires for growth.

Additionally, your project manager will also need to be:

  • Able to schedule daily tasks for members and plan large scopes of work
  • Capable of creative problem solving
  • Capable of identifying and managing possible project risks
  • Able to give helpful feedback to both clients and production teams

You can add more skills to this list, especially if you require the project manager to be knowledgeable about a certain field.

Just remember that when evaluating prospective managers, stay away from shiny hire syndrome.

Remember the must-have skills you’ve listed previously so you get someone who fits what your organization ultimately needs.

Determine the non-negotiables

Once you’ve identified which job skills and qualities are needed for your project manager role, next is to determine which among these skills and qualities are must-haves for your applicants.

We highly advise that you sort skills, qualities, and qualifications into “must-haves”, “good to haves”, and “nice to haves”.

Always remember, those you put on your must-have list are non-negotiable.

You can involve your entire team when sorting out qualities in your list. Make sure you get feedback from people who will be working with the project manager the most. This would help you understand what the team wants from their manager.

Not sure what to include as must-haves?

Start here:

  • Excellent communication
  • Dedication to the team
  • Detail-oriented
  • Interest in the organization
  • Natural leader
  • Organized

On your must-haves list, include your red flags. If you see a lot of them, steer clear. It’s not a carnival and you will not have a fun time.

Red flags would include things like ethical violations, faked experience, or fudged credentials. Be on guard for these.

Post more informational and engaging job postings

Many organizations often fail to find the right project manager because of murky job postings.

Most job ads make the following mistakes, which are considered critical when looking for managers:

  • Talking too much about the company and not about the specific role
  • Unclear job description as well as an unclear explanation of the role and responsibilities
  • Exclusion of criteria for filtering applicants
  • Convoluted instructions for sending in an application

So, how do you avoid these issues and create a stellar, clear job posting that brings all the excellent candidates to your yard?

Remember that when creating a project manager job post, make it informative, but it’s ultimately sales copy.

Because really, what you’re doing is selling a position and the prospective project manager is a customer.

An example of an informative job posting would be those following the Role-Responsibilities-Requirements structure.

This framework identifies the role open for applicants, then follows with the responsibilities associated with this role.

Lastly, the framework lists the requirements each prospect must possess or meet.

Practice smart hiring

Increased technological use in the labor market has been prevalent for the last several decades.

So, jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already.

You can also use technological advancements when trying to hire a project manager, whether an entry-level project manager or even a senior project manager.

Nowadays, organizations use applicant tracking systems (ATS) which are software that sorts potential applicants’ resumes.

These tracking systems weed out resumes that don’t fit the job description and requirements you’ve selected.

The result is a hiring process that’s easier, faster, and more objective.

What to Look for in a Project Management Resume

The Project Management Institute (PMI) expects the demand for project managers to grow by 33 percent through 2027. This provides more opportunities to each project management professional (PMP) as well as aspiring project managers.

When searching for a project manager, you need to look at your candidates’ resumes.

In this section, you’ll learn how to identify a great project manager’s resume and we’ll show you a project manager resume sample.

Resume summary example – project manager

Skills section showcases their project management skills

The skills section of your resume will display what skills a person gained through their educational background and their experience. However, it may be tough to uncover the candidate’s core strengths.

The key to finding whether a project manager’s resume has truly captured the applicant’s strengths is to ask them why they listed those skills in particular.

This will help you uncover what skills they’re most comfortable discussing and in detail.

You’ll often find the following hard or technical skills listed in the skills section of a project manager’s resume:

  • Project management software such as Jira, Click Up, Monday.com, etc.
  • Microsoft Office
  • Google Suite
  • Experience in CRM
  • Reporting
  • Budgeting
  • Data analysis

Take note of the project manager resume summary or objective

Often, potential project managers misunderstand the difference between a resume summary and a career objective. A project manager should know the difference:

  • A resume summary gives you a glimpse of a project manager’s work history as well as their accomplishments as a project manager.
  • A career objective tells you what a project manager is looking for in their next project manager role.

For a senior project manager, look for a resume summary that exudes professionalism, and highlights their biggest accomplishment or goals in two to three sentences.

Here are some examples of a project manager’s resume summary:

Project management professional (PMP) resume summary

“15+ years of initiating and delivering sustained results and effective change for Fortune 500 firms across a wide range of industries including enterprise software, digital marketing, advertising technology, e-commerce, and government. Major experience lies in strategizing and leading cross-functional teams to bring about fundamental change and improvement in strategy, process, and profitability – both as a leader and expert consultant.”

(Biron Clark, CareerSidekick.com founder)

IT project Manager Resume summary

“Experienced project manager with vast IT experience. Skills include computer networking, analytical thinking, and creative problem-solving. Able to apply customer service concepts to IT to improve the user experience for clients, employees, and administration.”

(Sarah Landrum, Entrepreneur.com and Forbes contributor, and career expert)

Their resume tells the story of their previous projects

A project manager with some experience under their belt will usually include at least one big project they’ve completed successfully and not just one-off tasks.

Usually, the experience section in a project manager’s resume will discuss relevant details of a specific project to showcase their expertise:

  • Scope or goal of the project
  • Project budget and timeline
  • Team members involved in the project completion
  • Metrics and factors for completion and success of the project
  • Roadblocks they’ve encountered and their solutions
  • Collaboration made with their client’s or organization’s executive team
  • Project outcomes

An effective project manager resume provides you with a clear picture of the projects they’ve completed, their outcomes, and the skills they used to reach the project goals.

The resume provides information on specialization or industry experience

If you’re hiring a project manager for a specific industry, then you’ll want to look for the candidate’s experience and knowledge in your field.

For example, hiring managers in IT and technology companies usually review an IT project manager resume and a technical project manager resume — instead of a normal project manager resume.

This is the same when you’re looking for a senior project manager role.

You would most likely review a senior project manager resume. Or a master project manager resume than an entry-level project manager resume.

They have a diverse educational background and certifications

Know what to look for in a project manager’s educational background.

A project manager is never afraid of continuously learning from different sources, whether in school or job training. They’re proud of the education section of their resumes and will highlight their certifications.

A project manager’s resume will always include the applicant’s highest level of education.

An effective project manager’s resume for entry-level will include all relevant classes the project manager took that can convince the hiring manager of their potential efficiency and effectiveness in their role.

On the other hand, senior project managers have resumes focusing on their work experience as well as other project management certifications such as:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
  • Professional Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
  • Kanban Management Professional (KMP)

They’ll also indicate whether they underwent and handled lean training in the past as these project management certificates will make them stand out.


A project manager is a crucial part of delivering a successful end product. Without them, organizations would not be able to complete projects without significant variances.

Great project managers ensure sure that each project goes according to the plan, the budget, and deadline. It’s extremely important that you hire an effective project manager.

But before you can hire a great project manager, you need to first evaluate them through their resume.

Remember, an effective project manager resume will reflect the following crucial points:

  • A cover letter that aligns with your organization’s goals and objectives
  • Important contact information, work experience, skills, and education
  • Their history with project management represented in numbers
  • Specializations and knowledge only known to persons in the industry

The duties and responsibilities of a project manager are crucial, so you’ll need tools to help your project manager.

Make project management easier and more efficient with our PM checklist today!

How To Be A Better Project Manager

Project management tools Project management process Phases of project management

When you’ve got multiple projects going at once, your business can go one of two ways:

Fireworks. Yay!

Up in smoke. Womp womp womp.

Managing expectations, on-point resource allocation, and assigning tasks that play to your team member’s strengths are critical for completing successful projects.

So you don’t want to mess this up, project manager. Why?

Because project management skills are essential for guiding stakeholders’ expectations and overcoming project challenges and various project risks.

As a project manager, you job duties are to manage the team’s workload effectively. You keep the project on track and progressing. And your ability to lead projects will ultimately impact the output and growth of the team and the organization itself.

Effective project managers may have a project management certification under their belts. But there are many soft and technical skills necessary for a successful career in this field.

So, let’s get into the various collaboration tools and processes that will help you manage your team effectively and still get invited to parties on the weekend.

What Is Project Management?

At its core, project management is basically the process of leading a team that completes various projects. But there’s a lot more to it.

As a project manager, you wear many hats and spin a lot of plates:

  • Assign tasks that play to team member’s strengths
  • Manage tasks and keep all your projects on schedule and in budget
  • Check in on the project status
  • Deliver valuable products to customers

In addition, an airtight project management process ensures that organizations take advantage of all the benefits the project management process can offer. Namely, ensuring a high and replicable standard of deliverables.

Another important aspect successful project planning is that it helps businesses have a clear focus and goals for efficient product delivery.

However, utilizing your amazing project management skills is easier said than done.

Many digital agencies and business fail at project management skills is mostly due to poor planning. Another common pitfall is a lack of communication with an essential team member and not making the most of available project management tools.

This article will discuss techniques for becoming a great project manager.

Why it’s critical for the project manager to find the right tools

Every project management phase, from initiation to closure, is vital for success.

Automation has accelerated project management processes. To be a successful project manager, you’ll want to make good use of the many convenient project management software tools on the market today.

Some of these tools require the project manager to undergo technical training to use them accurately. So, you’ll want to find the tools that will help you master the must-have project management skills so you can level up you agency’s project management process.

A good project manager should find tools that work well for them AND their team members. Tools are essential for completing tasks such as resource management, collaboration, communication, team management, and reporting efficiently.

9 Reasons for Choosing the Appropriate Tools for a Project Manager

A savvy project manager understands that the appropriate software is vital to delivering projects on time and in budget.

All-inclusive project management tools enable you to achieve your goals, such as creating roadmaps, to-do lists, and scheduling. Some of the most popular project management tools are:

  • Asana
  • Monday
  • ClickUp
  • Notion

Lets take a closer look at some of the reasons good project managers use project management software:

It enables a standardized project process

Project managers can easily organize deliverables, dependencies, assignees, and complete tasks before their due dates. As a project manager, you must document all your deliverables and resources and transfer the details to the dedicated software to ensure coherence and cohesion among key stakeholders.

Enables smooth collaboration

Project managers can control the entire team from a central point, enabling them to manage remote teams. This makes it possible for successful project management and team project delivery.

Some examples of collaboration tools for project managers are Trello, Click Up, Asana, Monday.com, and Slack.

Important for task prioritization

These tools are essential for project management success because they help improve the productivity of team members and make task prioritization easier. A successful project manager should determine the order of urgency and assign top-priority tasks to project team members to complete.

Examples of prioritization tools include HubSpot Task Management, ProofHub, and Wrike.

Better team workflow

A great project manager ensures the entire team focuses on project tasks evenly without distractions to enable team performance. A combination of soft skills such as communication, time management, and project team management tools helps project managers organize each team member, assign tasks, and hit milestones.

It makes large projects achievable

Managing projects, big and small, can be hectic for the project manager and team members. A work breakdown schedule gives you a visual, step-by-step breakdown of big projects into smaller, more manageable project goals.

Check out 6 work breakdown structure tools to make the next task less overwhelming.

Improves reporting and tracking

Reporting tools allow project managers, team members, and clients to track activities and continually monitor the project data to ensure challenges and feedback are handled accordingly. As a result, key stakeholders are keep in the loop about the project’s progress.

Efficient resource management

Projects are usually allocated resources such as a definite time frame, budget, and materials depending on their size.

A great project manager who uses the correct resource management tools should be able to plan accurately, schedule, and apportion resources to complete the task. For example, Float, Resource Guru, and Forecast.

Ensures project documentation

A skilled project manager should record everything to ensure project success. Proper documentation and clearly laid out plans guide team members, managers, and other stakeholders to clearly defined goals and quicker progress.

Essential for project risk management

All projects are exposed to risks such as overspending, schedule delays, and requirement misses. A great project manager should use risk management tools to proactively list potential risks, ways to avoid them, and mitigate them if they occur.

To Over Communicate

Project risk management Initiating a project Project management process Scope project management Phases of project management Project management tools Project management back-up plan

Communication with your team, clients, and other project stakeholders should be realistic and honest so everyone knows what to expect. For a successful project management process, project managers need to be consistent, clear, and even give more information than necessary to the client and team members.

Communication is crucial for a project’s success in the project management world. As a successful project manager, you’ll need to be present in meetings and communicate with internal and external stakeholders.

Ways Project Managers Can Assure Steady Communication

To become a better project manager, constant and consistent communication is required. So be sure to:

Write everything down

Project managers must record everything from project planning to completion to quickly convey pertinent information. This will ensure that team members have all details they need to do their jobs.

Use project management COMMUNICATION tools

Project communication tools come in handy for project managers to streamline communication and keep everyone on the same page.

Having agreed channels to pass information to stakeholders helps the entire team’s collaboration.

Project communication tools include Slack, Zoom, Skype, ClickMeeting, and Google Suite.

Level up your communication skills

A good project manager understands that good communication skills are essential to a project management career. For some, the skill comes naturally. But for for others, they’ll need some additional training to sharpen their skills.

Be a team leader

Every project manager shows their team members the path they need to follow for a job well done. Communicating project requirements helps everyone work towards common objectives and goals.

Ultimately, you need the entire team working together for the project’s success. It requires holding your team members and yourself accountable for achieving milestones and deliverables.

Keep learning

As the project manager, you’ll be dealing with multiple stakeholders. Therefore, focusing on the project while addressing their interests toward attaining various goals is considered a brilliant, must-have project management skill.

Knowing team members’ personalities will enable you to work smart and utilize each team member’s strengths effectively.

Also, be ready to listen to team members questions and concerns. Act promptly to keep things humming along and everyone happy.

Be detailed and delegate properly

Project managers delegate tasks to team members daily. Being detailed enough with expectations allows for the accurate task execution, which avoids confusion and keeps the project moving.

Schedule meetings regularly

Project managers must consistently plan meetings through all phases of project management and regularly remind team members of the schedule. In addition, meetings are important for reviewing team performance and understanding project status.

Take full advantage of the meeting to ask questions and receive feedback. Encourage questions from team members so they can provide support if needed.

Have a Back-Up Plan

Project risk management Initiating a project Project management process Scope project management Phases of project management Project management tools Project management back-up plan

Always have plans A, B, C, and D! This reduces the risk of project failure. If one plan fails, you’ve got alternative ways to complete the project up your sleeve. Within the backup plan, develop preventive measures against scope creep.

Great project managers understand that having well-defined goals and agreeing with the client on scope will make management and delivery easier. In addition, communicating with team members, clients, and other stakeholders about the consequences of diverting from the agreed scope will reduce the chances of disappointment.

Having a network of other project managers is necessary for successful project managers. Consult with your colleagues if you face a challenges beyond your expertise. Knowing when to pull in subject matter experts who are members of other departments or external consultants is one project management skill you’ll want to sharpen.

Benefits of having a backup plan to manage projects:

  • Maintains trust in the project manager’s professional skills
  • Helps the team focus on the main objectives, making the entire project management process easier
  • Enables fast recovery of the project process in case of disaster, reducing downtime
  • Allows the project manager to switch to another plan, lowering overhead costs and increasing cost savings
  • Increases the project manager’s confidence to focus on the project without worrying about uncertainties


In the project management profession, the most successful members aim to fulfill every single requirement of the project. The best project managers work to improve their skills and find techniques that help them meet deadlines and complete deliverables that leave clients consistently impressed.

So, your recommended courses of action for improved project management are:

  • Choose the appropriate tool depending on the project scope, type, and goals
  • Over-communicate with all stakeholders to keep them on the same page for successful project delivery.
  • Have alternative project plans to avoid the risk of the dreaded scope creep

With an experienced project manager on board, the team will be more productive as they set goals and achieve them according to the set timeline.

Project team members will also be able to spot risks and potential problems before they become actual problems, since they’ve got all the necessary facts and tools at their disposal.

Are you working harder than a grizzly bear before the winter of project despair sets in? Get ready to eliminate the many project management challenges your business faces and finally take a breather.

Download the agency project management checklist for better project handling.