Task Management vs. Project Management

Within every organization, there are always projects that need to be completed and tasks that need to be carried out on a daily basis.

Whether it’s something as simple as a social media campaign or as complex as developing a new product, these projects and tasks need to be managed in order for the organization to run smoothly.

That’s where project management and task management come in. And while project management and task management are usually pieces of the same puzzle, there are some key differences between the two.

In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between project management vs. task management, as well as when to use each.

The Top-Rated Project Management Tools for Timely and Organized Projects

Project management and task management tools help you complete projects and tasks on time and within budget. There are several project management tools available on the market, but not all of them are created equal.

Here are a few of the top-rated project management tools to consider for your next project:

  • Zoho Projects – Best overall project management software
  • Monday.com – Best for customizing your project workflow
  • Wrike – Best for marketing and creative teams
  • Favro – Best for small teams doing it all
  • Teamwork – Best for remote teams and agencies
  • Trello – Best free project management software
  • TeamGantt – Best project management software for beginners
  • Celoxis – Best for enterprises and large businesses
  • LiquidPlanner – Best for complex projects

If you want to find out which tools work best for you or your organization, read our full review of each product here.

What Is Project Management?

Project management is the process of planning, executing, and monitoring a project to achieve specific goals. These goals could be anything from launching a new product to increasing sales by a certain percentage.

Project management brings together people and resources to achieve a common goal. It involves setting objectives, creating a plan, and executing it.

Project management also includes tracking progress and making changes along the way, if necessary.

The ultimate goal of project management is to complete the project within the given time frame and budget.

A project is a temporary undertaking with a defined start and end date. Project management is vital to the success of any project, as it helps to ensure that all of the necessary tasks are completed on time and within budget.

One of the key duties of a project manager is to create a project schedule, which outlines all of the steps that need to be taken to complete the project. In addition, the project manager is responsible for assigning tasks to individual team members and ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goal.

By managing all aspects of a project, a project manager can help to ensure its success.

What Is Task Management?

Task management is the process of organizing and managing tasks within a business organization. This includes identifying, prioritizing, and assigning tasks to employees, as well as tracking progress and ensuring that deadlines are met.

An effective task management system can help improve productivity and efficiency and reduce the likelihood of errors and mistakes.

In order to be successful, task management must be tailored to the organization’s specific needs.

For example, a manufacturing company will have requirements like tracking inventory levels and meeting production deadlines. They will also deal with compliance-related tasks, such as safety inspections.

A marketing agency, on the other hand, will need to focus on tasks like creating and managing individual components of its clients’ campaigns, as well as analyzing data and producing reports.

By understanding the organization’s unique needs, businesses can develop a task management system that helps them achieve their desired results.

The Basics of Project Management vs. Task Management

Task management can be seen as part of project management because it is necessary to complete projects. However, task management is its own distinct process with a different focus. Here are the basics of each:

Project management focuses on the bigger picture, while task management focuses on separate tasks

Project managers focus on the overall goal of a project. They create a plan and schedule, assign tasks to team members, and track progress. They are primarily focused on the entire project from a high-level perspective.

Project management typically consists of:

  • Determining the size and scope of a project
  • Figuring out the budget of a project
  • Project scheduling
  • Assembling and briefing a team
  • Tracking project progress
  • Making changes to a plan
  • Monitoring overall project health
  • Reporting to stakeholders

Task managers, on the other hand, focus on the smaller tasks that need to be completed in order to achieve a goal. In many cases, they are members of a project manager’s team.

They are responsible for identifying, prioritizing, and assigning tasks to employees. They also track progress and ensure that deadlines are met.

Task management typically consists of:

  • Identifying tasks that need to be completed
  • Prioritizing jobs based on importance or deadline
  • Assigning tasks to employees
  • Tracking the progress of each assignment
  • Ensuring that deadlines are met
  • Making changes to assignments as needed
  • Reporting to a project manager or team leader

Project managers are less hands-on and handle interactions with stakeholders and executives. Within a project, it would be up to the task manager to brief the team, assign tasks, track progress, and report back to the project manager.

Project management is temporary, while task management is continuous

Within an organization, task management is much more ubiquitous because every organization has tasks that need to be completed daily.

Project management, on the other hand, is only temporary. It is only needed when a specific accomplishment that needs to be achieved. Once the project is complete, the project manager and team are no longer needed.

For example, a company may need to launch a new product. In this case, they would assemble a team of marketing experts, product developers, and designers. This team would work together to create a plan, produce the product, and launch it to the market. Once the product is launched, the project is complete, and the team is disbanded or assigned to another project.

Project management is more complex and requires more resources

Coordinating with multiple team members and interacting with stakeholders and executives is more complex than monitoring job completion. It also requires a greater understanding of the organization’s overall goals.

Task management, on the other hand, is less complex because it focuses on individual jobs that are generally repetitive. This means that it can be completed with a smaller team or even by one person.

Project management is more expensive because it requires more resources. These resources include project managers, analysts, and software.

Project management requires a team, while task management can happen at the individual level

Almost everybody engages in some form of task management on their own. For example, a sales rep may have a list of prospects they need to retarget or previous clients they need to follow up with.

A project manager is only needed for more complex projects that require coordination between multiple team members.

4 Tools to Improve Your Project and Task Management

Since so many organizations need this kind of function, there are thousands of business tools that you can use to manage projects. Here are four of the most essential tools to improve your project and task management:

1. Zoho Projects

The best overall project management software is Zoho Projects, a cloud-based solution that offers an intuitive interface, a wide range of features, and scalability for businesses of all sizes.

Zoho Projects offers Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and a host of other tools to help you plan projects, assign tasks, track progress, and more.

Example of the Zoho Projects dashboard

It also integrates with over 300 third-party applications–including Slack, Zapier, Google Suite, and Dropbox–making it easy to collaborate with your team.

One of the best things about Zoho Projects is its affordability–for $4 per month, you get up to 20 project templates, unlimited projects, and attached files up to 100GB.

For small teams and budding agencies, this plan is more than enough, and it comes at a cost that you can easily justify to your boss.

2. Slack

If you want to make communication as easy as possible across your entire company, use Slack.

Slack is a messaging platform that lets you create channels for different teams and projects.

Screenshot of Slack features page to get started with Slack and some big names that use it as a tool in their business

You can also use Slack to direct message other users, share files, and make audio and video calls.

Plus, with Slack’s integration with Zoho Projects, you can receive notifications about your project tasks directly in your Slack channels. You can also respond to them directly from Slack and they’ll be reflected in your project management software.

Slack is free, but its $6 Pro plan gives you unlimited searchable history, more app integrations, and the ability to add more guest users.

For project managers, Slack is essential for keeping everyone on the same page and ensuring that no task falls through the cracks. To set up a new project, all you need to do is create a new channel and add the relevant team members.

When a task is completed, you can simply @mention the project manager in Slack and they’ll be notified in their channel.

This way, you can avoid the back-and-forth of email and ensure that everyone is always up-to-date on the status of your projects.

3. GanttPro

GanttPro uses Gantt charts to help you to manage your projects online. You can plan and visualize processes, create tasks and assign them to team members, set deadlines, and track the progress of individual tasks against anticipated timelines. 

Dashboard view of GanttPro

You can also share the Gantt charts you have created with others by assigning dedicated users specific permissions (e.g., view-only or edit). GanttPro has a set of key features tailored for Agile methods, such as:

  • Scrum boards
  • Product Backlog
  • Sprint planning

For teams of all product developers, GanttPro will be an indispensable tool for managing your project development process.

4. LessonFlow

Lessons learned reporting is essential to project management, but it can be time-consuming. LessonFlow is a tool that helps you to track and report lessons learned quickly and easily.

With LessonFlow, you can create a library of reusable templates for different types of projects.

Screenshot of LessonFlow website page that shows how LessonFlow allows users to share and remember lessons they have learned through the PM process

You can also add tags to individual template items so that you can easily search for and find the template you need.

When completing a project, simply fill out the template with your lessons learned and share it with your team.

For project managers who want to improve their team’s performance, LessonFlow is an essential tool.

3 Tricks for Effective Project and Task Management

Since project and task management play such a big role in the efficiency of your company, it’s important to get them right. Here are four tips to help you manage projects and tasks more effectively:

1. Avoid perfectionism

It is human nature to want to do things perfectly. However, in the world of project management, perfectionism can be your enemy.

There is always a trade-off between quality and quantity–the more time you spend on one task, the less time you have for other tasks.

Instead of striving for perfection, focus on getting things done and making progress. If the completed project meets the predetermined goals and the stakeholders are happy, it should be considered a success.

2. Try not to multitask

Multitasking often seems like the best way to get everything done while working on limited deadlines. But when it comes to working on projects or multiple complex tasks, multitasking can actually be counterproductive.

When you try to focus on too many things at once, your attention is divided and you are more likely to make mistakes. And a mistake that needs to be corrected later can end up costing you more time and resources in the long run.

3. Familiarize yourself with product management methodologies

Whether you are a task manager or a project manager, it is important to familiarize yourself with the different product management methodologies.

There are several different approaches to product management, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. By understanding the different methodologies, you can choose the one that best fits your company’s needs.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular:

  • Agile: The Agile methodology is designed to be flexible and adaptable. It is based on the principle of “iterative and incremental development”, which means that projects are developed in small steps or iterations. Agile is well-suited for projects that are likely to change over time, as it allows for changes to be made quickly and easily.
  • Waterfall: The waterfall methodology is a more traditional approach to product development. It is based on the principle of “sequential development”, which means that each stage of the project must be completed before the next stage can begin. Waterfall is best suited for projects that are well-defined and unlikely to change.
  • Scrum: Scrum is a popular Agile methodology. It is based on the principle of “empirical process control,” which means that all decisions are made based on experience and experimentation rather than on pre-determined plans. Scrum is well-suited for complex projects that require a lot of collaboration.
  • Kanban: Kanban is another popular Agile methodology that is based on the principle of “just-in-time delivery.” This means that tasks are completed as they are needed, and there is no need to complete all tasks before starting work on the next task. Kanban is well-suited for projects that have a lot of moving parts.

By being knowledgeable about the different product management methodologies, you can choose the one that is best suited for your company’s needs.

What to Do Next

If you want to learn more about product management, check out our blog post on everything related to project management. By educating yourself on project management best practices, you can be better prepared for success within your own organization.

And if you aren’t well-versed in project management methodologies or don’t know where to start, check out a few of our resources here:

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